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The Great Divide

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JBloggs

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The Great Divide
With guests from all over, those who rarely drive from say Brooklyn or overseas guests not accustomed to our roads, to those who lives in the mountains, the seashore, the desert, the swamps...
How do you deal with marketing and in person at the B&B where you are?
I mean, for those who find you are just way way too far from something that you use in your marketing as a draw for guests? Example - we do not have any wineries in our county (by law), but have some in adjoining counties. They have festivals, winemaking dinners, events galore. They are all about 40-50 minutes drive from here. Would you use those in your marketing? How would you go about it? To me anything that is within an hour drive is very marketable, anything within a couple hours makes it a 'day trip' from this B&B. Our lakes are here with recreation and water activities - but we are not waterfront. We own these lakes (half of them anyway) so I market them! We go to them, why wouldn't guests?
Case in point the drive-in theater is 45 minutes from us, a straight shot up one road from here to there, it is literally in a cow paddock in the middle of nowhere, so who ELSE would market this thing? Why not us? Will guests be mad when they realize the drive time (even though I state it clearly?)
Your thoughts?
 

seashanty

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my old site was dismanted so i can't show you, but i had a section on 'day trips' ... my guests loved it!
i also could tell them about some side roads to avoid traffic or where they might find road work to avoid.
the b&b was home base and they'd set off with specific directions and highlights i'd made up for them ... off the beaten path. mostly, they'd want to go see lighthouses anyway so i had other places they could see on these little routes ... like farms, a winery, gorgeous harbors, museums, depending on their interests ... i also included places to get gasoline, restrooms along the way, and good places to stop for lunch. a gps is great help ... but not when you're in an area where the satellite hides and the gps can't give you personal recommendations.
 

seashanty

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ps ... this place did a spectacular redo of their website a few years back and their marketing is amazing. here is a page like what i had ... although theirs is professionally done. i also linked back and forth to my inn blog so i could rave about local festivals (within an hour away, i considered local - especially since most of my guests were not from the state) this blogging with links to the state site or local festival site got me some bookings. although i never managed to snag a notice about my place in a news outlet as others i know have accomplished.
 

Morticia

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I suggest things up to 2 hours away. However, guests will return and tell me where they went and they go much farther afield. One couple spent the day in Boston! (Not something I have as a day trip as a lot of gets are coming here to get away from there!)
 

Emily Spiers

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I suggest things up to 2 hours away. However, guests will return and tell me where they went and they go much farther afield. One couple spent the day in Boston! (Not something I have as a day trip as a lot of gets are coming here to get away from there!).
Morticia said:
One couple spent the day in Boston!
Whoa! Now THERE'S a day trip for you!
 

JBloggs

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ps ... this place did a spectacular redo of their website a few years back and their marketing is amazing. here is a page like what i had ... although theirs is professionally done. i also linked back and forth to my inn blog so i could rave about local festivals (within an hour away, i considered local - especially since most of my guests were not from the state) this blogging with links to the state site or local festival site got me some bookings. although i never managed to snag a notice about my place in a news outlet as others i know have accomplished..
So SS you DO consider festivals within an hour's drive local? (I do as well, I mean people come from all over the country to them, so an hour is HERE isn't it?)
See I peaked at that website and without reading it figured those itineraries are within close proximity to the B&B, but the itineraries do not give a drive time or mileage.
I guess for ME, if you are on vacation this is what you do, right? You drive. You get out and see the sights, drive to a special place to hike cliffs, etc.
Maybe the one nighters are getting to me, maybe the one nighters who EXPECT to be able to get here at 8pm and DO SoMETHING is what makes no sense to me. ?
(PS Nice formatting on those itineraries, to me those innkeepers really did an excellent job and I know that staying there would also be excellent. Without even seeing the website) oh and the berry pies! I remember our forum buddy mentioning those! :)
 

seashanty

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jb, absolutely i consider a one hour drive an easy day trip. walking distance is different ... i also said park your car and just stroll around the village and i told them what was right there. but again, that place was soooo seasonal that half the places weren't open before memorial day or after labor day, and most weren't open in may or after september at all, so i had to tell them what was within an hour or it would be 'take a walk or read a book' was about all i could offer.
 

Morticia

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That is always the tricky bit...wow, here's this great thing to do but there are lots of nice places to stay right there, do I blog or not? I blog.
 

JBloggs

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If it is one hour and half away
I don't want people to see it and stay closer to the location but what can I do. I hope they appreciate the information I provide.
 

Joey Camb

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I would market them but have a things to do page for example and put how long it takes to get there. I find people will drive all over when they come and stay with us. I think it depends on how far they have come from ie it is a lot closer to you than it is to them.
 

gillumhouse

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I market the covered bridges as being 60 miles or less (mostly less) of me, I provide turn-by-turn routings. I have day trips for motorcycles that I tout saying they will be gone all day and will not cross the same piece of pavement twice (unless returning to the route).
The festivals that draw are a bit too far from us although I do market the Labor Day Festival - but with so much going on here then, it does not matter. Rooms are scarce that weekend. I look at anything within 60 miles as "fair game" and I USE it. I have created Specials for all sorts of interests.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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JB, I think it all goes to how it's presented to the guests.
Some things I've done before include separating (in the guest welcome books) the activities by distance from the inn, ie. these are things you can do within 30 minutes from here, these are all-day things you can do within 2 hours. Guests like that so much that the biggest problem I've had is that those pages of the welcome books tend to disappear. So I always had plenty of extras handy.
Another way to present it is as places you'll see on the way here or on the way out of here. Kind of the same idea as your scavenger hunt thing.
But I definitely do think that, for some guests, 1 1/2 hours is not too far away. In your area, where the guests are driving around to see the sites anyway, the drive is half of the adventure.
 

JBloggs

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Good info y'all. I guess Road Trip is our middle name now.
 

gillumhouse

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I also offer routings of things to see on the way home.
This weekend we had a father/son (we both think it was a Dad's Weekend - too much what do you want to the kid) and Dad had actualiy LOOKED at my web site. He asked about the covered bridges but said there wasn't enough time this trip as they visited his sister. I offered to route them to see covered bridges on the way home without going WAY out of their way. Same thing for current guests who are innkeepers from upstate NY.
 

JBloggs

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Covered bridges picnic lunch. That sounds so romantic.
 

Copperhead

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My what's to do page gets lots of hits - in fact it get me lots of bookings too. My page lists things that are located in my back yard, then things in neighboring big city, then with our B&B being in the center of a circle, list things in about an hour's drive then list day trips. I receive a lot of comments about this page as well. People love information being handed to them so they do not have to do as much research on their own.
I am sure that at times this page may send people closer to one of these sites but what the hay, it still gets me lots of business. I promote the fact that we are a great place to see the area and only unpack once.
When people arrive, they can read even more details about areas of interest in our room's book.
In reading many of the comments, I see I am not alone. All I can say is - great minds ----
 

Innkeeper To Go

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My what's to do page gets lots of hits - in fact it get me lots of bookings too. My page lists things that are located in my back yard, then things in neighboring big city, then with our B&B being in the center of a circle, list things in about an hour's drive then list day trips. I receive a lot of comments about this page as well. People love information being handed to them so they do not have to do as much research on their own.
I am sure that at times this page may send people closer to one of these sites but what the hay, it still gets me lots of business. I promote the fact that we are a great place to see the area and only unpack once.
When people arrive, they can read even more details about areas of interest in our room's book.
In reading many of the comments, I see I am not alone. All I can say is - great minds ----
.
copperhead said:
My page lists things that are located in my back yard, then things in neighboring big city, then with our B&B being in the center of a circle, list things in about an hour's drive then list day trips.
I like that.
 

JBloggs

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Just got the announcement, EXTRA EXTRA! Cherry Pickin' date is announced today May 26th! http://www.leveringorchard.com/
I would drive miles and miles to pick cherries...and some more miles. :)
This is why I just HAVE to post things not right here, but not THAT far away...Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway (or Ride) and then pick first of the crop sweet cherries. Hold me back! Gotta go!
 
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