Glenwood to debut central reservations system
garfield county correspondent
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Glenwood Springs Tourism Board announced plans to unveil a central reservations system for lodging and other amenities on June 1.
The plan is to provide “one-stop shopping” online or by phone to increase tourism and get potential visitors hooked up with whatever they’re after: hotels, transportation, entertainment and activities. The central reservations system will be accessed through http://www.visitglenwood.com or by telephone.
“It’s a blessing for Glenwood Springs, and I am convinced that it’s going to drum up additional business for everybody,” Peter Tijm said. Tijm operates the Lavender and Thyme Bed and Breakfast and was on the search committee that selected the company to operate the reservation system.
Kate Collins, the chamber’s vice president of tourism and marketing, said the concept is being introduced now and suppliers are being asked to sign on, with plans to roll out the system on June 1. She said lodging generated $27 million last year, and she estimated the central reservation service could add $1.5 to $2 million in its first year.
“The benefit is that it’s a big deal for us to aggregate our supply here and say this is our Glenwood Springs product,” she said.
Collins said the decision to contract reservation services was based in part on the fact that creating one from scratch would be a high risk endeavor with no history of success. One risk of outsourcing is that the company is often very far away, she said, but this isn’t the case with the selection the board made.
After putting out a request for proposal, the board picked a company called Gateway Reservations based in Durango. Tijm said he called many of Gateway’s clients and heard only positives about the company, with one client saying Gateway brought 25 percent of his business. Gateway will get roughly a 10 percent commission per transaction from suppliers’ profits.
Tijm said the reservation system would help him in the shoulder seasons when his bed and breakfast is not always full. During that time, he would gladly trade 10 percent of profits on additional customers that the central reservation system could bring. He also said the system would increase business by advertising everything in one place.
“I think it’s going to have a spin-off effect both for lodging and activities,” he said.
Meetings to discuss the central reservation system with anyone who might be interested will be held in the upcoming week.
“Central reservations creates new incremental business especially during the shoulder seasons, helping us smooth out the peaks and valleys, and filling vacancies during busy times,” Collins said. “Ultimately, more guests are accommodated, and tourism business in Glenwood Springs grows.”
– April 10 from noon to 2 p.m. for attractions, amenities and activities providers
– April 11 from 10 a.m. to noon for accommodations providers
– April 12 from 1:30-2:30 p.m., open to the public
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