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How to Run a Resort in the US

Discover what it takes to run a successful resort and deliver a seamless customer experience.

When guests stay at a resort, they are looking for more than a bed to sleep in and a roof over their head; they are seeking an experience.

Research proves that Americans — especially Millennials — are spending more and more of their disposable income on experiences compared to commodities. Entrepreneurs who focus on providing an adventure rather than a service are more likely to thrive in this industry.

The hospitality industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.50% by 2028, which is a great sign for entrepreneurs wanting to invest in the resort industry. So, how do resort owners deliver what consumers want? Well, it takes an owner with the right skill set, a resort that surpasses expectations, an active digital presence, and an eye for detail.  


The expertise to run a resort

Being a customer satisfaction-based business, resort owners need a specific set of skills to flourish in the industry. It takes both interpersonal and managerial skills.

For starters, owners need to master the art of communication; this entails being an active listener and having empathy towards guests and their issues. On the managerial side, an owner must be quick on their feet in terms of problem solving, crisis management, coordination, time management and teamwork.

What is your customer looking for?

A resort is typically a multi-service business, offering guests a variety of facilities and amenities on site. To succeed at delivering a well-rounded experience, you need to excel at each service.   

Accommodation – Based on recent research, travelers ranked room quality as most important when choosing a room. You want guest suites to be clean and comfortable. Ensure that housekeeping is staying up to par on cleanliness and stocking the rooms with all the essential amenities. 

Food and Beverage – Resorts typically have their own restaurants and bars. Research suggests that 25 to 45 percent of hotels’ revenue come from onsite restaurants. If you don’t have experience in the restaurant industry, hire trusted staff that can carry the business autonomously.

Activities – Take advantage of the region. Whether you’re located on a ski hill or down by the coastline, offer activities unique to the area. Organizing these outings from beginning to end can be challenging and time-consuming. Instead, opt for a partnership with local attraction agencies who specialize in planning activities.

Service – Your employees are the face of your business. They are the ones on the front lines interacting with customers daily. So, it is necessary that they possess strong interpersonal skills, similar to that of the owner. In the end, your employees are the ones who form relationships with guests and become part of their memories.  


Digital influence

Recent research shows that 84 percent of Americans trust and refer to online reviews in their purchasing decision. This modern-day word-of-mouth can make or break a company. When running a resort — which is dependent on customer satisfaction — you need to be involved in the conversation.

Stay active on digital platforms by responding to requests and questions, and, most importantly, addressing complaints. Direct customer feedback regarding your resort and overall customer experience will give you valuable insights on what’s working and what needs improvement.   


It’s all in the details

To run a thriving resort, you need to be detail driven. Guests are paying for a seamless experience from beginning to end. You can be sure that customers notice the smallest of details and have an especially keen eye for flaws. Everything from the clearness of pool water to the fluffiness of pillows will be under their inspection.

With that in mind, you need to have that same attention to detail and view your resort through their lenses. All these small factors put together is what forms your resort’s ambiance. Guests build an emotional attachment to your establishment based on how the atmosphere makes them feel. Your retreat should be their home away from home.    

Are you ready to switch gears from service supplier to experience provider? Running a resort is indeed a rewarding and unique business venture. What’s more, it is in a flourishing industry that is undergoing continuous growth. offers you the opportunity to explore all the many resorts available for sale across America and find the one that best suits you.  

Or, you can take a look at the other opportunities that are available in any industry.

Bruce Hakutizwi

About the author

USA and International Manager for, a global online marketplace for buying and selling small medium size businesses. The website has over 60,000 business listings and attracts over 1.5 million buyers to the site every month.