Inns offering free rooms for veterans

Associated Press / September 29, 2010

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A West Virginia innkeeper who started letting military families stay for free for Veterans Day in 2008 has recruited 400 inns across the United States and Canada as part of an initiative to offer free rooms this fall.

B&Bs for Vets is a way to thank active and retired military members for their service and to raise awareness of the bed-and-breakfast industry, said Kathleen Panek, who runs the Gillum House in Shinnston.

“People don’t understand that a bed-and-breakfast is about the warm and fuzzy feeling the innkeeper gets and a good experience for the guests,’’ she said. “Because we sure aren’t in it for the money.’’

As of yesterday morning, nearly 400 independently owned inns had signed on to offer free rooms Nov. 10, the night before Veterans Day. Some participants can spare just a single room, while the Colonial Inn in Smithville, N.J., is offering 20 of its 24.

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