Finding new customer markets for your independent motel is important, as the motel/economy hotel market in Australia has become more competitive with international chains entering the market. The rise of the FIFO (Fly-In, Fly-Out) model of running mines and remote sites has created a unique opportunity for motel owners to get recurring business from a new segment, as many workers do not want the pressure of maintaining a property they will only be staying in for one out of every three weeks (or in some cases longer, depending on rosters). Motel accommodation can be an attractive option for workers who do not want the pressure of cleaning or other home maintenance chores while they are on rest and relaxation leave.
Be flexible about times
Ensure that your customers can have a flexible check-in and check-out process as they may fly back into town at unusual hours depending on plane schedules. Consider a PIN-activated key safe so that tired customers can quickly and easily access their keys and return keys without needing assistance. As long as you have a credit card authorisation, there is little risk to you, and this provides a great benefit to workers.
Offer some storage
One of the traditional drawbacks of staying in a motel is the need to take all possessions with you when you go. Consider hiring out covered, secure storage lockers so that workers can keep bulky items such as golf clubs or bicycles, which they might not want to ferry back and forward. Even for a small weekly fee this is likely to be much cheaper than paying rent on a property and more convenient than off-site storage.
Keep it quiet
Many mining workers work long shifts while away. Consider upgrading your sound insulation between rooms and offer complementary ear plugs to ensure they can get a good nights sleep at your motel.
Recognise your customers' loyalty by providing extra perks such as a fruit basket when your recurring customers come back to your motel. Offer them referral bonuses if they get their workmates to come and stay as well.
Offer a pick-up service
Consider offering a pick-up and drop-off service to the airport so that workers do not have to wait for taxis.
Make sure you offer a full range of Pay-TV as most mine sites offer this, and people don't want to miss their favourite show while on leave!
If you are a FIFO worker, contact a motel like Burswood Lodge to find out about amenities and offers geared towards FIFO workers.