It’s Been Awhile
We hope this newsletter finds everyone doing well despite the challenges these days. It’s been awhile since I released a newsletter so I thought it would be good to take a second to bring everyone up to speed. The fiscal year for Castaway Lodge, Inc. runs from April 1st through March 31st. Approaching the election in September of last year, I was certain that there couldn’t’ be a worse business environment. Election year bickering along with the revelation that as a Nation, we were in serious economic downturn and constant “fear mongering” was pretty sobering for someone in the fishing and hunting business. Armchair forecasting would seem to indicate that we would be in trouble as discretionary spending tightens. Being in this business since 1993, incorporating in 2005 and building a Lodge in 2006, I piloted our company through Oxley/Sorbanes; 9/11; the High-Tech Stock crash; and an Avian Flu scare but I have never navigated through a Recession. I was in the real estate business during the S & L Crisis of the 80’s and it was a life changing experience for many.
180 Degree Surprise
What followed was very counter-intuitive, thankful, and humbling experience, our business grew and grew during 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. Interviewing clients, I asked “what’s going on”. The answers made sense. In times of strong profits and hot business cycles, there’s not much need to entertain clients or boost employee morale. In fact, I’ve talked to clients over the years that mentioned “we’re so busy we can’t afford to get away”. We find ourselves in a different economic environment at present and for us it’s having a positive impact. At present, our guests are entertaining clients to bolster relationships, gain or maintain client relationships, boost employee morale, and team building. There is also the element of clients “scaling back” and spending money closer to home. What may have been a corporate retreat to Costa Rica for $40,000 has turned into a more affordable trip to the Texas Coast. Family groups and fishing buddies are going with a known value and sticking closer to home. For the fiscal year 4/1/08 through 3/31/09, Castaway Lodge, Inc. grew at an astonishing 28-44% across the board in lodging, fishing, and hunting.
No Better Value
One thing is certain, there is no greater value than fishing on the Texas Gulf Coast. With all-inclusive trip prices ranging from $275 to $375 per person, it’s a “value for the entertainment dollar” that cannot be equaled. We are appreciative to all of our clients that are “keeping it in Texas”! It has been said that “poorly run” businesses find themselves frequently increasing prices. Despite significant growth and competitors increasing prices, we are steadfast in maintaining price stability and offering our clients the best value and an affordable, high quality experience.
On The Fishing Scene
Of course the wind is going to blow during Springtime and it’s been extremely windy this year. I’ve been working in my airboat while our other Guides have been hitting the flats and doing very well over mud and grass for Redfish. Trout are transitioning to sand and ever present on shell. We’ve been having a hard time getting to the mid-bay environs with the wind. When it backs down, it’s been pretty quick fishing and that sets us up for an excellent summer. We’ve picked up nominal fresh water primary from local rainfall. The Guadalupe has brought down some badly needed inflows but it remains very salty locally.
Big News – Waterfowl Season
If you haven’t visited the Coastal Waterfowl website lately, you’ve missed some exciting news regarding layout boat hunting here on the Coast. We did a lot of field testing this Northern style of hunting and the results were impressive. We’re bringing it to you, the big difference, layout boat hunting is a lot more fun in our climate! Check out our Texas Layout Boat hunting video on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEJywHCsTWQ
Airboat Logistics & New Additions
We are adding another airboat to our line-up. We recently purchased a new fully camouflaged 20 x 8 Air Ranger (raked) with a fuel injected 496 Levitator and Whirlwind Whisper Tip blades. We are planning on having our existing 18 x 8 and the new boat running in tandem. This is going to broaden our flexibility, range, speed, and effectiveness. Some of you met Capt. Matt Raley this season. He joined us from Wisconsin toward the middle of our season. Matt was a great addition to the Team and he will be re-joining us this coming season. Matt has a lot of experience gunning layout boats on big water and was very impressed with our “small water” shooting effectiveness with these rigs.
Wendi went crazy with a ton of new landscaping at The Lodge. We are proud to have added a flag pole so we can display our pride in this great country along with numerous flower beds and our corporate signage.
Guests asked us to come up with an exclusivity package for complete privacy. If you would like to have the Lodge all to yourself, we are offering it exclusively to group sizes with a minimum of 10 guests.
In case you missed the last newsletter, we built a smokehouse on site. We call it The Orange Tree Smokehouse and it has been a huge hit. Custom smoking briskets, racks of long and short ribs, pork chops, even shrimp/crab Boudin has been a big hit.
Our Youtube channel has grown to over 100,000 hits on our videos and the channel is http://www.youtube.com/CaptDoubleK We are also updating our information and staying in touch through Plaxo and Facebook.
We are thankful to everyone for making us the fastest growing Fishing & Hunting Lodge on the Texas Gulf Coast! We are here to serve our guests and the relationships we’ve formed with many of you over the years are endearing and we can’t thank you enough. We’re looking forward to your next adventure with us!
Warmest Regards & Best Wishes,
Castaway Lodge, Inc.
109 W. Austin
Seadrift, TX 77983