When your guests hit the ‘book now’ button for their next vacation, they feel excitement, anticipation, and likely unabashed joy as they realize they'll finally get to relax and enjoy some time off.
With limited vacation time, creating memorable experiences for your guests is essential for resort owners. You want to make sure travelers get the most out of their vacation so, not only do they have an incredible time, but they’ll choose to come back to your resort again and again, where they know they’re guaranteed a wonderful experience.
How can you curate an unforgettable vacation for your guests time after time? Here is where to start.
An Experience for All Seasons
While summer is undoubtedly the most popular time for vacationers, fall and winter offer unique opportunities for resorts to draw in guests, as frigid temps rarely stop people living in cold-weather states from venturing out and seeking outdoor recreation and adventure. That is especially true for Midwesterners.
Resorts offering cold-weather activities and amenities like ice roads, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice skating, sledding, and ice fishing will attract outdoor enthusiasts and families looking for a great winter retreat.
For example, nature trails can easily convert into cross-country ski trails, transforming your resort into a cold-weather destination. Even if you’re not a ski resort, you can offer the après-ski experience with cozy lounges, fireplaces, and warm beverages to get toasty.
Fall is also an ideal time for resorts to attract guests, showcasing the beauty of your area with the changing of the season and stunning fall colors.
Nothing is better than fall fishing in Minnesota, surrounded by spectacular scenery. With families back to school, the lakes are quieter for guests to reel in the big ones or to watch the sunset on a leisurely evening pontoon cruise.
With fall also comes hunting season, drawing in hunters from around the state. Resorts can get creative. For example, during hunting season, offer a mini archery range for kids to try out. This creates a special experience for the fall season that even non-hunters can enjoy.
Seasonal events during the off-seasons like Oktoberfest, a Halloween spooktacular, or a New Year’s blast can become great annual traditions guests look forward to all year.
Expanding your services, activities, and amenities year-round will give you unlimited opportunities to earn guest loyalty and help keep your resort full even in the off-season.
As a resort owner, you want to continually think about new and evolving activities for your guests. Golfing, boating, and lake activities will always remain a great draw. Consider adding activities that set your resort apart.
For example, perhaps in winter, offer an igloo that guests can dine in, or in summer, offer a PaddleTap, essentially a Paddle Pub but on the water. These are experiences most guests won’t soon forget and will happily return to experience them again.
Additionally, you’ll want to keep apprised of any new and popular activities guests will be looking for and expecting.
For instance, pickleball has picked up in popularity, growing quickly among all age groups. If you have existing tennis courts, transform one into a pickleball court, which shows guests you’re listening, understanding their wants and needs, and can adapt to new interests and trends.
Show Guests You’ll Take Care of Them
Inevitably things will go wrong. The storm of the century may blow through uprooting trees, knocking out the power, and generally wreaking havoc. So while as a resort owner, you may not like to think about what to do with fallen trees or power outages, when storms roll in, you’ll need to be ready with your chainsaws and generators.
Safety and Comfort
In situations like this, taking care of your guests will be the priority. You’ll want a plan in place to ensure the safety and comfort of all your guests. Plus, in these scarier situations, if you have a way to distract and entertain your younger guests, parents will undoubtedly appreciate and remember the extra attentiveness.
Creating an unforgettable vacation experience for your guests requires planning and forethought, along with some ingenuity. But, by continually offering unique, new, and varied activities and preparing for any eventuality, guests will head home with fond memories and be ready to return for more.