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Colin Drury, Management and Cost Accounting Majestic Lodge

Majestic Lodge*
This case was originally set in the 1960's in rural Vermont. The Majestic Lodge is an old, but well
maintained property that has changed ownership several times over the years. It has no restaurant or
bar. It is positioned as a mid-price, good quality "destination" resort lodge.
The Majestic Lodge is open during the skiing season. It opens on December 2 and closes the last day
of March. The ski mountain it serves operates on a permit from the state which allows only 120 days
of operation per year. Each of the 50 rooms in the east wing rents for $15 for single occupancy or $20
for double occupancy. The west wing of the lodge has 30 rooms, all of which have spectacular views
of the skiing slopes, the mountains, and the village. Rooms in this wing rent for $20 and $25 for single
or double occupancy, respectively. The average occupancy rate during the season is about
80% (typically, the Lodge is full on weekends and averages 50 to 60 rooms occupied on week nights.)
The ratio of single versus double occupancy is 2:8, on average.
Operating results for the last fiscal year are shown in Exhibit 1. Mr. Kacheck, the manager of the
lodge, is concerned about the off-season months, which show losses each month and reduce the high
profits reported during the season. He has suggested to the owners, who acquired the lodge only at
the end of the 1999 season, that to reduce the off-season losses, they should agree to keep the west
wing of the lodge operating year-round. He estimates the average occupancy rate for the off-season to
be between 20% and 40% for the next few years. Kacheck estimates that with careful attention to the
off-season clientele a 40% occupancy rate for the 30 rooms during the off-season would be much
more likely if the owners would commit $4,000 for advertising each year ($500 for each of 8 months).
There is no evidence to indicate that the 2:8 ratio of single vs. doubles would be different during the
remainder of the year or in the future. Rates, however, would have to be drastically reduced. Present
plans are to reduce them to $10 and $15 for singles and doubles.
The manager's salary is paid over 12 months. He acts as a caretaker of the facilities during the offseason and also contracts most of the repair and maintenance work during that time. Using the west
wing would not interfere with this work, but would cause an estimated additional $2,000 per year for
repair and maintenance.
Mrs. Kacheck is paid $20 a day for supervising the maids and helping with check-in. During the
season, she works 7 days a week. The regular desk clerk and each maid are paid on a daily basis at
the rate of $24 and $15 respectively. The payroll taxes and other fringe benefits are about 20% of the
payroll. Although depreciation and property taxes would not be affected by the decision to keep the
west wing open, insurance would increase by $500 for the year. During the off-season, it is estimated
that Mr. and Mrs. Kacheck could handle the front desk without an additional person. Mrs. Kacheck
would, however, be paid for 5 days a week.
The cleaning supplies and half of the miscellaneous expenses (room supplies) are considered a direct
function of the number of rooms occupied. The other half of the miscellaneous expenses are fixed and
would not change with 12 month operation. Linen is rented from a supply house and the cost also
depends on the number of rooms occupied, but is twice as much, on average, for double occupancy
as for single occupancy. The utilities include two items: telephone and electricity. There is no
electricity expense with the lodge closed. With the lodge operating, electricity expense is a function of
the number of rooms available to the public. Rooms must either be heated or air-conditioned. The
telephone bills for each of the four seasonal months were as follows:
80 Telephones @ $3.00/month
Basic Service Charge


During the off-season, only the basic service charge is paid. The monthly charge of $3 is applicable
only to active telephones.
An additional aspect of Mr. Kacheck's proposal is that a covered and heated swimming pool be added
to the lodge. Mr.Kacheck believes that this would increase the probability that the off-season
occupancy rate would be above 30%. Precise estimates are impossible. It is felt that although the
winter occupancy rate will not be greatly affected by adding an indoor pool, eventually such a pool will

Colin Drury, Management and Cost Accounting Majestic Lodge

have to be built to stay even with the competition. The cost of such a pool is estimated to be $40,000.
This amount could be depreciated over 5 years with no salvage value ($15,000 of the $40,000 is for a
plastic bubble and the heating units, which would be used nine months of the year). The only other
costs associated with the swimming pool are $400 per month for a lifeguard, required by law during
the busy hours, additional insurance and taxes, estimated to be $1,200; heating cost of $1,000; and a
yearly maintenance cost of $1,800. If the pool were covered, a guard would be needed for 12 months.
If it is not covered, a guard would be needed only for 3 summer months (from 15 June to 15
September, the warmest period of the year), and there would be no heating expense.
Majestic Lodge
Operating Statement, For the Fiscal Year ended 3/31/00




Manager's Wife


Desk Clerk


Maids (four)


Payroll Taxes and Fringe Benefits

Depreciation (15 year life)


Property Taxes




Repairs and Maintenance


Cleaning Supplies




Linen Service


Interest on Mortgage (5% interest rate)


Miscellaneous Expenses


Total Expenses


Profit before Federal Income Taxes


Federal Income Taxes (48%)

Net Profit


Assignment questions

1. List all the relevant decision alternatives in Mr. Kacheck's proposal.

2. For each alternative from question 1, list the annual expenses that are incremental to that
decision alternative but are not related to the room/days occupied.

3. What is the incremental contribution margin per occupied room/day during the off-season?
4. For each decision alternative calculate the occupancy rate necessary to break even on the
incremental annual expenses.

5. What alternative do you recommend? Why?

Colin Drury, Management and Cost Accounting Majestic Lodge

6. Evaluate the profitability of the Lodge as an investment for its owners. Does this affect your
answer to question 5?

7. Do you have any recommendations for the owners?

* This case is adapted by Professor John Shank of the Amos Tuck School, with permission, from an
earlier version written by Professor Felix Kollaritsch of the Ohio State University.