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 Minnesota B&B Guild, Duluth Historical Preservation Society Work With Fire Marshal on Codes for Historic B&Bs

ST. PAUL, MN, DECEMBER 16, 1997 -  Over the past year, the Minnesota Bed & Breakfast Guild, City of Duluth, Duluth Historical Preservation Society and Minnesota Historical Society have worked with state fire officials to recognize the unique needs of Minnesota's historic bed and breakfasts in regard to fire codes. The ad-hoc group has developed an agreement designed to protect the integrity of the state's historic B&Bs without compromising the safety of guests.

Under this new Fire Marshal policy, state fire officials will review each historic bed and breakfast individually. After a thorough inspection of each property, fire officials will consider the building's physical structure and historic nature in regard to fire codes. To be considered historic, a B&B must meet certain criteria outlined by the Minnesota Historical Society. As each B&B is considered, the Fire Marshal will inform the owner as to steps necessary to meet code.

The Minnesota Bed & Breakfast Guild was instrumental in the process, working with the State Fire Marshal in a lengthy series of meetings to find common ground to solve this unique problem and offering several suggestions which were eventually adopted. Also active was City of Duluth Senior Planner, Jill Fisher, who was recently honored by the Minnesota Bed & Breakfast Guild at its fall conference. She initially recognized the problem in Duluth and through her efforts, began a process that resulted in a resolution statewide. Fisher's efforts included a survey of B&Bs, meeting with the state fire marshal and his staff and working with the Minnesota B&B Guild on a solution.

The State Fire Marshal's office has also committed to training two inspectors as to the unique circumstances historic B&Bs face. In addition, he will work with local fire marshal offices to ensure clear understanding and implementation of the policy statewide.

The Minnesota Bed & Breakfast Guild wished to express its appreciation to Fisher, the State Fire Marshal and the Minnesota Historical Society for their successful work on this issue.

The Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Guild, an affiliate of the Minnesota Hotel & Lodging Association, is a not-for-profit association of 165 B&Bs across the state. The Guild is dedicated to the betterment of the B&B industry through education, promotion, communications and government affairs.

The Minnesota Hotel & Lodging Association represents 723 lodging properties across Minnesota. The MH&LA, along with the Restaurant and Resort Associations, form Hospitality Minnesota, which represents all segments of the state's $8.7 billion hospitality industry. The industry is the state's second largest employer generating more than $300 million in annual sales tax revenue and providing wages of $3 billion.

Dave Siegel, Director of Communications


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