Slow Season Ideas/Seasonal Inn

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Larahousebb

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Hi there!
I was wondering how other Inns or Bed and Breakfasts are handling their slow seasons?
What do you do to make sure your Inn is filled during the winter or your slow season?
Thank you,
Lara House
 

Innkeep

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Girlfriend getaways for “locals” consider scrapbooking, massages, book club
Work with local college drama club for murder mystery weekend, college musicians for exclusive entertainment only for your guests. I say college because they work for a smaller $$$.
 

Highlands John

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We've tried various ideas from special discounts to past guests to online offers for 2 nights or more. The only one that had any degree of success was 3 nights for the price of 2.
We have friends who had people in nearly ever day in February this year, they did that by quite big reductions in room rates on b.c and constantly checking prices against other local B&Bs. Personally I think their reliance on b.c means they've ended up working hard at low prices during the winter to help make up the commission they're paying during the busy season.
For us the slow season was included in our business plan, so we tend to sit back, relax and enjoy the house to ourselves, as well as holiday, decorate and stay in each room for a week or so, that's the perfect way to see it as a guest sees it and find out what needs improvement.
 

Lee2014

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First: Welcome to the website where Innkeepers belong especially doing the off season! Grin! Hope you will enjoy it here and become a daily contributor.
Second: This is a great time to do remodeling, visiting, just being alone, etc.
Third: Try to think of things to bring people to your place! One place does events and seminars during our slow times which is summer. The other place goes into hibernation in the slow time which is winter.
 

JimBoone

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I suppose it all depends on how long the slow season is and how slow is slow, perhaps also how good are the good times and the state of your finances.
We usually have about a month and a half each spring and fall that are pretty dead and another couple of months in the spring that I'd call slow. The good times, well hopefully we are busy at least on weekends.
The spring dead time and slow time is usually devoted to painting, fixing, getting the garden in shape for the season, maybe some vacation time and this year we offered a deal to our Facebook friends, as much to offer something extra to those friends that follow us during the year as for the revenue. The late fall/early winter dead time may depend on the weather, vacation, projects, chance to rest if we were hopefully busy with leaf lookers in October. We're old folks and old timers now at this, learned early that we best save when we were busy for the quiet times and for years one of us worked an outside job as well to help through the slow periods.
 

Morticia

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We close. It's our time to do projects and relax.
However, some ideas that can work if closing isn't an option:
  • Offer workshops in whatever fits at your place - writing, quilting, book groups
  • Offer whole house rentals
  • If you can, host baby showers, small meetings, book groups, chamber after hours
  • Partner with something local as a special for your guests - skiing, snowmobiling, kayaking, shoping
  • Offer cooking classes
  • Host wannabe innkeepers by offering classes and working vacations
 

guesthook

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Have you considered doing some content marketing that targets off-season guests? We wrote this post over at Guest Hook on the topic: https://guesthook.com/marketing-off-season-bookings/
The post is targeted towards vacation rentals, but the same rules could apply for inns and B&Bs. You could create guides for off-season activities and ask your local tourism bureau to link to them, update your listings on OTAs to target off-season guests, or put together off-season newsletters and distribute them to your email list if you have one.
 
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