Murder Mystery Weekend-how?

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birdwatcher

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Don't know if this has been brought up in the forum, I'm sure it has. We would like to propose a mystery weekend to the owner of our Inn and would like advise on where to get info or the experience of any of you how have thought of having one or have had one....
Thanks in advance, am checking out some websites on how to do it, but I think if we do decide to do this I don't know if we will be able to do it ourselves if we have to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner?!
 

Samster

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I would just Google murder mystery weekends or dinners at B&Bs to get some ideas. I've attended these as a guest and lunch was not included. Guests arrive on a Friday evening for some kind of reception (cocktails or dessert), breakfast the next morning, your day was free, and the big dinner with the "crime" was Saturday night. Late check-out after breakfast on Sunday after the sleuths solved the mystery. These were offered during the B&B's slow seaon. Great fun and usually there was alcohol involved. Just so you know.....
 

JBloggs

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Here is one problem, just to say it upfront as I just called a guest and left a message re a package I had listed, if there are not enough people it doesn't fly. So this package does not have the min required so I cannot confirm it will happen or not (this is through a 3rd party). What a waste of time it has been. Just my 2 cents. I like this sort of thing, but it is much work and has many variables.
 

Mini

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I tried this 2 years ago in December. People were coming from out of town and 3 guests cancelled due to weather. The whole thing was a disaster due to noone to play their characters. I had to get my dh and call friends to fill in. It was too much work for what it was worth. I would never try it again.
 

Samster

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Here is one problem, just to say it upfront as I just called a guest and left a message re a package I had listed, if there are not enough people it doesn't fly. So this package does not have the min required so I cannot confirm it will happen or not (this is through a 3rd party). What a waste of time it has been. Just my 2 cents. I like this sort of thing, but it is much work and has many variables..
I forgot to mention about having enough folks to make the weekend fly. Good catch, JB! Also, it's an all or none kind of thing with the murder mystery weekends....all the guests need to participate or it could get awkward for a room that isn't part of the fun.
 

birdwatcher

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Ok, good points-thanks, thats why I come to all of you for ideas and experiences doing it. But what about if I advertise for a mystery weekend for people in town and surrounding area. How is around Holloween seem? That seems to start the slow season.
Need packaging ideas. What brings people here? Well thats what I'm gonna have to go and find out, cause I just don't see much of anything drawing people here other than festivals.
But hey The Wizard of Oz is playing in the old theater in town this weekend-its free but donations are welcome, and tomorrow there is a Garden Meeting going on which we will attend as well. Trying to imerse myself into this town so that I can bring the Inn back into it.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Ok, good points-thanks, thats why I come to all of you for ideas and experiences doing it. But what about if I advertise for a mystery weekend for people in town and surrounding area. How is around Holloween seem? That seems to start the slow season.
Need packaging ideas. What brings people here? Well thats what I'm gonna have to go and find out, cause I just don't see much of anything drawing people here other than festivals.
But hey The Wizard of Oz is playing in the old theater in town this weekend-its free but donations are welcome, and tomorrow there is a Garden Meeting going on which we will attend as well. Trying to imerse myself into this town so that I can bring the Inn back into it..
Are the folks doing the mystery weekends busy? Or are they just advertising mystery weekends?
Because I have to tell you that for every guest who wants a mystery weekend, there are 2 who don't. And they literally don't book at places that host them. Ever. That's why I think those particular niches carry as much risk as benefit.
If it's festivals that are drawing people to your area, there's your opening. Book packages that will make sense to folks coming to the festivals.
Keep immersing yourself in the town and you'll figure out quickly why tourists are coming there and what you might best offer them. Don't rush yourself. It's more important you get the right draw for guests to your inn than it is that you keep trying different options.
 

gillumhouse

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Ok, good points-thanks, thats why I come to all of you for ideas and experiences doing it. But what about if I advertise for a mystery weekend for people in town and surrounding area. How is around Holloween seem? That seems to start the slow season.
Need packaging ideas. What brings people here? Well thats what I'm gonna have to go and find out, cause I just don't see much of anything drawing people here other than festivals.
But hey The Wizard of Oz is playing in the old theater in town this weekend-its free but donations are welcome, and tomorrow there is a Garden Meeting going on which we will attend as well. Trying to imerse myself into this town so that I can bring the Inn back into it..
OK, you are Strangers on the Shore! Use that to your advantage. Drive around and see what is interesting (you are not the locals who never see it because it has always been there to them). Look for antique shops, quaint shops, artisans, history, twisty roads, etc. Remember that whatever it is, there is someone interested in it. There is a button museum in Ohio (her collection) with a woodcarving museum (his works) and it is still there, long after they both died. Once you find them, do routings (turn by turn) and put them on the computer so you can print it off when needed.
Just keep your circle - from you and back to you - about 60 miles or an hour's drive at the farthest point although it may take all day to complete the tour. My sites are within 60 miles or less.....
 

Breakfast Diva

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Ok, good points-thanks, thats why I come to all of you for ideas and experiences doing it. But what about if I advertise for a mystery weekend for people in town and surrounding area. How is around Holloween seem? That seems to start the slow season.
Need packaging ideas. What brings people here? Well thats what I'm gonna have to go and find out, cause I just don't see much of anything drawing people here other than festivals.
But hey The Wizard of Oz is playing in the old theater in town this weekend-its free but donations are welcome, and tomorrow there is a Garden Meeting going on which we will attend as well. Trying to imerse myself into this town so that I can bring the Inn back into it..
Are the folks doing the mystery weekends busy? Or are they just advertising mystery weekends?
Because I have to tell you that for every guest who wants a mystery weekend, there are 2 who don't. And they literally don't book at places that host them. Ever. That's why I think those particular niches carry as much risk as benefit.
If it's festivals that are drawing people to your area, there's your opening. Book packages that will make sense to folks coming to the festivals.
Keep immersing yourself in the town and you'll figure out quickly why tourists are coming there and what you might best offer them. Don't rush yourself. It's more important you get the right draw for guests to your inn than it is that you keep trying different options.
.
Thanks for your comment...I was thinking that maybe I was the only one that would be running away from a place like that! I would HATE to be part of a Murder Mystery weekend!
 

egoodell

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The only people who say this kind of thing works, is an inn in Ohio that has local actors involved. The plot is set up so that when there are cancellations the actors can shed their original parts and step into the parts of those who have cancelled. This would take a lot of preparation, I think.
I would rather work on packages that cover what people are coming there to do. Here we have the wineries and make the same amount of money offering a 4 hour wine tour per couple as a night's income for a room.
Riki
 

gillumhouse

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I understand there is some history in that area. Do a package areound that history. Do an afternoon tea on specific dates as the person associated with the house or the history of the area. Give yourself the fun of a "dress-up" for it. Do a "garden tea" or porch tea. Less work and a better chance of success than a Mystery.
 

EmptyNest

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Sorry to be a spoil sport..but murder mystery things don't appeal to me at all. I agree with some of the others..you would be better off putting together some great packages. That is what seems to draw folks in.
 

JBloggs

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I guess the thing is we need to be proactive, murder mystery weekends were popular in...gosh let me see the mid 80's. We are talking 25 years ago they were in their hey day and you could fill up an inn for an event like this.
What is popular now? We need to speak seasonally, I think of scrapbooking and retreats as winter-time events, heck even our music venue is "winding down" for the season. What other packages/events could be of interest? What is NEW? Anything new on the horizon for B&B's? Should we get something started with this group of innkeepers here on this forum?
 

Samster

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I guess the thing is we need to be proactive, murder mystery weekends were popular in...gosh let me see the mid 80's. We are talking 25 years ago they were in their hey day and you could fill up an inn for an event like this.
What is popular now? We need to speak seasonally, I think of scrapbooking and retreats as winter-time events, heck even our music venue is "winding down" for the season. What other packages/events could be of interest? What is NEW? Anything new on the horizon for B&B's? Should we get something started with this group of innkeepers here on this forum?.
I think that like everything else, murder mystery weekends will become popular again. ;-)
If you have a lot of writers in your area, you could do book signings/receptions. Arts communities seem to do well with art showings or those type of events. I tried to package with a local sports venue in the Spring and no one bit. Probably anything that promotes rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation would work....but that is not new.
I wonder what is NEW, too!?
 

birdwatcher

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Thanks! Now that I think about it I don't want to create more work or worry for myself. K-I think you are absolutely right in that the 60 mile ratious...we will be doing that as well-thanks.
What is new? Do you all think its reverting back to the way things where-slow down? Take in nature? Gardening? It seems like we are making a u turn and returning to the "simple" ways...lets.
 

JBloggs

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Thanks! Now that I think about it I don't want to create more work or worry for myself. K-I think you are absolutely right in that the 60 mile ratious...we will be doing that as well-thanks.
What is new? Do you all think its reverting back to the way things where-slow down? Take in nature? Gardening? It seems like we are making a u turn and returning to the "simple" ways...lets..
birdwatcher said:
Thanks! Now that I think about it I don't want to create more work or worry for myself. K-I think you are absolutely right in that the 60 mile ratious...we will be doing that as well-thanks.
What is new? Do you all think its reverting back to the way things where-slow down? Take in nature? Gardening? It seems like we are making a u turn and returning to the "simple" ways...lets.
People are into master gardener and nature events and such, I have my eyes peeled for whatever comes up. Laughingly I saw a local resort at our lake now boasting staycations, I thought, holy cow we did that like 2 years ago y'all!
I have an article I want to post about Gen X who are the current SPENDERS vs baby boomers, if I can find it online I will post it shortly (saw it in a business magazine this week).
 
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