Dorothy’s Lodge: Vacation Rental Booking Online
Julie and Christopher Cooper are the owners of Dorothy’s Lodge, a cabin rental in Elgin, Ontario. Dorothy’s Lodge is a family vacation haven hosting groups as large as 25 people.
The property caters to groups seeking a connective experience and offers multiple activities. They don’t want you packing your whole house just for a vacation, so they provide beach toys, life jackets, and BBQ propane to make life a little easier. They also offer other amenities such as boat rentals, catering services, wifi, and a laundry facility.
Dorothy’s Lodge also holds a long and rich history, being a staple in the hamlet of Chaffey’s Lock since the Rideau system was built. Relatives and friends of Dorothy, the namesake of the lodge, stop by regularly to share stories of growing up at the lodge and working there when it used to be a restaurant.
Julie and her husband Christopher bought Dorothy’s Lodge as their home with the lodge as an added bonus on the property. The hamlet of Chaffey’s Lock welcomed Julie and Christopher with open arms.
“We love sharing our property with the guests and the lake is gorgeous.”
They kept the name Dorothy’s Lodge because it is such a big part of the community. Julie and Christopher wanted to be good stewards of the area that welcomed them so warmly and they are grateful to call home.
Julie knew that having a professional website was key to establishing credibility in the cabin rental business. Since anyone can advertise a cabin for rent online, she wanted to stand out from the crowd. However, she didn’t know anything about social media or website design. So, Julie signed up for the ShopHERE powered by Google program for support with this project.
“Having the professional website sets my cabins apart from the herd and I believe makes the guests more comfortable renting from an established operating business as opposed to a private rental.”
Julie was paired with an eCommerce Coordinator to help her build her new website. Julie appreciated having someone to help with big details and small, down to choosing which photos to use on the website to best show off the cabins.
“The program held my hand all the way through and I got to know my business a lot better through the process.”
Julie found the program incredibly supportive, straightforward, and easy to navigate. She believes the face-to-face connection with her coordinator set the program apart from others she has participated in.
In addition to building a website, Julie also received marketing training as part of the program. Through this training, she learned about search engine optimization and what social media platforms suit her business’ needs. She is now active on Facebook and can give real-time changes or suggestions to clients through Messenger.
Julie says the largest benefit of ShopHERE was saving time and money. She found having her eCommerce Coordinator was invaluable to set up the platforms that would reach her audience and fit into her level of digital engagement.
“Time is my currency and having face-to-face advice and the experts design my website and navigate all the programs was a huge time saver so I could get to doing what I love about running the lodge.”
Looking for your next getaway? You can check out Dorothy’s Lodge at dorothyslodge.ca
If you’re a small business owner itching to get online, you can sign up for the ShopHERE program here.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.
Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.