Last month’s extreme economic turbulence was certainly no laughing matter, and as Bill Donohue points out in this issue, the election results could bring some new ups and downs before things smooth out. One additional potential shock wave for our industry that Bill didn’t touch on is the minimum wage. I heard some (admittedly bitter) Republicans predict on election night, as the grim (for them) returns were coming in, that they look for the next Congress to make doubling the current minimum wage one of its top priorities come January.
While we brace for these possible developments and whatever else may come, some of your industry colleagues are already trying to make the best of a challenging period. Proving that desperate times call for…creative responses, here are some things I saw last month as some properties tried to keep the economic crisis in perspective—and minimize its impact—not only for themselves and their staff, but also their members and guests.
Musket Ridge Golf Club in Myersville, Md., for example, moved quickly to offer an “Economic Bailout Special” that offered $10 off a round of Sunday golf, plus a free hat, to “employees, former employees, account holders or former account holders” who showed “proof of association” (“business card, statement, paycheck, logo shirt, letterhead, etc.”) with any of a list of 10 troubled financial institutions (in addition to AIG, Lehman Brothers, Freddie and Fannie Mae and other firms that had unfortunately found themselves in the news, the list included “any Icelandic bank”). “Since we can’t fix the economy, we thought we’d at least try to offer an escape from it,” said David Swales, the club’s Operating Manager. “For some golfers, this may give new meaning to the phrase, ‘bailout area.’”
Another inspired idea came from the High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid, N.Y., which announced “Closing Dow” room rates, based on the closing number for the Dow Jones average each Friday, that will apply through the following week, in a promotion that will end December 19. For example, when the Dow Jones closed at 8,337 at the end of a recent week, High Peaks’ room rate for the following week was $83.37—a savings of more than $160 off its average nightly rate. The resort also extended the concept to an exclusive menu of entrees in its Dancing Bears restaurant.
On the day after the Dow had jumped nearly 900 points—which unfortunately was not a Friday—I called the resort’s General Manager, John Dodson, and asked him if the resort had considered putting either a floor or ceiling on the promotion. “We thought about that, but in the end just decided to go for it, either way,” he laughed. “But if those [900-point increases] could come on a Friday, that really would be a welcomed lift.”
Tell Us What You Think!
You must be logged in to post a comment.