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Last minute bookings? Two night stays?

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toddburme

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Now this has to do with the fact that we still have rooms available which is a different issue so not sure if I am complaining or happy but we still get tons of people booking just one or two days in advance. Everyone else? I was hoping as we hit summer and the economy got better etc that people would book further out again.
My partner is also mentioning that getting the two night stay is much harder then it was a few years ago. I read most of the threads on how to get the two night stay but is everyone seeing it as more elusive?
 

Alibi Ike

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It really depends on why the guest is staying with you. If it's for vacation, 2 nighters+ can be fairly easy if you can sell the area. If it's for an event that they had to pay for (wedding- gift, travel, babysitter) they may only want to stay one night because it's all they can afford.
It also depends on the area how far in advance guests book. If it's a 'known' vacation hotspot they book earlier. If it's not as well known (even if it is a hotspot) you'll get the last minute callers.
 

toddburme

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Probably our issue. We are a one B&B town so obviously not the hot spot thing. ;)
 

Rook217

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Probably our issue. We are a one B&B town so obviously not the hot spot thing. ;).
I live in Saint Paul so I am familiar with the area. If I was looking at staying at your place for one night or two I would want to have stuff to do that is the opposite direction of the cities for a two night stay. You may get guests that are out of state and go up to Twin Cities so then having items on your webpage for them might make sense. I would want to know what is in Cannon Falls and then what there is to do within a 30-45min drive going away from the twincities.
I see on your website that you do have info for close stuff. I would maybe just set it up a little different so that it is easier for potential guests. An idea would be have the page for the area have info on major attractions for Cannon Falls area and have restaurants be a link.
Take my opinion with a grain of salt as I am still an aspiring until the end of the month and my inn will be in the Caribbean so it will be a different situation.
 

Copperhead

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We continue to see last minute bookings in our area. As Ike mentioned a lot of it has to do with why they are coming to your area and your location.
If it is for an event they are more likely to book earlier to secure their spot. Otherwise in this economy it could be they are holding off due to: 1) Uncertainty - not wanting to loose a deposit if plans fall through 2) Price watchers ....
After looking at your location, you may attract lots of getaways. I am in a similar type of location to a big city and I have found that lots are choosing a one night stay over 2 now. We are not so far away that a drive for one night is doable and allows them the feeling of being far away but not the expence of a far drive or a 2 night commitment. If this is your market, you may consider having a one night rate and a 'special' rate for 2 nights. This seemed to work for a few B&B's a little further out than me.
I like the fact that you have the link list of things to do divided by distance, I would however enlarge or change the color of the links as they are easily skipped over to view the list in bold black.
 

bbinnsitters

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Here is my Inn-sitters perspective: Yes, last minute bookings are up! Just got back from a job that when I got there there were 14 rooms rented - till the job was done I had 21 rooms that rented. This was in a 2 week period. This place does not have a 2 night minimum - even over Memorial Day! This B&B is in a small town and asking people to stay for 2 nights would be unreasonable as there isn't much to do. People appreciate being able to book the one night and be on their way. Makes more work for us cleaning the room constantly tho!
I think it has been said before - you need to know your market and what you can and cannot do depends on your location.
My question to all of you (and maybe this should be another thread) why do we offer discounts for last minute bookings? We should be rewarding the people that plan and book ahead that discount! I also like Copperheads idea of having a one night rate and then a special rate if someone books two nights.
 

EmptyNest

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Here is my Inn-sitters perspective: Yes, last minute bookings are up! Just got back from a job that when I got there there were 14 rooms rented - till the job was done I had 21 rooms that rented. This was in a 2 week period. This place does not have a 2 night minimum - even over Memorial Day! This B&B is in a small town and asking people to stay for 2 nights would be unreasonable as there isn't much to do. People appreciate being able to book the one night and be on their way. Makes more work for us cleaning the room constantly tho!
I think it has been said before - you need to know your market and what you can and cannot do depends on your location.
My question to all of you (and maybe this should be another thread) why do we offer discounts for last minute bookings? We should be rewarding the people that plan and book ahead that discount! I also like Copperheads idea of having a one night rate and then a special rate if someone books two nights..
I would never give a discount to a last minute booker. Why? I am not discounting anyone for anything. I did give active military a 10% thank you discount...but that is it. I worked just as hard why should I settle for less.
 

JBloggs

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I take what I can get. Last night a chap from England traveling america's favorite road one night, tonight a couple looking at retirement areas (out of their own state) one night. Had a call from guests who think this is their favorite place to stay in the world - one night. That is all they need, so that is all we get. I think the two nighters are creeping back up tho, slowly. I can only share what it is like here, in my corner of the world.
 

toddburme

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Well a couple of points. My partners experience is with the same location but several years ago. So our attractive has gone up if anything in that the town in a bit nicer. So i was thinking it is maybe a longer term trend that people have less time or less money.
Also just seems odd that people are more last minute now then in 2003-2005. Havign written that, maybe not as we are all ADD now.
 
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