After 18 years, the owners of the C.W. Worth House are looking for like minded people to take over the operation of the longest continuously operating Bed & Breakfast in Wilmington, NC and have listed it for sale.  The B&B license is for 7 guestrooms and is grandfathered under the current Ordinance.   The C.W. Worth House is a quality AAA 3 Diamond property and has received 18 years of 100% Health Inspection reports.

The home was built by Mr. Charles W. Worth in 1893 and remained in the family until 1944.  It was a boarding/rooming house during the war and until 1981when it was purchased by a local Wilmington couple who converted it to a B&B and opened in 1985.  There was a succession of three owners in 14 years to the current owners who purchased in 1999.

The current City Ordinance (Sec. 10-279 Home Occupation (k) states that a new bed and breakfast in the historic district of Wilmington can only be located in a block that does not have an existing B&B license and can only operate with 3 guest rooms. 
This means there cannot be any more bed and breakfasts with more than 3 guestrooms.  There are currently 12 operating B&B’s within the Wilmington Historic District.

The home is a 5,985 square foot Victorian mansion with 7 permitted guest rooms and an owners’ suite on the first floor.  The property features one of the larger downtown lots, 66 x 210, with mature pecan trees and fully landscaped with two water features, a well for irrigation, rear and front yard fenced in with rear alley access from 2nd Street.  The front yard has a sprinkler system.

A dry, large unfinished basement for storage equals 900 square feet.

Two laundry rooms each with washer and dryer are located one on first floor and one on second floor.

A contiguous buildable back lot may be available for purchase from the Verandas B&B.  There is currently a “gentlemen’s agreement” for guest parking in that space.   

The Inn has seven spacious guest rooms–all with private bathroom with shower, one with 2-person jetted tub combo with shower.  Two guestrooms have a claw footed tub, one combo with shower, one separate from shower. There are 3 common areas where guests can gather or relax and two porches.

This Bed and Breakfast is being sold as a turnkey operating business and includes all furnishings (excluding owner’s furniture and a small list of items), intellectual property, current responsive website, guest list, vendor contacts, linens, digital photography and artwork of property.  Current internet service provider is Time Warner Cable.  All major appliances are included.  All wall art mirrors and decorative items on the first floor are negotiable.  Financial information furnished upon request to all qualified buyers.

The C.W. Worth House website is listed on Google, Trip Advisor and paid sites: Bedandbreakfast.com, bnbfinder.com, InsiderInfo, Wilmington Downtown Inc.  We are listed on dozens of free sites including the local Convention and Visitors Bureau, RealAdventures, Lodging World, GayYellowPages, GayLesbianDirectory, Purple Roofs and many more.  All locations of website listings will be provided.

Market Served
The majority of our clientele come from within North Carolina—the Triangle area  (2 hours) Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and the Triad: (3 hours) Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point and from South Carolina  The next level comes from (4 hours) Charlotte, NC; Richmond, VA and the (6 hours) DC area and Florida.  We have had guests from all across the country, Canada and Europe and the World.  We tend to get people who drive 2 to 4 hours for a getaway or to visit family or the University of North Carolina (UNCW).  And then there are those who use Wilmington as a midpoint heading North and/or South.

As owners we like to support our local community and local nonprofits such as the Historic Wilmington Foundation, the Lower Cape Fear Historic Society, The Bellamy Mansion, Friends of the Battleship, our local NPR station (WHQR), Cape Fear River Watch, Airlie Gardens, the Junior League and the American Red Cross.  We donate over a dozen room nights to these local non-profits for their fundraising events.

Opportunities
Increase mid-week corporate traveler business:  This market has a lot of potential.  There are several corporations, large and small, in Wilmington and surrounding areas that could be contacted creatively.  In addition corporate retreats could be offered.

Bereavement packages are just another example of marketing efforts that could be expanded upon.

Possible advertising opportunities are available at the Wilmington International Airport.

What works for us:  We work with a lot of local attractions/businesses for packages to enhance our guest experience.  For example, packages which include tickets to the Battleship, Wilmington Water Tours, the horse drawn carriage ride, local museums, locally made bonbons and a dinner package with the Pilot House or Aubriana’s.  Guests like packages as they are convenient and add value.

Elopements (and weddings) are a large market in Wilmington.  We have created a small elopement package on our website that is bringing additional interest and income.

Continued marketing to UNCW students and parents:  We have a page on our website exclusively showcasing the university and we offer a 10% “Teal Deal” to anyone visiting who is associated with the University.

The Wilmington Area
Wilmington incorporated in 1740 and is a charming historic port city on the Cape Fear River.  The city population is 115,000 and the regional population is 220,000 which supports and sustains a vast variety of local businesses, especially restaurants, unique shops, art galleries and music and live theatre venues and is known as a destination location.
One of the newest developments on the northern shore of the Cape Fear River is The Port City Marina.  This is a protected, deep water, full-service marina in Wilmington, North Carolina with over 200 state-of-the-art floating concrete wet slips and a full complement of first-class amenities and services for boats and boaters of all types.  The marina can accommodate boats up to 250 feet, with a controlled depth of 10-feet within the basin, and deeper draft slips along the Cape Fear River.  The marina is situated in the heart of downtown and is conveniently located just 3 miles from the Wilmington International Airport.  Whether you fly commercial or your own aircraft – you can be relaxing on your boat in less than 10 minutes.  Convenience at its finest.  You can walk to restaurants, explore boutique shops and check out the thriving downtown art scene. 

Wilmington is the epitome of the New South. Although the city is the largest in southeastern North Carolina and eighth largest in the state, it retains a small town atmosphere. Our inviting business climate has attracted global corporations like GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Corning, Verizon Wireless, and homegrown PPD.  GE, Corning and others have large facilities here and employ thousands of people. Among the largest employers are New Hanover Regional Medical Network, the New Hanover County school systems, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy & GE Aviation, UNCW, PPD, Verizon Call Center and the local municipalities as well as major retailers.  

Wilmington is a preserved historic riverfront town and retains much of the Main Street character without big box stores and chains.  “Preserve and restore historic buildings, neighborhoods and landscapes — these are what make our communities unique. Communities that don’t preserve their history, or encourage development that’s not in keeping with the community’s character lose their cultural memory and their soul.”

I love this quote! It says so much. Guests that stay in B&Bs love leisurely walks through towns and villages. Taking time to explore, something they may not have time to do in their own communities. With the knowledgeable guidance of innkeepers, guests can learn the history and culture of the town and area. Innkeepers that take pride in the preservation of their property also take pride in their community. It is a real win, win for them and their guests. Innkeepers know all about their main streets and tourism, and they love to share!

Wilmington is fortunate to have the Historic Wilmington Foundation which helps steward our historic-ness and is ever-vigilant with many programs in which residents can be involved.