Lessons From An Animal Sanctuary
By Holly Stiel President, Thank You Very Much Inc. | April 19, 2015
Co-authored by Lin Ivice, Writer, Editor & Content Strategist, The Magic Word Smith
Consistently high occupancy rates, rave reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor, and guests who make a pilgrimage to your property year after year. What is their secret? Interestingly, this highly rated destination isn't a hotel or a city that's known to attract tourists en masse. Believe it or not, it's an animal sanctuary in Kanab-a small town in a remote corner of Southwest Utah.
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary provides homes for more than 1,700 dogs, cats, horses, pigs, bunnies, birds, and wildlife, as they wait to find their "forever homes." But the organization also offers sanctuary to people-providing a limited number of guest accommodations on the property, which can book up a year in advance during peak season.
Best Friends consistently attracts visitors from all over the world-from the US, Canada, Europe and even Australia. The remote location (requiring a flight into Las Vegas, followed by a four-hour drive through the desert) doesn't seem to be a deterrent.
The place obviously offers something very special. So what is it that they do to gain the acclaim, loyalty and popularity, and what can we in the hospitality industry learn from an organization whose area of expertise is saving animals? I wanted to investigate. (You might say I have made it my pet project!)
One of the first things I did when researching this article was to take a look at some of the TripAdvisor reviews. Here's a sampling: