May 18th, 2013
We’ve teamed up with the folks over at Challenger Ridge Vineyard to offer our brand of luxury camping in Concrete, WA – cause for savvy sippers to rejoice! Glamping, or, glamorous camping, is everything you’ve always wanted camping to be. And now, it’s where you’ve always wanted it to be 100 miles Northeast of Seattle in a picturesque vineyard!
Scott Hale, our Chief Experience Officer, recognized “this collaboration is a great opportunity for Challenger, Wanderlust and all of our loyal patrons and guests who trust us both to deliver something fun and unique.”
We’ve equipped “Camp Challenger” sites with a classic canvas wall tent and tasteful furnishings including a cushy queen sized bed and real mattress appointed with luxury linens. Guests will get to choose between a vineyard overlook glamping spot and a glamping spot right along the shores of the mighty Skagit River.
Challenger Ridge Owners Doug Spady and Ryan Constanti added “Our ownership group of six guys started with a vision in 2006 of making Challenger Ridge a destination vineyard and winery. We’re getting there in a hurry with this launch.”
Challenger Ridge Vineyard and Winery is the 65 acre home to Washington’s finest pinot noir plants and has also produced barrels of top-notch medaling wines. In addition to Vineyard Glamping, Challenger Ridge offers traditional camping, artist fairs, live music and a spectacular backdrop for retreats and weddings. The vineyard’s location in the foothills of the Northern Cascades also makes it a spectacular basecamp for fishing, hiking, biking, rafting and birding.
In addition to Camp Challenger, our launches include ‘Camp San Juan’ which serves up glamping experiences in three different Washington State Parks throughout the summer of 2013. We specialize in redefining, reimagining and reinventing camping and the guest experience and also provides glamping tent rental for regional events.
To learn more about Vineyard Glamping and to book your adventure, visit www.WanderlustCamps.com or call 877-589-3226.
April 28th, 2013
Where did this New Experience Economy come from?
Let’s sit down for a cup of coffee. Back in the day of the commodity driven economy, we would have bought or traded for our own basic coffee-creating commodities like water, firewood, coffee beans, milk and sugar to prepare that delicious cup of coffee. Our cost for a commodity based cup of coffee would be pretty low.
Leap forward to the goods based economy. We’re not interested in basic undifferentiated goods. Instead we’re looking for distinctive tangible goods like our favorite fresh coffee beans in a can all ready to dump into our automatic electric coffee maker. Our cost for a cup of coffee just went up.
Flash forward to today and we’ll outsource the whole project. We aren’t at all as interested in the cup of coffee as we are the experience that comes with it. We spend time finding the hottest coffee shop, check our phone for their daily special, wait in line, check-in to the shop on our phone, wait for our beverage, take a picture of our beverage and share it with our peers, pay top dollar for the coffee and then try to find a seat to enjoy it.
Welcome to the New Experience Economy.
Just like with a cup of coffee, hotel guests seek experience. As we’ve just demonstrated, an experience is a distinctive economic offering. That’s good news for hoteliers because you’re in the business of selling and delivering experiences. Sounds easy, but these experiences need to satisfy your guests. Satisfying today’s guest means that you’re really in the transformational business.
Satisfaction is more than a score. Real guest satisfaction is work and, just like any work these days, we’re all looking to work smarter and only sometimes harder. The simple formula (Time + Cost) Experience = Satisfaction will help us all understand the fundamental steps required to produce a truly satisfactory guest experience.
Before we dive into the processes associated with satisfaction, we should better understand what satisfaction is. Satisfaction is commonly defined as the fulfillment of a guest’s expectations and needs. Satisfying the expectations and needs of your guests will help your bottom line, help you keep the guests you have and attract more guests all while building an experience carefully crafted around the voice of the guest.
As we’ll explore, you can deliver two main experience types that lead to satisfaction: a (usually) low cost ‘service experience’ and/or a (usually) high cost ‘transformational experience.’ Of course, there are several experiences that are below and between these two classifications but these are hybrids of the main experiences we’ll explore.
How do you deliver satisfaction the New Experience Economy?
Your guests, and potential guests, are calculating the cost and value of your hotel at each step of their experience with you. Guests today have limited the resources that they’re willing to invest in a vacation experience (time and money) and have amped up their resources to gauge the value of that experience relative to replacement experiences (social media and peer reviews).
In the New Experience Economy, the guest’s voice is louder and more important than yours.
Time is a limited resource. We all have less time than we once did and your guests are no exception. Consequently, the time your guest invests in their experience with you plays a big role in their resultant satisfaction. Let’s have a look at where a guest literally chooses to spend their time throughout their experience with you – before even walking through your front door.
Time spent finding you.
Guests seek you out a variety of ways and not finding you where they expect to may negatively impact their overall expectations, experience and, ultimately, their satisfaction. If you’re not everywhere your guests are looking, you’re forfeiting a piece of their satisfaction before they even know your room rate.
This means that beyond ramping up your social media presence, you’ve got to be ubiquitous and engaged via social media and always ready to communicate with your guests the way they want to be communicated with when they want to be communicated with. Remember, your guests now control the conversation and it’s their voice that will craft their experience.
If you’re not where your potential guest wanted you, you’ve not met their expectations, not satisfied their needs and likely won’t satisfy them. In fact, you may have lost them if they’ve invested all the time in you that they care to.
Time spent getting you.
Beyond tracking you down, your guests will also need to ‘get’ you in a hurry. Here, ‘to get’ is ‘to understand.’ You can help your guests understand who you are and what you’re all about in a variety of ways. The most important is actually knowing who you are and what you’re all about.
When communicating your brand to your potential guests, make sure you’ve got the right voice. Be direct and be honest. UNDER-promise and OVER-deliver. Most important, make sure what you say is true and embodied by your team. If a potential guest likes what they hear from you, they’ll see if it checks out with their peers.
The experience, message and voice you deliver must always be consistent. If claims you make on your website don’t match the reviews found on TripAdvisor, then your potential guest might not invest any more of their time trying to figure you out. Further, if you actually host the guest at your hotel, you must live up to the expectations you’ve set through all of the interactions you’ve had with them.
Time and money aren’t the lone determinants of the cost of an experience. The true cost of an experience is largely determined by what your guests would have to give up with you to go someplace else – the cost of switching. If a guest has to give up a whole lot with you to stay somewhere else, then that’s good for you because the cost to them is higher to go to the other spot. Conversely, if a guest doesn’t really have to give up all that much to go to the spot across the street, that’s bad for you because the low cost for them to leave you might compel them to go.
The easiest way to increase your cost of switching is to create a differentiated experience through a unique set of activities specific to your hotel. Though this sounds like a rather complex endeavor, it’s pretty straightforward. Remember, in the New Experience Economy, experiences are crafted around the voice of the guest.
Differentiation and unique activities need not be limited to room amenities, mattresses, lobby design and food menus. While important, your guests already expect all of those things to be top notch. What was once your experience-maker is now just a standard feature. Today, your differentiation strategy must include community building and the conversion of that community into a fan base.
You can develop a community by proactively reaching out to past and present guests and encouraging and providing a real emotional investment and attachment to the experience you deliver. Remember, in the New Experience Economy, no news is silence and silence can be deadly. Once you develop your community, engage your community and deliver on your promise to your community, you’ll have a fan base.
We should also note that your guests may ‘sign up’ with somebody else’s community regardless of their level of involvement with yours. Further, a community and fan base you’ve taken so long to build can also be destroyed if you fail to deliver on the expected experience that brought all of your guests together in the first place.
If you’ve developed a community into a fan base and have both crafted and delivered a differentiated experience based on the voice of the guest, then you’ll be charging for and delivering a ‘transformational experience.’ This particular experience will set high expectations with a high value perceived and will have a correspondingly high cost. Here, you charge for the benefits guests receive by both engaging and spending time with you.
If you haven’t developed a community into a fan base and haven’t really crafted a differentiated experience, then you’ll be charging for and delivering a ‘service experience.’ This experience will set relatively low expectations with a low value perceived and comparatively low cost. You charge for the function you provide and that’s it.
Will a service economy standard still exist for hotels in the next several years or will transformational experiences across all price points become the new standard? It’s tough to say but, as a hotelier, your focus should be on what’s next, not what’s now. When it comes to the next experience you provide, striving for a transformational experience at a service experience price point is a great way to differentiate your hotel in the marketplace.
If you deliver the right experience (either ‘service’ or ‘transformational’) where your guests find exactly what they want for what exactly or less than they’re willing to invest, you’ll have satisfied guests.
What’s the best measure of satisfaction?
Listening. The voice of your guest will tell you whether their investment in your experience was too great or if the expectations they had weren’t met by the experience you delivered. Be sure to listen what your guests are saying, analyze what they’re saying and act on what they’re saying. After all, expectations can make or break an experience and a business.
Speaking of the voice of your guest, let’s go back to our coffee shop. Here’s what happened with that message that went out to a few thousand community members with our cup ‘o joe photo:
Coffee Purchaser: “Can’t believe I waited in line… and still paid for this! It’s not even my order!! Poor form Coffee Shop A!!”
Community Member #1: “Crazy – that happened to me last time! I’m done with Coffee Shop A.”
Community Member #2: “You should try Coffee Shop B next time – they’re waaayyy better.”
Coffee Shop A Owner: “Dear Coffee Purchaser and Community Member #1 – c’mon back to us and your next two drinks are on the house! Dear Community Member #2, we’re waaayyy better than Coffee Shop B and we’ll prove it to you. Your first drink’s on us, too.”
Coffee Purchaser: “Community Member #1 and Community Member #2 – let’s meet at Coffee Shop A tomorrow at 10am!!”
Coffee Shop A Owner: “We’ll be here – message us your orders so you don’t have to wait in line this time!”
Community Member #1: “AWESOME!”
Community Member #2: “SWEET!!”
This exchange sums up satisfaction nicely. Coffee Shop A missed at first, but then promised to satisfy the expectations and needs of its guests. This will help the shop’s bottom line, helped the shop keep the guests it already had and attracted more guests. The shop did this all while building an experience carefully crafted around the voice of the guest. You can do the same in your hotel, just be sure to listen and remember that (Time + Cost) Experience = Satisfaction.
As published here
Posted in service
March 16th, 2013
Vineyard investing is trendy and what all the cool kids do when they retire or fire corporate employers. We enjoy vino more than most and cite health benefits as the reason for our insatiable thirst. That said – we would think more than twice before plunking down our life savings for a fruit farm.
Vineyards are serious business. Growing grapes is a science and lots of work. The number of Washington State wineries has exploded by 400% over the past ten years. This sort of growth has created a two-million dollar a year wine tourism business.
Washington State Wine country boasts eleven (11) federally recognized appellations and shares the same latitude (46°N) as places simply known as Bordeaux and Burgundy.
Show me the money.
Sure. Say you land the ultimate vineyard in a mind-blowing, jaw dropping slice of paradise locale. Forget what that cost you and focus on what it might make you.
An acre of top tier terra in Napa Valley could crank out 4 – 5 tons of grapes and gross as much as $20,000 annually. As most vineyards are at least 8-10 acres, we liberally forecast your land and plants to generate a healthy $200,000 per year. If you build a winery to make wine with those grapes, you’ll have to wait two to three years for barrel aging and five to seven years before seeing any revenue from your vineyard investment.
Growing grapes is expensive. Site preparation, irrigation systems, vine and trellis setup, grow tube management, fertilization, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, cover crops, cultivation, vehicle maintenance, machinery repair, insurance, debt service and interest deteriorate your vineyard profitability in a hurry.
Operating costs conservatively cut your vineyard profit margin in half and average $8,000 to $10,000 per planted acre. And we haven’t even considered the cost to market, compete and grow against your 650 competitors. Yikes.
While tasting rooms and wineries certainly add profit centers to your vineyard; think beyond the grapes in the glass and create a destination vineyard or winery. Experiential tourism is big these days – people vacation to indulge in tasteful hobbies and interests and love to be outside. Weddings, corvette rallies and pairing dinners can all help augment cash per grape, but why settle for activities and special events when you can create an experience?
The average daily rate for a Washington State resort or inn accommodation is $170.98. Say you build 15 vineyard accommodations on an acre of your property unfit for farming. If your lodging is occupied 60% of a season spanning May 1st through October 1st and commanded $225 per occupied night, that empty real estate could crank out $309,825 each year – 55% more than your grapes.
Destination wineries are uber trendy, but a new spin on the bottle can turn a destination into a place to stay. We’d love to tell you more – perhaps over a yummy pinot.
Posted in Uncategorized
March 6th, 2013
We’re very happy to announce that Wanderlust Hospitality will be among the vendors exhibiting at Isle be Wed – the only wedding show in the San Juan Islands for the San Juan Islands!
A collection of San Juan Island vendors teamed up to launch the first annual Isle Be Wed wedding show in 2012. For 2013, the show has grown to encompass all of the San Juan Islands and will also showcase three hosting venues on show day.
The San Juan Islands are a truly special place to celebrate your most special day and this year’s show will be no exception. The show will run from 10am – 4pm on March 9, 2012 and be hosted at three venues simultaneously.
We’ll be at the San Juan Island Yacht Club helping you explore the wonderful world of Glamping Weddings!
Wanderlust can help you have a wedding in the wild; two ways:
Glamping on demand.
We’ll help you setup camp in the San Juans like you’ve never seen before. Pick your perfect spot and tell us all about it.
Glamping good to go.
We’ve got glamping experiences slated for Memorial Day, Summer Solstice, July 4th and Labor Day. Each three-night four-day adventure is fully outfitted and provisioned.
Drop by CampSanJuan.com for more.
Be sure to stay tuned or drop by to learn all about our show special!
Posted in Weddings
February 3rd, 2013
We’ve equipped Camp San Juan sites with a classic canvas wall tent and tasteful furnishings including a cushy queen sized bed (and real mattress) appointed with luxury linens. You’re entire experience will be outfitted and provisioned including breakfast, lunch and a scrumptious dinner prepared on-site with locally sourced ingredients.
Looking for Adventure? We’ve got you covered from guided hikes, to guided bike rides and sea kayaking. It’s an effortless, authentic way to connect with nature.
We’re in three different Washington State Parks throughout the summer of 2013. That means you’ll have five different chances to get out in style. Each experience includes prime-time and opt-in adventures so you can chart your own course.
Heading out Memorial Day weekend for an annual adventure? How about the 4th of July? Glamping sites will be all setup in Moran State Park on Orcas Island for three-night/four-day experiences
• May 24th – 27th
• July 1st – July 4th
• July 5th – July 8th
Looking to officially celebrate the start of summer and end of school? Wanderlust will have glamping sites ready to go for another three-night/four-day experience in Spencer Spit State Park on Lopez Island June 21st – 24th.
If you’re more about capping off a summer of full-on old school camping with some glamping, your last chance will be in Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island for another three-night/four-day adventure August 30th – September 2nd.
If your schedule doesn’t jive with these dates, have no fear! We’ll help you setup camp like you’ve never seen before – on your schedule. Drop by Camp San Juan to fill out your Glamping on Demand request form.
For more information on these limited edition Washington State glamping experiences, just go to www.campsanjuan.com.
January 12th, 2013
Glamping is a great solution for getting out in style. We’re really excited for an action-packed 2013 and found plenty of inspiration in this video. We hope you will too!
Posted in Uncategorized
October 28th, 2012
Everyone wants to be an overnight success – including rookie campers. Hikes, bugs, dirt, tents, food water and a lackluster loo all detour most from would-be fun in the wilderness. You’re lucky you found us.
Our glamping solutions let you and your guests be an overnight success – overnight. What’s glamping? Glamping is where nature meets nurture. We do all of the heavy lifting while you and your guests soak in the simple. Have a look at our glamping video to better understand what we mean:
If this looks like your sort of wild; we’re your guide.
You pick the spot and the reason and we’ll set up camp. Our on-demand luxury camps are perfect for family reunions, corporate retreats, weddings, music festivals and parties. If you’ve got an outing in mind, we’ve got a solution for you.
Our glamping programs are designed to make things easier for you and your guests and can help you differentiate your business, attract more guests, and do more with less. We’ll guide you each step of the way. Not just in the design and build phase, but throughout our relationship.
Ease your mind with a green investment custom designed for your needs. If you’ve got land for sale, land in the family or are looking to develop a strong business model, glamping may be the solution that’s right for you. We can help you get from dirt to destination™ in no time.
September 22nd, 2012
What better way to close out summer than to look back on all the fun you were searching for. While there are a variety of ways to distill the data, the folks over at imageshack have done it better than most with an in depth look into what your desired based on popular Google searches by country.
We’re pleased to announce that in Google searches for summer fun, camping ranked #1 in France, #2 in the USA, #3 in Canada and #4 in Spain, Italy and Great Britain. What could’ve possible ranked higher? Have a look below and start planning your 2013 experiences before it’s too late.
Without further ado:
Le camping est première en France!
Camping was second to…paintball in the US
Camping was just behind moving and the beach in Canada, eh
In the UK, folks just wanted more squash, parks, pubs bars and inns than camping. We heard it was pretty wet over there this year…
If you haven’t already, you might take glamping for a spin. We’re fast at work developing a variety of ways for you to take the easy way out, so, drop by our basecamp regularly or, go ahead and Google glamping next time. We’re pretty confident that you’ll wonder why you didn’t discover camping redefined sooner.
September 2nd, 2012
Here’s hoping you enjoyed an amazing glamping season. If you’re still stuck on camping, we’ve got some shots that just might make you a glamping convert. Glamping is all of the good parts about camping plus all the comfort you don’t quite expect in the wilderness. Have a look at our glamping tent, it’s everything camping should be – authentic, effortless and inspiring.
July 15th, 2012
My goal for every summer break growing up was to be gone camping until the school bell tolled again. That meant Boy Scout camps, day camps, backyard camps, campouts with my buddies and, of course, family camping trips. It’s the last variety that really got me thinking about this whole glamping concept.
We had an 18’ Jayco King pop-up camper: the biggest and best tent camper ever made. Leaks came free and frequently and family camping was a twice annual event that required weeks of planning and days of preparation – even though we usually went to the same spots.
While everything we did to prepare and enjoy the great outdoors was “fun” for me, it became apparent that several of my pals and their families just thought all that prep and provisioning was work. Our relatively quick family camping trips did require a comprehensive packing checklist, a thorough trailer inspection, a thorough tow vehicle inspection, camping gear testing, cooler rotational schemes, well-orchestrated packing, the road trip and then the setup… yikes – that does sound like work.
Once camp was setup (and usually after a debate around whether or not to setup the awning and screen house), enjoying it was laborious, too. I loved all things fire, so managing the wood supply, keeping the home fires burning and cooking over an open-flame was no sweat at all. My brother was the designated camp custodian responsible for twice daily camper and site sweep-ups plus the day-to-night interior reconfiguration. Mom was a rotational wizard, keeping our foodstuff stock from unnecessary sogginess and spoilage. My sister was the self-appointed bug blaster who made sure our accommodations were buzz free before we turned in for the evening.
While we totally dug the industrious approach to the great outdoors, you and your guests might not be so enticed. That’s why we’re reinventing camping: glamping. We handle the work and guests get nature on their terms. Drop us a line or drop by our basecamp to learn more. If you’re a campground owner, have a look here.