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Updated: June 30, 2020

Remote work plus staycation add up to a ‘workcation’ in Lakes Region

Courtesy / Wolf Cove Inn Wolf Cove Inn owner Roy Forsberg says existing technology made it possible to create a package that offers the inn as a “half work, half vacation” destination.

The idea of a “staycation” has been around for at least a couple of decades.

Remote work, gaining currency before the pandemic, has gone into overdrive.

Now a Lakes Region innkeeper has combined the two ingredients to come up with a concept he’s calling a “workcation.”

Roy Forsberg, co-owner of the Wolf Cove Inn in Poland, said in a blog post that the workcation is an evolution of the “virtual office,” which many people associate with working from home.

“Yes, you can work at home,” he continued. “But every once in a while, why not put in for a change of scenery?”

Forsberg leveraged the inn’s high-speed internet, free wi-fi and various outdoor and indoor spaces to add a workcation package to his wedding, romance and other boutique lodging deals. The campaign also markets the scenic prospects of a workcation.

In 2013, Roy and Sue Forsberg left careers in software engineering to buy the inn as a year-round enterprise.

Courtesy / Wolf Cove Inn
Roy and Sue Forsberg

Like the rest of the lodging industry, they were forced to close in response to the pandemic.

During that time, Roy Forsberg told Mainebiz, he realized he would need to refocus his marketing efforts for this summer, away from his traditional channels. Over 95% of his guests from June through October are out-of-staters. Through discussions with the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, he hit on the idea that people working from home might be a new market segment.

“You can only work in your home for so long before those four walls start closing in,” he said.

His inn had the technological and space capabilities that would accommodate remote work, he said. 

He hired the advertising arm of Spectrum, the telecommunications company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., to develop internet and TV ads for a Maine audience. The campaign, which will include the inn’s workcation and its other packages, is scheduled to begin this week. 

The inn reopened June 1 and the workcation package launched mid-June, with one booking coming in shortly thereafter.

Courtesy / Wolf Cove Inn
Roy and Sue Forsberg are marketing their inn as a “workcation” destination.

Bookings are also stronger than usual for elopements and intimate weddings, he added.

“We’re getting so many calls from people who still want to get married but can’t do big weddings,” he said. He’s already booked 36 small weddings.

“Last year we did 45,” he said. "I think we’ll exceed that this year.”

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