UW-Green Bay’s SBDC helps business pivot during pandemic

UW-Green Bay SBDC’s Ray York has had to pivot his business during the pandemic. To survive the challenges facing the travel industry, The Rochester Inn in Sheboygan Falls identified the need for an innovative strategy for their “small, clean and caring Inn.” They needed to find creative ways to elevate their guest’s experience while reducing operating expenses and maximizing revenues. In addition, based on the global mindsight shift towards sustainable business practices, they prioritized the implementation of a sustainability strategy that will reduce future expenses while elevating the creditability of The Rochester Inn brand.

The Rochester Inn already has a strong reputation of being a “small, clean and caring Inn,” and part of their COVID survival strategy is to continue to treat their guests as family, while keeping them safe during their stay is their highest priority. They have implemented a reduced-contact experience for their guests’ safety and have made great strides to accommodate this through more virtual interactions and personalized messaging. They have maintained their in-room breakfast service and increased their in-room amenities for an improved experience and personalized travel stay.

With less travelers and an improved guest experience, they needed to find ways to cut operating expenses and maximize revenues. With methodical adjustments they have been successful in reducing their operating expenses, while consistently evaluating trends to realize their full market value.

The Inn is 173 years old and there is an opportunity to reduce expenses through green business practices and renovations, in coordination with becoming Travel Green Certified through Travel Wisconsin. They have taken steps towards efficiency upgrades and Travel Green Certification throughout 2020, with efficiency upgrades and certification ongoing in 2021.

Story submitted by Tara Carr, SBDC