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And the survey says ...
Great Bend lodging fares well in study
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For complete survey results, go to:

Editor’s note: The Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau this spring conducted surveys to gauge opinions of lodging in the community. In the first of two parts, the Great Bend Tribune will examine the overall impressions of lodging experiences. Part two Friday will deal specifically with the Great Bend Convention Center.


The quality of lodging in Great Bend and the experiences of those staying in the city’s motels has been a topic of much conversation recently, stirred by the controversy surrounding the Convention Center.
This discussion, said Great Bend Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director Cris Collier, has clouded the issue. And, perhaps, it has given the impression the community’s over-night options are lacking.
“We wanted to see how we rank in terms of lodging,” Collier said. So, she, her Board of Directors and the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce came up with an 11-question survey and took it to the Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo held in April at the Expo Complex.
“We thought this would be the best time to get community-wide feedback,” she said. During the show, motels locally have nearly 100 percent occupancy.
What they found wasn’t what they expected. “I was somewhat pleasantly surprised,” Collier said.
“They were actually a little better than I was thinking they would be,” said Loren Unruh, president of the CVB Board. “It said ‘hey, we’re OK here in Great Bend.”
In addition to the questionnaire, those interviewed were given the opportunity to make comments  on specific businesses. These were compiled and given to the respective motel management.
Unruh said these could be helpful as well, giving the facilities ideas on what they are doing right and where they can improve.
Of the 11 questions asked, the average response of four of them was good. The rest were very good to excellent.
The questions ranged from the quality of the amenities offered to the overall experience to whether or not the respondent would stay at the motel again to whether or not the respondent would recommend the facility to someone else.
 The last three questions were probably the most telling, Collier said.
Question nine was: How would you rate your overall experience at the hotel?
The responses were:
• 5 – Excellent: 23 (17.4 percent)
• 4 – Very Good: 47 (35.6 percent)
• 3 – Good: 30 (22.7 percent)
• 2 – Fair: 14 (10.6 percent)
• 1 – Poor: 18 (13.6 percent)
Question 10 was: Would you stay here on a return trip?
The responses were:
• Yes: 86 (61.4 percent)
• No: 54 (38.6 percent)
Question 11 was: Would you recommend this hotel to others?
The responses were:
• Yes: 73 (51.8 percent)
• No: 68 (48.2 percent)
Collier admitted she was a little concerned about question 11. “We were about 50-50 on that. I would like to see that number a little stronger.”
Another highlight, however, were the responses to the staffs at the motels. Often, Collier said, some blemishes will be overlooked by a customer if they are treated well.
The majority of the respondents rated the staff where they stayed as excellent in terms of friendliness, helpfulness and knowledge, and very good on appearance.
Question six dealt with this:
 Hotel staff
• 5 – Excellent: 40 (38.5 percent)
• 4 – Very Good: 28 (26.9 percent)
• 3 – Good: 16 (15.4 percent)
• 2 – Fair: 8 (7.7 percent)
• 1 – Poor: 12 (11.5 percent)
Staff friendliness/helpfulness
• 5 – Excellent: 61 (43 percent)
• 4 – Very Good: 44 (31 percent)
• 3 – Good: 15 (10.6 percent)
• 2 – Fair: 11 (7.7 percent)
• 1 – Poor: 11 (7.7 percent)
Staff knowledgeable
• 5 – Excellent: 47 (33.6 percent)
• 4 – Very Good: 41 (29.3 percent)
• 3 – Good: 23 (16.4 percent)
• 2 – Fair: 15 (10.7 percent)
• 1 – Poor: 14 (10 percent)
Staff appearance
• 5 – Excellent: 42 (29.8 percent)
• 4 – Very Good: 50 (35.5 percent)
• 3 – Good: 24 (17 percent)
• 2 – Fair: 12 (8.5 percent)
• 1 – Poor: 13 (9.2 percent)
Collier said the survey results were presented to the CVB Board Aug. 9, the Great Bend City Council Aug. 19 and the chamber Wednesday. “It took a while to get the information compiled.”