Lodging health and safety regulations should apply to all

Dear Editor,

The Vermont Inn and Bed & Breakfast Association brought to my attention on July 19 a consideration from the Vermont Department of Health that would compartmentalize lodging accommodations by size (the number of guest rooms) when it comes to the application of the department’s recently revised health and safety regulations. I do not know all of what’s proposed, but I have gleaned that accommodations of fewer than three rooms may in the future be exempted from meeting the standards the state sets to assure the safety and health of guests.

States the association: “Ironically, one and two bedroom units as it currently stands would be the largest lodging block as a health and safety risk for Vermont tourists as they would be the entities with no formal regulation process in place.”

I am writing to request that any accommodation of any size be required to adhere to the values reflected by a commitment to health and safety to which The Fan House B&B in Barnard, a three-bedroom accommodation, has adhered for the past 13 years. I have happily obliged these regulations outlined by the state and in so doing have assured my guests that they are staying at an accommodation that is safe, clean and food-healthy.

The responsibility of continuing to adhere to regulations, however, should not be a numbers game the state of Vermont plays. A one-bedroom facility should also be asked to adhere to appropriate standards.

Should undue stress regulations-wise be placed on me as the owner of a three-bedroom facility, I will remove myself from the three-bedroom category and simply become a one or two-bedroom facility.

The net result to the state would be fewer reservations and therefore fewer rooms and meals tax dollars that the Fan House pays.

Thank you for adhering to the concept of fairness and to an ongoing commitment to the well-being of visitors to Vermont.

Sara Widness, The Fan House, Barnard, Vt.

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