We've all heard the expression about a "flight to quality" especially with regard to investments in these challenging times, but what is a "flight to value?"
A couple of nights ago my wife and I were at a holiday party hosted annually for Charlottesville, VA area innkeepers by some former innkeepers (and clients), Becky and Norm Lindway. Since I've worked with most of the invited innkeepers over the years, it really was like getting together with old friends. Over a glass of wine I was chatting with Dave and Heidi Lanford of The Iris Inn in Waynesboro, VA. They bought their inn less than a year and a half ago and have been exceptionally vigilant in their approach to understanding what they have and how to improve. We were discussing two fabulous suites they have and how to maximize their potential.
Dave was telling the story about a couple who stayed with them this Fall. They arrived at the B&B in a brand new Porsche 911 Carrera Twin Turbo, a vehicle that, Dave noted, costs about $175,000! These folks had come to the area, among other reasons, because they had seen a picture of "their car" on the Skyline Drive and decided to visit. After a couple of nights in one of Iris Inn's largest suites, the gentleman told Dave and Heidi that they usually stayed at places like The Ritz Carlton or The Breakers, very high end (and expensive) hotels, but that this trip they decided to try a bed & breakfast. It was a new experience for them.
The suite they stayed in is huge, with hardwood floors, king bed, kitchenette with table and chairs, sitting area with fireplace, large full bath with double whirlpool, private deck "in the woods" and slightly separate from the main house, so it's very private. The room sells for under $300.00 a night. After telling the story of how they came to be staying at the Iris Inn the gentleman, who was effusive in his compliments about the personal service, attention to detail, etc. said, "What you have here is a real flight to value." He also said they'd be back next year. Leave it to a world traveler to express exactly what the traveling public wants.
We should all burn the phrase, "a flight to value," into our brains, whatever we do. Are you doing something at your inn that provides really high value for the dollar? Are you doing something creative to market it? Have you stayed at an inn or hotel where you experienced a sense of real value? Please tell us about it, and we'll share your story.