Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Entertain Me

(1:05) Over the past few weeks we have been enjoying the bustle of civilization after spending weeks on the major rivers. One of the things we love doing is walking through the town centers and squares, looking at shops and restaurants and other entertainment choices.

(0:58) It got me thinking about the importance of a walking map to draw transient boaters to your facility and to ensure that they have a good time when they visit. If you are close to a pretty town, an interesting shopping experience, or have any kind of entertainment, you should develop an appealing walking map.

(0:50) It's easy to focus only on the things provided by your marina when you think about your marketing plans. You highlight your amenities, point out your services, maybe even talk up the staff. And those are all important to a boater deciding where to stay and can certainly make boaters choose your marina over the one next door.

(0:42) But that depends on the assumption that a boater is coming to your area. For many of you, your competition isn't simply the marinas nearby, it's the towns and places all around your location. So it's important to let boaters know what there is to do if they come to visit. This is particularly relevant for attractions within walking and biking distance of the marina.

(0:33) We've been to places like The Wharf Marina in Orange Beach, AL that has restaurants and quaint shops, a movie theater and even a Ferris wheel. Transient boaters fully appreciate a movie theater they can walk to. We saw our first movie in many months at The Wharf. We nearly passed by Pensacola where we walked off the boat into the beautiful city with almost endless possibilities. The same is true of Panama City where the Marina Civic Center is literally right next door. We missed seeing Bonnie Raitt by 2 days!

(0:19) It is worth spending some time on your walking map and working with the local businesses who may also help put it together. Encourage them to include specials, discounts, and more in your packet. Use this tool to help a boater's stay become exceptional which leads to good reviews, word of mouth, and return visits. But also use it as a marketing tool. Include a PDF of the walking map on your website to help show what's available in your area. That let's boaters know why they should come to your town or community.

(0:07) Show me that I will have a good time and I will visit. Then help me have a good time when I arrive and I will come back and tell other boaters.

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