>Brookings Oregon News, Sports, & Weather | The Curry Coastal Pilot

News Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

News arrow News arrow Business arrow PELICAN BAY TRAVEL

Print

PELICAN BAY TRAVEL

A woman looks inside the empty building that housed Pelican Bay Travel. (The Pilot/Leah Weissman).
A woman looks inside the empty building that housed Pelican Bay Travel. (The Pilot/Leah Weissman).

By Leah Weissman

Pilot staff writer

People walking down Chetco Avenue may notice that the office where Pelican Bay Travel used to be is locked, empty and dark – but that doesn't mean the business is closed.

Kerie Schaefer, owner of Pelican Bay Travel, moved the business at the beginning of December to her home, where she continues to meet clients through appointments and answer the phone at the same number as before.

"I think I get more person-to-person contact now," Schaefer said. "When people come over, it's just them and me. No one waiting in line, no other pressing matters."

The decision to move was spurred by a combination of financial and customer service reasons, Schaefer said.

"Moving shaved operating costs by about $2,000 a month," she said. "I don't have to pay rent or extra electric anymore."

Just before the move, Schaefer hired two women in Crescent City – feeling there needed to be more of a travel agency presence in Northern California.

"I changed some other things as well," she said. "The (women) who work for me became independent contractors, which means they work off commission.

"They like it because they make 80 percent of whatever they sell, and they get to work in their own homes," Schaefer added. "Before, I got the whole commission, but payroll was too expensive to keep doing that. ... I'm actually making more of a profit now."

Although the location of Pelican Bay Travel has changed, and some new workers have jumped on board, services are still relatively the same, Schaefer said – give or take a few things.

"We try not to do stand-alone airline tickets anymore," she said. "That means no car, no hotel, no tours – just the flight. But we do make an exception for existing clients."

Schaefer said that, instead of going through airlines anymore, she now uses a travel agent network to book cruises, tours, car rentals, hotels and national or international flights.

"It actually doesn't affect the client or price at all – you still get the same low rates," she said. "It just makes things easier for us because we don't have to go through the airlines."

As for the impact the changes are having on the business, Schaefer said she and "the girls" are swamped.

"People are getting ready for spring break, are booking early for summer – we are even taking calls for Christmas trips," she said. "We are always busy this time of year."

Before Schaefer moved the business to her home and sales started to pick up, she had been trying to sell the travel agency.

"I couldn't work up front and do all the back office work along with airline stuff, plus provide quality service to my clients," she said. "I was really thinking about closing it, but I realized there was too much demand here.

"And since we are doing so well now, it's not for sale anymore," she added.

Right now, Schaefer said her only form of advertisement is through word-of-mouth and using the well-known Pelican Bay Travel name.

Changing things has been a challenge, but Schaefer said the benefits outweigh the costs.

"I get to work out of my house and it's cheap and nice," she said. "And people like it because, instead of them having to stop by the office to pick up their papers, I deliver their documents to them now."

Pelican Bay Travel is open for business from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Meetings are by appointment only, and customers should call (541) 469-3158.

Print

Business News by Yahoo Finance

  • Yellen tone suggests choppiness for markets ahead
    U.S. stock investors have been enjoying an extended period of low volatility and steady gains, but with the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates this year and major indexes near records, the market could get a bit choppier in coming weeks. Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday said she expected the U.S. central bank to raise rates in 2015, though the process was expected to be gradual, with the timing of the first hike dependent on the strength of economic data. Yellen's comments kept the likelihood of a September rate increase high.
  • Fed on track to hike rates as economic headwinds wane: Yellen
    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was clearer than ever on Friday that the central bank was poised to raise interest rates this year, as the U.S. economy was set to bounce back from an early-year slump and as headwinds at home and abroad waned. Yellen spoke amid growing concern at the Fed about volatility in financial markets once it begins to raise rates, and a desire to begin coaxing skeptical investors toward accepting the inevitable: that a 6-1/2-year stretch of near-zero interest rates would soon end. The confident tone suggested the Fed wants to set the stage as early as possible for its first rate rise in nearly a decade, with Yellen stressing that monetary policy must get out ahead of an economy whose future looks bright.
  • Bank of England confirms EU exit research after email misfire
    The Bank of England plans to assess the implications of a possible British exit from the European Union, it said in a statement, confirming an email it inadvertently sent to a newspaper about the supposedly confidential research project. The Guardian reported that an aide to a senior Bank official said in the email the project should be kept secret from most BoE staff and any journalists asking about it should be told the Bank was looking at a broad range of European economic issues. British Prime Minister David Cameron, who was re-elected on May 7, has pledged to reshape Britain's ties with the EU before holding an in-out membership referendum by the end of 2017.

Follow Curry Coastal Pilot headlines on Follow Curry Coastal Pilot headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2015 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use