Do you host family reunions?

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white pine's picture
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Just turned down my third wedding request this year.  Also, many are calling wanting to site family reunions here, booking the whole property.  I have the same concerns of having too many related people who might feel entitled to "expanded liberties" because they are the only "guests".  Had one person suggest some relatives could bring campers! 

I had a taste of this last year, with "guests" of guests using our property.  How do I say I want you, but not your whole extended family?   Especially if one family has booked everything?   

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seashanty's picture
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someone here does weddings and reunions and group things ...  hopefully will chime in    they seem to have it down pat.

 

 

Iris's picture
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Our property is actually perfect for family reunions and such but we have learned to turn them down unless they rent the entire property for 5 nights or more and there is an extra charge. 

Yes, I know you think this is a great deal for us but No, we are not thrilled to have you here. We are scared and know what you are capable of and therefore the 1 extra night charged for each cottage to give us time and money to replace and repair all that you have damaged.

That usually scares them away. 

Many years ago a family in the neighborhood had 250 some people in town and booked into other accommodations, for a reunion.  Since we have a firepit in the meadow and lots of space,  they decided without letting us know, that the whole gang should come here and enjoy the fire one night. 
Imagine our surprise as the cars drove in, drove through Mike's garden, trampled through the property, moved garden furniture to where they were comfortable, parked all over the place, bothered other guests, used the bathrooms in the 3 cottages they had rented here. Grrrrrr.... my blood pressure is still high from that event.

We discourage reunions. We can rent our cottages without them.

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white pine's picture
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This is it exactly.  Mob mentality.  They don't get it that more is not merrier for us.  Wish we could just find a way to block this. 

Joey Camb's picture
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i think im becomming more and more noise intollerant as i get old! they don't realise we have to work the next day and the day after and the day after that! we need our sleep!

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Iris's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

i think im becomming more and more noise intollerant as i get old! they don't realise we have to work the next day and the day after and the day after that! we need our sleep!

I have always been "allergic" to gratuitous noise. My kids were not allowed to scream off the top of their lungs and so is no one else, lol

I am not worried about myself, but I get very irritated when I think about the other guests. I don't want anyone ever to feel uncomfortable or bothered. 

Joey Camb's picture
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what i get annoyed with is when say 2 have to be up early for a show and bang around like ruddy elephants when others are trying to sleep!

Iris's picture
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that made me laugh out loud.  thanks Smiling

 

Kay Nein's picture
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We want to host reunions.  Other than just posting it on our website, what do you suggest for marketing it?  An internet search just bring up reunion organizing website and tools, but I definitely don't want to get listed in all those directories.

 

Madeleine's picture
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K9 wrote:

We want to host reunions.  Other than just posting it on our website, what do you suggest for marketing it?  An internet search just bring up reunion organizing website and tools, but I definitely don't want to get listed in all those directories.

 

Get a solid webpage set up for it. Take photos of some families enjoying themselves. Then get a press release put together for the local papers and the internet. What's the hook? Why go there? What do you offer that no one else has thought of INCLUDED in the price? (Look at those reunion sites and see what they say the organizer should be doing and then offer one, small thing from the list. You can upcharge on a lot of other things.)

I've thought about doing these. And have some ideas but no follow thru...story of my life. I'm always doing something else...

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Kay Nein's picture
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Great ideas!  Thank you.

We're having a new website made, but this isn't in the contract.  Maybe I could put together my own wordpress page all about the reunion aspect and start marketing that also.  

We had a small reunion of sorts this weekend.  Two couples - mom/dad, son/dil.  Mom grew up in this area.  In town for the funeral of a cousin.  They spent two days visiting all the local graveyards looking for relatives.  Now, they're going to start digging to see if there are any relations to the Kincaids who owned our house for generations.  Interesting stuff.   

 

 

 

white pine's picture
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Our area has a lot of reunions.  I would think for starters let the locals know that you are available for hosting their relatives on visits.  Children of older parents also stay with us because they don't want to make additional work for their relatives.  Others stay with us because they want a little more privacy from their families.  This is one case when it may pay to advertise locally.

Kay Nein's picture
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That is something that we stressed during the holidays - when your relatives are coming to visit, have them stay with us. 

But, you are right.  We are a tourist destination, so the locals' extended family & friends will visit here just because of that association.  

Another reason we are hosting the Chamber's networking here next week.  I'll be sure to bring this up when I get to speak.

Tom
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We have had great success with reunions: a lot of work, but a lot of fun, too.  Sometimes a little family drama, but generally well behaved.  On the whole our clientele is grade A, so we expect and get no trouble.  But I always want to have one person identified as the "event host" so I have just one person to go to to resolve any issue that arises, and that includes strict accountability for non-resident guests: who, how many, what limitations apply (curfew, room access, etc.).

Bommelhoeve's picture
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If your guest are doing this, perhaps you could make them accountable? 

"The use of boats etc is strictly for registered guests only. If you pick up oars/paddles (have them sign a register with take out time / return time, maybe you want to mark the oars by ref number) they are accountable until returned, including unauthorized use by non-guest. For safety reasons etc. In case of accidents you maybe liable if you have given opportunity to non registered guest to use boats."

Also I would have rules that guests of guests are only allowed if you are notified beforehand. Again, safety and liability...

 

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white pine's picture
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You are absolutely right.  I will have to go to a sign in, at least that will be something.

We stayed at a place once that had a notebook full of rules that really put us off, just the tone of it.  I understand why now.

 I would like to strike a happy medium, some rules, but not such a negative tone.  With so many things to control here, that long list of "thou shalt nots" and coming across negatively is my big worry.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I agree with you about hating signs and don't do this and don't do that, but when it comes to safety and liability, that's a whole other issue. I can't imagine what would happen if someone were injured or died who was using your equipment.

Madeleine's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

I agree with you about hating signs and don't do this and don't do that, but when it comes to safety and liability, that's a whole other issue. I can't imagine what would happen if someone were injured or died who was using your equipment.

And if someone just 'wanders in' because they see the lake and a road and they get hurt, holy cow. 'There weren't any signs! I thought it was public property! They shouldn't leave stuff out where I can hurt myself!' You know, those people.

white pine's picture
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Am working on a policy page people must click as read & agreed to book.  The paddles, pfds and oars are in the lodge.   Liability comes under paying through the nose for insurance.

 Seems to me considerate people don't need signs, and those who do, don't pay attention to them.  I know y'all have had issues with people coming through your private signs into your quarters.  

We have largely GREAT guests, but have had a few of "those" people, hence this posting. 

Madeleine's picture
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We've done it with limited success. One bride with 17 people in her room made me swear off having the bride in the house! Otherwise, reunions, family gatherings have so far been ok. Oh wait, there was the group where one of them had a heart attack because of the stress involved in dealing with a hated in law. And the organizer who brought a laptop into the kitchen and said she wanted ALL of the breakfasts on the website served NOW! (This was after they had cleared out everything we laid out for them to eat on the buffet. WHAT???!!!)

Still, we forge on and will try it again twice upcoming in this year.

Sometimes we can't help it as guests will all book separately and we never know they are together until they arrive.

white pine's picture
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I had some people ask about a family reunion last year, I just got over half my rooms booked on one day at one time by multiple guests,   I'm thinking it is happening again.  Guess if they book separately you can't prevent it.  I really don't like trying to ride herd on people.  Just wish they would have some common respect.

Joey Camb's picture
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we do but then we expect the other family members arriving etc and build it into the price - if you do decide to go ahead make a contract - ie you are allowed to do this and what not!

Plus nice to see you back in the forum! how is it all going?

white pine's picture
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Hi Cambs!

Going well, had to get a different engineer to interpret the code for the local building inspector, which was holding us up.  Looks good now.  We were really busy with the motel last year, and have linked into several return tour groups.  MUST find some help this year.

We don't charge extra for the use of the kayaks, boats, beach and internet.  Last year I had a few guests of guests using all.    I even chased off a group who weren't staying here who were sitting on the porch.  (This is also a wifi zone which I don't think they realized.) How do I put a price on the use of our facilities to others?  

OnTheShore's picture
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08/28/2011

Are the people using your porch, boats, and beach guests of guests or just people walking in off the street (as it were)? If the latter, maybe you need some kind of fencing or plantings, possibly with signage, that make it clear that this is private property not open to the general public. 

 

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white pine's picture
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 The porch people were bike riders who managed to come in without me seeing them.  We have a fence with a gate and a billboard at the road, our drive is about 1/4 mile in.  I can't imagine they didn't know we are a private property.   We are just a local landmark, and are visible from across the lake and a park.  We get lots of curiosity seekers, several who booked with us.  Unfortunately, many who just want to see what is going on.

It is the guests of guests thing that really gets to me.  I try to politely point out that registered guests are allowed to use the boats and kayaks.  I often chase people off our beach...they come by boat.  We have 20 acres and 1/4 mile of lakefront, I can't be everywhere and it gets old.  Had a dog running loose in the lodge once, not a guest!

Joey Camb's picture
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Wi-fi - is the easiest ie need a code to get on and change it now and then incase of freeloaders

Beach - think your a bit stuffed there

Kyaks and Boats - can you lock them in some way - with the type of locks with a combination ie you can give your guests the combination - keeps the locals off unless they pay?

white pine's picture
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It isn't the locals who use the boats and kayaks, the guests let THEIR guests go.  I have collected all the oars and paddles, and they must come in to get them.  In all honesty this doesn't happen too often, but I worry about reunions doing this. 

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