PINEHURST, N.C. -- Pinehurst Co. Resorts expanded its commission
policy to offer 10% commission on package items including
accomodations, golf, breakfast and dinner sold at their four
Pinehurst formerly paid commission on accommodations only.
Pinehurst owns and operates the Pinehurst Resort here; Daufuskie
Island in Daufuskie Island, S.C.; the Homestead in Hot Springs,
Va., and Barton Creek in Austin, Texas.
The reason behind the change is
simple: The company sees the agent market as an untapped resource,
said Mary Beth Crumley, Pinehurst's national sales director for the
Agents who typically book the company's resorts are a mix of
corporate and upscale leisure, according to Crumley. Currently, she
said, agent bookings account for 3% to 4% of annual sales at the
The low percentage of agent business is due to the fact that not
many agents deal with golf, a lack of awareness of the resorts and
because the package components weren't commissionable, she
"We are a niche product that earns high revenues," said Crumley.
"The recent airline cutbacks make this the perfect product and a
huge opportunity [for agents]."
To address the lack of agent awareness, a travel industry sales
office headed by Crumley was created in February, and several
initiatives to increase agent interest are under way.
The office was represented at industry events including Travel
Industry Association's annual Pow Wow. The office did a direct
mailing in May and is using the replies to set up an e-mail
database to get information to interested agents. Additionally, a
familiarization trip program is being developed.
An agent section on the Pinehurst Co. Web site, at www.thepinehurstcompany.com, is in the works for a
2002 rollout, she said.
Although Crumley's office aims to boost agent sales, she said
that no estimates or formal goals have been released for
Travel agents interested in Pinehurst Company Resorts can
contact the travel industry sales office by calling (770)