Book Now
304-574-4836

Hot Tub

Relax. Enjoy Your Cabin in the Woods.

DIY weddings

Are OSSUM

Massage

You so deserve this.

Cabining

Verb: The act of relaxing in a cozy cabin in the woods.

The New River Gorge National Park

Our back yard

Weddings

Gorgeous weddings in The New River Gorge

Family Hike

Making memories.

Want $100 Off Your Next Stay?

UPDATE, JULY 17, 2013: This promotion is now closed; we had a great response to our question. Thanks to everyone who provided feedback to us. We’ll be in touch!

Our first Boy Scout reservation!

YES! Direct economic impact. One of the groups helping run the 2013 Jamboree booked 2 cabins for their VIP’s. This is our first reservation related to the Boy Scouts Summit Betchel Reserve.

The event is just 4 weeks away.

This raises lots of questions in my mind. Not long ago, we would have people call and book (pay a downpayment) months, if not a year ahead of time. That time frame has been shrinking and shrinking to the point we have had large, multi-family groups call the same day and book for a week.

Yikes!

Bribe time.

I am hoping you can help us understand this phenomenon. If you are so inspired to answer any or all of these questions we have, or pose some of your own, we will happily give you $100 off your next stay at OCR.*

No fine print. $100 off.*

So this is the strange part: why did they wait until now, the very last minute, to make a reservation?

Okay, it’s not completely last minute; we have 4 weeks to go. But they had to take cabins that we had, not the ones they wanted. And, well, we just do not, not, not like not being able to give people what they want!

Has our society as a whole become last-minute planners? Are you?

Or might it be that you have done your research, and just do not pull the trigger on a reservation until the last minute because, well, who knows what might come up?

What would compel you to pull the trigger and confirm a reservation well in advance?

If a national organization that has been hands-on involved with the Jamboree for years waits to the last second, why shouldn’t you?

UPDATE, JULY 17, 2013: This promotion is now closed; we had an great response to our question.Thanks to everyone who provided feedback to us. We’ll be in touch!

31 Comments

  • Melissa Moore says:

    I would say money that is the issue i have trying to save the up the money to cover the stay.

  • Robert Kelly says:

    Some time I wait til the last minute to try to get a better deal, hoping that they have things left over they cant fill. Other times is not that I waited the last minute to book a SPECIFIC place but rather that was the ONLY place I could find to get a place to stay.

    While I dont wait often anymore, I will do it at times. Especially then travelling for the HOPING to get a better deal that I could have by booking over the phone month ahead.

  • Heather Weber says:

    I do think that many people are last minute planners. I think sometimes it is hard to confirm with family and friends when to take the vacation and all the small details and they having to wait for confirmation from friends or family. I myself do not like to plan last minute, If I do I don’t expect to get the best places to stay.
    As far as what would compel me to confirm a reservation well in advance, maybe a special pricing or package deal, maybe a buy 2 day get 1 free thing, things like Groupon….something like that. But I usually try to do my planning in advance.
    I think you guys do a wonderful job accommodating your guests and we had a wonderful first time stay at OCR! I hope this helps… 🙂

  • Rachel says:

    I think it’s because they’re afraid they’ll miss a Groupon if they book too early.

  • Lynn says:

    Here’s my take. The internet has made us used to getting instant gratification. When I want information, I just google it and I can find anything I want. No need to walk across the room to consult a dictionary or go all the way to the library. I think that this expectation is translating into other areas now. We just expect things (and people) to be available. My daughter gets really annoyed if I don’t instantly respond to her phone calls and messages.

    Those of us who plan ahead of time are going to get the choice accommodations, and those who wait til the last minute are going to get what’s left. That’s just the way it is.

    What would compel me to pull the trigger on a reservation is the certainty that, if I wait, what I want won’t be available.

    So, you might want to put something in your promotional literature stating that reservations fill quickly, especially for the summer months, and that planning at least six months out is advised in order to get your preferred accommodations.

    My husband and I booked one of your cabins for our 25th anniversary and had a lovely time.

  • Dawn Michelson says:

    I think we have become rather lazy in our planning of things. Many wait to the last minute to get funds together, schedule time off work and cross fingers that everyone is healthy at the time of the trip. No one wants to lose money on anything less then fully refundable deposits. Money to hard to come by these days. Plus, a trip to your neck of the woods is weather dependent. I know when I booked our trip to your place I was very leery booking so far in advance. Hoping its not 102 degrees out or a week long storm rolls through. Fingers crossed it all turns out great! Only thing I can think of is to offer some type of incentive like book 60 in days in advance and receive a discount of some sort. Best of luck!

  • sarah spencer says:

    Three things affect our family’s desire or ability to plan far in advance: 1. The kids activities conflicting with my vacation plans for them, and they are involved in soooo many things. 2. Many folks working more and employers not promising specific times off too far in advance. 3. And our biggest problem…..delaying to make sure we have the extra money for the trip!

  • Jane Sawyers says:

    I think it is because people are waiting to see what the best deal and/or what is the best offer….such as who has the best party the best invite.

  • Stacy says:

    I think it’s a matter of time and the wide availability of prospects via the Internet. You can keep looking and looking trying to find the right fit and then the constant quest to find the best bang for your buck plays into this. I find its an evil cycle and before I know it I’ve wasted tons of time looking for the right thing and the best price. Also folks are inundated withe the last minute deal mentality.

  • Renee Englot says:

    I think we have become much more last minute. I consider myself a planner, but here I am looking at accommodations for 3 weeks down the road, a busy week-end!
    Maybe it’s the wealth of information at our fingertips that makes things overwhelming? I think part of it is looking for a better deal. On that note, maybe that’s how to get people to book early – 10% off if you book 6 months in advance, 5% if you book 3 months in advance.

  • John says:

    I think it’s a number of things. 1 – Websites and commercials like Priceline and Hotels.com show us that we save by waiting for those “last minuet” deals. 2 – The economy, with our savings shrinking we have to wait to see if we can afford that trip. You never know when the washing machine is going to go out. 3 – Lastly, with the amount of work going up and less people to do it, you never know if your going to get the time off until the last minuet. I could be totally wrong on three points and we could all be turning into a bunch of procrastinators. By the way, do you have a few cabins available during the Jamboree? I know about 6 people that need a place to stay while they work there. LOL

  • Samantha Milam says:

    Society has become last minute… Everybody wants everything right now. Sad to say I am last minute as well.
    Maybe a early bird discount would make some people want to nail down plAns a little more in advance.

  • Anne Sweeney says:

    I think that many shoppers do start planning months in advance, and that they keep a running list of what the best deal is. Then at the last possible moment , they book and hope that a better deal doesn’t come up the next day. At least, this is what my family and I do. 🙂 The one situation when I book differently is when you can save a significant amount of money by booking several months out, but it has to be such a great deal that I know a better one won’t come along.

  • Pam Paxton says:

    Generally, people will plan more in advance in when they are more confident in the economy in general, and their own economic situation specifically. Planning a vacation many months or years in advance requires optimism about future finances.

    The situation with the boy scouts could have occurred for any number of reasons…miscommunication about who was responsible for reservations, more boys than they expected, holding out for less expensive lodgings, or having previous lodging offer fall through for whatever reasons (and we know they’ve both gained and lost support from various individuals in the last few months).

    As a consumer who is making longer-range plans, one of the first things I look for in lodging is the refund policy, especially for privately-owned cabins and houses. The policy should be as generous as is practical, and the information should be easy to find. I don’t actually see it on your website, and I wouldn’t make a reservation several months out or more without knowing the policy. If another cabin site offers me that information upfront without me having to make a phone call or send an email, I may be more likely to go with that company because a very harsh refund policy might be the stuff of dealbreakers – and who wants to stop vacation planning to wait for someone to answer an email?

    Offering a discount on early-bird bookings would likely be a very profitable return on investment. I would definitely be inclined to both book, and book earlier, with such a discount.

    Our family takes many long-weekend trips during the year, and almost exclusively stay in cabins or houses. Of the websites I’ve seen, two things will always stand out – the ability to make a(n uncomplicated) reservation online if you choose, and the ability to LAYAWAY a vacation and make payments over time. Which, again, would encourage potential guests to book well ahead of time.

    – Pam Paxton

  • Shelia Humphrey says:

    When I start looking at places to stay for vacation I hesitate to book early, especially if there is a monetary penalty for canceling until I am at least 90% sure I have found the best place to stay for my money.
    There is so much information available now through the internet that a person can get lost trying to figure out if they have found the best thing available. I look at maps surrounding the area to make sure I will be situated convenient to the my chosen activities. I compare amenities. I compare prices.
    I am considering staying here but I am hesitant to commit to 3 nights at $200/ night when I can stay at a hotel for $99/night with no required minimum. I know that the beauty factor will not be the same but I can drive to the beauty and use the $300 dollars I would save to pay for my white water excursion and a good chunk of our groceries.
    I would love it if I could look at an overhead view of the layout of the cabins on the property. Our planned time in the area is Aug 1-3 so I am still in the exploring phase and right now you OCR is looking good but I am still comparing! 😉

  • Juanita says:

    In my own humble opinion, there are a few reasons why booking so far ahead would be problematic. Never know when something will happen, jobs lost, etc., so planning a trip months ahead may leave someone in a bad place if in the duration a job is lost. Health problems, family emergencies, never know what can happen. Plan a trip for a time when you know that you can make it…because sometimes, things happen, and refunds are a hassle, if not sometimes an impossibility.

  • scott stoner says:

    I think it is because people are so busy
    and human nature is to procrastinate
    We come down every year to raft and every year
    I say I’m going to start planning early
    Before you know it we are two weeks from the trip
    And I’m scrambling to get things ready
    Its easy when you get home from work tired to
    Say I will send that email tomorrow night

  • Jeff says:

    I think we have become last minute shoppers because of the economy. We have started looking for things at the last minute to get what we hope is the best deal. Plus many people worry if they will be able to even afford a vacation so they wait till the last minute. Would it be beneficial to offer a early bird discount to those who book so far in advance? This would be one of the questions that I would think about.

  • Linda says:

    As someone who has had experience in trying to get groups to commit to a date, here is my perspective: The farther away the date of the event, the more vague people tend to be as far as commitment. People never know what event their children will be into, or how an eldlerly parent may be getting along, or how busy they’ll be at work, etc. Very frustrating.

  • Wendi says:

    On a personal, family level, these are my thoughts:

    In our family, we have 5 kids. Anything can happen with that many opportunities for sickness, etc to occur. We have had to cancel on already determined plans due to illness. We feel bad doing that. Plus, we hate to lose our deposit. Sometimes it is easy math that drives our timing.

    Other reasons might include, the current economic climate we are in. We own our own business, and we can hit a financial slump as fast as as a car hits a patch of black ice. Our recovery dependent on the economic climate around us. A vacation might seem extraneous at that point, so we typically hold off until we are sure we can pull it off. Again, we do not want to hold up a cabin that someone else might want to use that week. We figure if it is still open during our dates, then we know it is the right thing to do.

    Then there is the matter of biology. We are either natural born planners (me) or natural born procrastinators (the rest of my family). We either stop a fire before it begins, or we end up fighting fires around us and put our attention to what is screaming the loudest. Sometimes we have the time, foresight, and resources to plan far ahead. In other cases, we wait until the last minute and are driven into motion by the fire. We are so bombarded by everything around us, and everything seems like a crisis at the time. Vacations are rarely a crisis, they are typically an escape from the fire. So when the fire gets too hot, we run. To you. At the last minute.

    For corporations, it might be much of the same context, just at a different level. They may wait because they are waiting on others. It might be economics, and corporate level approvals that have been put in place since the last event they booked with you. Every dollar counts, and every step a company makes is under such scrutiny as far as spending is concerned. It might be even simpler math, they want to make sure they get the exact right deal. The internet makes it so easy to compare, book, change our minds, and book again.

    It does seem the Boy Scouts as a whole have had a huge fire to put out in other areas of the organization, and their decision making might be connected to other decisions being made. Waiting on others, more hoops to jump through, more chance of a “fire” getting in the way of making their plans.

    Maybe they just didn’t remember?

    Corporations have now come to a place where they cancel large events at the last minute, often at a huge financial loss. Attendee numbers may be down, the corporation may be under scrutiny, or the event just will not produce what they are hoping it will. So they cancel. Any money they have laid out in the way of deposits is lost, which impacts other events. It happens in our organization many times, and more so in these years of economic flux. As a corporation you are hoping to lessen the impact your company experiences. At the cost of anther organization that was counting on your business. It is cyclical, and it is difficult to manage.

    To push me to book something in advance, I would need to feel I had a ‘way out’ if something unexpected occurs, or a fire bursts into flame before I get a chance to head it off. Either a refund (which is not good business on your end) or the option to ‘bank it’ and use it at another time. The second alternative has lured us into far reaching plans, knowing that if that particular week flames up on us for whatever reason, we haven’t lost our money. We can plan our week for another time when it is more suitable.

    Just my thoughts.

  • keeley steele says:

    i get out when i can:) That’s often last minute and you guys have the best cabins!

  • Michael Karesh says:

    Some people are planners. Most are not. Some care about getting the lowest price. Many don’t. Things that would get more people to book in advance would be: 1. A discount for doing say (most hotel chains have prepayment discounts). 2. Some sort of price guaranty. 3. Clear and reasonable cancellation policies.

  • Justin says:

    I definitely think that we’re all shifting our focus toward the “short-term” when it comes to planning. All of that can be attributed to the increased adoption of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Sitting at dinner with the wife and kids and someone says “I sure would love to be at the beach right now.” Thanks to the iPhone, you can make that happen without leaving the table or even putting your fork down.

  • A.L. says:

    I think that today’s world moves at a whirlwind pace, and the majority of that time, it means details are set in stone last minute, or details aren’t nailed down until last minute. Perhaps they could’ve been waiting for a final head count, or for the funds to be available, or they might have simply forgotten.

    Have we become last minute planners? I don’t believe so, we are most certainly a society that is so interconnected, that things can happen “last minute”. However, would the majority of us rather have our plans, and be comfortable knowing that we’re going away for a weekend at Opossum Creek in our favorite cabin, I think so.

    For a weekend away, I have no problem booking with you guys months in advance, but international trips, to far off places that I don’t know too much about, I definitely take much longer to research and figure out where I’m staying and what I’m doing.

    Bottom line, for the NRG, there shouldn’t been any hesitation for booking with Opossum Creek, I’m been to and through the Gorge many times and this establishment has set itself far apart from all of its competitors. I look forward to the many years of trips and memories I hope to have at Opossum Creek.

  • Anna says:

    I believe that everyone is becoming more intrigued by the idea of a spur of the moment trip. It seems care-free and exciting at the same time. In the case of larger groups such as the Boy Scouts, it takes time to organize everyones schedules and come up with funding for the trip. Many companies also offer deals on last minute bookings.

  • Jane says:

    I think its a combination of money, commitment and the worry about booking something so far in advance and not knowing what might come up in the mean time. Also, I think that people “live in the moment” and worry about what is happening now rather than planning for upcoming events. I am about to book for the upcoming Bridge Day in October (now that is planning) this is something that I was going to do last week and didn’t and now the one cabin we were going to choose is booked…. so let that be a lesson learned…book early!!!

  • michelle sirey says:

    I think that people tend to delay their RSVP- so perhaps they did not know how many VIPs they were going to have. Maybe they waited until they knew how many VIPs- and thus are booking late. Or- maybe they already booked for an estimated amount and had more people RSVP- thus needing to book more cabins- whatever were available at the last minute.

  • Jill says:

    It is hard to match up vacation with work schedules and kids sport schedules!

  • Erica Elliott says:

    I think people tend to wait until the last minute because there are a lot of different options to choose from. The Fayetteville area has so many different cabin rentals, each with their own unique amenities. It can be overwhelming and time consuming to make all of the decisions.

  • Therese says:

    We are absolutely becoming a society of last min. planners. However, I believe groups like the scouts usually plan in advance and this incident may be isolated. Families and larger groups though are different. I feel because of the internet and bust lifestyles they are planning get aways with little or no prep time. Discounted charges for early reservations may help perhaps encourage planning?

  • Therese says:

    opps wrong email…sorry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *