When Amara Resort & Spa in Sedona was closed for six weeks from early April to mid-May, Amanda Leese, director of sales and marketing, and the management team began planning their reopening strategy and figuring out how to do this would look like.
"We knew groups didn't schedule meetings and we knew people weren't going to work in their offices again," she said. So the resort began offering a regional rate, a special discount for those in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, California, and elsewhere in Arizona. "It was our biggest sales rate of the summer," she said.
Leese also noticed a shift. "We found that visitors from anywhere are within eight hours' drive – and they stay longer. Before the pandemic, the average stay was two to three nights. Now it's three, four or five nights. People don't have to be anywhere . They don't report to an office and their children don't have to be in school. "
Understanding the new market, Leese developed a new program and slogan: Work From Here, Learn From Here, which started after Labor Day. It offers its guests an area of 750 square meters, which is furnished like a private classroom or office, with classroom-style seating, whiteboards, a speakerphone, a scan and print station, sanitary school and office supplies, a screen and a projector.
"The room and amenities are included in the resort fee as a hotel convenience," she said. “With COVID, we could only offer limited amenities. Working from here, learning from here provides guests with what they need for the lifestyle they are now living. Lots of people don't stay home. They packed their children, packed their dog. They work remotely, sometimes in their bathing suits, and train remotely. "
You also have access to an on-call executive assistant who can help you with everyday tasks such as faxing, sending, and setting up audio and video connections. Amara staff also work with guests to connect them with tutors or nannies who can be reserved two weeks in advance at a cost of $ 50 per hour.
Additionally, Amara has used RemoteWell, a local concierge service, to curate Sedona-related experiences on and off the premises for guests who want to prioritize their health and wellbeing while working remotely. From a bike tour or hike to relaxing body, mind and soul through guided meditation and yoga exercises, guests can put together an individual travel route for their work and school holidays.
“It's so hectic at the moment for families and employees who are finding their way around the new normal of virtual work and school. We really wanted to create an experience that would allow these guests to change the much-needed landscape while enjoying the many wellness activities that Sedona has to offer, ”said Nick Solomon, General Manager of Amara. “Thanks to the free Wi-Fi throughout the property, guests can find a balance between work and leisure, regardless of whether they are checking emails from a private cabana by the pool, taking conference calls from the new office space or taking the little ones with an on- Site tutor so parents can take a break from the madness or start a memorable family adventure through our new experience partner. Whatever it is, we could all use a mental vacation right now. "
According to Leese, the class / office space is available subject to availability. In the meantime, small meetings are being booked in the resort's conference rooms.
“We don't see any aversion to travel. Sedona is booming overall,” Leese said. “If you can hold a meeting from anywhere, why not admire the beauty of Red Rock Country without missing a beat?” FBN
By Bonnie Stevens, FBN
To find out more about Amara's Work From Here, Learn From Here program or to book an upcoming stay, visit amararesort.com or call 928-282-4828.