Two night minimum – a variation on a theme

Back in April, I wrote about my frustration over two night minimums and how I believe they are detrimental to families.

Although I still believe this, I have found a holiday park offering a variation on the theme that makes it much more palatable.

Marysville Caravan & Holiday Park is located in the picturesque Victorian mountain township of Marysville, which was tragically almost completed destroyed in Victoria’s 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

The park’s owners, Ken & Christine Adams, who had run a motel in the town and lost their own home in the devastating fire, bought the caravan park, determined to re-build it and encourage visitors back to the town.

The new Marysville tourist information centre

When looking at the park’s website recently, I noticed something interesting. Although cabins have a two night minimum, if you can’t make it there for the first time, it can be available for you from 8am the next morning (conditions apply).

So, if you have Friday night sport or other commitments, you can pack the car and make an early start, and have all day Saturday in the cabin. In addition, again depending on availability, you will have an extended check-out to 6pm on Sunday.

And for those who are able to stay the two nights, the extended 6pm check-out is available offered for an extra $45.

I asked Christine about the two night minimums and her variation on the theme.

Why do you have a two night minimum? Our superior cabins are a 2 night minimum. To fill these every night would mean higher costs, which would then not make the cabin a practical choice cost-wise. Outside of the snow season and holidays, we do offer one night minimum in our budget cabins. These are very popular with families.

What made you decide to have the cabins available from 8am for those who cannot make it up the night before? As the normal time to check in is 2pm, offering this package means that, with a young family, you can get an early start and get settled into your cabin to meet the day ahead. It also allows for those afternoon sleeps needed for the littlies (or for mum!!)
The package is 8am check-in Saturday and 6pm check out Sunday. This makes up for not being here over-night on the Friday night.

What has the feedback been in response to this? This often suits families who can’t get up here on Friday night, but can get an early start on the Saturday. We find it is used more in the warmer months.  It’s often more difficult for us to deliver during snow season due to other bookings on the Sunday.

Lovely cabins are cosy for the whole family, while there is plenty to explore in the local area.

Same goes for the $45 Sunday extension to 6pm – what made you decide to do this and how popular has it been? This is often taken up if people want to enjoy an extended break or are here with a group of people. They get to relax a little longer and not do the 10am rush to get out. If people ask for an 11am checkout, where possible, we will meet this.

Do you think tweaking the two night minimum as you have to better suit families in particular, is giving you an advantage? We try to be family friendly and aware of the needs of families and of course it is good for business to try and look at alternatives that will encourage people to visit us and Marysville.
I am not sure it is giving us an advantage, but what I can say is that through the last holidays, and every weekend until the end of August, we have been booked out on a 2 night minimum. So people are prepared to do it if they want to come to a destination for a particular reason.

Anything else you would like to add about these initiatives? We are always trying to find new and interesting ways to encourage people to come and stay, enjoy a break, see our wonderful area and enjoy the Park.
We would love to hear if there are other things that people would be interested in to encourage them to come and stay.
Thanks so much Christine and best wishes in helping this beautiful Victorian holiday destination to thrive again.

You can check out the park on their website and if you are interested in staying there for the 2013 Easter holidays, get in quick, with bookings opening on 1 September.

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