Summer provides your guests with premium pool weather. Often one of the most sought-after assets at a luxury resort or hotel, the swimming pool and pool deck are hubs for relaxing, socializing, exercising, eating, and drinking. All activities naturally generate opportunities for you to leverage the asset. As Summer 2023 comes to a close, the time is now to ask yourself, “Did my team truly maximize the opportunities available around our property pool this year?”. If not, improving the design and organization of the pool area can be a manageable expense and collaborative project for your team leading into the next pool season. How do you take the extra step, or more appropriately, lap, when it comes to swimming pools? The answer is a curated combination of experiences, F&B, complimentary or ticketed events, and rentable amenities, encouraging guests to create positive memories and inevitably valuable reviews.
Team EdgeMate visits an abundance of pools every year. These are just a few of our favorite ideas that hotels and resorts can implement quickly.
Engaging Guest Experiences
Engaging experiences at the pool can create positive memories about your property for guests and encourage them to return. For example, poolside music and entertainment featuring local DJs and musicians with space available for dancing are a significant draw for guests who appreciate an immersive auditory experience. Summer movie release theme parties on the pool deck can embrace current trends. Offering programming, including ticketed events like poolside paint & sip, coffee connections, F&B parings, or food festivals with a local flair, creates unique and fun opportunities for guests. Vendor pop-up shops on the pool deck can satisfy guests’ desire to shop local while traveling. Activities in the evening, including trivia and movies under the stars, create traffic in a space/ time when occupancy is low, and guests may head off-site to find entertainment.
Games are another great way to encourage traffic on the pool deck. Oversized checkers, dice, block-stacking, cornhole, horseshoes, bocce ball, and more can provide hours of fun for everyone. Wellness programming serves guests with a desire to practice self-care. Yoga, meditation, water aerobics, lap lanes, and a running club that starts and finishes their workout at the pool area are desirable options.
Invite Property Promotion
You’ve seen the images of people standing in front of two-story tall wings and specialized murals welcoming visitors to a location. Do you have an Instagrammable backdrop in your pool area? If you don’t, you should. Your guests are your best marketers, and social media is overflowing with images from Influencers on vacation.
Craft an identifiable location to encourage a continuous stream of organic user-generated content. Work with a local artist to design something truly unique. Today’s travelers are consistently inspired to visit a specific destination because they saw the location on social media. Once they arrive, they, too, want to show off the area throughout their stay. Omitting a beautifully staged and recognizable backdrop is a significant lost opportunity to stretch your marketing budget.
Additionally, creating location specific hashtags for the pool area and promoting them allows guests to capture and share experiences and F&B while in the moment. Gen-Z and Millennials get most of the inspiration for where to dine and what to eat from social media. Therefore, encouraging digital connections and sharing continues to be essential.
Boost Your Bottom Line
Creativity has become a staple in boosting the bottom line. Selling Day Passes to locals and vacationers when reservations are light embraces the daycation trend and invites a unique opportunity to promote your amenities on designated platforms, social media, and local word of mouth. Branded merchandise, including hats, shirts, sunglasses, towels, can coolers, and tote bags, are must-haves for the perfect pool day. Having them readily available for purchase on the pool deck encourages your guests to be walking billboards for your property in the future.
Seating at the pool on a busy day can be a hot commodity. Poolside rentable amenities, including cabanas, daybeds, and chaise loungers, provide places to sit and relax. Invite your guests to find a new kind of seat at the pool with the EdgeMate Pool Chair, a sophisticated alternative to floating. EdgeMate is portable in-pool seating that staff can distribute or guests can rent on demand. EdgeMate is a seamless add-on to your pre-existing options in the rentable amenity category. You can now minimize reviews about the lack of seating at the pool on busy days. And the custom cupholder encourages in-pool beverage services. Seated guests are typically happier guests who often enjoy and request additional F&B offerings because they have a place to call their own for the day. Therefore, an attractive and beautifully constructed poolside menu is essential. Attach a customized menu tag with a QR code on chaise loungers, daybeds, and the EdgeMate Pool Chair to provide quick and easy access for F&B orders.
Are You Ready to Enhance Your Pool Area?
Properties can quickly transform and create a fun spin on the traditional pool area to maximize opportunities and revenue by incorporating new ideas and amenities. Ultimately, the collaborative efforts amongst your marketing, operations, and F&B teams will invite a community of guests who appreciate new, unique, and localized experiences and will then organically promote your property. Ask your guests, “Are pool days some of the best days you experience while on vacation?” We believe they will say, “They are”. Turn your guest’s best day into a profitable and beneficial one while they embrace their desire to discover or rediscover the joy of spending time at your pool.
Katie Rychener is the Marketing Director at EdgeMate Pool Chair. Her goal is to create relationships with luxury hotel brands that seek to maximize the guest experience around the swimming pool. She has a background in marketing, education and a true passion for aquatics. These loves merged when she joined Team EdgeMate.