Strategy #9: Examples

Focus on Customers with the Greatest Potential

Air Zoo Gamble Pays Off in Michigan - The Air Zoo opened in 1979 as the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum to showcase air and space flight through a collection of historic aircraft.

ArtBites Successfully Blends Museum Tours with Cooking Classes - In retrospect, 2007 was a tough year to launch a new business. However, despite the economic downturn that began the following year, Maite Gomez-Rejón managed to successfully launch her own company, ArtBites.

Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Reaches Ecotourists - The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area was established in 2006 to celebrate and preserve the heritage and culture of 14 parishes in south central Louisiana after having state heritage area designation for the previous eight years.

Boom to Bust and Back Again in Deadwood, South Dakota - Life was really good for the Adams Museum & House in the early 2000s. The introduction of gaming to Deadwood in 1989 had enabled the Adams Museum to expand their budget and hire a professional museum staff.

Building Local Loyalty at the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center - The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center in Maysville, Kentucky started a “Museum Scouts” program for fourth-graders who were studying Kentucky history. The result has been a program that builds long-term loyalty to the museum.

Cherokee Nation Says Osiyo to Visitors - The unique culture and heritage of the Cherokee Nation is woven throughout a 14-county jurisdictional area in northeastern Oklahoma.

Colorado Tourism Office Focuses on Local Market - In response to the economic downturn, the Colorado Tourism Office redirected heritage tourism marketing dollars to promote in-state travel as well as the “regional drive market,” or, people who live within driving distance of Colorado.

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Reaches out to Families - The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts has been enjoying strong visitation despite the economic downturn.

Encouraging Repeat Visitors in Hawai’i - In June 2010, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) launched a new Hawai’i Heritage Sites program to promote significant heritage sites on the Hawaiian Islands.

Equestrian Games Bring the World to Kentucky - When the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games came to Kentucky for 16 days in the fall of 2010, the Kentucky Department of Travel & Tourism capitalized on an opportunity to reach a new audience arriving from 60 countries around the globe.

Experiencing the Arts in August in Rhode Island - After carefully reviewing museum admission numbers, the Rhode Island School of Design decided to close their museum during the month of August in 2009 and again in August 2010 as a cost-cutting measure.

Georgia Antebellum Trail Group Starts Pilgrimage - Georgia’s Antebellum Trail, the state’s first tourism trail, follows a 100-mile route through seven communities from Athens to Macon.

Great Idaho Getaway Program - Idaho’s state tourism office decided that with the downturn in the economy, it was time to try something really different in their tourism marketing.

Inviting Kentuckians to Explore Their State - With gas prices rising and the economy declining, the Kentucky Department of Travel & Tourism decided to encourage the state’s residents to travel close to home with a campaign called “Discover Your Own Backyard.”

Michigan’s Mackinac State Historic Parks Reaches Out to New Audiences - The U.S. economy may have plunged in 2008, but Michigan’s economy has been faltering since 2003. For the Mackinac State Historic Parks, this translated to years of declining state support and increased dependence on earned income.

Mississippi’s Thematic Trails Shine the Spotlight on Unique Culture and History - Sometimes economic difficulties can be a good thing – in effect, a wakeup call to redirect from doing things the way they have always been done.

Museum Merger Creates New Opportunities - “It is a rare occurrence in the nonprofit world when a museum seeks out another museum to entrust with its collections, to ensure those historical treasures are well cared for,” says Amy Lent, executive director of Maine Maritime Museum.

Paddlers Bring Business to the Northern Forest - When the nonprofit Northern Forest Canoe Trail was created in 2000, organizers set as the mission connecting people to the natural environment, human heritage and contemporary communities.

Poplar Forest Builds on 200th Anniversary to Increase Visitation in a Challenging Economy - For the past 24 years, Poplar Forest has offered an opportunity to watch “preservation in progress.” Archeologists and restoration craftspeople have been working to restore the National Historic Landmark designed by Thomas Jefferson.

Rising Visitation and Membership Results from Conner Prairie’s Plans - At a time when many museums across the country are struggling to retain members and increase visitation, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in Fishers, IN is seeing increases in both areas.

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