Bainbridge Island is a beautiful place to visit, but if you’re looking for a spur-of-the-moment getaway, or you’re like me and have a big family, sometimes it can be problematic when it comes to finding accommodations, especially if it’s a last-minute trip. I’m also a Tourist Ambassador/Volunteer at the Chamber of Commerce and we frequently get calls about where to stay, and often times the island’s hotels and vacation home rentals are booked out for months in advance. However, it’s not unusual for someone’s plans to fall through at the last minute, making a rental available.
The Bainbridge Island Lodging Association (BILA) recognized the potential to make those last-minute rentals known, and they made it easy, not just for the customer, but also the owner of the rental.
You might ask, “Why do we need a lodging association? We’re a small place with only a few hotels and some vacation rentals.” Believe it or not, our island sports anywhere from 60 to over 160 active lodging opportunities, which can make it a bit confusing when trying to determine what is, and what is not available.
Options range from business-savvy or boutique hotels, inns, guest houses, luxury waterfront homes or cozy cottages, rooms for rent, and vacation rentals. If you’re looking for something a little less conventional, spend an evening on a sailboat in Eagle Harbor, a Tipi on a farm, or a quaint yurt. Whether its short term or long term, personal or business travel, we have you covered.
The Bainbridge Island Lodging Association (BILA) encompasses this wide array of options in one place. In addition to assistance in finding that perfect place to stay or have your visiting friends and family stay, BILA also supports the property owners. Membership through BILA gives you access to resources such as housekeeping and hospitality services, maintenance, property management and much more. They also partner with several businesses on the island to help plan out your trip, such as winery tours/tasting, hiking, family fun, foodie finds, art adventures, historical tours, and more. To plan your itinerary, or a fun itinerary for visiting family and friends, click here.
But, let’s get back to those last-minute availabilities. “By 2023, an estimated 700 million people will be booking their travel arrangements on-line, according to Condor Travel,” says Andrea Addington, Sales and Marketing Director at Bainbridge Island Lodging Association. “But with the advent of Covid, planning for trips has become increasingly challenging. Health concerns and availability of services have forced many travelers to wait until the last minute to book trip requests. According to Condor in a 2022 study, 72% of mobile bookings happen within 48 hours of last-minute Google searches that include the words ‘tonight’ and ‘today’. What’s more, last minute trip changes and cancellations have created a real scheduling problem for rental property owners and managers.”
“Bainbridge Island Lodging Association- aka ‘Destination Bainbridge’- is thrilled to announce the solution that helps address these immediate and ongoing challenges,” Andrea continued. “We have created a local source of support to help you, the property owners and managers, to fill last minute vacancies and cancellations by directing overnight visitors to you immediately. Last Minute Lodging web services identify what properties are available that night and provide a fast and easy-to-use solution to fill eleventh-hour openings and cancellations for our lodging partners.”
Not only is Last Minute Lodging great for rental owners, it’s great for visitors to our beautiful island as well. To learn more about this, visit their website at https://www.destinationbainbridge.com/about-last-minute-lodging/
Andrea also noted that one of BILA’s main tenets is to support our lodging community and business partners by advocating for them with the city and other agencies. Going forward, she hopes to create more concierge services and experiences for guests, as well as provide workshops for owners on a variety of topics, such as property safety, fire prevention, and making the most of your property for your guests.
YOU’RE INVITED to celebrate the release of this new and exciting service, BILA invites all Bainbridge Island property owners and property managers as well as business affiliates to attend their celebratory party.
On Wednesday October 19th, please join BILA on the rooftop of Fletcher Bay Winery at 500 Winslow Way East starting at 5pm. This will be a fully catered event serving appetizers for all palates. They will be pouring delicious Fletcher Bay wines, locally brewed beers and non-alcoholic soft drinks. Meet fellow property owners and share ideas with your lodging community. This event is the start of great things to come in developing a strong, tight-knit community of lodging island partners! RSVP on or before Friday, October 14th to reserve your space.
If you’re interested in becoming a BILA member, click here.
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