It’s been a tough couple of summers for vacationers, with a major recession putting a budgetary crimp into traditional plans for families to let off steam—traveling to a place in the sun that offers plenty of activities for, and with, the kids, plus great golf and delicious dining.

Enter the “staycation”—the concept that says, instead of packing bags and spending unnecessary money on airfare, hotel rooms and dining out, why not just take time off from work to enjoy life more right at home?

THE GOAL:The Country Club of Salisbury (N.C.) wanted prospective and current member families to spend their vacation dollars at the club.THE PLAN:“Staycation” packages were created to allow potential members to explore the club and its amenities, and current members to take advantage of the savings of bundled activities.THE PAYOFF: The club saw a number of families take advantage of the program, generating increased interest in the overall club offerings and a renewal of the program for the upcoming summer.

Seeing that this trend offered an opportunity to  hold its current membership numbers steady while also attracting new member prospects, The Country Club of Salisbury (N.C.) decided to reach out to families scaling back on expenses by creating a staycation package of its own.

“The options kept members close to the club, and gave potential new members a taste of what they were missing,” says Misty Rogers Ratcliff, Membership Marketing and Communications Director.

Salisbury’s $300 staycation package for prospective members included: any combination of four golf or tennis lessons for adults or juniors; two rounds of golf for two players, or one round for four; two tennis court times; a five-day pool pass for the family, and access to all of the club’s dining outlets, with a $50 credit.

“Should the potential member join after their staycation, a 50% discount is credited to the initiation fee, no matter the category,” adds Ratcliff.

At the same time, the $300 staycation package was offered to existing members, including any combination of four golf or tennis lessons for adults or juniors; four complimentary cart fees or a $75 golf shop credit; five-day pool guest fees for up to six guests, and a $100 food credit to be used at the pool, grill or for a la carte dining.

“The program—which will be offered again this coming summer—allows participants to get more in touch with all areas of club amenities,” says Ratcliff. “It has also made us look more closely at bundling other goods and services outside the staycation concept, to help market and improve our club.”

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