November 10th, 2013
It takes a long time to get to 10,000 hours. If you worked 40 hours a week for a year, you’d get up to just about 2,000 hours a year. At 2,000 hours a year, you’d need ten years to accumulate 10,000 hours.
That’s a long time.
What’s the significance of 10,000 hours? It’s the generally accepted benchmark for expert proficiency of most trades or skills. Musicians, artists, computer programmers and on and on all seem to really get their craft dialed in just about the time they hit the 10,000 hour mark.
Have you got 10,000 hours we can borrow?
If you don’t, you’re in luck because we’ve got some you can borrow. If you’re thinking of launching a unique hospitality venue and you haven’t got 10,000 hours tallied in the hospitality world, you’ll be in for quite a learning curve. Learning curves are expensive and avoidable.
Put our expertise to work for you. Give us a ring, drop us a line or find out more about what we do. We can help drive your success and vision efficiently. Have a look at what we’ve done and don’t hesitate to let us know how we might be of service to you.
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”
― Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
Posted in Startup
October 20th, 2013
Hotels, motels, B&B’s, inns, resorts and campgrounds all satiate our basic needs while we’re away from home: physiological, safety and belonging. Most offer the facilities we need to feel good about our visit – a place to eat, a place to sleep, a place to relax, a place to wash up, and on and on. So why do we prefer one venue over another?
A venue’s voice is generally loud and clear, for better or for worse. Either we get it and want more or don’t get it and move on. A voice is easy to recognize and sets a tone that conjures up the imagery its target audience will grab ahold of. The voice, if it’s good, will tell us everything we want to hear every step of the way regardless of where we hear it – social media outlets, primary web pages, online travel agencies, our first phone contact, e-mail and maybe even a tweet.
How we feel about a venue’s voice will determine whether or not we calculate the cost of signing up for a night or two.
We determine the ‘cost of switching’ every day for almost everything. The cost of switching is simply what we’d give up to go from Option A to Option B. Maybe it’s money, maybe it’s a feeling, maybe it’s a tradition or maybe it’s time. Either way, there’s got to be a compelling reason (a voice) for us to give up that motel that’s reasonably priced, close to home and a tradition every year when you go south for that resort that costs a bit more money and time and is more uncomfortable because it’s new.
We’re only willing to give something up for something else (the cost of switching) if we think there’s something more out there for us – room for dessert.
If you’re sold on the voice and comfortable with the cost, then there had better be room for ‘dessert.’ Dessert, in this exercise, may be more of what you just experienced or maybe it’s a taste of something you didn’t even know a venue offered like a spa you’ve just got to experience next go around or the happy hour everyone within fifty square miles goes to. Whatever the dessert is, you’ll only be interested in it if you were sold on the voice and all in on the cost of switching.
What does any of this have to do with glamping? Everything. Though glamping venues are far more unique than hotels, motels, B&B’s, inns, resorts and campgrounds, glamping venues still need to think outside the room. Even differentiated products need a strong voice, a reasonable cost of switching and room for dessert.
If you need to find your voice, would like some help crunching those cost of switching numbers or just want to know what’s for dessert – we’re your guide. We can get you the places you’ve always wanted to go with the guests who have always wanted to be there.
Ring 877-589-3226 or drop us a line to email@example.com if you’d like to explore how we can guide your vision.
September 15th, 2013
We’ve seen many camping trends come and go over the years but none have been so determined to stick around than ‘glamping’.
Many people try camping once or twice but are put off by the lack of facilities, creepy crawlies and leaky tents, so they return home disappointed and devoid of motivation to ever return again.
But this does not remove the inherent desire that most people have to stay in our great outdoors, soaking up the atmosphere and absorbing the fresh air.
As humans we would not have spread across the globe if we hadn’t been compelled to travel from place to place. As a result, we have had to become travelers, adventurers and campers to survive. Similar to how a salmon swims up stream to reach its spawning grounds, we feel an equally powerful desire to get on the road and begin more outdoor adventures.
Basically we are all prehistorically hardwired to want to go camping whether we want to or not.
Added to this is the fact that traveling abroad or staying in the comfort of a hotel isn’t what it used to be. Volcanic ash clouds and terrorist threats interrupt flights, while hotels have become crowded, over heated and tedious, with very little about the experience that doesn’t cost the earth… both financially and environmentally.
Finally adventure seekers are realising it does not have to be that way, and now there is an alternative.
Glamping, also referred to as boutique camping, has all the advantages that camping can offer except it comes with the type of equipment we have all come to expect from those high quality hotels. The things glampers expect are: lighting, real beds, real linens, and sometimes even private bathrooms. By providing these facilities glamping has opened up the camping experience to the mainstream who have been dissatisfied with it until now. It has also opened up the season as glamping sites are now equipped with heat and shelter solutions to keep even the most discerning traveller satisfied throughout the year.
As a result glamping is really catching on and making our vacations more cost effective, which in this economic climate is essential… especially for families. This means that holidaymakers can get away more frequently with the family, for longer stays and without the need for a perfect weather window. This is good for holidaymakers and good for the outdoor industry.
In America, the National Geographic has recently reported that:
“outdoor recreation contributes $646 billion annually to the U.S. economy and supports 6.1 million jobs. Since the 1960s, the outdoor industry has grown into an economic powerhouse, relying on the public lands legacy of the 1960s and early 1970s. If the outdoor industry has managed to grow, despite waning federal funding and commitment to outdoor places and outdoor recreation, it kind of makes you wonder how huge outdoor recreation would be if the outdoor industry and government worked together to promote it.”
As a result…
“The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is working hard to convince our nation’s leaders that it’s time to start prioritizing the management of our outdoor recreation resources. Why? Because they bring significant economic benefits and long-lasting jobs to communities throughout the country.”
So with the new glamping craze opening up the mainstream customer markets to the idea of going camping and glamping, and the political arena supporting outdoor industries, now seems to be just the right time to get involved.
About the author:
Sarah Riley is a keen participant of glamping and camping and founder of Inspired Camping; a free online magazine full of tips, tricks and ideas about the good life outdoors and luxury boutique camping in the UK, US and beyond.
If you’re thinking of launching a glamping spot, tell us all about it here or drop us a line. We’ll help you go from dirt to destination.
August 23rd, 2013
Ever wonder how to get glamping?! Have a look at this video shot at Camp Challenger Ridge in Concrete, WA:
It’s never been easier to get out in style. If you’re looking to take the easy way out, look no further. Wanderlust Hospitality is setting up camps quicker than you can eat a s’more. To learn more about the business of glamping, drop by our basecamp at www.wanderlusthospitality.com.
If you’re looking to take a great escape and easy way out, drop by www.wanderlustcamps.com or ring 877-589-3226,
July 26th, 2013
We’ve collected a few of our favorite shots from our 2013 Summer Glamping Adventures for you below! Enjoy the view and give us a ring at 877-589-3226 if you’d still like to get in on the action – we’ve got limited availability at Camp Challenger through the end of September! www.wanderlustcamps.com
June 28th, 2013
The San Juan Islands and Glamping enjoyed some great coverage today – did you tune in?
Posted in Uncategorized
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