Location Marketing-The Two Alaskas

18 replies [Last post]
Hollowwood's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/14/2011

This is a query as to how some of you market your B&B if there are climate or geographic diferances from your state or county as a whole. Prince of Wales is in the southern part of Alaska and has weather closer to B.C. Canada and Washington State. Most people think of snow and ice along with bird size moquitos when you say Alaska. Not so in POW. It has little ice and snow and few mosquitos. It does have close to 200" of rain a year though! But, they have some of the best fishing in the world. We know that we will have to touch on all the negatives as well as the positives when we market so we will not get irate guests. How have any of you let people know about the negative like trafick, weather, heat, and such when you do your marketing?  Our location of choice will have a fantastic view over the tree tops with distant ocean views, but, we have no shopping malls near by!  Art

__________________

Arthur E Cook

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

I just did a very quick search for lodging on POW. There are a few, but seem to be fishing lodges and located on or very near the water. They don't even show on their websites what just lodging costs per night, they are all fishing packages.

Since your place will not be located on or very close (you stated "distant ocean views") to the water, I think you might be at a disadvantage for the folks who are there specifically for fishing. You might best market to people and try to convince them to extend their stay after fishing to explore the beauty of the area emphasizing the hiking, and outdoor sports that are appropriate for the area.

Have you done a business plan yet? Worked out the financials and figured out what kind of occupancy you will need to pay the bills? Is this a property that you will build whether you would have guests or not?

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Market to your strengths. More than likely, you won't be drawing people that have no idea where your location is and just all of a sudden thought they would go there. You'll be marketing to people who are looking to be in your area. Figure out who that is. Are the tourists there to fish, hunt, kayak, etc.  Emphasize those things on your website.

Do you have an idea yet on who your target market is?

Hollowwood's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/14/2011

We are in the first stages of planning which is why we are on this site. Some of the Pros & Cons to doing a B&B I can guess. Some I will not even be aware of till I see it here or at another site. My wife has a job waiting for her in Elder Care when she goes back. She worked there till she came out here almost 2 years ago. Once we can get her back there, I will tie up loose ends here so this house can be moth balled for a couple of years while we proof out our decisions. I will then join her and start a Boots On The Ground research on a B&B, Pro & Con. She made it back to Ketchikan last Spring only to fall thru an outside stair case. By Spring, 2012, we hope she is well enough to try again.  The Cruise Ships bring in people that may want to come back again. They are the people I will market to. Water front property is well out of my price range. We are taking delivery of a 2012 Ford Transit Wagon in December which can be used to ferry people from the ferry in Hollis, POW. Also for Island Tours. We also can pick them up in Thorne Bay if they come in by float plane. Rental cars may be had in Craig. Our B&B will center on basic home style lodging. Fresh from our garden vegys, and berries. Fresh eggs from our chickens. A real New England Rumford Fireplace will keep them warm. We are just at the starting gate. A long way to go. I am playing it safe.  Art

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Do you need to have a chauffeur's license to haul guests around? Something to check on. Insurance is another thing to check if you plan to take guests on tours. (BTW, I do know I am the voice of doom and gloom. It's a gift I have.)

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

Hollowwood's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/14/2011

I would much rather see D&G now than experiance it later due to lack of knowledge. I may need a Guide License to do tours. That is one of the things I will need to check with the State of Alaska on. When I arrive, I will need to change my NH license to a AK one. At that time I can get a chauffeur's license, if required. At that time I will update the insurance.  Art

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

Hollowwood wrote:

I would much rather see D&G now than experiance it later due to lack of knowledge. I may need a Guide License to do tours. That is one of the things I will need to check with the State of Alaska on. When I arrive, I will need to change my NH license to a AK one. At that time I can get a chauffeur's license, if required. At that time I will update the insurance.  Art

Check with the Alaska DMV - the main office - if they are like ours you can find all the info you need online. My local DMV gave me the incorrect information when we started our wine tours. Here in Viginia you do not need a special driving license unless you are driving a vehincle that seats more than I think 14 or 16 passengers. We need livery insurance and license plates that state "For Hire". If we drive outside our city limits we need a special license from DMV and have to issue a bond. Not bad but time consuming.  You could possibly work on this online and have it all set when you get there.

DO NOT THINK you can use regular auto insurance to drive paying guests. You need livery insurance.

RIki

__________________

Riki Goodell
Arcady Vineyard Bed & Breakfast
Arcady Vineyard Wine Tours
www.arcadyvineyard.com
Come! Let us show you the beautiful Monticello Appellation!

 

Hollowwood's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/14/2011

I did go to the AK-DMV and found that I can pick up guests at the Ferry Dock with no special license. For other types of licenses, the Town/City Clerk is who I have to see. Things are pretty casual still in Alaska. I can even drive my ATV into town down the road side in Thorne Bay.  Art

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

Hollowwood wrote:

I did go to the AK-DMV and found that I can pick up guests at the Ferry Dock with no special license. For other types of licenses, the Town/City Clerk is who I have to see. Things are pretty casual still in Alaska. I can even drive my ATV into town down the road side in Thorne Bay.  Art

Don't forget insurance you will need for paying customers you are driving. Ask your DMV what is required. 

RIki

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Right, I didn't mean to do it now, but to find out what's involved. A chauffeur's license requires training around here. You have to take certain driving classes. It's not just a different kind of license. You could take the class now and have it done if it is required. Not every place requires the classes.

As an example, it appears it is not clear-cut across the board in AK: http://www.dmv.org/ak-alaska/special-licenses.php#Chauffeur_License_Requ...

Hollowwood's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/14/2011

Thanks! I did go there and have it book marked. I will have to check with the Thorne Bay clerk to see how they handle it.  Art

Hollowwood's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/14/2011

POW and the area as a whole, may see an uptick in people looking for a new area to explore. Marketing by Realstate Companies and the Bussiness Comunity is just begining. Mineing companies are moving into the area,and, will bring people with them. Land is at a premium and there is not, at the present time, many places for them to stay long term. The Shipyard in Ketchikan is expanding and will add to the economy. The area ,as a whole, is waiting to be discovered. Our Market will initially be the Hiker, Fisherman, and Nature Seeker. Later it may be Business People looking to invest. It may be Visitors to Summer People buying the expensive offerings that POW has for sale. What happens in DC over the next year will guide us in what comes next.   Art

Hollowwood's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/14/2011

PS  Ketckikan is the first step for all the Cruise Ships going to Alaska. Many of those thousands of people may be coaxed to take a 3 hour trip by ferry to POW. They will need a nice place to stay.  The International Airport is a 10 min ride from Ketchika.  Art

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

I can help with the cruise ship people. They gripe about a 20 minute bus ride. So a 3 hour ferry ride is probably not going to be high on their list. Plus, they already have a place to stay. So they are not going to spend more to stay overnight and then take that 3 hour ferry ride back to the boat.

We've tried putting coupons and info for free stays in the literature the cruisers are given. In one year we got one guest who decided it was worth their while to come back here on their own after seeing the area from the boat. And they packed the room. After all it was 'free'. (BOGO actually, but they still packed the room to the max.)

Cruise ships are good (sometimes) for the ports they stop in and for the tour buses that take them to see something else nearby. They are not really good for the economy in places 3 hours from that port. You've got to have on heckuva hook to reel them in that far away.

Because you are so far away from there right now try planning a touristy trip to the area and see what comes up. How is the area being marketed already? Who is doing that marketing? Where is their focus?

I know Alaska's tourism industry is in every magazine I open, so the state tourism board is spending bucks. Are they spending it promoting your area?

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Great fishing? Market on fishing web sites and in fishing magazines. Trumpet the view. Any boat rides in the area? Trumpet them too. I market anything I find within 50 miles of my B & B. If it is there, it will interest someone.

The DOH is supposed to put a new bridge across the river starting next year. The bridge will also go OVER the rail-trail - meaning it will be sort of broken again as people cannot get on at my house - they will have to go up-trail. I cannot wait to find out what THAT is going to do to my business and for how long.... The last break was for 2 yewars and it took 2 years ro rebuild what I lost.

EmptyNest's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

 Don't even bother with negatives...Just focus on the positive things. People do their own research and they know what is happening in areas they want to visit. Play up the good stuff, lots of good photos etc etc.  Don't worry about the negatives, it is not your responsibility to be their travel agent.

Joey Camb's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/02/2010

its all about spinning a positive into a negative

ie - no malls - get away from it all and relax in the etc

play up what you do have an play down what you don't. think you are a bit stuffed with the weather mind but I would advise people to bring something suitable for wet weather whatever the case. Play up things like Bridge weeks, scrabble competitions they never want to go outside anyway, cost little to set up, advertise and run and can easily be done in the off peak/high rain times its all about having a back up plan. Also it does tend to be men fisher people so having something for the wives will be a deal breaker.

__________________

Don't mess with me today or I will kill you!!!!

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

I don't mention traffic, weather or heat. Nor do I mention rainfall (but I would if it were 200"/year) or snowfall (anywhere from nothing to 10'/year). I tell guests what there is to do in the area. When you get going with this, you can take photos of the area, align yourself with fishing guides and make a list of what to do in the area. Because of the rainfall amounts, I would prepare a guest guide that mentions what clothing will be advisable. It sounds like you are in a temperate rain forest. You can describe what that means on your website.

We have guests who regularly show up in totally the wrong clothing.

Hollowwood's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/14/2011

We do have to inform them of the precipitation for sure. But, we can tout the lack of mosquitoes. Too much rain to get standing water where they breed. It does not rain heavy all the time and it is seasonal. It tends to be misty, not rainy. It is part of the Olympic Rain Forest that stretches into BC, Canada. We will stock spare rain gear for those coming unprepared. Hikers will be one of our types of guests we would see. They will come ready to go. Tempertures range from +10f to +75f year round. That is a big draw for us along with less bug bites. Here in Northern N.H., we get -20f to +90f !  Art

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.