Day off in July

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Baygirl's picture
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Wow for the first time in 14 years we do not have any guests for two nights in July!  Very strange, but instead of worrying about it, we're going to embrace this break in the middle of summer.  Guess we'll play tourists like our guests for a day.   Is anyone seeing a difference in their occupancy this year?  June we were down 5% from last year.  I think we'll hit about even with last July.  

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You can put us in the summer slump category. had a great May/June/July last year with a Porche event in the area. Room sales are down 25% from that year, but still down 15% from the year before. 

While Airs may be a small factor, we're just not seeing anywhere near the number of vacationers in the area we're used to. I would echo the Canadian info - so many including our past guests have been convinced America no longer welcomes them, so they're spending their C$'s at home. 

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Momma Smurf's picture
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So, just calculated.  From May to July we are down 14% from last Year (best year ever); 12.1 % down from 2015.  Either way, that's less than 15% given away to OTAs.  And if this is the new reality, then we're personally working at a more comfortable pace and NOT having to deal with all the headaches involved with giving away control of business model and guests.

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Momma Smurf wrote:

So, just calculated.  From May to July we are down 14% from last Year (best year ever); 12.1 % down from 2015.  Either way, that's less than 15% given away to OTAs.  And if this is the new reality, then we're personally working at a more comfortable pace and NOT having to deal with all the headaches involved with giving away control of business model and guests.

A quick look shows we're off by 50% from last year. And that's a year I wasn't here a lot, so it was a down year anyway.

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Momma Smurf wrote:

And if this is the new reality, then we're personally working at a more comfortable pace and NOT having to deal with all the headaches involved with giving away control of business model and guests.

I'm not as efficient, haven't calculated the percentage, but share the same thoughts as we do everything ourselves and try to keep a reasonable cost for our guests. I don't want to work longer and harder for the same money just to say we had more visitors, more also equals more wear and tear on the property and us.

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Momma Smurf's picture
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Yup.  We also do everything ourselves.  Have been planning to retire in the next couple of years because the 155 days straight with 6 weeks of full occupancy has been taking its toll.  If this is the new reality, we can easily stick it out even longer.  Am in no hurry to leave this lovely house and area. This season has been a piece of cake.  Even had time to go out for drives and see what the surrounding area looks like in the summer.  Then we come back here and say Thank Goodness we don't take our vacations in the summer and avoid all the crowds, waiting, etc.  Am constantly looking for the bright side!!

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Momma Smurf wrote:

Yup.  We also do everything ourselves.  Have been planning to retire in the next couple of years because the 155 days straight with 6 weeks of full occupancy has been taking its toll.  If this is the new reality, we can easily stick it out even longer.  Am in no hurry to leave this lovely house and area. This season has been a piece of cake.  Even had time to go out for drives and see what the surrounding area looks like in the summer.  Then we come back here and say Thank Goodness we don't take our vacations in the summer and avoid all the crowds, waiting, etc.  Am constantly looking for the bright side!!

I have likely shared this before, but we close the inn for Sunday night through Thursday night twice a year.   Once in June and once in September.   That gives us the time for a couple days out of the house, some sleeping in and some 'us-time' to regroup for the busy season.   Our house is pretty full from May through October, so days off count.   We lose money, but we gain sanity.   We also love the time in the house!   We get to sit on our own front porch!

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Morticia's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:

 

I have likely shared this before, but we close the inn for Sunday night through Thursday night twice a year.   Once in June and once in September.   That gives us the time for a couple days out of the house, some sleeping in and some 'us-time' to regroup for the busy season.   Our house is pretty full from May through October, so days off count.   We lose money, but we gain sanity.   We also love the time in the house!   We get to sit on our own front porch!

We started doing the same at the end of August. 3 days, mid week. It does help. The sanity thing is very important to us. Back at the beginning we had guests in the house everyday from mid May to the end of October. Too much for this introvert!

Even tho this summer is weird, we're still taking those days.

Silverspoon's picture
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Momma, I can totally relate...We lived that 155 days straight for a couple of years, doing all the work ourselves.  This summer, in the 4th year of gradually winding down, we have been able to relax.  We operate at about 30% of where we were in 2013.  We have resisted the OTAs, maintained our brand by not jumping in the big pool and racing to the bottom, and control every aspect of our business, including reservations.  They will have to carry us out in a coffin because we hope to live out the rest of our days in this lovely home, with occasional returning guests to help carry the load.  

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Silverspoon wrote:

We lived that 155 days straight for a couple of years, doing all the work ourselves. 

Maybe a different way to see it, but perhaps we have been blessed by not being that busy on an extended basis, enough, but not too much, as Gillum says, busy as we want to be.

Silverspoon wrote:

They will have to carry us out in a coffin because we hope to live out the rest of our days in this lovely home.

For us home is a small 1960's motel building, not exactly an elegant home, but absorbing a few unneeded guest rooms gave us a large living area and I have a carport for my old Packard and a workshop to putter around in when there is time. My retirement plan is that daughter and husband moved next door, so hopefully we spend our remaining days here as well.

Momma Smurf's picture
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Well said Dear Silverspoon! We resist OTAs too and I will remain Mistress of MY Domain.

Highlands John's picture
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Momma Smurf wrote:

the 155 days straight with 6 weeks of full occupancy has been taking its toll. 

Good grief, I'm not surprised. 70 days straight and 4 weeks full is the most we've ever done and that nearly killed us (and we nearly killed each other).

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Morticia's picture
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Just heard that over the breakfast table this morning. Plus, 'it doesn't feel safe in the US.' 

These folks are long time guests. They usually spend more time with us, but it's also too expensive here for them.

What's really important tho, is they don't see individual Americans as bad, so they do feel safe staying with us and talking with us. And inviting us to come and visit them.

Silverspoon's picture
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And I swear that the political climate has driven a wedge between the southerners and northerners within the country.  We usually see a lot more southerners escaping the summer heat and humidity...this year, not so much.  We have our first two couples from NC for the season, arrived yesterday because of a wedding in the area.  I get the feeling that they came together for security....will be interesting to see if they are relaxed after their 5-night stay with us.  

Morticia's picture
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Silverspoon wrote:

And I swear that the political climate has driven a wedge between the southerners and northerners within the country.  We usually see a lot more southerners escaping the summer heat and humidity...this year, not so much.  We have our first two couples from NC for the season, arrived yesterday because of a wedding in the area.  I get the feeling that they came together for security....will be interesting to see if they are relaxed after their 5-night stay with us.  

That's not something I've picked up on, but I can be dense sometimes. The best thing people can do for themselves is to travel to realize we're all good people across the country, and the world.

Silverspoon's picture
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The 3-day rule is working like a charm.  Guests arrive all tense and uncertain, but after 3 days they become relaxed, grateful and start talking about coming back.  They have stopped making (inappropriate) jokes about the very diverse town up the road from here, are getting curious about how we manage this place and about the "culture" differences, and are amazed that they got so lucky as to land in such a beautiful spot for their 5 night vacation.  Whew!  They booked on a recommendation of a friend of theirs who is a local here now and hosting a wedding for her son.  So all is good!

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Silverspoon wrote:

We have our first two couples from NC for the season, arrived yesterday because of a wedding in the area.  I get the feeling that they came together for security

We seem to live in strange times today, but didn't seem as busy this year in NC either, well July caught up with last year barely, but June was behind, I  think folks are just uneasy about what comes next, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And just a comment, I love the tag line on your posts, so true, of course that comes from the guy sitting in the shade while Maxine works in the garden.

Highlands John's picture
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Well, that was one of the busiest months we've ever had, 1 empty room in the whole of July (same in June).

Normally come close to that in August, but not the rest of the year.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Good job!   We had 6 empty rooms in July.   Pretty darned busy!

Highlands John's picture
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Where are your guests from? 

we seem to be seeing less UK folk but lots of people from abroad. No discernible pattern other than that. 

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more germans for us - taking advantage of the weak pound - questioned them that I hoped they didn't feel not welcome here - they said no felt fine so that's something

Highlands John's picture
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Jcam wrote:

more germans for us - taking advantage of the weak pound - questioned them that I hoped they didn't feel not welcome here - they said no felt fine so that's something

Tis Good.

We're seeing people from all over, in the last week they've been from Finland, France, Italy, Australia, US, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong. Only 1 lot of British. Canadians seem to have disappeared, lots last year, hardly any this.

Last year we were up 14% on previous best year, this year we're ahead of last. Last year started busy really from the start of May so that was 2 months before the pound dropped.

Generic's picture
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People aren't going to be happy with me. We are at 95% capacity for July. August is at 90% including a cancellation I just got today and that's with time left over. June was at 97%... I've never had that in June. 

But I also have at least two rooms that have exceed occupancy (cancellation fees), which helps. Yes... 110% occupancy does exist.

But honestly, we were expecting a good year, the city is celebrating and the country is celebrating and well... a lot of foreigners visiting.

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yes Glad you are busy. We still getting last minute bookings. So far August looks more promising. The 150 celebration did not rub off on us so far.

Generic's picture
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August for me is usually Europeans, mostly from France. The guest from the south are usually too late to get rooms in August... the Europeans fill my rooms first.

gillumhouse's picture
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Congrats. Being in a big city makes a difference and I am happy for you. I am willing to live on less so I do not have to be in a big city. Been there - happy to be back in the boondocks. I wish you to be as busy as you want/need to be.

Generic's picture
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I'm a city boy.... milk comes from a supermarket. I've heard rumours about these things called cows and milk, but haven't really seen the connection Smiling

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Generic wrote:

I'm a city boy.... milk comes from a supermarket. I've heard rumours about these things called cows and milk, but haven't really seen the connection Smiling

You need to come and visit us! If you live where we do, you definitely know where your milk, cheese and dairy products come from. Especially ice cream 

Tom
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Plenty of cows where BD lives, but the actual ice cream and cheese come from a factory of size and modernity that would put a Japanese auto maker to shame ... and has hundreds of tour buses visiting

Generic's picture
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Ice cream comes from supermarkets and ice cream stores. Everyone knows that.

Beef and chicken are grown in factories.

Water comes from taps.

 

Lee2014's picture
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Generic wrote:

Ice cream comes from supermarkets and ice cream stores. Everyone knows that.

Beef and chicken are grown in factories.

Water comes from taps.

 

    ....and those fancy cookies with hats comes from the bakery down the street?  cool  

     They were so awesome!  Thanks to Innkeep for sharing with me.

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Momma Smurf's picture
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Well, actually I'm happy for you. That's excellent. Guess we just need a more appealing country. Sigh.

JimBoone's picture
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Like others this year seems slower, partly as the last couple of years were extra good years, new hotel in town this year and somewhat first year where booking is on computer and I have a better picture of the advance bookings and worry more.

gillumhouse's picture
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Do not worry. It is a waste of effort as worrying will change NOTHING.

Tom
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Our July is slow as well.  July 2016 revenue was double what 2017 will be, but comparison with 2016 isn't meaningful because we had US Olympic trials here in 2016, this year we dropped a 2-room guesthouse out of availability, and this July we closed one weekend for family.

Our 2017 May-July is 90% of 2015, a more normal year, so I'd say a little down.  I mainly attribute this to market share loss to a significant increase in Air and high-end hotel construction over the last few years. 

OnTheShore's picture
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We seem to have had an unusually high number of cancellations this summer, but we have somehow managed to rebook them (sometimes at the last minute), so with the exception of a few orphan nights that we blocked, we have been and will be (barring any further cancellations) fully booked from the last week in June up to Labor Day weekend.  We have had and are scheduled to have at least some guests on the property continuously, every night, from June 16 to October 14.

Last year was still better overall, though, but so far this year seems like it will be OK (fingers crossed for the rest of the season, as we approach the half-way point....)

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Here we go again-an email this morning to shorten the stay by 2 days and a phone call to add 1 day to another booking. One step forward and 2 steps back

 

Momma Smurf's picture
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After a record June, finally dared to check:  July is down at least 29% over other years.  ?????????????????????

Baygirl's picture
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It's a strange summer.  This is a first that I'm discounting during the week to fill empty rooms.  Weekends are and have been completely booked for a while.  August is looking the same.  Weekends busy, weekdays plenty of openings.  Fingers crossed they fill in!  

Arks's picture
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Unusually slow June and July here. I wonder what the reason is. It was 99 here today, but they didn't know that a month ago when they should have booked! The stock market is near an all time high. Inflation is still low. Interest rates on loans are still low. No explanation!

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Hmmmm, I hesitate to say that the political climate in the USA right now is...how shall I say....uncertain?  We had one Canadian couple book this summer.  When they got here they said that they would have cancelled if they could have to avoid the current "lack of appreciation for foreigners".  

We are way down this year, but that suits us fine at this point in our lives.  I do feel bad for those newbies who were counting on a "normal" B+B year to make ends meet.  Or for those of you counting on a hefty bottom line to show prospective buyers when you put your inns on the market. 

gillumhouse's picture
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We are having monsoon-type rains and flash flood warnings every half hour it seems. This has been a VERY slow year here - slower than usual. It is a good thing it does not take much for me to survive.

Anon Inn's picture
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Very slow (non)Spring here.  When it rains....just forget it!, (Pacific NW) but June was better than last year, and July looks like it will match and maybe exceed just a hair.  

 

Morticia's picture
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We drove by your area in April. It was wonderful! Had a great time.

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We are having the slowest July in 13 years and on top of that - 10 cancellations just in this month alone. What is going on ?! With our $ being so low, we should be full. I know it is not just us - usually by now I have other B&B's in town full and sending their spillover our way - nothing so far. 

Morticia's picture
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Yes, you should be full because your countrymen are not driving south! We've only had repeat guests from Canada this year. 

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That is almost all we getting. Where are your countryman to take the 25% discount that our $ offers? Is what I am asking.

Morticia's picture
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April wrote:

That is almost all we getting. Where are your countryman to take the 25% discount that our $ offers? Is what I am asking.

Dang! I thought they were with you! 

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Good one. I wishsmiley

Momma Smurf's picture
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Slowest July here ever in 11 years!  Last year was our best entire year ever. sadno

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Same here- last year was great. All I am getting now is last minute bookings and short stays.

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