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May 1, 2016

Lessons From Great Wolf Lodge

Sponsored Content provided by Adam Shay - Managing Partner, Adam Shay CPA, PLLC

If you have a child under 10, chances are you know about Great Wolf Lodge. Great Wolf Lodge has 13 locations around the country. In explaining it to people, I refer to it as as a “poor man’s Disney World.” The typical “lodge” includes a huge indoor waterpark, an elaborate MagiQuest game throughout the hotel, arcade, bowling and an evening show and bedtime story. Our 4- and 6-year-old boys absolutely love it!
The last two springs we have taken our two boys for a night at Great Wolf Lodge at Concord Mills on our way to a more extended family vacation. From a business perspective, I’ve been wowed at what a well oiled machine it is. Great Wolf Lodge is constantly sending email offers without triggering an unsubscribe response. That is because the company delivers value in its offers. At the same time, it encourages us to spend more money with it. This comes in the way of packaged selling and offers to attract us to its lodges during its less busy weekday time periods.
During our most recent visit, I was caught off guard as to how I was “tricked” into a future upsale by the front desk clerk. As we checked in, we did the usual chitchat and I indicated that we were repeat visitors. She asked if we had ever stayed in one of the themed rooms for the kids. I told her we had not, and my tone probably indicated that I wasn’t a big fan of the more than $50 upcharge that came with that type of room. The clerk said in a very quiet voice, don’t worry, I’ll upgrade you for free. I felt like I had won the lottery until I realized on my way to our room that once our kids saw the upgraded room there is no way I would be able to stay in a regular room again. Intentional (I think it was) or not, I had been had for a future upgrade!
The takeaway from this story is that all employees in your organization can and should be looking for ways to deliver, and capture, more value from your customers. By wowing them along with capturing more value, everyone comes away with a win-win. It’s a great way to grow the profitability of your business. My goal today was to help you realize that everyone on your team should be driving and contributing to the profitability of your business.
Adam Shay, CPA (N.C. License Number 35961), MBA, is managing partner of Adam Shay CPA, PLLC. He focuses on minimizing taxes and improving the financial results of entrepreneurs, and is actively involved in supporting the Wilmington entrepreneurial and startup community. For more information, visit or email him at [email protected]. He can also be reached by phone at (910) 256-3456.

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