What made you buy a hotel?

Hi!  My name is Corrie Sid and this is my first EVER blog post! I’m a bit nervous and am not sure exactly what to share, so I guess I'll start with an introduction. I was born and raised in Tallassee, Alabama where my entire family still resides. In August of 1992, I moved to the Bay Area right after I graduated from Auburn University. For the past 17 years I have been married to a highly intelligent, amazingly generous and half crazy man of Chinese heritage. I am a proud mom of two incredible teenagers, Zoe (15yrs) and Bry (13yrs). AND...I AM A HOTELIER!  

I gotta tell ya, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever utter those word. Crazy, right? I will tell you all about it in this post and in future posts I will share as much as I can about day to day life of owning and running a boutique hotel. I predict that some future posts will be funny and uplifting and some will be odd, unbelievable and maybe borderline insane. Maybe together we start a new thing…Reality Hotel Blogging! So here we go!

In 2015 my husband, Jeff, and I purchased a boutique hotel in the small seaside village of Capitola, California. It is called the Capitola Hotel and it is located directly across the street from the gorgeous Pacific Ocean. People often ask me, "Have you owned a hotel before?" Answer, “Nope!" And then they ask, "Have you worked in a hotel before?" Answer, “Nope!" But the number one question I get, almost daily, is…. "What made you buy a hotel?". The answer is long, but I bet you can relate!

I was in high tech running revenue generating training teams for going on 18 years. I worked at many different companies headquartered every where from San Jose, CA to Raleigh, NC to Quebec City, Canada. I traveled all over the world, from Singapore to Munich, Dallas to India and probably everywhere in between. I was tired...both physically and mentally. I was certainly tired of traveling, but more importantly, I was tired of all things corporate. I rolled out of bed in the morning and turned on my laptop to deal with Europe. I climbed into bed late at night with my laptop to deal with Asia. I stood in a raised cubical during the day arguing with finance about the accuracy of my reports and placated upset customers with free training. I skipped lunch to take one on one calls with stressed out instructors and stayed late to listen to colleagues complain about their boss. And then…I would do it all over again the next day, never knowing when it would end? Never was the answer….it was never going to end! I would never reach my revenue target because when I did they would raise it. I would never be able to keep my expenses in check because doing so meant I would lose critical vendors and key employees. I felt like a rat on a wheel…going faster and faster every day, with no end in sight.

 Dorothy Louise Christian Crockett

In February of 2015, my world turned upside down. My grandmother died, my last living grandparent, a very close friend of my was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, and my mother fell, hit her head and had to have brain surgery or she would die. All of the sudden, work seemed ridiculous to me. I came home and announced that I was quitting my job. My husband, of course, thought I would calm down and change my mind. But I was DONE….like the kind of done when all emotion is resolved and a sense of peace and calm surrounds you. That’s how you know it is the right thing to do. I gave notice and settled on a departure date, which seemed like forever, and felt no remorse what so ever! My husband, however, suddenly entered into panic mode. In his mind, I just cut our finances in half and left my half on the table somewhere for someone else to pick up and take home. My husband is an interesting soul…he is kind and caring in every way except when it comes to money. When it comes to money, he is all about tangible, actionable results. So, he started to look for how to plug the hole of my income loss.

This hotel was just sitting there, quietly for sale. Not many folks knew it was even on the market. I had only driven through Capitola and had never even walked around the little village. My husband asked me to go take a look, just a peek. I was not interested. I had no experience running a hotel and I couldn’t even imagine the type of things that would have to be attended to. Plus it was almost 50 miles away from our home in Palo Alto, California. How in the world would we even manage it? But we went anyway, on a Sunday afternoon, the day before I flew to Alabama to visit my mother in the hospital. I was so stressed out on the drive over to the beach. I kept thinking...I have to pack and map out the week for the kids and everything else that needed to be handled while I was away, plus I was still working at that time.

I absolutely fell in love! Just like everyone else does who comes to Capitola for the first time! This boutique hotel was adorable and I just knew I was meant to own it. We have owned and managed long-term rentals throughout the Bay Area for a long time, so surely this wasn’t much different, right? We leveraged everything we had and went for it! We closed on July 29, 2015 and on that day our lives were forever changed. How you ask? You’ll see…