How much inconvenience do bystanders and neighbors experience while perceived “reality” shows attempt to get their perfect shot? A lot it seems, especially if that show is The Bachelorette. Whether the show is filming in a hotel or a residential neighborhood, residents are saying you’d better hope it’s not the one you’re choosing to rest your head at.
A recent vacation write-up turned rant describes very little reality being captured during the filming of one woman’s quest to find everlasting love. Bystanders witnessed multiple takes of Desiree, the newest Bachelorette, and one of her beaus at an upscale Southern California Inn – and this was just to capture footage of their car pulling up. Paying guests were ushered off to the side of the lobby while the show’s crew got their footage, and the frustration didn’t end there. Hotel guests were also treated to the sound of helicopters flying overhead long into the night. A complaint much like many that have been voiced by residents of a variety of upscale neighborhoods that the show uses to house their contestants from season to season.
There’s no doubt that the exposure will be good for both real estate for those neighborhoods and for the Inn in question. The aforementioned resort even handled the situation well. After the fact. However, the question remains, is the inconvenience that their guests experienced worth the exposure? Could the property have handled it differently? Should the show rent out the whole resort to avoid these frustrations? Just take one shot and work with what they get? Film actual reality? Judging by the number of viewers the show pulls in every season, I’m sure there are even some guests that were thrilled to experience being a part of the show’s history. Most people do not visit high-end resorts to be treated like second class citizens, however, being pushed aside for someone “more important” than they are. Quite the opposite, really. Most people want to escape when they vacation, be treated like celebrities themselves. So why not alert guests ahead of time? If they don’t want the inconvenience associated with the filming of a popular television show, allow them to reschedule for a more quiet time. The property could easily fill those rooms with people who are less bothered by the chaos, and gain some positive publicity in the mean time.
Resort properties, popular venues, and anyone else that is thinking of hosting a Bachelor or Bachelorette and their cast and crew, please take note: [highlight color=”yellow”]Taking care of your regular guests and showing them the same respect that you’re showing these “celebrities” will pay off, especially on social media.[/highlight] If you’re going to allow filming at your property, be sure to take some steps to ensure the experience will be positive for everyone involved. A few ideas:
- No helicopters after a certain hour. This is just common courtesy. I feel silly even typing this.
- If there will be multiple takes of a scene (yes, this is a scene, not reality), be sure to do them during a time that will pose as little intrusion on your paying guests’ experience as possible.
- If you can’t find a way to get around the inconvenience, consider closing your property during filming.
- Let guests know ahead of time that something will be going on in order to allow them to plan to avoid the hoopla. While you may not be able to share details, you can give them a heads up that they may want to plan a late dinner or retire to their rooms early to avoid the inconvenience. Maybe offer discounted spa packages or room service during these times.
- If guests do complain, [highlight color=yellow”]go above and beyond to make things right.[/highlight] Their complaining will do far more damage to your reputation than a massage or a free night will cost you.
One of the allures of so-called reality television is the idea that any of us could become a star. One of the frustrations is that sometimes, people are treated like they are above us because they’ve done nothing more than become a contestant on a popular television show. Would you be frustrated or excited to see a show like this filming while you were on vacation? Are there different scenarios where it would be more or less acceptable?