By Ben Samann, General Manager
Over the past few years, we have been working on making the guests’ experience easier to access, simpler, and more intuitive, and recently, have committed to a few of these fully. Ideas like going tip-free to make our pricing more transparent, or building a corporate package that just includes… everything, or putting the tennis rackets by the tennis courts (mind-blowing, I know) for easy access have become our new standard.
On the surface, it seems like the easy choice – if we want everyone to go kayaking, why make them run around the property signing waivers and collecting equipment? If the standard is to tip staff 15%, why not build that into the pricing? If every meeting that books with us needs a projector, why charge for it separately?
None of these things cost us anything. It’s just a way to take a bit more thinking out of the process. But for now, it seems to be confusing to guests.
I have been working with several meeting planners recently who are having a hard time understanding that our package includes everything. We put the pricing on our website for people to see, and try to explain that just about everything is included. But I have now been asked about the following items, and whether it’s included:
- Pop with meals (yes)
- Our hiking trails (yes)
- Parking (yes)
- Wifi in the meeting room (yes)
- Rental on a break out room (yes)
- Printing an e-mail (yes)
- Using a laptop in case theirs can’t connect to a printer (yes)
The issue here isn’t the meeting planner, the issue is the countless other places that sneak in 10% resort fees, $500 meeting room wifi, and labour costs to connect projectors. We’ve all gotten to expect all kinds of costs that are never discussed but impossible to avoid.
Similarly, I routinely have conversations with families in the summer as they plan their vacation that go like this:
Guest: “We’re coming next weekend, and I’d like to rent some kayaks on Saturday.”
Ben: “Rent? You mean borrow? They’re free, you just get them at the beach.”
Guest: “Cool! So how do we register?”
Ben: “You don’t. You just go to the beach, and they’re there, along with life jackets, paddles, and other toys.”
Guest: “Really? How do you know someone won’t steal a kayak?”
Again, this comes about because of the countless stories of hotels having guests fill out waivers each time they want to have fun and sign out everything lest someone run off with a soccer ball. It seems strange in this age to not worry about guests being thieves, so much so that guests actually are surprised when they’re not treated that way.
Despite all the confusion that this simplicity causes, we are moving it forward. We continue to ask ourselves why certain rules exist, and make it easier for guests to get the full price and experience of their stay.