When choosing your summer vacation destination, there are many member resorts to choose from. You may have grown up going to a Minnesota resort in Bemidji, but have seen other resorts that you’re interested in. Do you book your vacation at the resort you know or try somewhere new?
You build relationships with the owners: Over the years, you build a relationship with the owners of the resort you continuously stay at. You get to know the owners, and they get to know you. Upon arrival, resort owners know how much firewood you need or how much you like to fish. They know to ask about Uncle Bob who broke his leg last year and know that your youngest child learned to swim last year and can’t wait to jump in the lake.
Resort owners are also witnesses to some of the biggest moments in your life: They see the changes that your family goes through over the years. Big events happen at resorts, and it all stems from the family tradition of going to a lakeside Minnesota resort.
Minnesota lake-side resorts are so much more than a place to relax and unplug. Young couples get engaged along the lake. Bachelor and bachelorette parties book long weekends. Grandparents get to bond with their children and grandchildren over a shared love of the water. Generations gather year after year for family reunions.
Resort owners thoroughly enjoy being part of these momentous events. “Repeat guests are the backbone of our business. It’s so rewarding to see families each year—marriages, new babies—and to get to be a part of their lives,” says Kristin Wherley, co-owner of Sunset Bay Resort, a member resort.
You see all the changes at your resort through all the years: Year after year, repeat guests also have front-row seats to the changes a resort undergoes. New roofs, updated amenities or additional cabins and campsites mean more options for lifetime guests. Coincidentally, resort updates are one of the many reasons guests decide to keep coming back.
Preferential treatment: At check-out, many resorts offer preferential stays to guests who book the same week the following year. Those guests have the opportunity to book the same cabin or campsite they’re used to staying in, which guarantees them the space they need for their whole family. That cabin or campsite then becomes “theirs,” and the resort owners begin to see it as that as well.
Different resorts as your needs change: Potential first-time guests are looking for a resort to fit their needs. Maybe they want to stay on a different lake or in a different part of the state. Maybe their family has outgrown their usual resort. Or maybe, it’s the first time they’ve ever taken a vacation by a Minnesota lake.
Different experience every years: If you’re someone who is looking for a different resort experience each time you vacation, you’ve likely seen a lot of what Minnesota has to offer. You’ve caught different types of fish and explored areas of the state in which you wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance. But you may have had a difficult time finding somewhere to stay.
Check availability: As you’re looking for a resort for your summer vacation, know that the months of June, July and the beginning of August will likely have less availability at each resort. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get it. Check with the resorts you are interested in to see what they have to so you can have that wonderful Minnesota vacation. Or, as a new guest if you are flexible with your time, you might want to plan your vacation at the beginning or end of summer to have your pick of cabins.
Resorts that offer preferential booking tend to fill up faster because repeat guests understand the advantages of booking a year in advance. Their summer vacations are already planned and they don’t need to worry about where they’re going to go next year.
Do what works for you and your family. Go to the same resort every year or check out a new one every year. Neither is a bad choice! It is your vacation, do what works for you! If you’re interested in exploring other Minnesota owner-operated member resorts, click here.
Community of Minnesota Resorts Member Resorts
By: Caitlin Koenig