The Otter Lodge

The Otter Lodge upgrades their booking process with an all-in-one front desk and reservation system

The Otter Lodge is a long-standing 15-room property in picturesque lakes country, Minnesota. For 40 years and running, The Otter Lodge have provided lodging, entertainment, food and drink to leisure travelers who come for a fishing trip, wedding, or weekend getaway with friends.

As the Owner-Operator of The Otter Lodge (as well as two other restaurants), Dan Hurder juggles a busy schedule.

“My schedule is often hectic and unpredictable! I spend a good portion of my day working with the property managers and my business partner to make sure everything is running smoothly and that our management team has the tools they need to do their jobs.”

“Little Hotelier is an easy to use reservation system for small hotels that allows them to take advantage of the important internet travel planner without requiring too much setup or up front costs to get started.”

The Challenge

While The Otter Lodge is never empty, Dan felt that his previous reservation process was holding his business back.

“Prior to Little Hotelier, we were using a manual pen and paper system – erasing out reservations every time a change was made. Additionally, we had little to no online presence due to the lack of technology.”

Dan knew that his reservation process needed to be updated if he wanted to effectively promote his business and streamline operations.

“If we hadn’t done anything about it, we would have survived, but inevitably lost some business along the way and not been able to deliver quite as seamless of a customer experience.”

At first, Dan relied on a large online travel agency (OTA) to help take reservations online and raise awareness of his lodge.

“We worked with Booking.com to at least provide some level of online availability/booking – the exposure, however, was limited and of course was not integrated into our antiquated system so we had to rely on reservations being faxed to the property whenever someone booked.”

This situation was far from ideal.

The Solution

Dan began his search for an automated solution that would speed up his booking process and increase his website’s visibility online.

“The important factors were

• Price – both recurring and initial setup; and,

• Ease of use.”

Dan stumbled upon Little Hotelier’s demo videos, and decided that he had found the best solution for his lodge.

The Results

Armed with Little Hotelier’s all-in-one solution, The Otter Lodge is able to reach more guests than ever before.

“We were not previously managing an online inventory, so we are connected to more OTAs now. Our region is pretty homogenized as far as who is visiting and where they are coming from, so I don’t suspect we are getting new markets, however we are likely getting more of a share of the business in the area than we were previously.”

Dan is so happy with his decision that he feels comfortable referring Little Hotelier to other lodge owners.

“We have have only been using the system for a few months, but so far, I would recommend Little Hotelier to other small accommodation providers as I am pleased with what it has to offer.”

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