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Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow..or Maybe Not

September 16, 2019
A girl with pink hair in a black knit cap holding her hand up to the photographer from through a glass doorway at night.

Choosing the Right Fit: When Not Every Guest is Your Guest

One of the hardest things I have had to learn in business is that not everyone is my client. In an ideal world, this would not be the case. But in the real world, sometimes the fit is just not right. The larger our portfolio, the more we realize who fits within our mission statement and who is not an AOS client.

The same goes with your guests. As hard as parks want to be all things to all people, there are times when it is in your best interest to pass on a guest.

Most of the time, this parting of the ways occurs over rate. If you have a five star park; you should be charging five star prices. You cannot, nor should you, price yourself to compete with the one and two star parks. If you allow guests to brow beat you-or guilt trip you- into cutting your rates-you decrease your value and invite a clientele that may not blend in with those who are more than willing to pay the higher price.

Another guest to pass on is the guest who will not abide by rules and regulations. We have always had a, "Three Strikes You're Out," at our AOS parks. Once we have warned you twice, the third time is the end. When a guest has ignored two warnings-chances of them changing are slim to none. No matter how long they have been coming, or how intimate the relationship, this type of guest is going to be a bad apple.

Finally, the guest you will never please-not matter how hard you try-is one that needs to be cut loose. I learned this very early on in my career. We had a guest book a waterfront cottage at $325 a night every single season. It was good money-but it was a nightmare. The whole week she was there the staff was on edge, the other guests heard the complaints, and we had passed on others who would have rented that same unit with less headache. After three seasons of this, we blacklisted this particular family and did not allow them to return. No matter how hard we tried, something was always wrong and we finally had to face the hard truth that we would never make this guest happy.

Passing on these guests will allow your park to operate a peak efficiency without the distractions these above guests can bring. It is hard to say no to a paying guest, but sometimes parting with them is that way to turn that corner to a more rewarding park operation.