The Tontine Hotel
By making some upgrades and understanding the needs of its mountain biking guests, The Tontine Hotel in Peebles has become a home away from home for MTB riders from all over the world.
When Scott Burns-Smith took ownership of the Ravenscraig Guest House, mountain bikers and other adventure tourists were not at the front of his mind.
However, Scott quickly began to see the opportunity in this lucrative market:
"When we began to look at our cycling visitors, in particular, we found that we’d had 600 mountain biking guests staying with us in 2019. We had no idea the number was so large, and from then on, we knew that if we could provide them with the right facilities, we could encourage repeat business.”
Proud of the warm Highland welcome they provide for all guests, Scott’s goal was to ensure that Ravenscraig extended this to mountain bikers.
“We brought in a range of facilities to make their stay more comfortable, including secure bike storage and a bike wash bay area with some essential cleaning products.
“Being based in Scotland, we knew we’d see bikers returning caked in mud or soaked to the skin. By providing a laundry hut and drying room, we make sure they feel welcome regardless. There’s no sending people round the back to hose off here!”
“By making changes to our guesthouse to improve the experience for mountain bikers, we were essentially building on what we already offer.”
And though it may seem drastic to make these changes, Scott maintains that catering to this growing market only requires a few minor tweaks and a shift in mindset.
“By making changes to our guesthouse to improve the experience for mountain bikers, we were essentially building on what we already offer. It was mainly about looking at their specific journey throughout their stay and providing the extra elements to make them more comfortable.
“For example, our wash bay area is easy for other accommodation providers to replicate. You can pick up cleaning products, brushes and sponges from the local supermarket. It’s a minor tweak that goes a long way!
“We’ve seen that even small changes can make a huge difference as we now welcome mountain biking visitors back throughout the year. And that’s also the beauty of mountain biking - it’s not as seasonal as other adventure sports. This is reflected in our bookings where we welcome cyclists every month, giving us the ability to grow in shoulder months where we might have otherwise been quieter.”
Find out more - ravenscraighouse.co.uk
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