Musket Ridge Golf Club in Myersville, Md., for example, offered an “Economic Bailout Special” on a recent Sunday in October. The special offered $10 off a round of 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 recently in the news, the list also 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.’”
The Steinhatchee (Fla.) Landing Resort, meanwhile, announced that it would be offering visitors “a much-needed financial break this holiday season” by putting together a package, effective November 1 through December 30, that offered not only a fourth night free for three-night stays, but also a $50 fuel credit and a voucher for 25% off a return visit.
Perhaps the most 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, also priced according to the closing rate, in its Dancing Bears restaurant. To complement the $83.87 room rate, for example, the selected entrees were featured at $8.38, an average savings of $10 per entrée.
“We want to give guests an opportunity to refresh, relax and reconnect during this turbulent economic time period,” the resort’s General Manager, John Dodson, told The Wall Street Journal. “When times are this challenging, we think the best solution is to get away for a day or two, and this extraordinary value encourages our guests to do just that.”
Asked by C&RB on the day after the Dow had jumped nearly 900 points (on a Monday) if the resort had considered putting either a floor or ceiling on the promotion, Dodson replied, “We thought about that, but in the end just decided to go for it, either way.
“But if those [900-point increases] could come on a Friday,” he added with a laugh, “that really would be a welcomed lift.”