First time ever

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10/07/2008

First time ever we have had an available room for a NASCAR weekend. Ever.

When we first came here and the economy was good, you couldn't even get tickets. We had hundreds of calls for a room.

Then it went bust and we would fill up, turning away a few dozen calls. Now we have a room open for this entire weekend. This has been the worst year ever, so far, for the off season. I surely hope it doesn't continue this way! 

We have decided to work smarter not harder and do the Elopement Packages. We also like the idea of doing something fun, with happy people. I am marketing like crazy and as soon as the lawns are in and things begin to bloom I will put the sign our front and magnet on my car, then visit all the hair salons/florists etc and get this thing off the ground. We have three elopements booked in so far beginning in April.

I am not super stressed over it. Just wondering what the heck is going on, the weather surely has not helped!

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10/07/2008

This was on a reservation which made me smile: 

Notes LOW FAT MILK AND SPARKLING WATER.

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10/07/2008

Okay just for the record, it isn't NASCAR and the fans. They actually lowered all their prices to make it more affordable. K that is what the misnomer is, my prices are not tripled, it is the same rate year-round. A ticket costs $42 for an all day race. It is not super expensive at all. I mean charging by the hour, it is probably the lowest price event around. Smiling

The point was the lack of bookings. The year so far has not been good at all. 

Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

It's not you or the NASCAR....it's the new breed of traveler.  I really believe that since everything is at their fingertips with mobile devices, travelers feel that they can be more spontaneous in their travel.  The end result is that they are not committed to a particular place or a particular time.  If the weather does not look good 5 days out, they postpone until it looks better.  They look for a cheap deal, last minute...and this year they are finding plenty of vacancy on line.

I must say that this is the slowest year we have had in MANY years.  More than 50% of our bookings for the upcoming months are from returning guests who know full well the value that we offer.  

If we were still looking to go full out we would consider offering elopement packages too.....they sound like the perfect solution to an otherwise changing market.

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Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

I don't mind that kind of business as a fill in -however in my place if you hit a busy time - its bonkers and you won't find anywhere.

Its fine if say you want to have a weekend away on any particular weekend in say June but if you have to be somewhere for a particular thing - yes you may pay a little more but you will be guaranteed to get it!

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Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

Yes, Cambs, I agree.  Most of our advanced reservations come from folks who must be here, to take a course or for a wedding etc., or from foreign guests who are planning an extended stay in the US. These guests are still planning ahead to get the dates and accommodations they need.     But the majority of our total reservations are from tourists who live within the north/central eastern area.   We are definitely a seasonal, beach oriented tourist destination for a population that stretches Canada to Washington, DC and as far west as western NY.  We are within a day's drive for a population of more than 50 million  people, so last minute vacations are not unusual, and increasingly their vacations are shorter in duration and more spontaneous in choice.

OnTheShore's picture
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08/28/2011

If you want to see a map of where your guests come from, and you have a database that includes their addresses, or even just their zipcodes, you can paste that data in at http://batchgeo.com and generate a map that looks like this (for free):

(map of our guests for the last couple of years, as of the end of the 2013 season; there were a few from outside of North America that I've omitted)

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Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

What a cool tool!!  Thanks for sharing that.  I suspect my map will look quite a bit like yours!

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Wow, that map is SO different from mine. I have a lot of data, I just chose the 250 biggest customers by spend. Didn't realize I had so many from down under.

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I know your prices are not tripled. So far, for me, this has been a good year. Not as good as last year with the long-terms but I did have one for 2-weeks. For what most of you get, it would be horrible, for me it has been nice.  I sometimes have NOTHING in January AND February. This year I did - even with having to tell those horse people they were NOT gong to stay here due to weather. I have been doing a share on FB when you have rooms available. Trying to help.

I wish I had the answer for all of us. We beat our heads against the wall trying to entice - and wondering why it did not work. I DID get an inquiry tonight from an ad in a Wine & Travel thingy I tossed an ad at in Ohio. Sounds like she may be booking this summer for the Bike & Winery Package.

white pine's picture
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02/02/2010

Maybe it is just this horrid winter, with all the storms the travel has been poor, and so many have repairs to attend to.  When spring finally gets here I think things will pick up. 

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

NASCAR priced themselves out of "Everyman's wallet". There was a business owner in town with a furniture store who combined a NASCAR race with a furniture pick-up. Long before he closed his store, he stopped NASCAR - said he could not afford it. Tickets were too expensive, lodging prices tripled during the race, etc.

white pine's picture
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02/02/2010

I think in general the Nascar crowd is reducing.  Up here the track reduced it's seating by a big chunk.  Turn outs went from sell outs to trying to fill the stands.  You are wise to try marketing in an alternate way.  I think the elopement theme is great.  Good Luck.

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