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Tourist-baiting caches?


bevema
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Just a mental exercise:

I run a hotel in a tourist region, and I'd like to attract new customers. Geocaching is booming, so I jump on the bandwagon. Outsmarting others, I hide caches myself and list them on Groundspeak, in the hikeable surroundings of my hotel, awaiting the expected additional income. On my homepage I advertise using these (hyperlinked) caches including plain coordinates.

Which guidelines are contrary to this?

The commercial benefit of many caches in the environment is there.

But these are my caches, so no other owner can get upset.

Can one (i.e. reviewer) prevent such a task?

How?

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A number of cities are already doing this to attract business. So are some state park systems.

 

As long as the caches are fun and interesting, open to everyone, and not commercial in nature it doesn't matter where they are. If there were 20 great caches in interesting places throughout the hotel property, I think I would enjoy finding them. Now, if they were a series of LPCs in the parking lots ...

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I don't think I would personally choose a hotel based on how many caches are nearby.

 

But if I stayed there for other reasons, I'm sure I would try to find them.

 

One major issue might be that ANYONE must be able to search for and find the caches whether they're staying at the hotel or not.

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Commercial caches attempt to use the Geocaching.com web site cache reporting tool directly or indirectly (intentionally or non-intentionally) to solicit customers through a Geocaching.com listing. These are NOT permitted.

 

If you have already been turned down, I would suspect this is the reason.

That specifically refers to the listing, not the caches themselves.

 

(How does one non-intentionally attempt something?)

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Just a mental exercise:

I run a hotel in a tourist region, and I'd like to attract new customers. Geocaching is booming, so I jump on the bandwagon. Outsmarting others, I hide caches myself and list them on Groundspeak, in the hikeable surroundings of my hotel, awaiting the expected additional income. On my homepage I advertise using these (hyperlinked) caches including plain coordinates.

Which guidelines are contrary to this?

The commercial benefit of many caches in the environment is there.

But these are my caches, so no other owner can get upset.

Can one (i.e. reviewer) prevent such a task?

How?

 

As long as the cache itself meets the guidelines they are ok. Outside of the cache and listing is beyond what this site worries about. Thus the hotel can promote they are a great geocaching place to stay, just look at all these great caches in our area! Meanwhile cachers can do what they have always done and just go find the caches without ever even knowing about the Hotel promotion.

 

That's why such a thing can work as proposed.

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Would it really be worth the trouble?

 

A typical cache gets <100 visits per year- many get a lot fewer.

 

There are some caches in big cities and popular parks that get a lot of action, but if that is where the hotel is located, it is probably full all the time anyway and thus would not benefit from cache visitors.

 

It would not seem like the best effort for advertising to me. You're looking at perhaps 20-30 additional guests per year for the effort. And I think that might be a high estimate if you are only counting those who decided to use your hotel based on the caches alone.

 

Buy a nice sign or a billboard near the interstate. Put coupons at the rest areas. Better yet, keep the place well clean and give excellent service and the word of mouth will get you more business than you can handle.

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Billboards cost a TON, coupons cost to make (and give a discount, so money lost)...great service etc might work, BUT...having a few caches on the property is cheap and a great way to get customers (and cachers who might then become potential customers) to know of your hotel and wouldn't hurt!! Even if cachers only come in for a beverage or food, you are still ahead. A good idea...maybe offer GPS units for rent (if you can get ahold of a few cheap enough to make this reasonable to do), give out leaflets teaching of caching and possibly even lead potential cachers out on their first hunt. Our local state park is looking into just this type of program.

 

Even if those that come to find caches DON'T stay at your hotel at first, they might return to find caches they may have missed, may come back to stay as a way to support a fellow cacher or may tell others who might then visit!

 

It won't cost you too much to place the caches (if you haven't already) and the announcement of caches on property on your website would be a great way to both promote caching AND your hotel! You may not get a LOAD of new customers, but in this day and age of economic woes, even ONE customer from this type of action is helpful (as that customer could then spread the word which could bring in more customers).

 

As a cacher, I tend to look over an area for caches near where I'm going to be. Seeing a bunch of caches on your property might just get me to stay at your hotel over others...but remember that appearance and quality of service etc would be my deciding factors. If your hotel looks a little run down or whatever on the internet, a few caches won't get me to stay if the hotel down the way looks better!

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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Just a mental exercise:

I run a hotel in a tourist region, and I'd like to attract new customers. Geocaching is booming, so I jump on the bandwagon. Outsmarting others, I hide caches myself and list them on Groundspeak, in the hikeable surroundings of my hotel, awaiting the expected additional income. On my homepage I advertise using these (hyperlinked) caches including plain coordinates.

Which guidelines are contrary to this?

The commercial benefit of many caches in the environment is there.

But these are my caches, so no other owner can get upset.

Can one (i.e. reviewer) prevent such a task?

How?

I would say you should ask your reivewer what they would consider commerical, and explain in detail what sort of caches you'd like to put out around the hotel.

 

Clearly a cache that demands a visitor buy something/pay for enterance to a private business, or whose cache page reads like a huge ad would be considered commerical and denied (unless you got permission from Groundspeak before hand of course).

The thing is it might still be viewed as commerical if there are 'implied' pressures for people to do business at that place. Examples might be a container that is full of branded stuff from the place, being on the property of and being placed by the company in question, maybe even just the issue of the cache being set up purely for "expected additional income". This is why I said ask your reviewer, exactly where they may draw the lines is possiably different than my personal limit.

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Another thing to draw customers might be to offer geocaching packages. Some other hotels are offering this now, and while I'm sure the details of the package vary, it's an interesting idea. I would certainly consider using a hotel that had one. I searched on google for you, here's a link to some hotels offering packages. Maybe you can get some ideas from them:

 

http://www.google.com/search?q=geocaching+...lient=firefox-a

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Thanks so far for your answers.

 

IMHO it isn't proper to hide caches to attract business to a hotel.

Using geocaching as a literal cash cow seems like a rape of this hobby to me.

It has been taken care that no mentioning of the hotel occurs in the cache listings, but the hotel-ad page cries cash! cash! to me. And I won't be astonished to hear that a convenient arrangement including free vacations for some persons might smooth the legal status of such a construction for Groundspeak.

 

Just as a disclaimer, I've neither any commercial interest in geocaching, nor do I run a business that might gain additional income using geocaching. So I'm not the usual greedy competitor from next door.

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I think it is a good idea. I would make a note that cachers have permission to be on the property, park at the hotel etc. The way I see, the more quality caches the better, and I like ones in the woods that involve some hiking.

 

I don't think many people will stay at the hotel just because the caches are there, but it might introduce people to the area whom might decide to come back if they like the area. Also if I were looking for a place to stay in an area, caches within walking distance would be an attraction.

 

Personally, I have no problem with people placing good quality caches on their property to attract business (so long as there no charge). It is a win-win situation for everyone.

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And I won't be astonished to hear that a convenient arrangement including free vacations for some persons might smooth the legal status of such a construction for Groundspeak.

Please refrain from making insinuations like this. If you're posting this here, then you don't know a bit about Groundspeak, and you shouldn't be making offensive comments about people that you don't know. :)

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I'm sorry, could someone provide me the link to the cache page of this geocache raping hotel? Debating the abstract is fine but I'm not going to get into it if there isn't such a cache out there.

 

If it's outside of guidelines I'll be happy to report it for you. (Although I'm not sure why this wouldn't have been reported to a reviewer already.)

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And I won't be astonished to hear that a convenient arrangement including free vacations for some persons might smooth the legal status of such a construction for Groundspeak.

Please refrain from making insinuations like this. If you're posting this here, then you don't know a bit about Groundspeak, and you shouldn't be making offensive comments about people that you don't know. :(

I'm not speaking about Groundspeak in the States, if you've got that impression I apologize. But of foreign volunteer members getting a week or two of a free stay to decide in favor of.

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And I won't be astonished to hear that a convenient arrangement including free vacations for some persons might smooth the legal status of such a construction for Groundspeak.

Please refrain from making insinuations like this. If you're posting this here, then you don't know a bit about Groundspeak, and you shouldn't be making offensive comments about people that you don't know. :(

I'm not speaking about Groundspeak in the States, if you've got that impression I apologize. But of foreign volunteer members getting a week or two of a free stay to decide in favor of.

I'm sorry, but I don't see the difference. Do you have proof of these sorts of things? Is so, please report it to Groundspeak (in the States), otherwise as I said, I really don't want to hear it.

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But of foreign volunteer members getting a week or two of a free stay to decide in favor of.

 

It does sound like you're dancing around the subject a bit. It apears that everyone has answered your question to the best of their ability given the lack of specifics or links to possible Guideline violations. If the accusations you are trying to insinuate are regarding the conduct of any volunteers on the site, youre best option is to go directly to TPTB. Debating such issues on the Forums usually leads to some unhappy outcomes.

 

Just my 0.02 :(

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Yes...please either give a link to the cache(s) in question or contact Groundspeak...but please don't stir up trouble! Since I had assumed you were asking if this would be OK for you to do, my answer was aimed at that! Now, I'm not sure if you are just curious or trying to cause trouble here!

 

I'm with Ambrosia, I'd rather not see mud thrown at GS...not a good idea IMHO. You got a complaint, go to them!

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Thanks so far for your answers.

 

IMHO it isn't proper to hide caches to attract business to a hotel.

Using geocaching as a literal cash cow seems like a rape of this hobby to me.

It has been taken care that no mentioning of the hotel occurs in the cache listings, but the hotel-ad page cries cash! cash! to me. And I won't be astonished to hear that a convenient arrangement including free vacations for some persons might smooth the legal status of such a construction for Groundspeak.

 

Just as a disclaimer, I've neither any commercial interest in geocaching, nor do I run a business that might gain additional income using geocaching. So I'm not the usual greedy competitor from next door.

 

If I were planning a vacation, and had to choose between a cache-aware hotel and a cache-ignorant hotel, what do you think I would do?

 

Yes, you are absolutely correct!

 

Now if the hotel had a little gift-shop where I could buy cache-friendly swag, buy updated software and perhaps new hardware, and free WI-FI so I could log my finds, and if they had pre-sorted the local caches in some bookmark lists I could create PQs from...Vacation Elation!

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Wow, such dark conspiracies the OP imagines. A hotelier, seeking additional businesses, places caches near his establishment. To get them approved, he corrupts the local reviewer. It's a rape of the hobby! Naked greed! Somebody might make a Euro by circumventing the spirit of the no-solicitation rule! The sky is falling! :(

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Just a mental exercise:

I run a hotel in a tourist region, and I'd like to attract new customers. Geocaching is booming, so I jump on the bandwagon. Outsmarting others, I hide caches myself and list them on Groundspeak, in the hikeable surroundings of my hotel, awaiting the expected additional income. On my homepage I advertise using these (hyperlinked) caches including plain coordinates.

Which guidelines are contrary to this?

The commercial benefit of many caches in the environment is there.

But these are my caches, so no other owner can get upset.

Can one (i.e. reviewer) prevent such a task?

How?

 

Yeah, well, I was rejected for a cache that I wanted to place near a non-profit cable TV studio. B) Our idea, since we are both in television busiess, was to put caches near TV station studios and give some of the rich history of the TV stations. I was rejected because the reviewer felt that people finding the cache would be tempted to go into the TV station and spend money. TV stations get money by selling advertising and by people watch their station. B):P Clearly, the reviewer has never been in a TV station because TV make NO money from people walking in. There is nothing to sell. In fact, people who wander in are usually there to complain. And, in today's environment, security usually prevents the average person from walking into the studio. But the reviewer was adamant for some reason - even when I mentioned series like "Off Your Rocker" (Cracker Barrel Restaurants) and others that are clearly commercial, he dismissed that as being "grandfathered" in before the non-commercial rule was implemented. I think it really depends on the reviewer and if they have some sort of grudge against you or the idea.

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TV stations get money by selling advertising and by people watch their station. Clearly, the reviewer has never been in a TV station because TV make NO money from people walking in.

 

It sounds like a solicitation to me :P According to the Guidelines:

 

Commercial caches attempt to use the Geocaching.com web site cache reporting tool directly or indirectly (intentionally or non-intentionally) to solicit customers through a Geocaching.com listing. These are NOT permitted. Examples include for-profit locations that require an entrance fee, or locations that sell products or services. If the finder is required to go inside the business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, then the cache is presumed to be commercial.

 

It sounds like the Volunteer Reviewer was going by the book and being consistent with the published Guidelines to me. It sounds like the next step to me would be to follow the advice in the following paragraph in the Guidelines:

 

Some exceptions can be made. In these situations, permission can be given by Groundspeak. However, permission should be asked first before posting. If you are in doubt, ask first. If you do not have advance permission, your reviewer will refer you to Groundspeak.

 

My interpretation of this advice is that it's a waste of time to pursue the subject with a Volunteer. You need to get explicit permission from the Admins of Groundspeak, who will then decide if a variance from the stated Guidelines is warranted (e.g. as in the case of the Cracker Barrel caches)

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Yeah, well, I was rejected for a cache that I wanted to place near a non-profit cable TV studio. B) Our idea, since we are both in television busiess, was to put caches near TV station studios and give some of the rich history of the TV stations. I was rejected because the reviewer felt that people finding the cache would be tempted to go into the TV station and spend money. TV stations get money by selling advertising and by people watch their station. B):P Clearly, the reviewer has never been in a TV station because TV make NO money from people walking in. There is nothing to sell. In fact, people who wander in are usually there to complain. And, in today's environment, security usually prevents the average person from walking into the studio. But the reviewer was adamant for some reason - even when I mentioned series like "Off Your Rocker" (Cracker Barrel Restaurants) and others that are clearly commercial, he dismissed that as being "grandfathered" in before the non-commercial rule was implemented. I think it really depends on the reviewer and if they have some sort of grudge against you or the idea.

 

Unless there's something missing from this account, that seems like an excessively close interpretation of the guideline. At some level of interpretation the guideline could be understood to forbid a roadside cache on highway 66 because the search would put cachers in a position to be solicited by a nearby billboard B)

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Yeah, well, I was rejected for a cache that I wanted to place near a non-profit cable TV studio. B) Our idea, since we are both in television busiess, was to put caches near TV station studios and give some of the rich history of the TV stations. I was rejected because the reviewer felt that people finding the cache would be tempted to go into the TV station and spend money. TV stations get money by selling advertising and by people watch their station. B):P Clearly, the reviewer has never been in a TV station because TV make NO money from people walking in. There is nothing to sell. In fact, people who wander in are usually there to complain. And, in today's environment, security usually prevents the average person from walking into the studio. But the reviewer was adamant for some reason - even when I mentioned series like "Off Your Rocker" (Cracker Barrel Restaurants) and others that are clearly commercial, he dismissed that as being "grandfathered" in before the non-commercial rule was implemented. I think it really depends on the reviewer and if they have some sort of grudge against you or the idea.

 

Unless there's something missing from this account, that seems like an excessively close interpretation of the guideline. At some level of interpretation the guideline could be understood to forbid a roadside cache on highway 66 because the search would put cachers in a position to be solicited by a nearby billboard B)

 

Correct me if I am wrong, but the problem (above) seems to be advertising the TV studio (or hotel) in the listing, not the actual placement of the cache. All one has to do is just list the cache without mentioning the name of the TV studio, hotel, or whatever in the listing. On you home page, you could just note that geocaches are on site or better yet that there a numerous gecocaches in the vicinity. There is no need to list coordinates as an cacher could download them easy enough.

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Correct me if I am wrong, but the problem (above) seems to be advertising the TV studio (or hotel) in the listing, not the actual placement of the cache. All one has to do is just list the cache without mentioning the name of the TV studio, hotel, or whatever in the listing. On you home page, you could just note that geocaches are on site or better yet that there a numerous gecocaches in the vicinity. There is no need to list coordinates as an cacher could download them easy enough.

With the hotel, I agree.

 

The TV station is different. The point was for the cache to be historical -- hard to do without mentioning the station. But from the description given, I still think it should have been allowed. The intent of the cache is clear, the station is not for-profit, and you wouldn't have had to interact with the station at all. In addition, as part of a series including several presumably competing TV stations, it's hard to argue that the idea would be to draw business. That one should have been appealed (again, based on the description given; I acknowledge there may have been other important circumstances).

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Correct me if I am wrong, but the problem (above) seems to be advertising the TV studio (or hotel) in the listing, not the actual placement of the cache. All one has to do is just list the cache without mentioning the name of the TV studio, hotel, or whatever in the listing. On you home page, you could just note that geocaches are on site or better yet that there a numerous gecocaches in the vicinity. There is no need to list coordinates as an cacher could download them easy enough.

With the hotel, I agree.

 

The TV station is different. The point was for the cache to be historical -- hard to do without mentioning the station. But from the description given, I still think it should have been allowed. The intent of the cache is clear, the station is not for-profit, and you wouldn't have had to interact with the station at all. In addition, as part of a series including several presumably competing TV stations, it's hard to argue that the idea would be to draw business. That one should have been appealed (again, based on the description given; I acknowledge there may have been other important circumstances).

 

If is was my call, I would certainly allow it. My bias is that I would not object to encroaching commercialism if the caches are well done, for which I think there is a higher than average probability. For example, if one is going to place a cache at one's restuarant, I would hope that the owner would put more thought and effort into it than tossing a film canister under the dumpster. If someone objects, they can always just ignore the cache.

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I'm not speaking about Groundspeak in the States, if you've got that impression I apologize. But of foreign volunteer members getting a week or two of a free stay to decide in favor of.

 

It appears to me that you are overlooking the key issue: There is no reason whatsoever to reject the caches you talk about on the basis of the guidelines of Groundspeak.

 

You seem to mix up two different issues: (1) whether a particular cacher (like you or me) feels comfortable with the situation that geocaching more and more develops into a mainstream activity (like hiking, tennis, golf, etc), and (2) whether a certain cache conforms with the guidelines of Groundspeak.

 

As (1) is regarded, I would have preferred by far if geocaching had stayed to be a kind of insider activity it had been a few years ago.

 

As (2) is regarded, I cannot even think of reasonable consistent rules that would forbid someone who owns a hotel to hide caches which are in no relation to the hotel and to mention these caches on the web-page of the hotel. There might exist borderline cases if the caches are hidden on property belonging to the hotel, but you are talking about caches some of which are located on the top of mountains at quite some distance from the hotel.

If, say a dentist, is allowed to hide such caches and to list them on his web-page, the same must hold true also for the owner of a hotel or the owner of an agency organizing canoe trips, adventure camps etc.

 

Cezanne

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And I won't be astonished to hear that a convenient arrangement including free vacations for some persons might smooth the legal status of such a construction for Groundspeak.

Please refrain from making insinuations like this. If you're posting this here, then you don't know a bit about Groundspeak, and you shouldn't be making offensive comments about people that you don't know. :anitongue:

I'm not speaking about Groundspeak in the States, if you've got that impression I apologize. But of foreign volunteer members getting a week or two of a free stay to decide in favor of.

 

this is not just a forum for the states but for the whole world.

 

in any case why would it be ok to insult and insinuate "foreign" volunteer members but not american ones?

 

i think again it comes to expalin who you mean or issue a blanket apology for the careless suggestion.

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Great topic!

 

I actually have a cache hidden on a hotel property in Las Vegas:

 

Convention Center Hotel Cache

 

I still work for the hotel company (not at this location anymore)

 

The reasons it doesn't make sense to try to attract hotel business using a geocache are as follows:

 

- If the travelers are visiting from out of town, they probably made hotel reservations prior to their trip.

 

- If they don't have reservations, they probably went to find a hotel room prior to caching.

 

- Placing multiple geocaches on and around a hotel property will most likely raise safety concerns from all of the muggles staying at the hotel who have no clue why there are all sorts of non-guests poking around the grounds/parking lot.

 

- Since the hotel listed in the original post is in a "tourist region" it makes sense that travelers coming to the area are doing so for other reasons and may be adding geocaching to their activities. I would focus my marketing efforts on the primary tourist draw and go from there.

 

At the same time, does the hotelier have other options to cater to geocaching customers? I have seen unused Las Vegas Monorail tickets show up in my cache - is this a clandestine marketing effort to get more people to ride the Monorail? I have also had casino chips left in the cache - are the Strip resorts trying to lure geocachers in through their doors? Lets say I ran a coffee shop and there was a geocache nearby - could I add coupons for a free cup of coffee (no other purchase required) to the swag to try to generate more customers? I would only be giving something away with no obligation to buy but it would get them in the door. If this hypothetical free coffee coupon isn't breaking the rules, then the hotelier can probably think of ways to apply the same ideas to his business.

 

If you run a business that wants my business as a geocacher, give me a great deal and great service and I'll probably come back and pay the regular price.

 

Steve

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I don't know about hotels, but we often go caching in other parts of our state, when we do this, we camp out for the weekend or so. I always look for an area rich with caches, then find a campground close to all the action. IF the campground were to have a good assortment of caches on property, I'd be more inclined to stay at their property.

 

Wait...I've done just this in reverse....I've hidden 20+ caches at our local state park! Yep, you might have guessed that their business was up this year even though gas prices are sky high! Sometimes your visitors come from nearby as well as far away.

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I don't know about hotels, but we often go caching in other parts of our state, when we do this, we camp out for the weekend or so. I always look for an area rich with caches, then find a campground close to all the action. IF the campground were to have a good assortment of caches on property, I'd be more inclined to stay at their property.

 

Wait...I've done just this in reverse....I've hidden 20+ caches at our local state park! Yep, you might have guessed that their business was up this year even though gas prices are sky high! Sometimes your visitors come from nearby as well as far away.

 

I would view geocaches on or near a hotel/motel as an ammenity, such as a swimming pool, putting green, WFI, etc. I would not pay a lot extra for any one ammenity, but having geocaches nearby would be a plus when I was making a decision as to where to stay, particular where prices are similar.

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Almost every cache in Jamaica (9 total) are at places that you either have to pay an entrance fee (Doctor's Cave beach), have to either circumvent or pay off security (Sunspree, M&K Wedding Cache) or are expected to "politely" buy something...(Orange Hill Stash).

 

A friend of mine went just recently and I agree with his sentiments...there are valid reasons why the cache was placed on Doctor's cave beach and the rest that I mentioned. The caches are SAFE. Doctor's cave only costs $5.00 USD but you are saved from being hassled by higglers....and those who would steal anything that isn't cemented down. The other one hidden/kept inside the resort is also a safety measure from thieves and uncertain weather. The virtual was placed by a newlywed couple but the resort has never given anyone trouble, nor expected them to be guests in order to get their smily. The one in Orange Hill is simply a jerk shack and theoretically, you *could* just ask Deon for the cache...but if you don't order some of the awesome jerk chicken...you're just screwing yourself. LOL

 

In any case, there are bound to be a LOT of places that caches *should* be that might cost a few bucks to retrieve. As long as you don't have to book a week stay at a resort or are *required* to buy a meal, spend *X* amount of dollars for a product etc....I don't see a problem. Entrance fees...no problem mon. JMMHO.

Edited by wildchld97
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I my particular county it seems some would take issue with any cache within its boundaries. We're in Amish country and a cache anywhere here could easily be deemed 'tourist baiting' if that were the case. A cache in a tourist area is no different than a cache in a Wal-Mart parking lot in my opinion. Fact is a geocacher is more likely to walk into a Wal-Mart or what have you and make a purchase than a hotel to begin with.

 

I have yet to have seen a geocache with concierge or room service.

Edited by Sileny Jizda
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Almost every cache in Jamaica (9 total) are at places that you either have to pay an entrance fee (Doctor's Cave beach), have to either circumvent or pay off security (Sunspree, M&K Wedding Cache) or are expected to "politely" buy something...(Orange Hill Stash).

 

A friend of mine went just recently and I agree with his sentiments...there are valid reasons why the cache was placed on Doctor's cave beach and the rest that I mentioned. The caches are SAFE. Doctor's cave only costs $5.00 USD but you are saved from being hassled by higglers....and those who would steal anything that isn't cemented down. The other one hidden/kept inside the resort is also a safety measure from thieves and uncertain weather. The virtual was placed by a newlywed couple but the resort has never given anyone trouble, nor expected them to be guests in order to get their smily. The one in Orange Hill is simply a jerk shack and theoretically, you *could* just ask Deon for the cache...but if you don't order some of the awesome jerk chicken...you're just screwing yourself. LOL

 

In any case, there are bound to be a LOT of places that caches *should* be that might cost a few bucks to retrieve. As long as you don't have to book a week stay at a resort or are *required* to buy a meal, spend *X* amount of dollars for a product etc....I don't see a problem. Entrance fees...no problem mon. JMMHO.

Hmmm...we only did 2 caches while in Jamaica, M&K Wedding Cache, and Sea Rose Villa. We didn't have to pay off any security to get into M&K Wedding Cache, we just walked in, no problem. Sea Rose Villa is on the cache owner's property, and you just walk in and out.

 

It's ok to pay if it's a place like a State Park or some such, but if you're putting commercial money into someone's pockets, it's not.

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Lets say I ran a coffee shop and there was a geocache nearby - could I add coupons for a free cup of coffee (no other purchase required) to the swag to try to generate more customers? I would only be giving something away with no obligation to buy but it would get them in the door. If this hypothetical free coffee coupon isn't breaking the rules, then the hotelier can probably think of ways to apply the same ideas to his business.

 

If you run a business that wants my business as a geocacher, give me a great deal and great service and I'll probably come back and pay the regular price.

 

Steve

 

I have a cache with a business card that offers a free drink at a tavern in W.V. that I've never had a chance to use. Nobody has taken it yet. However, since the card was given to me by a friend of mine who owns the bar...am I breaking the rules by inadvertently advertising without benefit? It would be nice if I got a kickback from everyone who used the cards...but that's not ethical.

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If I were planning a vacation, and had to choose between a cache-aware hotel and a cache-ignorant hotel, what do you think I would do?

 

Yes, you are absolutely correct!

 

Now if the hotel had a little gift-shop where I could buy cache-friendly swag, buy updated software and perhaps new hardware, and free WI-FI so I could log my finds, and if they had pre-sorted the local caches in some bookmark lists I could create PQs from...Vacation Elation!

All other things being equal, you are right on. But would you go to that hotel if it had a reputation for "sleaziness" - assuming they had all the cache perks you mention?

 

IMO the existence of hotel sponsored caches would be a minimal factor in deciding where to stay. High speed internet- that's a different story. If a hotelier wants cachers, that would be a good place to put their money. (And post that on a SIGN)

 

Wi-fi seems to be popular with a LOT of muggles too. :)

 

Wait...I've done just this in reverse....I've hidden 20+ caches at our local state park! Yep, you might have guessed that their business was up this year even though gas prices are sky high! Sometimes your visitors come from nearby as well as far away.

i am sure you have done adequate market research on this and i am totally out of line, but I would consider the fact that gas prices go up every year and so does tourism. Every year we hear the press whining "OMG! the tourist industry is going down the tubes because gas is over ($1) ($2) ($3) a gallon." Every year the tourist industry survives and yea even flourishes.

 

I once heard some economist comment that in America, the last place people will cut their "budgets" is vacations.

 

To the hoteliers counting on all this "cache" revenue (pun intended):

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if a hundred or so extra customers a year, in a "small ticket item" business such as a hotel, restaurant or park, is going to have a significant impact on one's business, one needs a better business model or one will soon need a bankruptcy attorney.

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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if a hundred or so extra customers a year, in a "small ticket item" business such as a hotel, restaurant or park, is going to have a significant impact on one's business, one needs a better business model or one will soon need a bankruptcy attorney.

 

Little things add up when it comes to customer service. The most cost effective advertisement (particularly for repeat business) can be little cheap things that make an impression, which is why some hotels put a few candies (costing then pennies) on the pillow. You would not make a conscious to stay at a hotel because of a couple of mints, but it may contribute to an overall positive impression

 

If I were running a hotel (particularly a "resort" where people would spend some time, as opposed to just arriving at night and leaving in the morning), placing a few geocaches on the property would be a smart business decision. The cost is minimal and if I would attract a few extra custometers a year, it would have a very positive cost-benefit ratio. In fact, I would have a GPS available to lend out to guests so they could go out a find them. It would be a good way to provide cheap entertainment. Some families, particularly with kids, would get a kick-out of it and it would be a memorable activity, which would be great adverstisement.

Edited by geomann1
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i am sure you have done adequate market research on this and i am totally out of line, but I would consider the fact that gas prices go up every year and so does tourism. Every year we hear the press whining "OMG! the tourist industry is going down the tubes because gas is over ($1) ($2) ($3) a gallon." Every year the tourist industry survives and yea even flourishes.

 

Yep...plenty of research. I asked the people who run the park! Who better would know the year to year revenues? You might be surprised, but YES, they ARE making more money than last year, the year before and so on (or should I say they are having more visitors??). For the last few years, the business has been going down...visitors are becoming a bit more scarce (much like at our course , if people can't afford much, they cut what isn't a must). It's been the trend for a few years now, and the government has made it worse by cutting funds!

 

UNTIL this year! Now....maybe there has been a turnaround in the economy? Maybe all those who are cutting their spending decided this year was the year to splurge on a visit? Maybe all those who normally travel good distances decided to only go around the corner this year. BUT...possibly it's the visitors generated by caches being allowed? All I know is, the PTB are PRAISING our caches, have asked us to become involved in other activities in our area and have even bumped our camp/cache event up to a date USUALLY reserved for an event (non-caching) they've hosted for the last several years...one that has been a proven crowd draw! We must be doing something right!

 

My point exactly Geomann1...the caches cost FAR less than any billboard or TV ad etc....and gives the owner another possible way to draw business.

 

CC doesn't seem to think that businesses would notice a "few extra visitors". CC must not own a business. We do...I KNOW what a "few extra visitors" can mean (and what a LOSS of a few visitors means as well). Business has TANKED since this dismal economy started. We were making money (good money) right up until the economic woes hit our state (and the U.S.A.), now I'm without healthcare, customers are pinching pennies and not spending like they used to and the cost of operation has doubled (or worse). We'd WELCOME those "few extra visitors" and do whatever we can to bring them in!

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Business has TANKED since this dismal economy started.

Amazing thing about "the economy", it is VERY personal. Except for a few sectors, "the economy" is in great shape. Of course when it directly effects one personally, what is happening in other sectors is not important. The old saying is "it is a recession when your neighbour is out of work, it is a depression when YOU are laid off."

 

I know nothing about your business or why it "tanked" and you are undoubtedly right that it is not because of anything you have done or any decisions you have made.

 

 

I am truly sorry to hear that your business is not doing well and I hope it picks up soon.

 

But "the economy" makes a good scapegoat. It is real easy to blame "the economy" and of course George bush (I know you didn't say that but everyone else is so I'm throwing it in just to go along with the "lemmings." ;) )

 

I was just talking to a friend who got laid off from my company about 5 years ago and he has never had a "job" since. He finally incorporated this year and he is making six figures. He expects to reach a point soon where he has to turn down business because he doesn't have the personpower to handle it.

 

In any economy, there are some businesses that boom and some that bust.

 

Hopefully you will be able to weather the storm.

 

</digression>

 

My point is nothing more than a cache placed for the sole purpose of promoting business is largely insignificant. Of course it can't hurt- every customer is a good customer as long as said customer brings in more income than it costs to serve him. But one is foolish to hang their hat on the "lure" of a cache - which was the gist of the OP as I read it.

 

Will the cache bring in more business than it costs to maintain it? Maybe. Will it be measurable? Maybe. Will it be significant to a business that is otherwise "making it?" I doubt it. Will it "bail out" a failing business? Emphatically NO- unless the business is on the economic level of a child's lemonade stand perhaps.

 

I think I am speaking common sense. If i am wrong, we can agree to disagree.

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Well CC...the economy here IS the problem...check out MICHIGAN and it's economy standings if you don't think so. Everyone I know has a money problem. Our economy is rated #49 (or has it dropped?)...that's out of.....? Every factory around has shut down, the only good business going near us is the new biofuel plants popping up in the corn fields (now, where will they grow the corn?). Hey, even our local police "crew" bellied up last week!

 

We are a service business...public golf course. People aren't golfing (but hey, we WERE voted #1 in our county again...last 4 yrs in a row), people aren't doing much ANYTHING around here that costs money. We all sit around and sing praises to that WONDERFUL lady running us into the ground (sarcasm on the wonderful part if you missed it).

 

edited

 

No, caches might not be a quick get rich scheme, but I must have missed that in the OP...I thought the OP wanted to know if the caches placed would be allowed and if it would be a good idea to take advantage of the "caching craze". I agree that they might just draw in that little extra business and that ANY extra business is MORE than welcome around here...even if your friend can't seem to keep up!

Edited by Rockin Roddy
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BTW...we did much lke the OP suggested and took advantage of our state's lottery. My dad is against gambling, but a few of our customers like to play keno, so we put it in to keep customers around and spending money.

 

I KNOW what a few extra customers means! Bringing those customers in any way possible is our goal these days. If my Dad wasn't sooo worried about liability (he's hard headed and old school), I'd place a few caches near our clubhouse hoping some thirsty cachers would come in for refreshments!

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Roddy:

It looks like your post was edited before I replied, but NO I meant NO sarcasm in regards to "hope your business gets better." I am very sincere in that. (see PM)

 

Our economy depends on EVERY business thriving as much as that is possible and humanity depends on EVERY person prospering as much as that is possible. To wish ill on any person or anyone's business is to wish ill upon oneself.

 

I sincerely hope your business recovers. I am sure you well know that placing caches nearby won't be the "magic wand."

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It's all good CC... ;)

 

To clarify: The state park loves us (our cache crew), but that's not the full story. The state parks system loves caching as a whole since they allowed caching in their parks earlier this year! Although our local S.P. does praise our efforts, the system praises MiGO and it's members for placing caches in their parks helping to draw business (which has been very helpful I'm told)!

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This post may be considered as being "off-topic", but at the risk of doing so, I apologize in advance.

 

Would it be considered a commericial faux-paux-sp? if I were to place Dave & Busters Power Cards in a cache? I have no affilliation with D&B, but I do have a surplus of PowerCards with varying numbers of credits on them. I thought it might be a good way to get rid of them. Also, if it turns out to be good for business, I could approach them for addtional cards when I run out.

 

Am I off my rocker here?

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