Governement rate

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Red Handed Jill

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At the risk of sounding naive, I need some guidance.
I assumed (and there we go!) that a government rate was offered for someone who was in government service, and needed lodging in the course of completing their work, as in a business trip. I have a request for a government rate on days the government is closed.
So...did I miss that a government rate is offered to gov't employees who are traveling avocationally (i.e., not working)?
 

tedwin

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Not here. We offer government rate for official business, on weekdays only and it's limited to single occupancy.
 

EmptyNest

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WRONG...gov't rate is for working employees....not those on vacation :-(
 

Red Handed Jill

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Yep, that's what I thought. Thanks for the confirmation.
OTOH, we have a company in town that does contracts in the field of the govt branch the guy emailed about. I'm thinking of asking if they're planning some sort of workshop that weekend.
Our state tax site (says we need to get gov't id for tax exemption), but it doesn't require any documentation to show they're actually there/here to do work. :-/
 

muirford

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We only allow single occupancy for goverment rate, weekdays only and breakfast is not included. We get a lot of government employees (both state and federal) who want to bring their spouses or someone else on a vacation underwritten by their employer and us. We decline that business.
ETA: Some of the government programs here run over the weekend (leadership training classes). We still don't take the business. You are not required by anyone to take the per diem rate unless you have signed some kind of guaranty with one of the agencies. Some of our local hotels have, but we don't.
 

greyswan

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we offer government rate per GSA per diem for just 2 of our rooms, single occupancy any time guests are in travel status/work related. We offer a deep discount for our other rooms. Since we're next to a military post, we get guests 7 days a week in that status. If they bring a significant other, we offer a 10% discount on the full rate. We are current including breakfast with this but have been considering charging extra for the meal.
 

JBloggs

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DH has a gvmt cc that he uses if out of town, shows tax exempt status too. Not that this is happening much anymore.
We often have the wives/spouse or even boyfriend want to stay and in fact had someone call for a gvmt rate or corporate rate who had their parents here from overseas to see the fall foliage, that one really got my goat! They ended up booking online, but tried to get two rooms gvmt rate! Just like the guy who got the military discount for two rooms, like the WHO song "WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN."
Innkeeper theme song for the year...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp6-wG5LLqE
 

agoodman

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ANY rate is for ANY time or ANY way YOU WANT TO USE IT
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.? All rates are "subject to availability" and you
I take the case: I love Inns free night cert - so many guests tell me horror stories and I know because I have even called on their behalf ...
Let's say restrictions are Sun-Thu only, on 2 occassions I called an Inn with around 13 rooms, and I called a few days (not weeks) in advance and they are NOT an Inn that gets full at the last minute. They had ONE or two rooms occupied ONLY. Guest wanted to use free night Sat and Sun nights. Innkeeper says No. I mean the Sunday was part of the Sun-Thu AND they had availability!! and it was a last minute res. Geez. I would rather have the revenue than turn away the booking. *Then there were the Inns that never even had the decency to return my calls ....
The other option is to say "I am sorry the government rate is for offificial business travel (and who says some govt people don't work on weekends anyway??) but I can offer you (alternate discount - last minute? multi night? AAA?)
In the same vein if your govt rate is single and they are traveling with spouse why not just upcharge the extra person?

I am NOT criticizing policies I am just saying unless you are running full or don't need the business why would you NOT take the biz?
 

Don Draper

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ANY rate is for ANY time or ANY way YOU WANT TO USE IT
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.? All rates are "subject to availability" and you
I take the case: I love Inns free night cert - so many guests tell me horror stories and I know because I have even called on their behalf ...
Let's say restrictions are Sun-Thu only, on 2 occassions I called an Inn with around 13 rooms, and I called a few days (not weeks) in advance and they are NOT an Inn that gets full at the last minute. They had ONE or two rooms occupied ONLY. Guest wanted to use free night Sat and Sun nights. Innkeeper says No. I mean the Sunday was part of the Sun-Thu AND they had availability!! and it was a last minute res. Geez. I would rather have the revenue than turn away the booking. *Then there were the Inns that never even had the decency to return my calls ....
The other option is to say "I am sorry the government rate is for offificial business travel (and who says some govt people don't work on weekends anyway??) but I can offer you (alternate discount - last minute? multi night? AAA?)
In the same vein if your govt rate is single and they are traveling with spouse why not just upcharge the extra person?

I am NOT criticizing policies I am just saying unless you are running full or don't need the business why would you NOT take the biz?.
agoodman said:
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.?
Because asking for the discount is usually just the tip of the iceberg, can I bring my kids/dog/parents, can I have an early check in/late check out, can my friend join me for breakfast, etc. Because most people looking for some type of discount are not really the guests we want. I would rather the room sit empty than have it trashed, or have things taken from the Inn, or have to deal with some nightmare situation. Not worth it.
 

agoodman

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ANY rate is for ANY time or ANY way YOU WANT TO USE IT
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.? All rates are "subject to availability" and you
I take the case: I love Inns free night cert - so many guests tell me horror stories and I know because I have even called on their behalf ...
Let's say restrictions are Sun-Thu only, on 2 occassions I called an Inn with around 13 rooms, and I called a few days (not weeks) in advance and they are NOT an Inn that gets full at the last minute. They had ONE or two rooms occupied ONLY. Guest wanted to use free night Sat and Sun nights. Innkeeper says No. I mean the Sunday was part of the Sun-Thu AND they had availability!! and it was a last minute res. Geez. I would rather have the revenue than turn away the booking. *Then there were the Inns that never even had the decency to return my calls ....
The other option is to say "I am sorry the government rate is for offificial business travel (and who says some govt people don't work on weekends anyway??) but I can offer you (alternate discount - last minute? multi night? AAA?)
In the same vein if your govt rate is single and they are traveling with spouse why not just upcharge the extra person?

I am NOT criticizing policies I am just saying unless you are running full or don't need the business why would you NOT take the biz?.
agoodman said:
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.?
Because asking for the discount is usually just the tip of the iceberg, can I bring my kids/dog/parents, can I have an early check in/late check out, can my friend join me for breakfast, etc. Because most people looking for some type of discount are not really the guests we want. I would rather the room sit empty than have it trashed, or have things taken from the Inn, or have to deal with some nightmare situation. Not worth it.
.
Don Draper said:
Because asking for the discount is usually just the tip of the iceberg, ...
I am lucky then I never get that. In fact as a reservations sales trainer we taught people NEVER to lose the res, they called you for a reason - to make a booking. Again, if anyone is full or does not need the biz, then GOOD FOR YOU!! I can't criticize anyone for turning away reduced rate business for full rate.
 

muirford

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ANY rate is for ANY time or ANY way YOU WANT TO USE IT
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.? All rates are "subject to availability" and you
I take the case: I love Inns free night cert - so many guests tell me horror stories and I know because I have even called on their behalf ...
Let's say restrictions are Sun-Thu only, on 2 occassions I called an Inn with around 13 rooms, and I called a few days (not weeks) in advance and they are NOT an Inn that gets full at the last minute. They had ONE or two rooms occupied ONLY. Guest wanted to use free night Sat and Sun nights. Innkeeper says No. I mean the Sunday was part of the Sun-Thu AND they had availability!! and it was a last minute res. Geez. I would rather have the revenue than turn away the booking. *Then there were the Inns that never even had the decency to return my calls ....
The other option is to say "I am sorry the government rate is for offificial business travel (and who says some govt people don't work on weekends anyway??) but I can offer you (alternate discount - last minute? multi night? AAA?)
In the same vein if your govt rate is single and they are traveling with spouse why not just upcharge the extra person?

I am NOT criticizing policies I am just saying unless you are running full or don't need the business why would you NOT take the biz?.
agoodman said:
I am NOT criticizing policies I am just saying unless you are running full or don't need the business why would you NOT take the biz?
We are almost always full on weekends - thus we don't do that deep discounting on the weekends. We are always full in July and October most every day of the week - thus we don't do that deep discounting during that time. We are a short drive from DC, and probably 50% of my guests work for the government in some capacity. We get lots of calls asking for government rates for a vacation, and when we can fill those rooms with guests paying the full fare - we don't do the deep discounting. The government rate is 1/2 of my regular rate - I only have to sell 1/2 of my rooms, cook 1/2 of the breakfasts and clean 1/2 of the rooms to make the same revenue. Why would I ever do that in advance and keep full fare guests from booking? Slow months, sure. Oddly enough, the government folks don't make trips here in the winter...
 

Don Draper

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ANY rate is for ANY time or ANY way YOU WANT TO USE IT
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.? All rates are "subject to availability" and you
I take the case: I love Inns free night cert - so many guests tell me horror stories and I know because I have even called on their behalf ...
Let's say restrictions are Sun-Thu only, on 2 occassions I called an Inn with around 13 rooms, and I called a few days (not weeks) in advance and they are NOT an Inn that gets full at the last minute. They had ONE or two rooms occupied ONLY. Guest wanted to use free night Sat and Sun nights. Innkeeper says No. I mean the Sunday was part of the Sun-Thu AND they had availability!! and it was a last minute res. Geez. I would rather have the revenue than turn away the booking. *Then there were the Inns that never even had the decency to return my calls ....
The other option is to say "I am sorry the government rate is for offificial business travel (and who says some govt people don't work on weekends anyway??) but I can offer you (alternate discount - last minute? multi night? AAA?)
In the same vein if your govt rate is single and they are traveling with spouse why not just upcharge the extra person?

I am NOT criticizing policies I am just saying unless you are running full or don't need the business why would you NOT take the biz?.
agoodman said:
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.?
Because asking for the discount is usually just the tip of the iceberg, can I bring my kids/dog/parents, can I have an early check in/late check out, can my friend join me for breakfast, etc. Because most people looking for some type of discount are not really the guests we want. I would rather the room sit empty than have it trashed, or have things taken from the Inn, or have to deal with some nightmare situation. Not worth it.
.
Don Draper said:
Because asking for the discount is usually just the tip of the iceberg, ...
I am lucky then I never get that. In fact as a reservations sales trainer we taught people NEVER to lose the res, they called you for a reason - to make a booking. Again, if anyone is full or does not need the biz, then GOOD FOR YOU!! I can't criticize anyone for turning away reduced rate business for full rate.
.
agoodman said:
In fact as a reservations sales trainer we taught people NEVER to lose the res.
Sounds like a large business idealogy, not sure what kind of business you were working for. But this is my HOME, you can definitely stay somewhere cheaper but you will never replicate the experience of staying here, so that's what we base our decisions on. We also made a firm decision to keep our rates as low as possible for EVERYONE, as we don't think it's fair to offer individual discounts (military, govt, AARP, etc.). Just our philosophy, it works for us.
 

agoodman

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ANY rate is for ANY time or ANY way YOU WANT TO USE IT
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.? All rates are "subject to availability" and you
I take the case: I love Inns free night cert - so many guests tell me horror stories and I know because I have even called on their behalf ...
Let's say restrictions are Sun-Thu only, on 2 occassions I called an Inn with around 13 rooms, and I called a few days (not weeks) in advance and they are NOT an Inn that gets full at the last minute. They had ONE or two rooms occupied ONLY. Guest wanted to use free night Sat and Sun nights. Innkeeper says No. I mean the Sunday was part of the Sun-Thu AND they had availability!! and it was a last minute res. Geez. I would rather have the revenue than turn away the booking. *Then there were the Inns that never even had the decency to return my calls ....
The other option is to say "I am sorry the government rate is for offificial business travel (and who says some govt people don't work on weekends anyway??) but I can offer you (alternate discount - last minute? multi night? AAA?)
In the same vein if your govt rate is single and they are traveling with spouse why not just upcharge the extra person?

I am NOT criticizing policies I am just saying unless you are running full or don't need the business why would you NOT take the biz?.
agoodman said:
I am NOT criticizing policies I am just saying unless you are running full or don't need the business why would you NOT take the biz?
We are almost always full on weekends - thus we don't do that deep discounting on the weekends. We are always full in July and October most every day of the week - thus we don't do that deep discounting during that time. We are a short drive from DC, and probably 50% of my guests work for the government in some capacity. We get lots of calls asking for government rates for a vacation, and when we can fill those rooms with guests paying the full fare - we don't do the deep discounting. The government rate is 1/2 of my regular rate - I only have to sell 1/2 of my rooms, cook 1/2 of the breakfasts and clean 1/2 of the rooms to make the same revenue. Why would I ever do that in advance and keep full fare guests from booking? Slow months, sure. Oddly enough, the government folks don't make trips here in the winter...
.
As I said, my post only referred to if you were NOT able to sell the rooms
 

agoodman

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ANY rate is for ANY time or ANY way YOU WANT TO USE IT
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.? All rates are "subject to availability" and you
I take the case: I love Inns free night cert - so many guests tell me horror stories and I know because I have even called on their behalf ...
Let's say restrictions are Sun-Thu only, on 2 occassions I called an Inn with around 13 rooms, and I called a few days (not weeks) in advance and they are NOT an Inn that gets full at the last minute. They had ONE or two rooms occupied ONLY. Guest wanted to use free night Sat and Sun nights. Innkeeper says No. I mean the Sunday was part of the Sun-Thu AND they had availability!! and it was a last minute res. Geez. I would rather have the revenue than turn away the booking. *Then there were the Inns that never even had the decency to return my calls ....
The other option is to say "I am sorry the government rate is for offificial business travel (and who says some govt people don't work on weekends anyway??) but I can offer you (alternate discount - last minute? multi night? AAA?)
In the same vein if your govt rate is single and they are traveling with spouse why not just upcharge the extra person?

I am NOT criticizing policies I am just saying unless you are running full or don't need the business why would you NOT take the biz?.
agoodman said:
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.?
Because asking for the discount is usually just the tip of the iceberg, can I bring my kids/dog/parents, can I have an early check in/late check out, can my friend join me for breakfast, etc. Because most people looking for some type of discount are not really the guests we want. I would rather the room sit empty than have it trashed, or have things taken from the Inn, or have to deal with some nightmare situation. Not worth it.
.
Don Draper said:
Because asking for the discount is usually just the tip of the iceberg, ...
I am lucky then I never get that. In fact as a reservations sales trainer we taught people NEVER to lose the res, they called you for a reason - to make a booking. Again, if anyone is full or does not need the biz, then GOOD FOR YOU!! I can't criticize anyone for turning away reduced rate business for full rate.
.
agoodman said:
In fact as a reservations sales trainer we taught people NEVER to lose the res.
Sounds like a large business idealogy, not sure what kind of business you were working for. But this is my HOME, you can definitely stay somewhere cheaper but you will never replicate the experience of staying here, so that's what we base our decisions on. We also made a firm decision to keep our rates as low as possible for EVERYONE, as we don't think it's fair to offer individual discounts (military, govt, AARP, etc.). Just our philosophy, it works for us.
.
what kind of business? Hotels. Large. Small. Domestic. Intl.
"not losing the res" does not always mean discount the room, it means sell your amenities, your location, your benefits. This is NOT directed at you pesonally but I cannot tell you how many hotels / B&B's etc I used to call as a Biz traveler or a trainer and they give you rate. That's it.
Anyhoo the philosophy relates to every business that sells something. Rooms. T Shirts. Food. What makes ME different from the competion? Or what brings you to the area? (Business? Great. All our rooms have a work area and wireless internet. Leisure? You'll love it at that time of year because the peach trees are producing the best peaches right now. Funeral? I am so sorry - which funeral home? Oh we are only a mile from there.
Again we do what works for us ... I was just answering the initial posters question.
 

Don Draper

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ANY rate is for ANY time or ANY way YOU WANT TO USE IT
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.? All rates are "subject to availability" and you
I take the case: I love Inns free night cert - so many guests tell me horror stories and I know because I have even called on their behalf ...
Let's say restrictions are Sun-Thu only, on 2 occassions I called an Inn with around 13 rooms, and I called a few days (not weeks) in advance and they are NOT an Inn that gets full at the last minute. They had ONE or two rooms occupied ONLY. Guest wanted to use free night Sat and Sun nights. Innkeeper says No. I mean the Sunday was part of the Sun-Thu AND they had availability!! and it was a last minute res. Geez. I would rather have the revenue than turn away the booking. *Then there were the Inns that never even had the decency to return my calls ....
The other option is to say "I am sorry the government rate is for offificial business travel (and who says some govt people don't work on weekends anyway??) but I can offer you (alternate discount - last minute? multi night? AAA?)
In the same vein if your govt rate is single and they are traveling with spouse why not just upcharge the extra person?

I am NOT criticizing policies I am just saying unless you are running full or don't need the business why would you NOT take the biz?.
agoodman said:
If you are not full, why would anyone turn down someone on a weekend when they ask for a govt or other rate.?
Because asking for the discount is usually just the tip of the iceberg, can I bring my kids/dog/parents, can I have an early check in/late check out, can my friend join me for breakfast, etc. Because most people looking for some type of discount are not really the guests we want. I would rather the room sit empty than have it trashed, or have things taken from the Inn, or have to deal with some nightmare situation. Not worth it.
.
Don Draper said:
Because asking for the discount is usually just the tip of the iceberg, ...
I am lucky then I never get that. In fact as a reservations sales trainer we taught people NEVER to lose the res, they called you for a reason - to make a booking. Again, if anyone is full or does not need the biz, then GOOD FOR YOU!! I can't criticize anyone for turning away reduced rate business for full rate.
.
agoodman said:
In fact as a reservations sales trainer we taught people NEVER to lose the res.
Sounds like a large business idealogy, not sure what kind of business you were working for. But this is my HOME, you can definitely stay somewhere cheaper but you will never replicate the experience of staying here, so that's what we base our decisions on. We also made a firm decision to keep our rates as low as possible for EVERYONE, as we don't think it's fair to offer individual discounts (military, govt, AARP, etc.). Just our philosophy, it works for us.
.
what kind of business? Hotels. Large. Small. Domestic. Intl.
"not losing the res" does not always mean discount the room, it means sell your amenities, your location, your benefits. This is NOT directed at you pesonally but I cannot tell you how many hotels / B&B's etc I used to call as a Biz traveler or a trainer and they give you rate. That's it.
Anyhoo the philosophy relates to every business that sells something. Rooms. T Shirts. Food. What makes ME different from the competion? Or what brings you to the area? (Business? Great. All our rooms have a work area and wireless internet. Leisure? You'll love it at that time of year because the peach trees are producing the best peaches right now. Funeral? I am so sorry - which funeral home? Oh we are only a mile from there.
Again we do what works for us ... I was just answering the initial posters question.
.
Your perspective is appreciated, I was just curious as to whom the training was done for. I absolutely agree, each of us does what works for us, that's the only way we stay sane!

 

JBloggs

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I think every innkeeper has a place they will or won't go re discounting. Attitude has everything to do with it, if they are trying to play the system, that is what we don't want, we don't want to be played. Legit biz, sure thing, if we can swing a $65 room rate for a normally $150-200 room. But again, there are costs involved in renting the room, so we all know what our bottom line is.
For the BOGO some inns have allocated only a certain room for that offer, and that's that. Maybe it is harder for them to think on their feet and make a booking right then and there. Should not be the case, should always be able to handle a call asking for a room.
Good discussion.
 

Don Draper

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Also, if it is a winter weeknight and there is no one else here, it's not worth it to us to open up for one room on a discount. Cheaper to keep the heat off and save some $$$.
On evenings when we are not full in season, I have a really hard time rationalizing why I would actually penalize those guests who were courteous enough to book ahead by offering a discount to someone calling last minute.
Those calling last minute and/or looking for a discount, in our experience, are looking for the cheapest place to stay, period. They have not done any research to see what our facility actually offers versus our competition, and this can lead to issues when they get here, which we've found to simply not be worth the time.
 

Copperhead

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I live in an area highly traveled by Gov. employees. I use the GSA per diem rates for business travelers S-Th nights, single traveler, but have extended this for weekends if they are here for over a 2 week period (many times). For me, it works as I am referred to by many for not only business but for pleasure as well - paying our regular rates. Families coming in to visit etc. It is very good PR for MY B&B.
Personally, I find single business travelers are the easiest way I can make money!!! Their rooms are (99%) left neat, they are gone all day, quiet when they return, and do not ask us to bend over backwards to help them.
The per diem rates here are not bad, I do know that many places the rate is very low and if I were in the next county I would not be boosting this business. Your business comes first. You must do what works for YOU. You are not obligated to rent rooms at government rates (unless you signed a contract to do so) whether it be for business or not, single traveler or with a SO. This is YOUR business... you decide how it best fits your business when to accept those reservations and when not to because you will be able to fill your rooms at regular rate. This is why you went in to your own business - so you could make up your own rules. PERIOD.
 

Samster

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Also, if it is a winter weeknight and there is no one else here, it's not worth it to us to open up for one room on a discount. Cheaper to keep the heat off and save some $$$.
On evenings when we are not full in season, I have a really hard time rationalizing why I would actually penalize those guests who were courteous enough to book ahead by offering a discount to someone calling last minute.
Those calling last minute and/or looking for a discount, in our experience, are looking for the cheapest place to stay, period. They have not done any research to see what our facility actually offers versus our competition, and this can lead to issues when they get here, which we've found to simply not be worth the time..
My least favorite phone caller l went like this:
"What are your rates?"
"We are only looking for a clean, safe place to sleep and don't want to pay more than $100."
After listening to all the amenities, service, etc., etc., that's really their bottom line and the lowest rate possible would have been even better. :-(
 

Samster

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We've discussed this before, how some travelers will try to get a "government rate" while traveling with their spouse on a vacation in conjunction maybe with business travel. They should have the government travel orders when they're traveling on government business, a friend of mine tells me. I had a couple of callers try to bully me into giving them a government rate with a second person in their party. I didn't budge and got a bunch of grief from it.
I did offer a very deep discount biz traveler rate Sun-Thurs which included ALL our amenities and a full breakfast, if they wanted it. I also had a generous miitary discount which I extended to families visiting their soldier here.
I've had State employees travel here on business on our regular corporate rate and they always had the proper form required for their tax exempt status. That got filed with their guest statement for whatever purposes needed in the event of an audit. Easy, no problem. They thought we were a good value and several were repeat guests.
Maybe hotels give these folks traveling on vacation a government rate and don't care, but when you're a small lodging business, there are times when you can't afford to give your rooms away at that rate for two people. It's also the principle of the thing to me because it seemed like when these folks were calling to get me to give them some ultra cheap rate, we were very busy. Why should I give them a deep, deep discount at the government per diem for vacation travel with two in their party just because they have a government job?
 
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