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We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
Maybe it's not just about occupancy rate. With higher occupancy, it mean more work....more hired help possibly. My motto is "work smarter, not harder", so I would try to think of things that bring in $$ without the extra grunt work. What really worked for us was creating extra add-ons. Romance packages, picnic basket, chocolates, etc., gift shop. You've got some higher end room rates and I bet those guests of yours would spend more money at your place if given the opportunity. How about putting together a lava tube package...When we were on the Big Island we bought flash lights and had a great time discovering lava tubes off the beaten path. You could add a map of the un-touristy caves, a packed lunch, and some other fun stuff. Some of our best memories of our Big Island trip was traveling the back roads and find the caves which was a challenge!
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
penelope said:
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
Go to the next PAII conference. We go every other year and learn an amazing amount. Every time we go, I leave with a priceless nugget that I am able to easily implement after I get home.
Educate yourself as much as possible, and if you feel like you've done everything you can, then you might want to consider hiring a professional B&B consultant. I know this takes money, but you'd be amazed what can happen when someone else takes a look at your business. They can suggest things that you'd never think of because you're "too close" to your own business.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
No eye rolling, it's something we all work on- how to get more occupancy, or at least get more revenue from the occupancy we have. Some are busy as they want to be, some are not. We try to be creative with our packages, but I don't have a creative bone in my body, so it's a struggle.
Offering perks to your repeat guests is nice because they already know your place and are probably amenable to coming back if they feel like they are special. So, trite as it sounds, work that email list with info, tips and offers.
.
Can you guys fill me in on what you are doing in the way of working with a group/organization??
I have mentioned our Chamber of Commerce and our CVB a few times on this board, but no one seems to hear me. This leeds me to wonder if you all are involved in your area's marketing efforts. If you have these organizations, you must get to work and let them know what you expect of them. Take the reigns into your hands if no one else competent is there. They may need you to volunteer a little of your time in order to get some things done but you will see real results really quickly.
Our area started the CVB about 6 or so years ago and combined it with the Chamber of Commerce. The chamber was on the brink of closing down for lack of funding. The CVB and the assessments we all charge to the guests has amassed millions each year and we spend millions on add campaigns besides what the state is doing with the Pure Michigan adds. We advertise everywhere for all sorts of markets. We go for the birdwatchers, the hangliders, the fly fisher, the Salmon and Steelhead fishing, the hikers, bikers, mushroom hunters - we take it all apart and go great guns with all of our campaigns. It has worked. I am not kidding when I tell you that my 10 cottages are at a 95-98 percent occupancy rate in mid June through the end of October. That is partially due to the CVB and mostly due to this incredible host,
ok now, sorry for the lenghty post. I hope you didn't bang your heads as you fell asleep in front of your computers, waiting for me to finish.
I would love to visit Maine. I think it has some of the flavor that I grew up with in Germany - on an island in the North Sea.
It seems to me that I have seen a commercial for Maine. Lemme think.
.
My 'CVB' spends almost every dime on their own salaries. They are appointed by a board that doesn't need them to do anything, their marketing budgets are huge on their own. The membership all do tons of volunteering, nothing helps because there's no money left to market with. So, this CVB will be on the verge of collapse next year because half of last year's businesses did not renew. The only thing it has going for it is an online presence that has history so it comes up well in search terms. BUT, you have to know you want to be here before you'll search on it!
This year's map shows my building located in what looks like a different town, the scale and POV are so skewed. Prior to this, it looked like an easy walk to everything. Now it looks like you need a car.
I am stunned that your occ is so high. We've never seen rates like that in peak season. Never. Good for your campaigns!
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
No eye rolling, it's something we all work on- how to get more occupancy, or at least get more revenue from the occupancy we have. Some are busy as they want to be, some are not. We try to be creative with our packages, but I don't have a creative bone in my body, so it's a struggle.
Offering perks to your repeat guests is nice because they already know your place and are probably amenable to coming back if they feel like they are special. So, trite as it sounds, work that email list with info, tips and offers.
.
Can you guys fill me in on what you are doing in the way of working with a group/organization??
I have mentioned our Chamber of Commerce and our CVB a few times on this board, but no one seems to hear me. This leeds me to wonder if you all are involved in your area's marketing efforts. If you have these organizations, you must get to work and let them know what you expect of them. Take the reigns into your hands if no one else competent is there. They may need you to volunteer a little of your time in order to get some things done but you will see real results really quickly.
Our area started the CVB about 6 or so years ago and combined it with the Chamber of Commerce. The chamber was on the brink of closing down for lack of funding. The CVB and the assessments we all charge to the guests has amassed millions each year and we spend millions on add campaigns besides what the state is doing with the Pure Michigan adds. We advertise everywhere for all sorts of markets. We go for the birdwatchers, the hangliders, the fly fisher, the Salmon and Steelhead fishing, the hikers, bikers, mushroom hunters - we take it all apart and go great guns with all of our campaigns. It has worked. I am not kidding when I tell you that my 10 cottages are at a 95-98 percent occupancy rate in mid June through the end of October. That is partially due to the CVB and mostly due to this incredible host,
ok now, sorry for the lenghty post. I hope you didn't bang your heads as you fell asleep in front of your computers, waiting for me to finish.
I would love to visit Maine. I think it has some of the flavor that I grew up with in Germany - on an island in the North Sea.
It seems to me that I have seen a commercial for Maine. Lemme think.
.
I belong to a CVB that does a great job of marketing their county which unfortunately is not MY county. I am listed on their web site (and get hits from it - who knows, perhaps a booking or two) and in their Guide. I have an excellent relationship with them but it is the trail that is the connection they are the north end and I am the south. Neither of the CVBs in my county do squat for me. One is, in my view, totally ineffective and the other has done nothing so far. Perhaps it is time I make another visit over there. They have ANOTHER Director, at least the 3rd so far in its short existence. At first it was membership only and there was no way I was joining what destroyed the County CVB although I did have a decent relationship with the poor guy who was the director. #3 knows me and I know him so perhaps now is the time.... I am leaving the Chamber (and their dues) to the City Manager for bringing people to town.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
No eye rolling, it's something we all work on- how to get more occupancy, or at least get more revenue from the occupancy we have. Some are busy as they want to be, some are not. We try to be creative with our packages, but I don't have a creative bone in my body, so it's a struggle.
Offering perks to your repeat guests is nice because they already know your place and are probably amenable to coming back if they feel like they are special. So, trite as it sounds, work that email list with info, tips and offers.
.
Can you guys fill me in on what you are doing in the way of working with a group/organization??
I have mentioned our Chamber of Commerce and our CVB a few times on this board, but no one seems to hear me. This leeds me to wonder if you all are involved in your area's marketing efforts. If you have these organizations, you must get to work and let them know what you expect of them. Take the reigns into your hands if no one else competent is there. They may need you to volunteer a little of your time in order to get some things done but you will see real results really quickly.
Our area started the CVB about 6 or so years ago and combined it with the Chamber of Commerce. The chamber was on the brink of closing down for lack of funding. The CVB and the assessments we all charge to the guests has amassed millions each year and we spend millions on add campaigns besides what the state is doing with the Pure Michigan adds. We advertise everywhere for all sorts of markets. We go for the birdwatchers, the hangliders, the fly fisher, the Salmon and Steelhead fishing, the hikers, bikers, mushroom hunters - we take it all apart and go great guns with all of our campaigns. It has worked. I am not kidding when I tell you that my 10 cottages are at a 95-98 percent occupancy rate in mid June through the end of October. That is partially due to the CVB and mostly due to this incredible host,
ok now, sorry for the lenghty post. I hope you didn't bang your heads as you fell asleep in front of your computers, waiting for me to finish.
I would love to visit Maine. I think it has some of the flavor that I grew up with in Germany - on an island in the North Sea.
It seems to me that I have seen a commercial for Maine. Lemme think.
.
My 'CVB' spends almost every dime on their own salaries. They are appointed by a board that doesn't need them to do anything, their marketing budgets are huge on their own. The membership all do tons of volunteering, nothing helps because there's no money left to market with. So, this CVB will be on the verge of collapse next year because half of last year's businesses did not renew. The only thing it has going for it is an online presence that has history so it comes up well in search terms. BUT, you have to know you want to be here before you'll search on it!
This year's map shows my building located in what looks like a different town, the scale and POV are so skewed. Prior to this, it looked like an easy walk to everything. Now it looks like you need a car.
I am stunned that your occ is so high. We've never seen rates like that in peak season. Never. Good for your campaigns!
.
Bree, with our CVB, if you have 10 or more rooms, you have no choice - the law is you need to belong. The great thing is, the entire thing is funded by the 2% assessment that we charge the guests on top of the sales tax. Every guest is charged and that's it. Thank goodness it is only 2 percent. Can you imagine paying what N.Y state or Washington state charge?
Do you want me to send you something to sink your teeth into?
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
I honestly believe that you can "up" your occupancy by working really closely with your Chamber of Commerce or you CVB. A couple of years ago we let one Director go and hired a spitfire of a go-getter who has increased the county's visibility greatly. Of course it doesn't hurt to have an add campaign like we have it now in Michigan. Pure Michigan has made a difference, we feel.
.
IrisoftheWayfarer said:
I honestly believe that you can "up" your occupancy by working really closely with your Chamber of Commerce or you CVB. A couple of years ago we let one Director go and hired a spitfire of a go-getter who has increased the county's visibility greatly. Of course it doesn't hurt to have an add campaign like we have it now in Michigan. Pure Michigan has made a difference, we feel.
Here in Georgia the Pure Michigan ad runs all the time! I really like the ads and it has made me want to come back up to Michigan, so much so that I'm thinking about when I can visit my Mother in Law up there
omg_smile.gif

.
Ok, I say you pack your bag, come up to see dear MIL and then take her to see the West Coast in the pinky!!!
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
No eye rolling, it's something we all work on- how to get more occupancy, or at least get more revenue from the occupancy we have. Some are busy as they want to be, some are not. We try to be creative with our packages, but I don't have a creative bone in my body, so it's a struggle.
Offering perks to your repeat guests is nice because they already know your place and are probably amenable to coming back if they feel like they are special. So, trite as it sounds, work that email list with info, tips and offers.
.
Can you guys fill me in on what you are doing in the way of working with a group/organization??
I have mentioned our Chamber of Commerce and our CVB a few times on this board, but no one seems to hear me. This leeds me to wonder if you all are involved in your area's marketing efforts. If you have these organizations, you must get to work and let them know what you expect of them. Take the reigns into your hands if no one else competent is there. They may need you to volunteer a little of your time in order to get some things done but you will see real results really quickly.
Our area started the CVB about 6 or so years ago and combined it with the Chamber of Commerce. The chamber was on the brink of closing down for lack of funding. The CVB and the assessments we all charge to the guests has amassed millions each year and we spend millions on add campaigns besides what the state is doing with the Pure Michigan adds. We advertise everywhere for all sorts of markets. We go for the birdwatchers, the hangliders, the fly fisher, the Salmon and Steelhead fishing, the hikers, bikers, mushroom hunters - we take it all apart and go great guns with all of our campaigns. It has worked. I am not kidding when I tell you that my 10 cottages are at a 95-98 percent occupancy rate in mid June through the end of October. That is partially due to the CVB and mostly due to this incredible host,
ok now, sorry for the lenghty post. I hope you didn't bang your heads as you fell asleep in front of your computers, waiting for me to finish.
I would love to visit Maine. I think it has some of the flavor that I grew up with in Germany - on an island in the North Sea.
It seems to me that I have seen a commercial for Maine. Lemme think.
.
My 'CVB' spends almost every dime on their own salaries. They are appointed by a board that doesn't need them to do anything, their marketing budgets are huge on their own. The membership all do tons of volunteering, nothing helps because there's no money left to market with. So, this CVB will be on the verge of collapse next year because half of last year's businesses did not renew. The only thing it has going for it is an online presence that has history so it comes up well in search terms. BUT, you have to know you want to be here before you'll search on it!
This year's map shows my building located in what looks like a different town, the scale and POV are so skewed. Prior to this, it looked like an easy walk to everything. Now it looks like you need a car.
I am stunned that your occ is so high. We've never seen rates like that in peak season. Never. Good for your campaigns!
.
Bree, with our CVB, if you have 10 or more rooms, you have no choice - the law is you need to belong. The great thing is, the entire thing is funded by the 2% assessment that we charge the guests on top of the sales tax. Every guest is charged and that's it. Thank goodness it is only 2 percent. Can you imagine paying what N.Y state or Washington state charge?
Do you want me to send you something to sink your teeth into?
.
Sure, email me whatever you've got. If I can hit even 70% I'll be making more money than I know what to do with...
Oops, no email addy showed, let me try that again.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
Maybe it's not just about occupancy rate. With higher occupancy, it mean more work....more hired help possibly. My motto is "work smarter, not harder", so I would try to think of things that bring in $$ without the extra grunt work. What really worked for us was creating extra add-ons. Romance packages, picnic basket, chocolates, etc., gift shop. You've got some higher end room rates and I bet those guests of yours would spend more money at your place if given the opportunity. How about putting together a lava tube package...When we were on the Big Island we bought flash lights and had a great time discovering lava tubes off the beaten path. You could add a map of the un-touristy caves, a packed lunch, and some other fun stuff. Some of our best memories of our Big Island trip was traveling the back roads and find the caves which was a challenge!
.
Absolutely agree. Add-ons are big part of what we do. That's why we are only looking for a 10% bump in occupancy.
We did about 15% of our business in 2008 with add-on. The workshops and some evening extras have been a good way to add revenue. We have a couple of other nifty things in the works and we are getting ready to start an afternoon coffee tasting or "High Coffee"
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
No eye rolling, it's something we all work on- how to get more occupancy, or at least get more revenue from the occupancy we have. Some are busy as they want to be, some are not. We try to be creative with our packages, but I don't have a creative bone in my body, so it's a struggle.
Offering perks to your repeat guests is nice because they already know your place and are probably amenable to coming back if they feel like they are special. So, trite as it sounds, work that email list with info, tips and offers.
.
Can you guys fill me in on what you are doing in the way of working with a group/organization??
I have mentioned our Chamber of Commerce and our CVB a few times on this board, but no one seems to hear me. This leeds me to wonder if you all are involved in your area's marketing efforts. If you have these organizations, you must get to work and let them know what you expect of them. Take the reigns into your hands if no one else competent is there. They may need you to volunteer a little of your time in order to get some things done but you will see real results really quickly.
Our area started the CVB about 6 or so years ago and combined it with the Chamber of Commerce. The chamber was on the brink of closing down for lack of funding. The CVB and the assessments we all charge to the guests has amassed millions each year and we spend millions on add campaigns besides what the state is doing with the Pure Michigan adds. We advertise everywhere for all sorts of markets. We go for the birdwatchers, the hangliders, the fly fisher, the Salmon and Steelhead fishing, the hikers, bikers, mushroom hunters - we take it all apart and go great guns with all of our campaigns. It has worked. I am not kidding when I tell you that my 10 cottages are at a 95-98 percent occupancy rate in mid June through the end of October. That is partially due to the CVB and mostly due to this incredible host,
ok now, sorry for the lenghty post. I hope you didn't bang your heads as you fell asleep in front of your computers, waiting for me to finish.
I would love to visit Maine. I think it has some of the flavor that I grew up with in Germany - on an island in the North Sea.
It seems to me that I have seen a commercial for Maine. Lemme think.
.
I belong to a CVB that does a great job of marketing their county which unfortunately is not MY county. I am listed on their web site (and get hits from it - who knows, perhaps a booking or two) and in their Guide. I have an excellent relationship with them but it is the trail that is the connection they are the north end and I am the south. Neither of the CVBs in my county do squat for me. One is, in my view, totally ineffective and the other has done nothing so far. Perhaps it is time I make another visit over there. They have ANOTHER Director, at least the 3rd so far in its short existence. At first it was membership only and there was no way I was joining what destroyed the County CVB although I did have a decent relationship with the poor guy who was the director. #3 knows me and I know him so perhaps now is the time.... I am leaving the Chamber (and their dues) to the City Manager for bringing people to town.
.
You go girl. This is what my husband and I did. First we looked at what was going on, then he got himself onto the board of directors and then, if you know my military husband, the fecal matter hit the rotating device and things started to get done with the help of a like minded board. We are the smallest and poorest county in Michigan, with only maybe 20 or so decent size places, no chain Inns, everything privately owned and a whole bunch of condo owners and B and B's who all needed to generate business.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
.
Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
.
The number of rooms to make a profit - according to a former MABB member who had a study done was 4 or more.
Now take this for what it is from a 3 rooms in Podunk start-up who is still in business after almost 12 full years.
I did an inventory of my assests - meaning what is in my area that will bring people here. Then I looked at what I could (and would) do service-wise that would make someone choose us over a B & B in the next county. Then after paying for several Internet directories, I concentrate on one area of interest per year and throw bones to the others that year. Last year was rail-trails so I advertised in biking publications (and a wine publication) that are printed on newsprint type paper as opposed to glossy because they cost less to advertise in AND have a decent distribution - placed in or subscribed to by people interested in that endeavor specificly.
This year it is motorcycles. The Tourism Division had ads and editorial in the June issue of Backroads, a motorcycle magazine and 1/2 page ads were offered for $400. I had an ad designed for that which I also used in another publication already. All ads are a crap shoot - all marketing is in reality. But nothing ventured is nothing gained. I have also found that an ad last year brings business this year.
Next year the Nationals are in Lexington, KY so horses will be in. There is a small magazine in PA that has ads at reasonable prices. I just need to keep my name out there - we are becoming known among the horse people as a good place to stay - for the horses (first concern), for ease of getting there (there is one place that gets good reviews except that it is hard to get in/out and VERY difficult to turn the rig around), AND a great place for the people traveling with said horses.
There are also web directories geared to these special interests and these are usually inexpensive. If a $20 - 40 annual fee for a directory be worth it if it just gets 1 room night a year? YES! and they usually get more than that. Example: the piddly $$ for horse web sites total about $150 a year and I am talking about 5 different sites. I have had 6 room nights so far this year with horses. I have had 5 nights from bicycles.
IF you can do other meals (and are willing to), you can add to the revenue stream with packages that include packed lunches and dinners. I do manicotti dinners. I make 16 to 20 manicotti at a time. I use 2 (one per person) per dinner so all my expenses are paid for by that first dinner. I vac-seal and freeze the rest so the rest is mostly profit - still have salad, bread, and dessert costs.
That is how I have built both occupany and revenue streams.
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Let me say that I am totally new here, it feels like I have diahrea of the mouth with all my "wisdom". I don't want you to start disliking me. I have had all of this bottled up for years, I guess. Please tell me to shut up when you need to.
Wow, and holy cow - you do much more than I do. I have my website, I have an add on the local map and I am listed in the gay/lesbian www.purpleroofs.com. I have a lot of that business and I love it. The rest is taken care of like I said, by the CVB.
Also, I trade links with other websites that I like.
 
We do fine with six rooms. We choose to hire out some things we could do ourselves, but that frees us up to do some other things. Still, we clear enough each year to live on and we don't cheat ourselves out of little treats, like vacations or dining out. I wouldn't want to try to send a kid to college on the income but we are past that.
I made a more detailed response further down the thread..
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
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Hijack alert:
knkbnb said:
That sounds about like us. If we can bump our occupancy up just 10%, we would be at the natural level we desire.
In terms of bumping up occupancy, how does one go about doing this? Is it a matter of joining other directories? Is it offering discounts (which would raise your occupancy, but not do a whole lot to raise your income)?
I know these sound like assine questions, but I simply don't know how you raise your occupancy. If you are already doing everything you can do, what is there left TO do?
I am trying to process this myself, too. I hope that I have made my questions clear enough so that there aren't a bunch of eye-rolling smilies and "uh???" in the reply threads.
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No eye rolling, it's something we all work on- how to get more occupancy, or at least get more revenue from the occupancy we have. Some are busy as they want to be, some are not. We try to be creative with our packages, but I don't have a creative bone in my body, so it's a struggle.
Offering perks to your repeat guests is nice because they already know your place and are probably amenable to coming back if they feel like they are special. So, trite as it sounds, work that email list with info, tips and offers.
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Can you guys fill me in on what you are doing in the way of working with a group/organization??
I have mentioned our Chamber of Commerce and our CVB a few times on this board, but no one seems to hear me. This leeds me to wonder if you all are involved in your area's marketing efforts. If you have these organizations, you must get to work and let them know what you expect of them. Take the reigns into your hands if no one else competent is there. They may need you to volunteer a little of your time in order to get some things done but you will see real results really quickly.
Our area started the CVB about 6 or so years ago and combined it with the Chamber of Commerce. The chamber was on the brink of closing down for lack of funding. The CVB and the assessments we all charge to the guests has amassed millions each year and we spend millions on add campaigns besides what the state is doing with the Pure Michigan adds. We advertise everywhere for all sorts of markets. We go for the birdwatchers, the hangliders, the fly fisher, the Salmon and Steelhead fishing, the hikers, bikers, mushroom hunters - we take it all apart and go great guns with all of our campaigns. It has worked. I am not kidding when I tell you that my 10 cottages are at a 95-98 percent occupancy rate in mid June through the end of October. That is partially due to the CVB and mostly due to this incredible host,
ok now, sorry for the lenghty post. I hope you didn't bang your heads as you fell asleep in front of your computers, waiting for me to finish.
I would love to visit Maine. I think it has some of the flavor that I grew up with in Germany - on an island in the North Sea.
It seems to me that I have seen a commercial for Maine. Lemme think.
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My 'CVB' spends almost every dime on their own salaries. They are appointed by a board that doesn't need them to do anything, their marketing budgets are huge on their own. The membership all do tons of volunteering, nothing helps because there's no money left to market with. So, this CVB will be on the verge of collapse next year because half of last year's businesses did not renew. The only thing it has going for it is an online presence that has history so it comes up well in search terms. BUT, you have to know you want to be here before you'll search on it!
This year's map shows my building located in what looks like a different town, the scale and POV are so skewed. Prior to this, it looked like an easy walk to everything. Now it looks like you need a car.
I am stunned that your occ is so high. We've never seen rates like that in peak season. Never. Good for your campaigns!
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Bree, with our CVB, if you have 10 or more rooms, you have no choice - the law is you need to belong. The great thing is, the entire thing is funded by the 2% assessment that we charge the guests on top of the sales tax. Every guest is charged and that's it. Thank goodness it is only 2 percent. Can you imagine paying what N.Y state or Washington state charge?
Do you want me to send you something to sink your teeth into?
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Here the bed tax is up to 6% depending on the ordinance enacted by the county or municipality, 1/2 of the percentage goes to the CVB and the other half to the governing body collecting the tax to be used for tourism related purposes. You do not have to belong to the CVB to have to collect the tax, just have 4 rooms or more. My municipality did not have any lodging facilities when the bed tax law was enacted by the Legislature so they did not enact the ordinance. If I were in the county I would be collecting the tax because I did not know about the 3 room exemption until just a couple years ago so I would have collected it. In city limits is a different story.
 
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