June 16, 2017 by
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here. This winter was a super busy one for us at the hotel. Loads of guests in the hotel, the bar full of regulars and the restaurant packed 4 days a week.
Something really struck me this winter about running The Avalon. I think it all started when Pippa came to work for us. I’ve know Pip for a very long time her parents came to Bansko about 10 years ago and have evolved from regulars to good friends. They have a place here and like many of the owners in Bansko are now living here for a chunk of the year. Pip was a goofy little girl when I first met her, a shy little 8 year old. Nothing like the Pippa who finished working for us at the end of the season!!!
Having Pip here initially made me feel really old. 18 and full of fun. She brought a care free energy to the hotel that I’ve not had since I left the alps. What struck me most was that she had been coming to the hotel for so long we’ve know each other for more than half her life!!! It made me look at our guests in a different light. All winter I tried to remember when I’d first met each of our guests, tried to recall the connection that had brought them to us. The more I thought about it the more it became clear that our guests are a pretty special bunch. The Avalon attracts a very different crowd.
Nearly everyone who comes here has been before, they are friends as well as guests. They are determined to be happy, they love Bansko and just keep coming back. Warts and all Bansko is a place they have connected with. Most come year after year, happy to prop up the bar and talk rot with the team, happy to play along with our amateur attempts at hospitality. They don’t mind Bansko’s growing pains they are along for the ride and loving every minute of it! “Determined to enjoy themselves” was how the old man described them when I spoke to him about it.
I’ve never really had a vision of what I wanted The Avalon to be I fell into being a hotelier without much planning. As far as I recall when the project was offered to me I just thought “why not that could be fun”. It now appears that this is the vision and we look after people who think the same. If you come to Bansko thinking “why not that could be fun” you will love it. There is something for everyone, from chic bars and restaurants to sketchy little local places where you can eat and drink like a king for a fiver. Yes the roads are poop and the pavements a joke but if you are willing to laugh at the absurdities and just enjoy it for what it is Bansko is a perfect little resort.
I’m planning a load of fun and games through the summer, what with hiking biking and climbing so hopefully I’ll be posting more regularly! Next winter I’m employing lots of extra staff so that I can play more so god willing there will be some winter posts as well 🙂