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The year of the $100 room.

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Morticia

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This seems to be the going rate this year. 5th phone call/walk-in in 2 days that has stated all they are willing to pay is $100. So, I've sent them all to places that charge that or less. Keep 'em in town, but I can't do that price for them. The latest one wanted to pay $100 on a night I have one room left open. Nope, sorry.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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You want to hear the really sad thing about that?
You won't believe just how many websites in Northern California where you'll find $99 specials at just lovely B&Bs. And I've seen a wonderful little boutique hotel in San Francisco selling rooms at $44 just 2 weeks ago.
Of course, they charge almost that much for parking. But still it reframes guests expectations for all of us.
This in prime season. Many of these inns normally would have rates in the $250-275 range. There is simply no way they're not losing money at that. They just need the cash. That's the kind of desperation that has the potential to take down not only the cash-strapped, but everyone else as well.
And as long as that's happening, guests will keep asking for it from all of us.
 

JBloggs

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How about $99 for the second night! You have to pay in full for the first.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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How about $99 for the second night! You have to pay in full for the first..
Joey Bloggs said:
How about $99 for the second night! You have to pay in full for the first.
Considering how many guests are planning on 1-night stays this year, I'd say that could be a plan. Less laundry has its own value.
 

Morticia

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How about $99 for the second night! You have to pay in full for the first..
Joey Bloggs said:
How about $99 for the second night! You have to pay in full for the first.
OK, there's an idea. But these are all one night stays on their way to somewhere else. Everyone has to be 'somewhere' the next day for their 'vacation'. Or, one night on the way to the plane. They all put down the money for the week in the rental house and now need someplace the night before or after so they don't have to drive the whole way from wherever.
One caller told me where she used to stay and they have a sign out for $59/night. I told her that and asked if she wanted the phone number? No, that was a little too scary.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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How about $99 for the second night! You have to pay in full for the first..
Joey Bloggs said:
How about $99 for the second night! You have to pay in full for the first.
OK, there's an idea. But these are all one night stays on their way to somewhere else. Everyone has to be 'somewhere' the next day for their 'vacation'. Or, one night on the way to the plane. They all put down the money for the week in the rental house and now need someplace the night before or after so they don't have to drive the whole way from wherever.
One caller told me where she used to stay and they have a sign out for $59/night. I told her that and asked if she wanted the phone number? No, that was a little too scary.
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Morticia said:
One caller told me where she used to stay and they have a sign out for $59/night. I told her that and asked if she wanted the phone number? No, that was a little too scary.
Hilarious.
 

gillumhouse

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They can keep asking but I would rather keep paying my honking loan payment from my SS check than lower my rates. I will stay empty rather than have the ecpense of the guest being here - water, electric, food, sewerage, garbage - all that costs, not counting my time! I have had GPS calls that do not like my rates- go el cheapo no-tel. My Mama taught me "You get what you pay for!" By the time the pay for no-tel and then breakfast, they would have been better off with me.
 

One Day

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Be interesting to know how many travelers would think......
I don't eat/need breakfast when considering over night accomodations.....and then how many end up having breakfast anyway.
I was just thinking that myself..........I am not necessarily a breakfast person...........but, on Sunday morning. I like doing a breakfast spread......well......I have the time on Sunday for such things.
And how this idea plays out in peoples decision making........If you take a nights stay for $100.......no breakfast............where as at the B&B the nights stay might be $125 or more for 2..........suppose the $100 a night folks do in fact go have breakfast somewhere....for 2 that breakfast could be $10 - $20 + tip
Just thinking out loud here............may want to promote the B&B experience as the breakfast part being a Sunday breakfast spread........every day.
 

Morticia

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Be interesting to know how many travelers would think......
I don't eat/need breakfast when considering over night accomodations.....and then how many end up having breakfast anyway.
I was just thinking that myself..........I am not necessarily a breakfast person...........but, on Sunday morning. I like doing a breakfast spread......well......I have the time on Sunday for such things.
And how this idea plays out in peoples decision making........If you take a nights stay for $100.......no breakfast............where as at the B&B the nights stay might be $125 or more for 2..........suppose the $100 a night folks do in fact go have breakfast somewhere....for 2 that breakfast could be $10 - $20 + tip
Just thinking out loud here............may want to promote the B&B experience as the breakfast part being a Sunday breakfast spread........every day..
No one has actually said they don't want breakfast. They DO want breakfast AND the room for $100. Where I've sent them for $100 and under it is a continental breakfast- standing up or taken back to your room.
Part of the problem here depends on what roads they have taken to get here. Plenty of main road hotels/motels/inns have signs out for well under $100. So, they get here and think it will be that range. Signs on the interstate also indicate rooms in the under $100 range. There are certainly pockets were those prices are the going rate, this isn't one of them.
So, they drive PAST all the ticky tack until they get someplace nice and expect the prices to be the same as the ticky tack, or at least not that much different. Even the cheap place here raised their rates $25 this year.
And yet, the other day we had guests come in who had driven farther north, seen one motel after the other on the strip just north of here and came back into town. They weren't looking for that. They wanted the ambiance.
 

wendydk

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I guess we're lucky to be in the area we are. I raised rates again (twice in the last three months on my shared bath room and twice in the last year on the private bath rooms), and the bookings keep pouring in. Even our shared bath room is $110.00 now.
Thanks goodness...I couldn't imagine trying to operate (much less sell the Inn) in an area where everyone is trying to have the lowest rate.
 

kattrin

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Had a phone call last night looking for a better rate. Said they only needed a place to sleep that was downtown.
Here only B&B's are in the downtown area and we all charge close to the same rate.
Sorry but if you just want a place to sleep, there is a Holiday Inn Express down the road. No, you can't walk to town but we offer more that a place to sleep - we offer the experience of a beautiful bed and breakfast. When someone says "I ain't looking for something fancy, just a place to sleep" I know they are not going to be staying here.
Then you get " what discounts do you offer?" and "can I have the military rate even if I am not military" I know times are tough but they are tough for us too. This is a 24/7 job that is hard work, why should we take a hit so you can have a great time at a cheaper rate. I love the guest who stay with us and really enjoy the Inn and what we have to offer - the "looking for a cheap place to stay" can go to a roadside motel and sleep with the roaches and bedbugs.
 

JBloggs

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It all goes back to the assumption that we are raking in the dough. We can afford to give away rooms to them, they take no pause in asking for low or ridiculous rates, but don't care a thing about our businesses. Can you imagine going into any store and telling them "Well I only need that melon for lunch, can't you give it to me for $1 less?"
 

kattrin

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It all goes back to the assumption that we are raking in the dough. We can afford to give away rooms to them, they take no pause in asking for low or ridiculous rates, but don't care a thing about our businesses. Can you imagine going into any store and telling them "Well I only need that melon for lunch, can't you give it to me for $1 less?".
I worked in the furniture industry for 30 years. I learned that if you can give a discount, it means that the item was over priced to begin with and the trust factor is gone. Give the customer a fair and honest price to begin with and they will come back to you time and time again. The same is true here. Our Inn is not the cheapest nor the most expensive in town but what we have to offer goes above and beyond what the hotels offer. Guests need to be reminded sometimes that a bed and breakfast is an experience not just a place to sleep.
 

Morticia

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It all goes back to the assumption that we are raking in the dough. We can afford to give away rooms to them, they take no pause in asking for low or ridiculous rates, but don't care a thing about our businesses. Can you imagine going into any store and telling them "Well I only need that melon for lunch, can't you give it to me for $1 less?".
I worked in the furniture industry for 30 years. I learned that if you can give a discount, it means that the item was over priced to begin with and the trust factor is gone. Give the customer a fair and honest price to begin with and they will come back to you time and time again. The same is true here. Our Inn is not the cheapest nor the most expensive in town but what we have to offer goes above and beyond what the hotels offer. Guests need to be reminded sometimes that a bed and breakfast is an experience not just a place to sleep.
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And it all comes back to wanting the experience without having to pay for it. Which is why I will try to sell my place if they are standing at the door, but if all they want is 'a place to sleep' then I'm happy to send them to a place to sleep. There are a lot of them around here.
We watch them leave. They almost all head straight for the hotels they saw on the way in. No, they can't walk to anything and the hotels are mostly right along the highway and it's not a fancy breakfast, but they'll save $20. That's all they want. Luckily, a lot of the hotels here get decent reviews. So it keeps guests coming back to the area.
Unfortunately, a lot of the reviews slam the B&B's...'Well, you could spend $100 more in town at one of those fancy inns, but why waste your money?' Essentially, if it's good enough for me, it's good enough for you and you're an idiot to spend more!
Not that we actually charge $100 more, but that's what the reviews say.
But, there are also the reviewers who then go on to complain they have to drive to everything because the hotels are all out of town. They stick to one small area of town and never see that there are other places to stay.
 

Morticia

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Had a phone call last night looking for a better rate. Said they only needed a place to sleep that was downtown.
Here only B&B's are in the downtown area and we all charge close to the same rate.
Sorry but if you just want a place to sleep, there is a Holiday Inn Express down the road. No, you can't walk to town but we offer more that a place to sleep - we offer the experience of a beautiful bed and breakfast. When someone says "I ain't looking for something fancy, just a place to sleep" I know they are not going to be staying here.
Then you get " what discounts do you offer?" and "can I have the military rate even if I am not military" I know times are tough but they are tough for us too. This is a 24/7 job that is hard work, why should we take a hit so you can have a great time at a cheaper rate. I love the guest who stay with us and really enjoy the Inn and what we have to offer - the "looking for a cheap place to stay" can go to a roadside motel and sleep with the roaches and bedbugs..
Yeah, that 'good time at a cheaper rate' is really insulting and I'm not sure the guests really understand what they're saying...
"Yes, I have 3 weeks of vacation that I am spending driving around sightseeing but I don't really want to spend any money to do that. You live here, so why not let me enjoy the fruits of your labor for free! What? There's a problem with that?"
If you are on a budget, that is perfectly ok. But then you need to plan a little in advance so you know what places are in your price range. Don't expect innkeepers to welcome you with open arms when you start insulting them with the lack of planning and lack of consideration for all the work they've done.
 

One Day

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been reading the comments regarding some folks wanting discount or last minute deals for some time.....
it realy bothers me...
I get it to........yes, a different profession.......it's all the same, none the less.....I don't get insulted or peeved anymore.......I get serious and flat out tell them......1- I couldn't do what I do for anything less, if I did. You would not be happy with the results......2- there is an expense to operating a business. "Legaly".......They persist.......I have options.........I could thank them for their time and tell them that we are obviously not a good fit for what you want, so you can call someone else...........or, we can remove things from the program to suite your budget.
I am not discounting for the sake of discounting........no one should.
 

Morticia

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been reading the comments regarding some folks wanting discount or last minute deals for some time.....
it realy bothers me...
I get it to........yes, a different profession.......it's all the same, none the less.....I don't get insulted or peeved anymore.......I get serious and flat out tell them......1- I couldn't do what I do for anything less, if I did. You would not be happy with the results......2- there is an expense to operating a business. "Legaly".......They persist.......I have options.........I could thank them for their time and tell them that we are obviously not a good fit for what you want, so you can call someone else...........or, we can remove things from the program to suite your budget.
I am not discounting for the sake of discounting........no one should..
Totally guilty of asking a landscaper if there was any fat built into the plan. He said he could lay the whole thing out, bring the plants and I could put them in. Or I could get smaller plants.
The tough part with that is I like to get the yard done before Mem Day. Right after Mem Day, everything I bought 2 days prior goes on sale for 25% off, so there IS some fat built in! And if you're on the mailing list there's a discount.
I'm not averse to a little back and forth on the pricing. It's the folks who think knocking 1/3 off the price is ok who get to me. I would never expect anyone to drop their prices by 1/3. If I go into the garden store and drop $200 on annuals, a little perk would be nice. Even a free plant. A little one.
I need to build a little fat into my prices I guess. It'll take the sting out.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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been reading the comments regarding some folks wanting discount or last minute deals for some time.....
it realy bothers me...
I get it to........yes, a different profession.......it's all the same, none the less.....I don't get insulted or peeved anymore.......I get serious and flat out tell them......1- I couldn't do what I do for anything less, if I did. You would not be happy with the results......2- there is an expense to operating a business. "Legaly".......They persist.......I have options.........I could thank them for their time and tell them that we are obviously not a good fit for what you want, so you can call someone else...........or, we can remove things from the program to suite your budget.
I am not discounting for the sake of discounting........no one should..
Totally guilty of asking a landscaper if there was any fat built into the plan. He said he could lay the whole thing out, bring the plants and I could put them in. Or I could get smaller plants.
The tough part with that is I like to get the yard done before Mem Day. Right after Mem Day, everything I bought 2 days prior goes on sale for 25% off, so there IS some fat built in! And if you're on the mailing list there's a discount.
I'm not averse to a little back and forth on the pricing. It's the folks who think knocking 1/3 off the price is ok who get to me. I would never expect anyone to drop their prices by 1/3. If I go into the garden store and drop $200 on annuals, a little perk would be nice. Even a free plant. A little one.
I need to build a little fat into my prices I guess. It'll take the sting out.
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Morticia said:
I need to build a little fat into my prices I guess. It'll take the sting out.
Always a good idea.
 

Copperhead

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been reading the comments regarding some folks wanting discount or last minute deals for some time.....
it realy bothers me...
I get it to........yes, a different profession.......it's all the same, none the less.....I don't get insulted or peeved anymore.......I get serious and flat out tell them......1- I couldn't do what I do for anything less, if I did. You would not be happy with the results......2- there is an expense to operating a business. "Legaly".......They persist.......I have options.........I could thank them for their time and tell them that we are obviously not a good fit for what you want, so you can call someone else...........or, we can remove things from the program to suite your budget.
I am not discounting for the sake of discounting........no one should..
Totally guilty of asking a landscaper if there was any fat built into the plan. He said he could lay the whole thing out, bring the plants and I could put them in. Or I could get smaller plants.
The tough part with that is I like to get the yard done before Mem Day. Right after Mem Day, everything I bought 2 days prior goes on sale for 25% off, so there IS some fat built in! And if you're on the mailing list there's a discount.
I'm not averse to a little back and forth on the pricing. It's the folks who think knocking 1/3 off the price is ok who get to me. I would never expect anyone to drop their prices by 1/3. If I go into the garden store and drop $200 on annuals, a little perk would be nice. Even a free plant. A little one.
I need to build a little fat into my prices I guess. It'll take the sting out.
.
Morticia - I need to build a little fat into my prices I guess. It'll take the sting out. Actually this is about what was said in a B&B.com webinar today. You should have a high rack rate that would still hook 90% for your busiest weekends. Then from there make your adjustments for other times. Basicly working your rates all the time to keep up with the supply & demand. An example of how most hotel websites work now - most do not list their rates until you plug in a date - then you see the rate for the rooms available. This is done so they can control their rates easier and a customer will never know anything other than what the room is going for during their dates.
But given your original post, none of this will change the $100 tops bargin shopper if your bottom rate does not match.
 
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