Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Welcome Every Crew Member

(0:58) Nearly 50% of boaters today cruise with their pets. I couldn't imagine leaving the dock without our four-footed crew members. How does your marina rate on pet friendliness? Good accommodations for our canine crew members are often the make or break amenity when we are choosing a marina. And trust me, we are not alone.

(0:47) So what is needed to accommodate our furry crew members? Here's my list of important pet amenities.

1. Have a pleasant area where pets can be safely walked. It can be on the marina grounds or at a nearby park or trail. Don't offer a tiny scrap of grass on the edge of the parking lot. That sends the message we're not welcome.

2. Offer pick-up bags readily available where pets are walked. It tells me my pets are welcome and reinforces proper pet etiquette.

3. Include information about pet-friendly activities in the area in your welcome packets. Dog parks, trails for walking, fields and parks where a pet can run. Include pet events coming up in the area on your ZMOT sources - that's more than enough excuse to bring in new boaters.

4. Compile a list of veterinary clinics and emergency facilities for boaters who may arrive with a sick or injured pet. Offering this kindness when a boater is in need will not be forgotten.

5. Consider other pet-related services that might be available nearby such as grooming or specialty pet stores. We have selected a marina because we where able to get our hard-to-find brand of dog food nearby.

6. If you have moorings and offer a launch service allow leashed pets to use the launch to get to shore. They like to stretch their legs too.

(0:17) There are many other simple things you can do to make boaters' pets feel welcome. Have a treats jar in the office. Dockhands can carry a few to offer arriving pets, but make sure to ask the owner first. How about posting pictures of nautical pets on bulletin boards or even on your website? And last but certainly not least, always greet our pets and welcome them to the marina. They're an important part of the crew and will definitely have a say about whether we return.

(0:08) Make sure that you are not missing out on this growing group of boaters. To the typical pet owner their pet is considered a member of the family. By doing a few simple things to make them welcome you can bring in more business and keep them coming back.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.