A long Blogging absence has been due to technology. Not singularly of course, but primarily. The irony is that a huge attraction to Avalanche Ranch by our guests is the LACK of technology. No wi-fi, telephone or TV in the cabins. The perfect place to unplug and be present.
But a business in today’s world must operate on technology. So how does a business in a rural, river valley operate on technology when the connectivity provided in this area is sub-par? I have frequented a mangrove island 2 hours off-shore in Panama that had better internet than we have in Pitkin County, Colorado, United States of America. (Pitkin County is also where Aspen resides….?!) So a huge portion of my last 9 months in the office at Avalanche Ranch has been devoted to the back-side of the business, the ugly side in my opinion: software, internet and hardware.
The reservation software that we have been using for the last 10 years moved their platform to the cloud and did not offer an explanation to our crashing program, hours of aggravation and frustration until they finally admitted they stopped updating their premise-based software which we operated on. Wouldn’t it be lovely to move to the cloud? You can work from anywhere! All the time!
Ha! that’s funny on a few different levels. We don’t support the megabytes and bandwidth at Avalanche Ranch to operate on the cloud. I already live at my workplace and rarely go anywhere. And I already have the opportunity to work all the time!
So after research and a hair-pulling decision we threw down the big bucks for a platform that is much more than we need but promised to build us an online hot springs reservation module (coming soon!). Oh wait, we also had to purchase two servers, upgrade our computers and pay in numerous dollars for IT support. OUCH! I attended my first professional development retreat on how to use this system, a 4-day course in Avon, Colorado. (Which I really enjoyed because I got to talk about Lodging for 4 days with other Lodging people, without boring my kids to death.)
After purchasing the new program in February 2019, we were ready to launch the week of October 14. Ready is an exaggeration. Afraid of change is the reality. Each reservation had to be moved from one software to the other. Of course, the existing software did not build their program to be left behind. So there was no way to export the data (that we owned), no matter how many times I asked them. Or which week I asked them. They are not sick of me at all.
We have made the leap and as we had reservations booked into 2021 on the old software, we do not quite see the light at the end of the tunnel. We hope with all of our might that there aren’t too many errors and reservation transgressions. We would be incredibly naive to believe there are none. (So bear with us! And don’t hesitate to call to confirm a future reservation!) My experience with technology is such that it does not make life easier. It tends to throw a wrench in each and every day that challenges my patience, flexibility and sanity.
I would like to thank and possibly apologize to you all in advance for riding this current of change with us and putting up with our learning curve. At some point on the horizon, it will make us stronger and better for it!