When we started Jung’s Birch Cottages nearly 40 years ago, things were different. In the winter, we would drive down to the local print shop to pick up boxes of freshly pressed brochures. Evenings were spent, while the icy air whipped and whirled outside our windows, sticking postage stamps and hand-writing the addresses of the past summer’s visitors. Then, once our tidy brochure bundles were dispersed through the U.S. Postal Service, we would sit and wait for the phone to start ringing. By spring, we would begin to hear from families—many of them returning guests—looking for a quaint, quiet, and comfortable place to stay for their summer vacation.
Needless to say, times have changed and this is not the way folks book travel today. Now, with help and guidance from the Internet—from listing directories and communities of hobbyist reviewers—travelers are well researched, better planned, and more fastidious when selecting accommodations. Moreover, they demand convenience: quick answers to questions, simple online booking, and flexible online payments. These are all good things, of course; everything in the world is more connected and accessible. Yet still, it has been difficult for us to keep up. This year, I celebrated my 80th birthday and Don turned 77. While most are having fun on new and novel social media apps, we are still just practicing how to send emails and text messages to our grandchildren. But, as the world changes, we must, too.
Many of our longtime guests may have noticed that we built a new website this year. Our grandson, who lives on the East Coast and does marketing work professionally, helped us with this project: creating new web pages, updating old information, and adding recent photos of the resort. The cottages and their woods-and-water setting haven’t changed much over the years. And the reasons guests visit Jung’s Birch Lake Cottages today are much the same as they were decades ago: to retreat to nature and find solitude, to reconnect with family and find communion, and to disconnect from the frenzy of day-to-day life and find peace and relaxation. With the website, our hope is to make our little, long-running cottage resort more discoverable to more families, and that more generations may find fun and enjoyment.
If you have been a guest at Jung’s Birch Lake Cottages, we would appreciate if you could take 3 to 5 minutes to write an online review. Since many of our first-time guests discover us through a Google search, a few short words in a Google review can work wonders for our business. For those who have more to say—and we know some of you do from the fish stories you tell—a Yelp review is equally welcome. The online promotion of these good experiences, we hope, will encourage more young families to visit us for the first time and create cherished memories of their own. Because, as we’ve learned after all these years, families are never simply looking for a place to stay; they are looking for a moment to make a memory. Thank you to all of our guests for your business and for your expressions of support.