Given the variety of offerings, Quaaout Lodge attracts a wide range of customers, from local Elders and seniors to brunch fans and staycation visitors. With the authentic cultural experiences offered, they are described as “explorers” by the management team. The sections below outline the main customer segments.
Many bus tours have put Quaaout Lodge on their itinerary. Guests appreciate the Indigenous education opportunities, such as listening to stories in the winter home, singing songs, or cooking salmon over a fire. In the past, a one-night stay was typical as many tours turn around in Banff, Alberta. Quaaout Lodge has been encouraging the companies to increase their stay to two nights in order to provide these guests more daylight and time for activities, such as spa or golf, which are closed in the evenings. Guests also seem to prefer Quaaout Lodge over a night in Kamloops for the unique experience.
“And we get so many people that come through our doors that are here for less than 24 hours that don’t want to leave. They want to stay longer because they want to experience more while they’re here.”
The lodge accommodates many travelling hockey teams in the winter as well as snowmobiler groups. Golf groups have arrived from Korea, India, and other international locations, often after discovering the lodge on a bus tour or as part of a Thompson-Okanagan or BC Golf Tour. First Nation bands also book frequently, either as groups or individuals.
Quaaout Lodge receives many repeat customers from Kamloops, Calgary, or other areas in Alberta, with many Albertans having seasonal homes in BC. Some have childhood memories of the Shuswap area and bring their families to experience the area. More and more, the “foodie culture” is attracted to Quaaout Lodge, due to the unique menu offerings.
The local community also uses the lodge, such as seniors joining the aquafit classes. Others enjoy the food menu at the restaurant (e.g., brunch, Prime Rib Friday). Local schools also visit the lodge from Kamloops, Chase, Sorrento, and so on, often involving storytelling or archery. Young families might go swimming and then eat lunch.
Watch Video Clip 3: Food (Transcript Available) (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0):
Many bookings are made for corporate retreats or strategic planning meetings. This often involves team building activities with a cultural aspect, such as drum making as a team. Participants frequently choose to add additional nights after a meeting.
Wedding bookings are mostly made from Calgary residents or other areas in Western Alberta. Some local or Vancouver-based couples also make wedding reservations, as do residents from the United States, due to the favourable exchange rate and possibly with ties to the area.
What is consistent across all the customer groups is the desire to learn about the culture, to immerse themselves into the Secwépemc history and traditions, and to experience the activities offered.