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A common question we are asked by many clients whether it be hunting, fishing or horseback is what about gratuity and how much? In support of this, our suggestions on gratuity are as follows:
Gratuity is not built into the price of your trip and is also not automatically expected. Gratuity, from our perspective, is earned based on your experience of the services provided. Therefore, if for some reason, you decide not to leave gratuity, it is your choice. However, given we are a services business and if you are not satisfied with something on your trip, we would like an opportunity to fix it during your trip and certainly want to know about anything you feel that should be improved in the interest of being the best we can be. We prefer this be a discussion with your guide or the owners, preferably before you go home rather than by a bad review on a website. We value your opinion and your business so we DO want to know about the good and bad of your experience!
Another key point is gratuity should be based on the professionalism and services provided by our staff and not necessarily on the hunt success or not, although we do understand for some this may affect how and whether you leave gratuity. For example, did our staff do everything they could to ensure you had a great and fun experience within their ability to control? Did they cater to your desire and abilities as best they could?
With the above as some background, here are some suggested guidelines. A common or average guideline for gratuity is 15% based on the cost of your trip. The 15% should then be divided as follows assuming you are happy with the entire staff (or you may decide to break it out differently based on services of each or lack of service): 10% to the guide and 5% going to a distribution between packers / wranglers, and cook. You can of course decide to tip more or less based on your experience. One last point here is if you are in a remote camp and your guide is playing the role of guide, cook and perhaps more, you might consider tipping them more than the 10% and closer to 15%.
Lastly, in the case of “unguided services” the 15% of the total trip cost would still be the guideline with the tip being divided among the packers.
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Colorado Outfitters, LLC is an equal opportunity employer and provider, authorized by special use permits from the USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management Little Snake Field Office to operate on the White River and Routt National Forests.