If you booked a retreat in 2019 and have just called to book one for this year because your church is ready to get back to events, you may be shocked by the price difference. Quite a few things have changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and cost is a major one.
Retreat centers are seeing the effects of inflation just as much as consumers. The rising cost of food and shortages of items is taxing on the kitchen. Gas prices are taking a toll on work vehicles, mowers and golf carts. Increased minimum wage is also a factor for retreat centers hiring their summer staff (which are more elusive than ever).
But there are things you can do to still make your event work:
Fundraise. Sometimes we forget how willing people are to help others. Host a fundraiser to help get guests to your event. Here are eight ideas to get you started.
Give guests plenty of time to save up the money. If you told most people that this weekend they could go to an event for $200, many would not have the money sitting around right now to go. But if it weren’t until 8 months from now, they would have time to save up for it.
Cut back. If necessary, cut back on a few of the extras so that it is more affordable. I know this isn’t fun, but better to have a couple less items/activities/decorations than to have no one go at all.
It’s not just retreat centers increasing their prices. While some may think a way to cut back on their retreat is by transferring to a hotel instead, we have crunched the numbers to show what it really costs. All-inclusive retreat centers still offer way more for your money, even with the rising costs. So, don’t sacrifice your event due to sticker shock. Do some research, ask about event options, and fundraise where you can. Have faith and know that God will provide. Retreats aren’t just about fun. They are a means to connect with the Lord and deepen faith.
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:8