WORLEY, Idaho -- What does a resort golf course do for an encore when it continues to rack up awards like Tiger Woods collects tournament victories?
At Circling Raven Golf Club – the much-decorated course at the Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort & Hotel – the answer is to remain creative and reward guests with value-laden services and bang for their hard-earned buck.
Two recent guest-friendly efforts from the golf course – which is listed No. 4 in Golf Digest's "Top-40 Casino Courses" nationally and a "Top 100 Courses You Can Play" in Golf Magazine's 2008-09 biennial list – demonstrate well Circling Raven's exemplary customer service and value.
As a thank you to golfers and to continue its history of exceeding player expectations, Circling Raven offered a free sleeve of high-end Titleist Pro V1 golf balls to guests who purchase a round of golf on Tuesdays or Wednesdays during the month of August. These top-line golf balls include the Circling Raven logo on them. They are packaged in a glossy, embossed sleeve with an image of the course's signature eighth hole on it.
The second customer friendly effort the course recently implemented to great reception is a shuttle service to the course from Lake Coeur d'Alene. The lake is a majestic body of water to which Circling Raven's owner and operator, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, owns rights to one-third
The Gene Bates-designed Circling Raven is picking up golfers-homeowners who live on the lake and who boat to the end nearest Circling Raven. Many of these homeowners are avid golfers who live in the acclaimed golf residential communities of Black Rock and Gozzer Ranch.
"The shuttle service is very popular," said Circling Raven Director of Golf Tom Davidson. "Instead of taking as long as 90 minutes to drive around the lake golfers can get here in 20 minutes."
Circling Raven's quality and customer-service commitment to excellence generates positive results. For instance, the free sleeve of Pro V1 balls promotion drove substantially more rounds to Tuesdays and Wednesdays than customary. And this helped lead to a sizeable increase in the number of average dollars spent per round at the course in August.
On another, positive note the number of stay-and-play packages at Circling Raven and its Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort & Hotel increased 9 percent from August 2007 to August 2008.
Circling Raven's performance is particularly noteworthy given the month was marked by a down economy nationally which included higher gas prices and an overall increased cost of living.
"We understand the challenge of today's economy and appreciate the need to re-earn our customers' loyalty," said Director of Golf Tom Davidson. "We are committed to providing them with value and memorable experiences at Circling Raven."
Recent honors bestowed upon Circling Raven include:
* No. 1 Tribal Golf Course in America - Native American Casino Magazine
* "Top-40 Casino Courses in the U.S. (No. 4)" – Golf Digest
* Top 100 Courses You Can Play 2008-09" – GOLF Magazine
* Top U.S. Resort Courses – Golfweek Magazine 2008
* America's Top Golf Courses - Zagat Survey 2007-08 rankings
* No. 9 in the "Signature 36: Top Resort Courses in the West" – Fairways + Greens Magazine 2007
* Resort Merchandiser of the Year – Inland Empire Chapter of the PGA 04, 05, 06, 07
* Service Excellence Award by the Coeur d'Alene Area Chapter of the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor
For more information about Circling Raven Golf Club or Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort & Hotel call 1-800-523-2464 or visit www.circlingraven.com.
About Circling Raven Golf Club and Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort & Hotel:
Owned and operated by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and convenient to Spokane (WA) airport, the casino resort and golf club are nestled on a reservation covering 345,000 acres of mountains, lakes, old-growth forest and farmland. The resort spans the western edge of the northern Rocky Mountains. Tribal history tells us that Circling Raven was a spiritually powerful leader, his name coming from his relationship to the raven, who helped guide him on his journeys, warn him of danger and show him where to find fish and game.
Circling Raven was created amid a unique blend of wetlands, grasslands and woodlands. At 7,189 yards, the par 72 championship layout meanders through 620 acres, only 100 representing cultivated ground. Wildlife is abundant, including elk, deer, moose and an occasional black bear. In fact, the opening was delayed due to damage on two greens by migrating elk.
* Yardages: Gold, 7,189; Blue, 6,578; White, 6,108; Red, 5,389; Green, 4,708
* Total Acreage: 670 (including practice area, practice green and clubhouse)
* Amenities: The clubhouse is 6,500 square feet, including the Twisted Earth Grill and full service bar. Both locker rooms include showers and lockers. The new Stensgar Events Pavilion is adjacent to the golf clubhouse and is an excellent, full-service venue for meetings and events – from wedding receptions to golf tournament dinners and festivities. The practice facility covers 25 acres; separated into areas for wedges, sand play and all clubs in the bag. The resort adjacent to the course includes 202 hotel rooms, casino, multi-purpose events center, restaurants, indoor pool, gift shop and other amenities.
The Coeur d'Alene Casino offers 1,800 machines for play in smoking and non-smoking areas, off-track betting for horse and dog races, high-stakes bingo, entertainment and many other amenities. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week every day of the year. The resort is regularly voted the most popular casino in the Inland Northwest.
Dan Shepherd, Buffalo Communications, 703-891-3320, email@example.com