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Lodging Update August 31st, 2010

By William May
Published: 09/02/10 Topics: Comments:

With summer on the way out, its time to drop a line with updates. We hope everyone had a great summer. Overall it has taken extra effort, longer hours and I thank all our great staff and contractors for pushing so hard. We are already working on Autumn, Winter and beyond.

Eight Days a Week - We can’t match that famous Beatles song where the “mop tops” worked eight days a week but when the recession started we expanded reservation phones to 8am-8pm seven days a week, and we’re still at it. We also have a 24 hour a day emergency operator service for those pesky, can’t wait until tomorrow, issues. There is a charge for non-essential calls but no charge for essential needs. (Sorry, we gotta sleep sometime!)

Marketing & Advertising - - Over the past few years we have tripled our advertising and it seems to have helped. Most money goes to lodging and vacation rental websites. We also spend heavily on search engine ads like Google and Bing. And some travel publications, Chambers and Tourism Groups.

Guest Inquiries - - Our phones are pretty active most days, with the 8am-10am and 5pm to 8pm hours being the busiest. We can detect specific increases when ads run and we distribute spending proportionately between the geographic areas.

Owner Website - - A reminder that we have an extensive online service for Property Owners and Wholesalers including calendars, private newsletters and documents. When you call or book online, you should receive an email notice. So, if you don’t get a confirmation within a few hours, please call right away to double check..

New Members - - As new members join the Sunspots Network it allows us to advertise wider and offer more services. Here are some of our new destinations and partners.

- Tamara Hall - - MountRainierSunspots.com including the Crystal Mountain Ski Area.

- Roni Garten - - (ChateauTimberline.com)ChateauTimberline.com on the south side of Mount Rainier Washington.

- Thomas Wolter - - (SnoqulamiePassSunspots.com)SnoqulamiePassSunspots.com and (HoodCanalSunspots.com)HoodCanalSunspots.com. Both in Washington State.

- Lloyd Linton - - (PuertoRicoSunspots.com)PuertoRicoSunspots.com. Our first office in the Caribbean.

Existing Locations - - We continue to put lots of effort into the existing locations. In Washington more guests are booking last minute. Bookings in Hawaii seem to be directly related to the up and down of airfare. Several new airlines and flights have been added directly to Kauai and we hope that brings lower rates.

Internet - Some years ago we started the not-for-profit Vacation Rental Association (vrai.org). A year ago we finished the world’s first multiple listing service for Vacation Rentals at( VRMLS.org) VRMLS.org for vrai, that allows us to create ad websites in geographic locations such as (WashingtonStateVacationRentals.com)WashingtonStateVacationRentals.com. Plus sites like (MountRainierVacationRentals.com)MountRainierVacationRentals.com and (PuertoRicanVacationRentals.com)PuertoRicanVacationRentals.com. There is a long complete list at (SunspotPlaces.com)SunspotPlaces.com.

Personnel News - - Joseph Romain, our crack HDR photographer has also taken on the role of Website creator. He works with Salman Arshad and Ozair Khalid who have built all our software and websites. Collin May has relocated back to Seattle, works in Reservations and is coordinating new inventory setups.

Central Office Move - - We sold our office building sometime ago and will be relocating shortly, you’ll get an announcement later. The PO Box mailing address, phones, email addresses and websites will stay the same.

Sincerely, William May & Penny Taylor

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Author: William May – Manager, Sunspot Vacation Rentals
Blog #: 0165 – 09/02/10

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