For the end of my daughter's 18th birthday week of celebrations we went to Center Parcs; the newest one at Woburn.
It was impressive.
I was intrigued about the model, so did a bit of Googling and found the business report from 2014. They had 97.7% occupancy across all of their 4 parks (Woburn wasn't there at the time).
Most hotels or guest houses would die for that kind of occupancy.
When you consider that you can only book a three or four night stay, it is even more impressive.
It made me wonder how they do it.
You see, I am not even sure I like Center Parcs. I generally prefer my own space when I am away and I still haven't forgiven it fully for snapping my achilles tendon in 2003. Although that snap and enforced period of sitting down did force me to finally set up my law firm growth business; every cloud and all that…
So how do they do it?
I think I know the answer. They get families to reconnect; even with darn wi-fi everywhere across the park.
We went for a long walk around the perimeters, like the caged animals which we were.
We strolled around the lake and the nature reserve.
We swam together. We laughed together. I am not too ashamed to admit that my daughter and I also screamed together – loudly! We had no idea that the giant inflatable we were on was suddenly going to drop off the edge of a man made cliff, then slam you up a slope, back down it two or three times and then spit you out at the other end. My 15 year old son was on the ride too but he barely flinched. He's far cooler than I ever was. Mrs J was too clever to get on in the first place.
We also made up games on the giant chalkboard in the lodge. I can thoroughly recommend both "Chalk Connect 4" and hangman with each clue based on things that happened in Center Parcs that day. That was funny. My kids are very sarcastic – I wonder where they get that from?
Back to the 97.7% occupancy, I have a question for you.
How occupied are your fee earning staff?
Unless they are all at 100% occupancy, which I find is rarely the case, making them busier is the fastest way to put more money in your pocket.
What you do with that money when it arrives is entirely up to you, but I can heartily recommend Center Parcs Woburn to you.
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