DEL MAR, CA—More Americans are opting for a “staycation”—a vacation in their own backyards or city—instead of an actual vacation, and the trend is growing. There are many reasons behind it: a desire to be close to home, cost savings, as well as additional opportunities to stay local with all of the amenities of a trip but without the fuss of a long-haul flight. For some staycationers, it’s a way to have a luxurious getaway at an affordable price point.
That’s where ResortPass comes into play. The company enables guests to use a hotel’s amenities for the day at a deeply discounted price. According to founder Amanda Szabo, it’s a win-win for upscale hotels and locals alike. Clients include the major players, including properties that are branded as Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, Omni, W Hotels, Four Seasons, Belmond and others. There are also plans to expand nationally.
“Living in San Diego surrounded by the best resorts is like the biggest tease ever. I’m not a sneaking-in type and was literally like “I’ll pay you to just let me sit in the sun by your pool!” but that option just didn’t exist,” said Szabo. “I researched why and realized there wasn’t a system in place for hotels to manage day guests and monetize non-room amenities. Seeing the opportunity and market need, I created ResortPass, a software management and booking platform that makes it possible for hotels to seamlessly welcome, manage, register and check in day guests—just like night guests. This allows the hotels a lucrative new channel to maximize revenue and get a major boost during low occupancy, as well as recapture lost vacation renters or Airbnb users who want access to the pool, resort amenities and spa facilities—sans the room.”
ResortPass’ day guest program provides the marketing, technology and customer service for this untapped market. The premise is that hotels can now benefit from multiple revenue streams by accessing a wider group of guests, and day rates are consistent with night rates to ensure the demographics are the same.
“There’s a preconception in the industry that ‘non-guests’ are considered outsiders,” said Szabo. “ResortPass is shifting that thinking and changing the way hotels perceive non-room guests by introducing the concept of registered day guests who, just like overnight guests, book amenities at the appropriate price point based on availability.”
Why is it that some resort amenities go unused? Low occupancy is a direct correlation and the result is potential lost revenue. Szabo suggests that the solution is to get locals onto the property through her platform.
“There are times when the pool, cabanas and spa are not fully used such as off-peak season and weekdays, but also during high capacity and fully booked times. Hotels may be full with group or corporate guests, but they are off-property and not using the pool and spa, or have leisure guests off-site for tourist activities and excursions,” she explained. “Introducing this new type of day guest—specifically for pool, spa, and resort amenities—maximizes revenue from available resources. Our system provides managed access to ensure overnight guests get first priority to amenities, while day guests’ spots are limited to availability. Hotels can block out days during peak occupancy, and dynamic pricing allows for premium rates during higher demand days and times.”
Here’s how it works: The guest books online and the hotel instantly receives a notification. The reservation appears in the guest’s ResortPass account. Day guests check in at the hotel’s concierge, front desk or spa desk. There are no setup costs and once a hotel account is created, and there is minimal to no extra work for the hotel, noted Szabo.
“The entire process is seamless and hotels receive an additional revenue stream with zero downside,” she said. “Depending on the type and size of the hotel, our partners are currently averaging between $5,000 to $20,000 per month in additional revenue from day guests—booking costs plus F&B spend and purchases on-site. This number will double and triple as we expand, grow the market and increase our user-base. It will also increase as we add on and maximize all of the additional hotel amenities, activities and events.”
Szabo’s goal is to maximize all non-room amenities through technology and marketing. “Beyond offering hotels a new day guest marketing channel, we’re also providing a sophisticated back-end management software to efficiently manage amenity and activity reservations for all hotel guests,” she concluded.