Chances are good they will find someone who would jump at it. If I have the room, and it wouldn't be filled at full price, I would take the $700.00...but then my highest rates are lower than the lowest rates of many Inns. On top of that, I myself never pay more than $100 per night when I travel....could be why I always pick the smallest owner-run Inns.
So, just say no graciously if you can't do it, you shouldn't get mad at people for asking or take it personally, not in this economy. $700 is alot of money to me; if I was willing to spend that for lodging on vacation, and an innkeeper said or acted like "if you can't afford to stay with me, stay home", I would say "no, I'm going on vacation, but will stay with someone else".
At least they are considering B&B's as a lodging option..
As an aside, I would never make a guest feel like they were poor if they couldn't afford to pay my rates. I would refer them to my comp who charges $95/night.
I should have expanded on my original statement...I personally cannot afford a week's vacation. Guess what? I stay home. I don't grovel at someone's doorstep to take me in at a discount. I don't make the assumption that everyone else out there is poor like me and would take whatever I want to pay, I assume their prices are what their prices are and they are that for a reason.
I couch surf when I want to get away. (Or, like a few weeks ago, I go with friends who chip in toward the room.) Or I travel off season when rates are generally lower. But I wouldn't take the bread out of an innkeeper's mouth so I could have a vacation I cannot afford. I might, however, go for 4 days instead of 7. (I'm not above asking for a reciprocal discount at another lodging property.)
I'm in the wrong business...ha, ha...I think people who are unemployed and on the edge should be looking for work and pinching pennies. I don't think they should be begging for a vacation. Are they going to do the same thing at the restaurants? 'Hi, we can't afford this prime rib, but we want it anyway. How about we pay you $5 for that?'
I think pointing them to the $20 off discount and reiterating what all is included in the price is excellent marketing.
We're lucky in that we know a lot of innkeepers now who have offered us 'a place at the inn' if we can travel to their locations. I thank them one and all. For once in my life I have 'an uncle in the biz.'
I wouldn't take the bread out of an innkeeper's mouth so I could have a vacation I cannot afford.
Pretty much up to them to decide if they can or cannot afford it or not, and up to the individual innkeepers to decide they would starve for saying yes. $700.00 for a week at the end of August would certainly not be taking food out of MY mouth (given my
historical occupancies for that week or so every year), but just might buy the month's groceries. Guests have no idea which Innkeepers that may be the case for, so they have to call around to find out. While you might not appreciate those calls, I do.
If an Inn is sitting pretty, up in revenues and/or occupancy, and kicking the competition's butt (or are down but can afford to ride it out) then the keeper can "just say no" and generously refer the budget travelers to the competition. What if cost-concious travelers became your area's demographic throughout the recession and beyond? If a particular Inn's occupancies are down (and down long enough), and most callers are asking for a discount, then it's time to reconsider demographic, rates, amenities, everything. After all, pride goeth before a fall.
If you don't like the ones that ask for discounts, tweak your marketing to appeal to the more affluent traveler or post on your website "NO DISCOUNTS FOR ANYONE, EVER, FOR ANY REASON. IF YOU HAVE TO ASK, YOU CAN'T AFFORD IT, AND IT'S JUST GOING TO MAKE ME MAD".
That will get rid of the cheapskates, and you won't have to be offended by their calling.