By Sharon Scott Wilson RRP
Managing an aging resort often presents special challenges: closets that are too small; insufficient lighting; past “upgrades” that look patched together. If you are responsible for what the industry has labelled a “legacy resort,” perhaps you’re working with a limited budget, as well. Do you find that as often as you may review your property, make yourself to-do lists, and stretch your brain to think how you can make things better; there’s almost always something you’ve overlooked? Have you ever wondered if it might be possible to make your resort property elegant, rather than merely serviceable?
We’ve come up with a few ideas that appealed to us. You might just find a nugget or two that you hadn’t thought of before.
- Absolutely the first thing to do is to update your website so that it is mobile-responsive for smart-phone users if it’s not already.
- Something easily overlooked in resort management is to “PR yourself.” Do your social media homework by assigning a staff member to post status updates regularly. Try to keep your website current with special offers and news about seasonal activities. Give viewers a reason to keep coming back by posting personal stories about families and how they enjoyed their vacations.
- Check on the cost of using digital signage instead of print. If you can afford it. Using current technology might help give your resort some additional panache.
- It goes without saying that your resort will appear newer whenever you use the latest technology, including everything from automated online reservations, to chatbots, keyless entry systems, and lightning-fast Wifi.
- Look for the overlooked, like peep holes that face from the hallway into the unit. Oops!
- Make bathroom lighting bright enough for doing makeup. (Ask a woman to check it… pul-eeease!)
- Would your budget allow for a wall-mounted shaving/makeup mirror in the master bathroom? A lighted one would be even better.
- Speaking of the bathroom, if your property has mounted hair dryers such as those found at the No-Roach Motel down the street get rid of them at once! These are the most classless things on earth. Even moderately priced motels have hand-held units in fancy black bags these days.
- Does your resort serve an international audience? Perhaps you should have adaptors available at the front desk. While we’re on the subject, it would be a nice extra service to have loaner cell phone chargers available, too.
- Place an emergency flashlight in one of the kitchen drawers.
- While we’re on the topic of emergencies, laminate your list of emergency phone numbers. In fact, we’ve found that sprucing up your in-room guest directory gets you to the next highest rung on the elite-places-to-stay ladder. How about a digital one? Take a look at https://crave-emenu.com for ideas. You can use their technology or perhaps create your own.
- Set aside a little space with a computer and a printer for that guest who just cannot get away. (Or the one who needs to print a boarding pass.)
- Provide a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray lending library and provide those electronics in your units. Families can’t spend every waking moment at the amusement park, on the golf course, swimming, or skiing, after all. Give them some opportunity for down time.
- Check and listen to the speed, noise, and effectiveness of the a/c fan coil in bedrooms. There’s nothing more annoying than being rattled awake every hour and a half by a clanging wall unit. Not to mention trying to sleep in a room in which the temperature fluctuates radically.
- Encourage guests to virtually check-in on Facebook, Foursquare, and similar sites when they arrive and to update their fun vacation throughout their stay.
- Monitor TV volumes in each unit to ensure they can’t extend beyond a certain volume. Hopefully, your interior designer has arranged bedrooms so that headboards do not back up to the same wall that serves a television on the other side.
- Provide a nightlight in bathrooms.
- Install an automatic a/c cut-off in guest rooms if balcony doors are left open.
- If your property uses magnetic key cards, test whether they demagnetize when placed next to a mobile phone. If they do, arrange a way to warn guests in your front desk’s standard operating procedures.
- Provide a mouse pad if desks or tables most likely to be used as desks have a glass surface.
Perhaps you have an idea or two of your own for little touches that can help improve the quality of your owner’s or guest’s experience. If so, share them with your peers by sending comments to Sharon@TheTrades.com.
Resort Trades Publisher Sharon Scott Wilson is a professional editor and writer creating B2B and B2C blog posts, feature-length articles and other content. In addition to publishing the monthly print edition of The Trades; the eNewsletter, Resort Trades Weekly; and ResortTrades.com, she manages the PR firm of SharonINK. (SharonINK.com)