4

A group of friends and I go on an annual summer trip river tubing and camping for a weekend. The last 4 times we've gone, we've used one particular outfitter, I'll call them outfitter A, to rent tubes and campgrounds.

The second to last time we went, we saw a camp site right next to the best swimming spot on the river. We couldn't figure out who owned it at the time, but the next year, I spent a bunch of time looking through lists of outfitters and camp sites in the area to try and figure that out. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it, so we went with A again, and tried to figure it out while we were floating down the river that year, or at least find some landmark that was helpful. That also was unfruitful - so we still don't know who owns the campsite that we could rent it from.

So my next thought is to ask outfitter A who owns it, in the hopes they know and we can book with them. So I'm looking for advice on how to ask for it tactfully, in a way that's appropriate for interacting with a pretty small business (<10 employees).

Some potentially relevant details:

  • It's been 3 years since we went tubing, as the last couple of vacations were to other places in the state than the river. So, while we've been there several times before, I don't know that they'll remember us, necessarily.
  • As a result of it having been several years, we can now legally drink, when we couldn't before. The campground that A owns does not allow drinking, though they don't enforce it as far as we can tell. I'm not sure how to turn this fact into a conversation about finding a specific other campsite, though.
  • We're still figuring out exactly what we want to do, but we may not tube with outfitter A this year either, as their drop off points are limited. Which is sort of a double whammy of "tell us about your competitors and then we're not going to go with you at all" that I'm concerned about.

I don't know if this is allowed or not, but I want to invite frame challenges here as well. I'm not convinced this is an appropriate thing to ask a business, so if it's not, I want to hear that.

6

Just tell outfitter A that you saw that site and you are interested to go there because of so and so.

Possible answers:

  1. I manage it, when do you like to go?
  2. I am not the manager but I know the manager and I can get it for you (he will likely get a commission)
  3. Sorry I can't get you that one but I have something similar here...
  4. Go away, how dare you ask me about that

I guess you will agree that option 4 sounds very unlikely. Just ask, you won't be the first person who discovered a nice place and asked for that one.

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