Sandcastle Suites Renocation....

Monday, November 26, 2007 8:46 PM
Jeff's avatar As much as I'd like to see the on-property resort be "better," they have no business case for improving it. "Good enough" is enough to fill the rooms at the rate they charge.

Now in terms of customer service (forget that "guest" crap, they're customers), they need to work harder. The mediocrity of the physical facilities is acceptable only as long as people see value in staying on-property and aren't turned off by poor service. I think they've really straddled that line for a lot of years now.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, November 26, 2007 10:34 PM
Anyone who has worked at Disney knows that calling them "guests" is an underlying reason why their guest service is amongst the best in the industry. It's all about culture.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 8:03 AM
Well, I have worked for Disney and I can tell you that the perception of guests that Disney has some of the best customer service in the industry is largely a product of them telling everyone they have the best customer service in the industry. And, in that industry, that ain't saying much these days.

Oh, the case studies that could be done.

In any event some of the things Cedar Point could do with the resorts they have been WANTING to do for more than a decade...but at least one person generally stands in the way of those improvements. Jeff has stated before his desire to have P.O.S. around the property and there is NO reason that Cedar Point guests couldn't use their key cards to pay for everything...other than the fact that Mr. Kinzel is too cheap to greenlight the system to make that happen.

Other things they could do which would upgrade the experience: wall mounted flat screens that would save floor space, high quality bedding (which is sweeping throughout the hotel industry), high quality linens, etc. But, all those things come with a price tag and you have to ask yourself, would they positively impact the bottom line? Not likely.

Now, I would argue that the POS system WOULD help the bottom line. There is no doubt in my mind that I spend more at resorts that have POS because I just whip those cards out without really thinking. But, it surprises me not that Kinzel has never pulled that trigger. He has such incredible vision at times yet seems completely blind at other times.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 10:04 AM

Lord Gonchar said:


If you did slap a Days Inn on property at the point, it would command the same rates.


Do that and I'm pretty sure the rates would have no choice but to take a dive ;) In this case, the ambiguity of Sandcastle's ownership might be seen as an asset.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 10:20 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

wahoo skipper said:
Other things they could do which would upgrade the experience: wall mounted flat screens that would save floor space, high quality bedding (which is sweeping throughout the hotel industry), high quality linens, etc. But, all those things come with a price tag and you have to ask yourself, would they positively impact the bottom line? Not likely.

Now those are the things I think they should be doing. If only for the reason that anything less will become woefully outdated much quicker. You're right in that the industry is moving in that direction.

It might not impact the bottom line now, but if one was forward thinking and considered how long it will be before another re-do of the property, there's a good chance it could impact the bottom line down the road.

I know that sounds contradictory to my earlier posts, but when it comes to hotel renovation, you have to be forward thinking. If they do this sort of thing every 15 years, they have to be considering how their current decisions will hold up in 5, 10 or 15 years.

It's not a matter of 'plussing' the resort, but rather keeping up with what is considered the standard.


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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 10:39 AM
rollergator's avatar ^LOL, in that respect hotels are more like wood coasters than steelies. "Re-dos" happen on a more frequent basis.

Part of the reason you might NOT want to sink the extra money into a declining property...you *might* be considering a complete tear-down and re-build from scratch, rather than dismantling the ENTIRE interior of the place around the existing structure. If you're looking at THAT outlay in the near-ish future, it could very well be a wise decision to hold onto your ducats.

If that's the case, "keeping up with...the standard" is something you might forego, taking the last bit of profitability and NOT upgrading in anticipation of having a "newer, bigger, better hotel property" in the existing location.

Not that it's even an issue with this Sandcastle thing... ;)

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 11:22 AM
eightdotthree's avatar New bedding and linens is a great idea, those beds in the Breakers are a sad excuse of a sleeping apparatus. I would like the rooms to be at least up the Courtyard experience.

I always have a dilemma when I am staying there too, stay in the park till it closes, or go back to the hotel for the hot tub. The coaster nerd in me wants to ride Magnum one more time, the vacationer in me wants to go relax in the hot tub. Longer hot tub hours would be a welcome addition to any hotel in my book.


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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 11:53 AM
Gator brought up what I've often considered: what is Sandcastle's future? Back in the late 80s if Cedar Fair officials knew then the future potential of the "resort" side of the business I think they would have reconsidered the type of facility they ended up building there. They could make much better use of the location with a high rise or more sprawling structure that would take advantage of the bay, lake and the channel.

I think that is always a possiblity down the road too. But, other projects might take priority including doing something with the Bon Aire and Main sections of Breakers

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 12:39 PM

there is NO reason that Cedar Point guests couldn't use their key cards to pay for everything...other than the fact that Mr. Kinzel is too cheap to greenlight the system to make that happen.

I have to believe that the payoff for switching from that at-best-quaint, by-hand, in-triplicate accounting system for resort charges to POS terminals would be a very small number of years.

Not to mention the number of lost charges. More than once I've had to add a charge to my bill on check-out, because someone mis-filed it somewhere.


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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 3:08 PM
Jeff's avatar The corporate VP of IT for Cedar Fair comes from the Paramount Parks. From what I gather, he knows how to speak ROI, and an actual unified POS system is in the works. I don't know if it'll involve charge backs to the resorts, but I think they're missing an opportunity if they don't.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 5:34 PM
I actually knew of the renovations as during boo buzz I stayed at Sandcastle and had a long talk with the tram driver and he told me of the changes to SS. I verified this with the front desk manager. As far as I know the rooms will be gutted. All new carpeting, upholstery, furniture, wall decor, flat panel tv's, wifi, Micro/fridge combo. This is a very large and expensive project, and I was told room prices will go up. I wasn't told how much the rates will increase as I don't think anyone knew at that time, and probably still don't know for sure.

Intimidator 305 the tallest most hated coaster nobody has ever ridden...

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007 6:11 PM
Let's hope the colors and materials they are using on the inside are better than the McDonald's scheme they used on the outside. Sandcastle Suites is the perfect property to be modeled after something like a W Hotel. It's relatively small in size and could easily be marketed as a boutique hotel. But, boutique hotels are usually very modern and/or elegant. Modern doesn't necessarily mean expensive (to build) either. If you take a look at the Standard Hotels, their finishes really aren't all that expensive. The key is good design and proper execution.

There's definitely a market for this too - especially at an entertainment venue. People interested in boutique hotels are usually people with money, but they want quality as well.

If they had a resort that was modern and tastefully designed, I'd stay there in a heartbeat. Otherwise, I'll be booking LHP or driving to my parents' house after park closing like we did this year.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007 12:12 PM
I personally think that instead of converting the radisson to Castaway bay they should have converted Sandcastle. I know that means keeping the road cleaned in the winter but isn't it already with the full time employees?

Intimidator 305 the tallest most hated coaster nobody has ever ridden...

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Thursday, November 29, 2007 9:12 AM
I love staying at the Breakers, but I'm at my breaking point already at $250 a night during peak time.
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