Candlewood Suites: Grandparents Need Their Space

WICHITA, Kan.—People who dread spending too much time at their parents’ house over the holidays aren’t alone; according to a new study released by Candlewood Suites, more than 70% of today’s grandparents don’t necessarily want to stay with their kids - or grandkids - when they visit either. Following are some highlights from the Grandparent Getaway Survey of 488 qualifying travelers.
The Ties That Bind…
- Grandparents today lead active lives that include spending time with family. Nearly 60% of grandfathers and grandmothers continue to work full- or part-time, yet they are just as likely as their retired counterparts to visit their families at least a couple of times per year.
- Three-fourths of grandparents affirm that they stay connected because they don’t want to miss out on watching their grandkids grow up, and the most popular time for families to connect is to celebrate major holidays (51%), graduations or birthdays (44%).
- When staying with their families, nearly four fifths of grandparents get their own rooms, although as one respondent indicated, sometimes the grandkids “come to the guest room to be with us.”
... But Not Too Tight
- While almost 75% consider their grandchildren to be “a breath of fresh air,” more than one fourth prefer to experience their grandkids in small doses. - One in eight grandparents prefers to have dinner with their kids and grandkids, rather than staying for an entire weekend.
- Grandparents with teenage grandchildren are twice as likely to visit less than once a year, compared to grandparents with younger grandkids. - Nearly four fifths of respondents respect their family’s privacy and limit their visits so as not to impose on them. Conversely, only one third indicate that their families respect their privacy.
- More than half of respondents discreetly state a preference for their own cooking, while a forthright 4.4% would rather get a tattoo than eat their kids’ cooking. According to one grandmother’s comments, “they can’t boil water.” - A small group (6.3%) would rather go to the extreme of pitching a tent in a nearby park or even having a root canal before staying with their grandkids on their next trip.
- A hotel is the perfect solution for three fourths of grandparents surveyed whether - as some respondents indicated - it’s “for each other’s privacy,” because they “like to sleep” or for “time to be alone as a couple.”
Candlewood’s survey was conducted at the hotel company’s 103 locations nationwide in July and August 2002, and was analyzed by a national marketing research firm, Cunningham Research Associates. Fifty-seven percent were women and forty-three percent were men. Paralleling the overall population of grandparents in the country, half of survey respondents describe themselves as baby boomers. About 66% have grandchildren under the age of 12, about 10% have teenage grandchildren, and the remaining 24% have both age groups. The travel habits of grandparents are of particular interest to Candlewood Suites, which provides comfortable and economic alternative for travelers with short- to long-term lodging needs. Recognizing that many families are spread from coast to coast, Candlewood helps grandparents stay in touch with the highly successful “Grandparents Stay Free” holiday program.
Grandparents get a holiday night free when they pay for a Candlewood Suites studio the day before or after major holidays, and even a first-time stay. To qualify, guests simply show a photo of their grandchild when they check in. Candlewood Suites is an all-suites hotel owned, operated and licensed under Candlewood Hotel Co. (OTC: CNDL). Founded in 1995 by Jack DeBoer, widely recognized as the creator of the extended stay concept, Candlewood Suites has more than 100 properties in nearly every major market coast to coast. According to a recent Market Metrix Hotel Index report, Candlewood Suites is unsurpassed in the extended stay category for customer loyalty and satisfaction.
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