Swinging for the Fences: Visit Syracuse & Ripe Partner for Stay-to-Play Event Housing

June 28, 2024 by Alexa Chumpitaz
Swinging for the Fences: Visit Syracuse & Ripe Partner for Stay-to-Play Event Housing

Success by the Numbers


Exciting Growth for Salt City Sports Brings New Needs

Imagine your sports organization is booming – teams flocking in from all over. But with success comes challenges, like managing a mountain of hotel reservations for visiting players and families. Sounds like a logistical headache, right?

That’s what Ripe’s client Visit Syracuse and their partner Salt City Sports faced as their softball and baseball tournaments skyrocketed in popularity. Salt City Sports, a young organization, was “born on the idea to market, organize and run baseball and softball tournaments in Syracuse, NY.” Their stay-to-play tournaments grew exciting traction in the last couple of years, but with growth comes growing pains. Initially, Salt City Sports and Visit Syracuse managed logistics themselves, including lodging research, liaising with hotels, and assisting families. But this was becoming increasingly time-consuming, taking away resources from both organizations and they knew they would need a new strategy for the 2024 season. The increased interest in the Salt City tournaments demanded a more efficient approach to managing stay-to-play accommodations.


Turning to Ripe for Event Housing Management

Built on event housing expertise, Ripe (whose first client was the Sundance Film Festival) offered the perfect solution for Salt City Sports’ booming tournaments. With Ripe’s Event Housing Services, Visit Syracuse and Salt City Sports would be freed from the time-consuming tasks of managing room blocks and tracking inventory. After securing contracts with 11 partner hotels, Ripe created a custom booking website specifically for Salt City Sports. This site showcased available rooms at negotiated rates for each hotel. Ripe also conducted a one-on-one training session with hotel staff to ensure smooth operation within the Ripe Central Reservation System. Importantly, hotels did not need to manage their inventory, they simply confirmed reservations as they came in.

Streamlined Booking for Everyone

Once the Salt City Sports booking site was launched, a custom link was added to their website. This allowed attendees to seamlessly book rooms at negotiated rates without needing special codes or calling hotels. The shareable link could also be distributed via email, social media, and directly to teams, further simplifying the booking process for attendees.

Ripe’s expert reservations team then became the point of contact for attendees’ lodging needs and fielded all lodging-related inquiries from attendees and team managers. This included everything from explaining “stay-to-play” policies to facilitating booking changes and group reservations. Ripe’s team also assisted in outreach to teams to facilitate bookings and track team registration. 

Turning to Ripe to manage housing logistics streamlined the booking process for attendees and alleviated the burden on Visit Syracuse, Salt City Sports, and partner hotels.

Salt City Sports has been growing YOY and we knew that moving into 2024, one person alone could not manage all the steps it takes to streamline their housing component. With eagerness to assist, Ripe knew it would be a bit of a challenge to roll out a new housing agency to these teams, but they managed to “knock it out of the park”- pun intended! Ripe has generated over 1,100 room nights while capturing over $350K for the spring and summer SCS series—these are remarkable numbers!

I can confidently say that after taking on such a huge task with Salt City Sports alone, I would highly recommend their services for future groups.

Sarah Conway | Visit Syracuse Insider

Key Outcomes

Ripe & HANYC Collaboration Impact

Since the implementation of Ripe’s Event Housing Services, Visit Syracuse and Salt City Sports have:

  • Booked over $350K in stay-to-play tournaments hotel reservations
  • Captured over 11,000 room nights for attendees, with an average of 67 per weekend
  • Helped 134 softball and baseball teams find the perfect stay, freeing Visit Syracuse and Salt City Sports to focus on other responsibilities
  • Achieved a 22% conversion rate on Salt City Sports booking site, proving an efficient booking process for travelers

Utilization of Ripe’s Event Housing Services for All Groups

Event Housing Services has been a cornerstone of Ripe’s offerings since our inception. Whether you’re hosting a tournament, a tech conference, or anything in between, Ripe’s Event Housing Services takes the stress out of managing accommodations. Our team handles everything from room blocks to reservations, so you can focus on making your event a success story.

Working with Visit Syracuse and Salt City Sports on their tournaments has been incredibly rewarding. Sarah and her team are a pleasure to collaborate with and their passion for these events is infectious. Ripe’s Event Housing Services seamlessly integrated with their vision, streamlining the hotel booking process for players, families, and tournament organizers. This allowed everyone to focus on what truly matters – delivering a fantastic tournament experience for all participants.

Alexandria Wirth | Ripe Director of Traveler Services