November 5, 2021
It’s been too long since we put together a post, but as we celebrate our first year, it is the perfect time for an update. 2021 was a whirlwind of activity, with new experiences, new faces, and new friends! Starting out at the motel during the off-season was the best move, even if it wasn’t by design. The fall/winter travel season gave us time each day to learn the ropes and get used to the rhythm of how things work before the summer rush. The uptick of Spring Break travelers gave us a taste of what was to come, but we had no expectations it would be as busy as it was…even though we were told (warned?) what was coming.
By May, our summer calendar was filling up, and not just on the weekends; our weekdays were becoming just as busy. Soon we were booking up 7-10 days in advance. The “No Vacancy” sign became a permanent fixture on our doors and windows. When there was a sudden cancellation of seven rooms at 4pm on the day of the arrival (for a reservation made under the old Covid-cancellation policy), the rooms were re-booked by 7pm, less than 3 hours later. Business was far exceeding our projections, thanks to a pent-up desire to travel. Callers frequently asked why we were sold out, why so many people were traveling, and our favorite, “What’s going on in Raton?” We finally turned it around on them and asked them why they were traveling!
We increased our prices at the beginning of summer, something that would have happened in 2020, but we all know how that year was. Travelers frequently commented positively on our rates compared to other places, which was nice to hear. Some even said we should charge more – but we want our customers to feel they had a great stay at a great price, and that will always be one of our goals.
Brandy resigned from her long career at the law firm at the end of July, a bit overdue from what we wanted but still a little scary. However, she was desperately needed! As August rolled into September, our sellout streak continued, though we weren’t always selling out days in advance. October was another record-breaking month, but bookings are finally showing the off-season slowdown. So, if you want to come see us and need a room, give us a call!
This record-breaking year, as amazing as it is, is not surprising in many ways. Although pent-up demand is a factor, 2021 fits right in to the pattern of growth from 2017-2019. We are reaping the benefits of the hard work of Bunny and Jason, who turned this motel into something really special, while still working hard to build it up even more.
So what’s next? Stay tuned!
-Michael & Brandy
According to a July report by the hotel analytics company STR, the national average daily room rate (ADR) reached nearly $140 over the July 4th holiday.
USA Today: Yes, room prices are rising