Understanding the Hotel’s Target Market and Opportunities

A quintessential historic American waterfront village, Tilghman Island is off the beaten path on the southernmost tip of Talbot County, Maryland nestled along the Chesapeake Bay.  This quiet village is best known for fishing, crabbing, and relaxing.  Located about 1.5 hours from Baltimore and 2.5 hours from Washington, D.C., it makes for a great weekend getaway.

Operating an Inn on Tilghman Island presents unique challenges and opportunities. For one, Tilghman Island is small and far enough away from larger cities that it cannot support a convention center or any corporate base of business, limiting itself mostly to leisure travel and selective social groups.  The area is seasonal, with very low demand during colder months and wildly popular during the summer.  This seasonality and seclusion also lead to staffing shortages.  However, there are opportunities as well.  Tilghman Island is a popular destination for weddings and makes a perfect destination for small corporate retreats from nearby cities within a 2-hour drive.  And it’s popular with families, outdoor enthusiasts, and sport fishermen.  

Hotel Occupancy During Off Season

TCRM was hired by the owners of the Tilghman Island Inn for remote revenue management services on December 1, 2022.  That year, the property’s performance had not met the owner’s expectations.  While the property was relatively successful during the island’s busy summer season, it struggled with occupancy during the off season.  The Inn’s owners recognized a need for professional revenue management services to improve the performance of their asset.

Revenue Management Challenges to Solve:

  • Improve Occupancy and Revenue Performance, especially in low-demand months.
  • Optimize distribution channels.
  • Set the groundwork for commercial strategies.

Hotel Distribution Issues

TCRM’s Systems Audit process led to the discovery of settings causing distribution challenges that hampered revenue generation. Once these issues were resolved, the property began to see an increase in OTA reservations, improved short-term bookings, and greater business on the books further out.

Incorrect PMS Set Up

At the onset of service, TCRM noted several configuration issues from the property management system (PMS) to online travel channels (OTAs), causing inaccurate inventory on the OTAs.  This resulted in OTA channels underperforming because the Inn’s inventory was never fully available to sell, had missing photos, or had inaccurate room descriptions. 

LOS Restrictions

In addition, TCRM found daily minimum length of stay restrictions set in the PMS by a former employee, causing an unknown amount of turned away bookings.  Finally, a very restrictive lead-time restriction had been placed by the former employee, also turning away booking demand less than 3 days from arrival. 

Hotel Revenue Management Case Study Results

Applying TCRM’s proprietary process, from fast and efficient onboarding through stabilization, the owners of Tilghman Island Inn witnessed the results of their decision to hire TCRM come to fruition. 

  • Dynamic Pricing:  Prior to engaging with TCRM, rates were set as weekday/weekend and by season and were rarely changed.  TCRM introduced daily inventory and pricing management, which included dynamic pricing of the property.
  • Packages & Promotions: Revenue Management isn’t just about rate setting.  TCRM worked with the Inn’s owners to creatively leverage the features of the property and created several value-added packages and promotions that led to an increase in bookings.
  • Policies: TCRM completed an assessment of the competitive landscape and uncovered an opportunity to charge a 1-night deposit on all reservations and lengthen the cancellation period, resulting in better cashflow and fewer cancellations.  
  • Group Pricing: Sharing best practices, TCRM taught the new operations manager how to set up group blocks and pricing to not experience any erosion of group ADRs.
  • Relationship: Among the invaluable advantages of our partnership, one of the most significant is the assurance that TCRM stands by its clients, providing unwavering support. In the first year, TCRM provided guidance and support beyond the scope of revenue management. While tying a dollar figure to this aspect may be challenging, its impact surpasses any monetary value.

As the saying goes, you reap what you sow.  TCRM’s early efforts and ongoing strategy development for Tilghman Island Inn led to a remarkable surge of 38% revenue growth in 2023, reflecting the efficacy of strategic initiatives implemented during the first year of the partnership. To put things into perspective, the Inn experienced a moderate revenue increase of 2% in 2022, prior to hiring TCRM.

In summary, TCRM brought an intentional focus and applied expert knowhow to significantly elevate Tilghman Island Inn’s revenue management approach, catalyzing unprecedented growth and success for the Inn.

Testimonial

“When we first hired TCRM, we were new to the idea of hotel revenue management.  We knew that we needed help, but we were not sure to what extent.  Since hiring TCRM, we are beyond thrilled with the results we’ve seen at our Inn.  Their knowledge, experience and guidance have helped us improve revenue and cashflow by over 30%!”    Marlise Green, owner of Tilghman Island Inn

About Tilghman Island Inn

The newly renovated Tilghman Island Inn uniquely combines rich historical landmarks with breathtaking sights and packages it into a reimagined modern, yet cozy, experience in an intimate space. Comfortably situated by the Chesapeake Bay, with close proximity to the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, the Tilghman Island Inn is the perfect quick getaway destination. The Inn is equipped with transient slips to welcome those coming by sea.  Find out here.


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