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"We have privileges!" Or, how repeat guest perks bring 'em back.

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Morticia

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All my guests this weekend, with the exception of one room (hopefully no more on that room later!), are repeats. They all get a discount. One room just said that the discount is definitely a plus in getting them to come here 2x/year. (And here I thought it was me.
)
One room called about an hour ago to say they are running late, they will push to be here by 7. I said, 'Don't push, take your time, you've been here so many times you have privileges.' She whispered to the rest in the car...'We have privileges!' I could hear the smile.
Not being known for being the easiest-going innkeeper, these little things done for long-time guests definitely seem to pay off. No, they don't get kitchen privileges and they don't get privileges that would make me wish I didn't grant them.
 

seashanty

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nice. do you mind sharing how much of a discount? if you don't want to, it's okay. do you offer it for all return visits or for after a couple or a 'come again next year' incentive?
 

gillumhouse

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I give repeat guests last year's rates. There are some I have not done anything except spend time talking to them and that is all they want.
My bed breaker will be back in 2009. She called to tell me she bought the certificate I give to her Women's Club auction. She will have 2 nights free, but she always books for a week.
 

happyjacks

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I love my repeats and thank them with discounts and perks whenever possible. I still won't discount for one-night stays and I don't discount dinners. My standard is 5-10% discount depending on the guests. I also have cards (hubby calls them frequent flyer cards) with progressive discounts up to a free night (BOGO).
For perks, it depends on the guests and the situation. I'll offer for them to arrive early or stay late if my schedule allows. They can do self-checkins (won't do that for first timers). Some we let take our dog for a walk. Often we put a bottle of wine or extra treats in their room.
I think repeat guests really like the "Cheers" factor. Remember the old TV show? A lot of people do "...wanna go where everybody knows your name (dada dada dumdum)". They love walking in and being greeted with a big warm "Norm!".
 

gillumhouse

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I love my repeats and thank them with discounts and perks whenever possible. I still won't discount for one-night stays and I don't discount dinners. My standard is 5-10% discount depending on the guests. I also have cards (hubby calls them frequent flyer cards) with progressive discounts up to a free night (BOGO).
For perks, it depends on the guests and the situation. I'll offer for them to arrive early or stay late if my schedule allows. They can do self-checkins (won't do that for first timers). Some we let take our dog for a walk. Often we put a bottle of wine or extra treats in their room.
I think repeat guests really like the "Cheers" factor. Remember the old TV show? A lot of people do "...wanna go where everybody knows your name (dada dada dumdum)". They love walking in and being greeted with a big warm "Norm!"..
Exactly! The surpruse guests a few weeks ago called giving their name with an I don't know if you remember us.... I let her know immediately I did. When they were trying to remember when they were here last, I told her Feb 2001, they looked in the book and sure enough... (it was easy - DH was in the hospital with his aortic aneurysm when he called for the rez!).
 

Morticia

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nice. do you mind sharing how much of a discount? if you don't want to, it's okay. do you offer it for all return visits or for after a couple or a 'come again next year' incentive?.
It's not much. It will go up next year. From $10 now to $15 off next year. I have left chocolates in the rooms, given all of them our coffee mugs to take home, etc. Almost all of my repeat guests get the discount. Usually at the 3rd visit, sometimes before if they were just really nice guests and stayed multiple nights. Some guests still don't receive the discount. (Peak weekends or just very difficult guests.)
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
 

happyjacks

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nice. do you mind sharing how much of a discount? if you don't want to, it's okay. do you offer it for all return visits or for after a couple or a 'come again next year' incentive?.
It's not much. It will go up next year. From $10 now to $15 off next year. I have left chocolates in the rooms, given all of them our coffee mugs to take home, etc. Almost all of my repeat guests get the discount. Usually at the 3rd visit, sometimes before if they were just really nice guests and stayed multiple nights. Some guests still don't receive the discount. (Peak weekends or just very difficult guests.)
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
.
Bree said:
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
I think Carole in Florida does it with one free night per card, so after 10 or 12 nights. I give progressive discounts throughout the card and they can only be used on a 2-night stay or longer (but single night stays still count as nights/points). My cards are smaller than an index card and I store them in an index card box. When a guest stays, I write the date for each night of the stay in the appropriate cell of the grid until they earn a discount. I hope that makes sense.
This is what is on my cards:
Guest Name ___________ My logo
Frequent Guest Thank you Card
Count the sleeps to receive a discount on your 4th, 8th and 12th nights.
Meanwhile, returning guests get 5% off the room rate on multiple-night stays (long weekends/holidays excluded). New card starts may end without notice.
[Grid 4 wide x 3 tall; each with a little "Date" in the corner and a light grey number 1 thru 12. On the 4th, 8th and 12th nights I have "$25 off a 2 night stay*" or whatever the discount is.]
*Reedeemable during return visits with a minimum 2-night stay. Not valid on long weekends/holidays; nor with other specials, discounts or promotions. All other nights during the stay are payable at the regular room rate. In the event that two or more discounts are applicable to a stay, the greater one of the discounts will be applied.
 

gillumhouse

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nice. do you mind sharing how much of a discount? if you don't want to, it's okay. do you offer it for all return visits or for after a couple or a 'come again next year' incentive?.
It's not much. It will go up next year. From $10 now to $15 off next year. I have left chocolates in the rooms, given all of them our coffee mugs to take home, etc. Almost all of my repeat guests get the discount. Usually at the 3rd visit, sometimes before if they were just really nice guests and stayed multiple nights. Some guests still don't receive the discount. (Peak weekends or just very difficult guests.)
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
.
Bree said:
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
I think Carole in Florida does it with one free night per card, so after 10 or 12 nights. I give progressive discounts throughout the card and they can only be used on a 2-night stay or longer (but single night stays still count as nights/points). My cards are smaller than an index card and I store them in an index card box. When a guest stays, I write the date for each night of the stay in the appropriate cell of the grid until they earn a discount. I hope that makes sense.
This is what is on my cards:
Guest Name ___________ My logo
Frequent Guest Thank you Card
Count the sleeps to receive a discount on your 4th, 8th and 12th nights.
Meanwhile, returning guests get 5% off the room rate on multiple-night stays (long weekends/holidays excluded). New card starts may end without notice.
[Grid 4 wide x 3 tall; each with a little "Date" in the corner and a light grey number 1 thru 12. On the 4th, 8th and 12th nights I have "$25 off a 2 night stay*" or whatever the discount is.]
*Reedeemable during return visits with a minimum 2-night stay. Not valid on long weekends/holidays; nor with other specials, discounts or promotions. All other nights during the stay are payable at the regular room rate. In the event that two or more discounts are applicable to a stay, the greater one of the discounts will be applied.
.
Neat idea!! Definitely something to be "stolen"!
 

1linda

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One group of guests that keep coming back and that become family are those that care for their family member that is in a nursing home or assisted living. I give them a cooperate discount. Also more discount if they should not eat breakfast. This discount pays off over and over. Then other siblings come to stay also. Emotionally it is harder, because you get to know the family and when death comes it is hard for the innkeeper as well, but all works out.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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If I had a guest stay 10 or 12 nights I would be washing their car and shining their shoes!
 

Sanctuary

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I have repeat guests arriving on December 6. This winter, they are coming for one week every month through March or April. I won't be here when they arrive that Saturday evening, but with these folks, I just leave a key for them - they know where everything is and what to do.
What's nice is that the prep is pretty easy; I already know what to expect and what their preferences are, and these folks are easy. They have a morning routine of Cherrios for him, and instant oatmeal for her. (Yes, I offered the non-instant kind, but "instant" is what she wants...so be it!). And, they prefer not to have daily maid service. Upon arrival, she asks for a roll of paper towels and some spray cleaner to keep in the bathroom - and they're all set.
But wait, it gets better...being boaters themselves, he like to do things on the boat, as in help me with boat work. Last time, I got back to the boat one day, and he had polished my SS sink in the galley. WOW did he do a great job on that old sink. I was really impressed....then he went to the wet bar and started working on that one.
So, yes, these folks definitely have "privileges" in my book. :D
 

gillumhouse

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I have repeat guests arriving on December 6. This winter, they are coming for one week every month through March or April. I won't be here when they arrive that Saturday evening, but with these folks, I just leave a key for them - they know where everything is and what to do.
What's nice is that the prep is pretty easy; I already know what to expect and what their preferences are, and these folks are easy. They have a morning routine of Cherrios for him, and instant oatmeal for her. (Yes, I offered the non-instant kind, but "instant" is what she wants...so be it!). And, they prefer not to have daily maid service. Upon arrival, she asks for a roll of paper towels and some spray cleaner to keep in the bathroom - and they're all set.
But wait, it gets better...being boaters themselves, he like to do things on the boat, as in help me with boat work. Last time, I got back to the boat one day, and he had polished my SS sink in the galley. WOW did he do a great job on that old sink. I was really impressed....then he went to the wet bar and started working on that one.
So, yes, these folks definitely have "privileges" in my book. :D.
I have one like that and for her I will go bike riding (UGH!!! DOUBLE UGH) or take off for the day, whatever. She comes often and even when I try to give her a free stay - she leaves a check on the table!
 

Morticia

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If I had a guest stay 10 or 12 nights I would be washing their car and shining their shoes!.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
If I had a guest stay 10 or 12 nights I would be washing their car and shining their shoes!
The PO's used to do that. We had one of their repeats call and ask if we offered the same 'services'? I thought they were talking about breakfast and started explaining what we served. He interrupted and said, 'No, I mean are YOU going to wash my car?' I said we weren't and he said, 'I guess we'll come anyway, but you really should consider doing the cars.'
Holy cow!
 

Tony

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nice. do you mind sharing how much of a discount? if you don't want to, it's okay. do you offer it for all return visits or for after a couple or a 'come again next year' incentive?.
It's not much. It will go up next year. From $10 now to $15 off next year. I have left chocolates in the rooms, given all of them our coffee mugs to take home, etc. Almost all of my repeat guests get the discount. Usually at the 3rd visit, sometimes before if they were just really nice guests and stayed multiple nights. Some guests still don't receive the discount. (Peak weekends or just very difficult guests.)
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
.
Bree said:
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
I think Carole in Florida does it with one free night per card, so after 10 or 12 nights. I give progressive discounts throughout the card and they can only be used on a 2-night stay or longer (but single night stays still count as nights/points). My cards are smaller than an index card and I store them in an index card box. When a guest stays, I write the date for each night of the stay in the appropriate cell of the grid until they earn a discount. I hope that makes sense.
This is what is on my cards:
Guest Name ___________ My logo
Frequent Guest Thank you Card
Count the sleeps to receive a discount on your 4th, 8th and 12th nights.
Meanwhile, returning guests get 5% off the room rate on multiple-night stays (long weekends/holidays excluded). New card starts may end without notice.
[Grid 4 wide x 3 tall; each with a little "Date" in the corner and a light grey number 1 thru 12. On the 4th, 8th and 12th nights I have "$25 off a 2 night stay*" or whatever the discount is.]
*Reedeemable during return visits with a minimum 2-night stay. Not valid on long weekends/holidays; nor with other specials, discounts or promotions. All other nights during the stay are payable at the regular room rate. In the event that two or more discounts are applicable to a stay, the greater one of the discounts will be applied.
.
Bree said:
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
The only problem with that is that unless you don't mind guests staying long term, you might have someone that will think... "I was only going to stay for 6 nights, but I might as well and stay 10 nights to get the free night."
There's nothing I hate more than long-term guests. If I were you I'd go for the percentage discount instead.
 

greyswan

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nice. do you mind sharing how much of a discount? if you don't want to, it's okay. do you offer it for all return visits or for after a couple or a 'come again next year' incentive?.
It's not much. It will go up next year. From $10 now to $15 off next year. I have left chocolates in the rooms, given all of them our coffee mugs to take home, etc. Almost all of my repeat guests get the discount. Usually at the 3rd visit, sometimes before if they were just really nice guests and stayed multiple nights. Some guests still don't receive the discount. (Peak weekends or just very difficult guests.)
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
.
Bree said:
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
I think Carole in Florida does it with one free night per card, so after 10 or 12 nights. I give progressive discounts throughout the card and they can only be used on a 2-night stay or longer (but single night stays still count as nights/points). My cards are smaller than an index card and I store them in an index card box. When a guest stays, I write the date for each night of the stay in the appropriate cell of the grid until they earn a discount. I hope that makes sense.
This is what is on my cards:
Guest Name ___________ My logo
Frequent Guest Thank you Card
Count the sleeps to receive a discount on your 4th, 8th and 12th nights.
Meanwhile, returning guests get 5% off the room rate on multiple-night stays (long weekends/holidays excluded). New card starts may end without notice.
[Grid 4 wide x 3 tall; each with a little "Date" in the corner and a light grey number 1 thru 12. On the 4th, 8th and 12th nights I have "$25 off a 2 night stay*" or whatever the discount is.]
*Reedeemable during return visits with a minimum 2-night stay. Not valid on long weekends/holidays; nor with other specials, discounts or promotions. All other nights during the stay are payable at the regular room rate. In the event that two or more discounts are applicable to a stay, the greater one of the discounts will be applied.
.
This might be a good little perk/gift to add to Xmas cards for certain guests to use in the upcoming year/s. I don't think it would work with my military guests but most others it would work great... either $ discount or earned free night. We're already giving our military guests 10% discount and on a couple of rooms a per diem rate.
 

Morticia

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nice. do you mind sharing how much of a discount? if you don't want to, it's okay. do you offer it for all return visits or for after a couple or a 'come again next year' incentive?.
It's not much. It will go up next year. From $10 now to $15 off next year. I have left chocolates in the rooms, given all of them our coffee mugs to take home, etc. Almost all of my repeat guests get the discount. Usually at the 3rd visit, sometimes before if they were just really nice guests and stayed multiple nights. Some guests still don't receive the discount. (Peak weekends or just very difficult guests.)
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
.
Bree said:
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
I think Carole in Florida does it with one free night per card, so after 10 or 12 nights. I give progressive discounts throughout the card and they can only be used on a 2-night stay or longer (but single night stays still count as nights/points). My cards are smaller than an index card and I store them in an index card box. When a guest stays, I write the date for each night of the stay in the appropriate cell of the grid until they earn a discount. I hope that makes sense.
This is what is on my cards:
Guest Name ___________ My logo
Frequent Guest Thank you Card
Count the sleeps to receive a discount on your 4th, 8th and 12th nights.
Meanwhile, returning guests get 5% off the room rate on multiple-night stays (long weekends/holidays excluded). New card starts may end without notice.
[Grid 4 wide x 3 tall; each with a little "Date" in the corner and a light grey number 1 thru 12. On the 4th, 8th and 12th nights I have "$25 off a 2 night stay*" or whatever the discount is.]
*Reedeemable during return visits with a minimum 2-night stay. Not valid on long weekends/holidays; nor with other specials, discounts or promotions. All other nights during the stay are payable at the regular room rate. In the event that two or more discounts are applicable to a stay, the greater one of the discounts will be applied.
.
Bree said:
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
The only problem with that is that unless you don't mind guests staying long term, you might have someone that will think... "I was only going to stay for 6 nights, but I might as well and stay 10 nights to get the free night."
There's nothing I hate more than long-term guests. If I were you I'd go for the percentage discount instead.
.
tle041 said:
Bree said:
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
The only problem with that is that unless you don't mind guests staying long term, you might have someone that will think... "I was only going to stay for 6 nights, but I might as well and stay 10 nights to get the free night." There's nothing I hate more than long-term guests. If I were you I'd go for the percentage discount instead.
Good point. It's not something I see happening here as a 6- night stay is a rarity. But, yes, the long time ones can be rough.
 

happyjacks

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nice. do you mind sharing how much of a discount? if you don't want to, it's okay. do you offer it for all return visits or for after a couple or a 'come again next year' incentive?.
It's not much. It will go up next year. From $10 now to $15 off next year. I have left chocolates in the rooms, given all of them our coffee mugs to take home, etc. Almost all of my repeat guests get the discount. Usually at the 3rd visit, sometimes before if they were just really nice guests and stayed multiple nights. Some guests still don't receive the discount. (Peak weekends or just very difficult guests.)
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
.
Bree said:
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
I think Carole in Florida does it with one free night per card, so after 10 or 12 nights. I give progressive discounts throughout the card and they can only be used on a 2-night stay or longer (but single night stays still count as nights/points). My cards are smaller than an index card and I store them in an index card box. When a guest stays, I write the date for each night of the stay in the appropriate cell of the grid until they earn a discount. I hope that makes sense.
This is what is on my cards:
Guest Name ___________ My logo
Frequent Guest Thank you Card
Count the sleeps to receive a discount on your 4th, 8th and 12th nights.
Meanwhile, returning guests get 5% off the room rate on multiple-night stays (long weekends/holidays excluded). New card starts may end without notice.
[Grid 4 wide x 3 tall; each with a little "Date" in the corner and a light grey number 1 thru 12. On the 4th, 8th and 12th nights I have "$25 off a 2 night stay*" or whatever the discount is.]
*Reedeemable during return visits with a minimum 2-night stay. Not valid on long weekends/holidays; nor with other specials, discounts or promotions. All other nights during the stay are payable at the regular room rate. In the event that two or more discounts are applicable to a stay, the greater one of the discounts will be applied.
.
Bree said:
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
The only problem with that is that unless you don't mind guests staying long term, you might have someone that will think... "I was only going to stay for 6 nights, but I might as well and stay 10 nights to get the free night."
There's nothing I hate more than long-term guests. If I were you I'd go for the percentage discount instead.
.
I give a discount for long stays anyway. But since I don't combine discounts, guests wouldn't be able to use both the Long Stay and the Frequent Flyer discount at the same time so I don't think the cards would influence the length of stay that way.
On my FF cards, I do say the earned discount may be used on "return visits", therefore a first time guest couldn't use a discount off the card until their 2nd visit or later. That's the whole point of a loyalty reward program -- to get people to come back. So far in my experience, people understand that.
 

Morticia

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nice. do you mind sharing how much of a discount? if you don't want to, it's okay. do you offer it for all return visits or for after a couple or a 'come again next year' incentive?.
It's not much. It will go up next year. From $10 now to $15 off next year. I have left chocolates in the rooms, given all of them our coffee mugs to take home, etc. Almost all of my repeat guests get the discount. Usually at the 3rd visit, sometimes before if they were just really nice guests and stayed multiple nights. Some guests still don't receive the discount. (Peak weekends or just very difficult guests.)
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
.
Bree said:
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
I think Carole in Florida does it with one free night per card, so after 10 or 12 nights. I give progressive discounts throughout the card and they can only be used on a 2-night stay or longer (but single night stays still count as nights/points). My cards are smaller than an index card and I store them in an index card box. When a guest stays, I write the date for each night of the stay in the appropriate cell of the grid until they earn a discount. I hope that makes sense.
This is what is on my cards:
Guest Name ___________ My logo
Frequent Guest Thank you Card
Count the sleeps to receive a discount on your 4th, 8th and 12th nights.
Meanwhile, returning guests get 5% off the room rate on multiple-night stays (long weekends/holidays excluded). New card starts may end without notice.
[Grid 4 wide x 3 tall; each with a little "Date" in the corner and a light grey number 1 thru 12. On the 4th, 8th and 12th nights I have "$25 off a 2 night stay*" or whatever the discount is.]
*Reedeemable during return visits with a minimum 2-night stay. Not valid on long weekends/holidays; nor with other specials, discounts or promotions. All other nights during the stay are payable at the regular room rate. In the event that two or more discounts are applicable to a stay, the greater one of the discounts will be applied.
.
Bree said:
I've considered the 'frequent flyer' idea, too. Working toward a free night. I might start that next year, giving the long time repeats a head start on the 'points' needed. Just not sure how to word it or how to work it. 10th night free or some such?
The only problem with that is that unless you don't mind guests staying long term, you might have someone that will think... "I was only going to stay for 6 nights, but I might as well and stay 10 nights to get the free night."
There's nothing I hate more than long-term guests. If I were you I'd go for the percentage discount instead.
.
I give a discount for long stays anyway. But since I don't combine discounts, guests wouldn't be able to use both the Long Stay and the Frequent Flyer discount at the same time so I don't think the cards would influence the length of stay that way.
On my FF cards, I do say the earned discount may be used on "return visits", therefore a first time guest couldn't use a discount off the card until their 2nd visit or later. That's the whole point of a loyalty reward program -- to get people to come back. So far in my experience, people understand that.
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happyjacks said:
I give a discount for long stays anyway. But since I don't combine discounts, guests wouldn't be able to use both the Long Stay and the Frequent Flyer discount at the same time so I don't think the cards would influence the length of stay that way.
On my FF cards, I do say the earned discount may be used on "return visits", therefore a first time guest couldn't use a discount off the card until their 2nd visit or later. That's the whole point of a loyalty reward program -- to get people to come back. So far in my experience, people understand that.
That's the wording I needed...'return visit'.
 
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