We have made the decision starting in 2020 that we will move to being a cashless operation. This means that starting this month, January, we will not be accepting cash for payments, and will only be accepting credit cards.
This has been a gradual change, and not something that has happened over night. The first step of becoming a cashless resort was to ensure that customers can easily pay with their credit cards. This past year we spent time testing our payment and operational technology process to ensure we are able to accept credit cards reliably. Customers have already been reserving Lodging online, and paying with their credit card (cash was 2% of the lodging transactions). In addition, 70%+ of our dining and outdoor activities customers paid with some form of a non-cash payment.
The reason for this decision is that we are spending our efforts to streamline our operations in order to provide better customer service (for lodging, dining, and outdoor activities). Cash can slow down customer service, with customers searching for cash and employees counting out change (sometimes incorrectly). A credit or debit card transaction requires no counting, and more often than not, can result in a quick and efficient transaction. Technology being used for electronic payments allows us to improve our customer service by providing faster and more efficient customer service. By removing cash from the transaction process, we are able to focus more on providing quality service rather than counting and distributing cash to customers and employees.
In addition, we are in the wilderness, with the nearest bank being 25-30 miles. It does not make operational sense to have cash on-hand and having to drive to the bank to make deposits on a regular basis.
Time spent counting cash and making bank runs can now be spent coaching team members and directly engaging with our customers in a more meaningful manner.
This is a decision that multiple hospitality establishments around the world and locally have made, including Mount Bohemia, Walt Disney World.
As in the past, in 2020 we will accept major credit cards for payment: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa. In addition, we are looking into accepting Apple-pay. Over the next 4-5 months we will be getting the word out to customers that the Lodge has moved towards cashless operations.