Accepting Applications for Innkeepers for East Brother Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast
San Francisco Bay
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 14, 2021
Richmond, CA: East Brother Light Station, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, is seeking applicants for innkeepers of the bed and breakfast inn at East Brother Light Station, an island in San Francisco Bay that is the home of an intact 1874 lighthouse and fog signal.
After a 15-month hiatus due to COVID-19 closing, we are targeting reopening on September 1, 2021.
East Brother Island has an operating light and fog signal and is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard but maintained for public use by East Brother Light Station, Inc. Since 1979, it has been operated as one of California's best-known and unique bed and breakfast inns. The income from operations is used by a group of volunteers to maintain the buildings and other structures, which are both a California State Historical Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The successful candidates will be a two-person team or couple, one of whom must possess a Coast Guard commercial boat operator's license. They will operate the five-room inn, serving both dinner and breakfast, as well as providing ferry service for guests and all other tasks from chef to maid. High-quality culinary experience and capability will be a critical qualification. The inn is open four days a week, and the island is also available for day use and special events. The new keepers will start operations on September 1 following training.
Compensation is a function of the level of business, occupancy level and the economy. In the last year (2019-20) the inn was fully operational compensation was $140,000, trending upward, for the couple. Compensation includes a health plan and living quarters on the island.
Applicants can apply at www.ebls.org. Only applicants with at least one US Coast Guard license will be considered. Applicants must be COVID-19 vaccinated and must be non-smokers.
Please, NO PHONE CALLS from potential applicants!
You may have heard about our recent power failure. Here is the latest:
After electrical power was lost to East Brother Light Station on April 1, 2021, due to a damaged underwater cable, a team of volunteers with impressive expertise was able to cobble together an emergency repair nearly two months later, on May 28, 2021. The existing cable was pulled up from the Bay enough to locate and cut out the damaged portion and splice the undamaged portions together. Much work is left to be done, including replacing and upgrading service equipment at both the landside and island side of the cable termination, all of which is in progress.
Like any building or infrastructure component, cables are not permanent, but for now, the repaired cable is our least expensive and most reliable alternative. The current cable was installed in 1991 by the US Coast Guard after a previous cable installed in the 1960s was irreversibly damaged by a lightning strike. To date, the US Coast Guard has refused to undertake any of the necessary repairs for the most recent failure. Nevertheless, the board of the non-profit East Brother Light Station, Inc., is continuing to evaluate future strategies to guarantee a power supply to the island, essential to the operation of the bed and breakfast inn that provides the substantial revenue necessary, along with a dedicated group of volunteers, to maintain the island’s historic nearly 150-year-old structures,
The bed and breakfast inn has been closed due to COVID-19 since March of 2020. With power restored and COVID-19 in remission, the board is targeting reopening in September of 2021 and has begun the process of recruiting a new innkeeper team based on this schedule.
Even with power at least temporarily restored, East Brother still faces the imminent need for expensive repairs to its pier and gangway, built in 1962, and suffering from some 60 years of saltwater-induced damage to its steel concrete reinforcing and steel supports. It seems the need never ends, but thanks to our guests, our dedicated volunteers, donors to our fundraising campaigns and our business community partners, we will prepare East Brother to complete its second century.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can You Provide A Detailed Job Description?
The Lighthouse Keepers are a "couple" who, as employees of the organization, manage and run the bed and breakfast inn and day-use programs at East Brother Island. The five-room inn is currently open four evenings a week, Thursday through Sunday, and the island is available for day-use visitors on summer weekends. Duties include boat transportation, tours, dinner and breakfast preparation and serving, and cleaning. Assistance with island maintenance is by a volunteer group. A copy of the Personnel Manual is available on request.
Define What You Mean By "Couple?"
We use the word "couple" loosely because the job requires two persons who must live and work together in close quarters. They do not necessarily have to be a married couple.
What Are The Minimum Qualifications?
One of the individuals must possess a valid U.S. Coast Guard commercial operator's license for a boat carrying at least six passengers. If you do not have this, please do not waste your time and ours by applying. Keepers must have culinary experience or abilities, must be warm and presentable to the public, and must be enthusiastic and self-motivated. Children are incompatible with this job, as are pets. Smoking is not permitted. Previous food service or hotel-type experience may be helpful but is not required.
How Can I Get A Coast Guard License?
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A CURRENT LICENSE OR HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT LICENSING, YOU ARE HIGHLY UNLIKELY TO BE A QUALIFIED CANDIDATE FOR THE KEEPER'S POSITION WITHIN THE TIME FRAME WE NEED TO HIRE.
Compensation And Housing
Compensation is a function of the level of business. Essentially, 40% of the gross is taken by the non-profit corporation for maintenance and capital improvements. The remaining 60% goes to the Keepers after subtracting the expenses of operation, principally food, beverage, gasoline, etc. In 2019-20, the Keepers’ gross pay was about $140,000 annually, trending upward, for the couple, plus about $10,000 in health insurance. Typically, keepers take 2-4 weeks of vacation. Modest housing is available on the island, but some keepers in the past have elected to live off the island during days off. We prefer the keepers live on the island full time.
Pets And Children
The job is incompatible with children, and pets are strongly discouraged, especially dogs.
Why Would We Want This Job?
Incomparable views; meet a lot of interesting people; one of California's best-known bed and breakfast inns; hard work but pretty good pay for a young couple (or a couple of any age) doing something unique; birds, marine mammals, fresh air, boats; and history. East Brother is a registered California Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.