November 14th, 2017 12:49PM
Tracy Allen and Sandy Mattingly laugh at the label “Golf Package Queens,” but they are the golf package gurus one wisely seeks when contemplating options for a pilgrimage to the Gaylord Golf Mecca.
“If you are looking to do a package and stay in a non-traditional hotel or resort setting, they provide that on their end and then they will book any golf course member of the Mecca,” Paul Beachnau, executive director of the Gaylord Area Tourism Bureau, said.
“They know the 15 golf courses that are part of the Mecca and they take care of our members. They have been working in this area with golfers for a long, long time. They know the language of golfers. They are experts in their craft. They just do a great job, the ultimate in customer service.”
Tracy works for The Natural at Beaver Creek Resort, which features modern vacation log cabins for lodging. On her business card and flyers she proclaims: “You tell me when you want to come, how long you want to stay and what you want to play. And I’ll take care of the rest.”
Sandy is the owner of Pine Cone Vacations which offers vacation rentals in lake-front properties, luxury homes on golf courses, on lakes or in the woods via packages year-around for not only golf, but fly-fishing, snowmobiling and skiing.
Her company’s slogan: “We start your vacation before you do!”
Sandy and Tracy are lodging competitors, and yet work together in respect to the Gaylord Golf Mecca. They have known each other for over 20 years. Sandy previously worked in the hotel and hospitality industry in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Gaylord. In fact, she hired Tracy for one of her early jobs in the industry at a Gaylord area hotel property.
They are a Gaylord Golf Mecca combination, the golf package queens, and they are friends. It is not unusual at a golf show for people to approach one and ask about the other.
“We are known as a team, and that’s pretty cool actually,” Sandy said. “We have been doing what we do for so many years that people think of us that way.”
Tracy said while business is business, Sandy is a great friend.
“We both want the same thing; people to come to Gaylord and keep coming back,” she said.
Beachnau said it is clear they work with the same goal: “Making sure visitors to Gaylord have a great experience, and that’s the same goal as the Gaylord Golf Mecca.”
They each negotiate pricing with the Mecca partners for their firms. Tracy is going to include The Natural, its famous cabins and great golf course and go from there across the unprecedented collection of golf and properties with the golf groups. Sandy is going to offer her myriad of rentals from chalets to luxury homes to any and all vacationers. She can even put a group of up to 40 golfers in homes along the same street.
They each specialize in matching up the wants and the pricing to fit the group from tee time to sleep time and all in between.
“I customize for guests,” Tracy said. “I can point them in the right direction. I have my prices and know that I can compete with competitors everywhere, and with all The Natural and the other Mecca properties have I never really have to worry about getting the guests what they want. There’s so much to offer. I work with them personally and get it to fit.”
Sandy said the Gaylord Golf Mecca, which celebrated 30 years in 2017, put Gaylord golf on the map and is wonderful to work with and easy to offer as part of a vacation package. She is also an avid golfer and has played all the golf courses. She knows the products of the Mecca personally.
“Everybody knows something about the Mecca and all the great courses because they have offered this great golf for 30 years,” she said. “There are so many other areas striving to be like Gaylord. With the Mecca and what we do at Pine Cone we can plan everything, right down to what you want catered for breakfast and dinner if you choose that option. We will even grocery shop for you and put it in the refrigerator.”
Tracy said people love the Gaylord Golf Mecca, and she loves her job.
“We get positive feedback a lot,” she said. “I make sure I’m giving them what they want for the price they want. I have relationships with the Mecca members. Everybody really works together to make sure the golfers coming here have a great time. I really love doing this. I like making sure people have a wonderful time when they come here.”
Learn more about the Gaylord Golf Mecca at gaylordgolfmecca.com or call 800-345-8621.