Episode 138

Appealing To A New Generation

Episode Description

In this episode of the Destination Marketing Podcast, we are joined by Tracey Welsch, General Manager at Red Mountain Spa. Listen to learn how they are handling a shift in their target audience, and how something as simple as a cheeseburger has been an important element in the transformation of their brand.

"Remain true to your brand. Remain true to what you do the very best. As long as you have that nailed down, I think the transition of audience will follow easily." -Tracey Welsh

Meet our Host and Guest(s)

  • Name: Adam Stoker
  • Position: Co-founder and CEO of Relic
  • Favorite Destination: Fiji
  • Dream Destination: New Zealand
  • Name: Tracey Welsh
  • Position: General Manager at Red Mountain Spa
  • Favorite Destination: Italy
  • Dream Destination: Sanibel Island, Florida

“Appealing To A New Generation” – Show Notes and Highlights

Show Highlights:

Red Mountain Resort is a full-service resort with a combination of outdoor recreation in being with nature, a wellness experience, spa and healthy cuisine.

  •       In the past, Red Mountain was considered a destination spa. A place for predominantly female visitors coming for a health experience sometimes focused on weight loss.
  •       Looking at post-COVID pandemic, there is a major shift in target guests while keeping the heart and soul of what made Red Mountain Resort unique.
  •       Their biggest challenge is the summer because this is the first period that they are going to allow families, from June through September this year.

New Marketing Plan:

    1.     Facebook and Instagram marketing
    2.     June launch
    3.     Video featuring a family
    4.     Digital Advertising through Google or Gmail.
    5.     Newsletters
  •       Red Mountain Resort would see a transition to a fully family audience five years from now.
  •       Tracey advises DMOs to remain true to your brand, remain true to what you do the very best but prepare your team that there will be mistakes along the way.


Resources Mentioned in the Podcast:

Episode Transcript

Tracey Welsh:          [00:00:00] Remain true to your brand, remain true to what you do the very best. As long as you have that nailed down, I think the transition of audience will follow very easily. But prepare your team and let them know that there are going to be mistakes made along the way. But we’ll navigate through.


Adam Stoker:           [00:00:20] Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Destination Marketing Podcast. I’m your host, Adam stoker. We’ve got another great show for you today. We’ve got a really unique episode for you today. It’s a friend of mine. She is from Red Mountain Resort in St. George, Utah. Her name is Tracey Welsh and Tracey, welcome to the show.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:00:41] Thank you for having me, Adam. I really appreciate it.


Adam Stoker:           [00:00:43] Oh thrilled to have you and I think it’s going to be a really good discussion. I think you are going through something and we’ll talk about this today, but you’re going through something that I think is not unique just to you. I think it’s something that so many destinations and attractions are struggling with right now, especially after COVID and it’s going to be fun to dive into those conversations and learn how you’re navigating it.


But before we do, we’ve got some important icebreaker questions we’d like to ask and I know you’ve listened to a couple of episodes of the show. So you know where I’m going with this. But our first question is, what is your dream destination? If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:01:24] Italy.


Adam Stoker:           [00:01:24] Italy? Tell me why Italy.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:01:27] I think it’s just because I really love pizza and pasta. I love to watch all of those food shows about Italy and the different regions and the different cuisine. I would like to see the Pope and I’d like to see the Vatican and those are things on my bucket list.


Adam Stoker:           [00:01:48] Okay. So when you eat good food, you want to go to the source.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:01:52] Oh, absolutely.


Adam Stoker:           [00:01:55] I like it. That’s impressive. And then you mentioned the Vatican. And what was the other thing you mentioned, you wanted to go see?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:02:01] I’d like to see the Pope. I’d like to see the Pope provide a Sunday service.


Adam Stoker:           [00:02:06] How do you do that? Does he have a calendar link that you can just schedule a lunch appointment with the pope? Or how does that work?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:02:13] I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m guessing that you really just kind of show up in the Vatican and there’s a schedule as to when he is actually going to be offering mass on Sunday. But, it does sound like something we would definitely have to research and schedule to make sure we got there at the right time.


Adam Stoker:           [00:02:38] Yeah. Well, that would have to be a surreal experience to sit and experience the Pope giving mass in Italy. I mean you want to talk about an authentic experience. It doesn’t get much more authentic than that.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:02:54] Indeed, indeed.


Adam Stoker:           [00:02:56] Well great, that’s a great answer. It’s a popular answer on the show. I haven’t had a lot of people say, well I love pizza, so I want to go to Italy. So I love your angle on that. I think that’s awesome. Tell me about maybe a trip that you’ve been on that really stands out for you. A favorite trip of yours.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:03:15] Years ago, and this is many, many years ago, I went to Sanibel Island in Florida and it was really not something that I had done a lot of research on, I just wanted to get — I was living in the Midwest at the time, so any time to get out of winter was really a treat. The resort that I was working at, I had just finished a large renovation. That was really stressful and I just needed to getaway. So I was very fortunate that my husband agreed to let me go a few days before he and my daughter joined me.


And just those two days of solitude, walking up and down the beach, eating what I wanted, not having to answer to anyone or really speak to anyone, sleep as long as I wanted. It was really absolutely restorative and the location couldn’t be either. There was always a little something to do and a whole lot of nothing to do if that’s what you chose to.


Adam Stoker:           [00:04:15] Sounds like a dream. Now, where is that island?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:04:18] So Sanibel is right outside of Fort Myers. It’s well known for all of the seashells that wash up on the beach. There’s actually something called the Sanibels do because people spend hours just kind of bent over picking up all of the treasures on the beach.


Adam Stoker:           [00:04:38] Oh really? That sounds like a wonderful place to take a family.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:04:42] Yeah, yeah, I mean it was just this little treasure hunt of these little miracles from the ocean.


Adam Stoker:           [00:04:49] So Tracey, I’ve got to imagine that having some time to yourself to walk alone on that beach with all those seashells washing up. I know that you mentioned that it was kind of a rejuvenating experience for you. That just sounds amazing.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:05:06] It was. We have those times in our busy lives where it’s really difficult to connect with your family, it’s really difficult to connect with yourself, all those big who am I? What am I doing questions come up and that’s really one of the miracles of travel, I think, is that you if you can find that place that you can kind of do that reset, it’s a memory forever.


Adam Stoker:           [00:05:32] Absolutely. You get to help and watch people go through that all the time. This might be a good segue for us into the kind of the meat of our show today. Before we get into Red Mountain Resort, I’d love to hear a little bit about your background, your story and how you ended up where you are today.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:05:49] Sure. So I have a Degree in Journalism and Communications, a little bit of PR mixed in with that degree. Had started in radio and in news. They decided that I could write, be a copywriter and after about a year of writing 32nd commercials, I was done with that. Realize that that’s long ago that I was doing that on a typewriter and maybe not as fun as it could have been. My husband and I were newly married and we had an opportunity to manage a bed and breakfast, which was in exchange for free rent. So I took it. So it was a little town Galina, Illinois, which is a historical grant and Lincoln slept here place that filled in with Chicagoans on the weekend.


So we had five rooms in the bed and breakfast. It wasn’t all that busy and I decided to go get a job at the local resort which was a 63-hole golf course on 7500 acres. That was about 37 years ago. Because I had a degree, they put me into a supervisory role. Several changes throughout there, I spent 16 years to get to an AGM role at a large midwestern resort. I was tired of winter and started looking at other opportunities. Found Southern Utah and was recruited to come out to Red Mountain in 2001. I came out as the Director of Operations. I’m really an operations person at heart. That time they were looking at building some villas and expanding the resorts and the beauty of this area just of course is breathtaking.


But, I really felt like a great place for us to raise our daughter and move. So we took the big leap of faith and moved to Southern Utah in February of 2001.


Adam Stoker:           [00:08:00] That’s great. You said you hated the winter. I can’t think of a better place to never experience winter than Southern Utah.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:08:09] Yeah, my hometown is in Iowa and I go back about once a year, but never in the winter. We have the blessing of beautiful weather here and even though it gets a little warm at times, it’s manageable. Yeah, I feel that I’ve really landed in just a very lucky, wonderful place.


Adam Stoker:           [00:08:32] Yeah. I lived there in St. George for four years and it’s exactly what you’re describing. I mean, yes, it gets hot in the summertime, but the tradeoff to never have to shovel your driveway, never have to worry about wearing several layers or you just don’t have to deal with that. And it’s a great trade-off and I really enjoyed my time living down there in Southern Utah.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:08:59] Yeah, it’s great for being outdoors. I think it’s just a healthy community to live in.


Adam Stoker:           [00:09:07] Yeah. Well, you started then at Red Mountain Resort in operations. I think your role has kind of modified over time. Tell me a little bit about what you’re doing today.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:09:18] It did. I’m the General Manager and have been for about 15 years and with that, that term, there are a lot of hats. There are a lot of cats. We’re a small operation, but we do big things. We have 130 guest rooms and we have inclusive programming for our guests. So we have a spa, we have a restaurant or full-service resort and we have wellness operations with our programming and outdoor recreation and so were a lot of little businesses under one umbrella.


So as a General Manager, I still manage the operations. I oversee the marketing, I oversee the public relations and just the other things that kind of land in your lap on a day-to-day basis.


Adam Stoker:           [00:10:07] Yeah. When the buck stops with you, at least part of the time you’re a firefighter, whatever pops up, you’re the one that has to solve it because there’s nobody above you that can figure it out.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:10:19]Well, it’s also you’re the historian. It’s kind of like you complain about I always complain about, my husband asked me where is. I’m the person that a lot of people ask where is, how is how did we do this? What do you remember? So it’s kind of grown into this wife role for the whole resort.


Adam Stoker:           [00:10:39] That’s great. So with Red Mountain Resort and it sounds like a unique place. You mentioned it’s a full-service resort. You’ve got the wellness side, you’ve got the spa. What else makes Red Mountain Resort different from other resorts that may be whether it’s in Southern Utah or around the world?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:11:02] Our location is stellar. The authenticity of our programming and by that, I mean this combination of outdoor recreation, being in nature, having wellness experiences, having spa and healthy cuisine layered on top of that really makes it a place of transformation. Then I would add to that that we just have this amazing team that makes up for all the rest. Our team cares about the guests who come here in a very deep and honorable way. That’s what has kept people coming back to the resort for years and years and years.


Adam Stoker:           [00:11:45] That’s great. And you mentioned your location, I mean I was in your office a couple of weeks ago and we’re talking, you walk out the door just outside your office and it’s this breathtaking view of Red Mountain. That really, you can’t understand it unless you see it in person, right?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:12:01] It is just really amazing and it still takes my breath away after 20 years. The colors change with the light each day. There’s always something new to see and absorb. The building that you were in when you met me, we renovated a few years ago to really open up to the outside and the lava fields behind us. For me to now be able to see guest walking in our labyrinth or walking on our inspiration trail and truly enjoying the resort, and those moments is really, really rewarding.


Adam Stoker:           [00:12:36] Great. Well, as you know, most of our listeners are DMOs and CVBs and they are working with their stakeholders. So I always ask the question when I’ve got a resort on, I’d love to know how you work with the Greater Zion Convention and Visitors Bureau and what the value exchange looks like for both sides.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:12:59] I’m always very happy with the Greater Zion team, Kevin Lewis and his team. Again, really add that extra layer of care about our area about how they’re marketing us, making sure that they’re remaining true to what we are and what we can deliver. Really having this great blend of understanding the importance of tourism economically with balancing the life of the community and making sure that there’s a happy medium for both entities.


As far as Red Mountain with the Greater Zion, I think that they help us find our uniqueness and put that out into the media. We’ve worked with their public relations agency, we’ve worked with a couple of their media site visits and always professional. Always again respectful of not asking us to do and deliver more than what we honorably can do.


Adam Stoker:           [00:14:05] That’s great. So it sounds like a really healthy engagement between the two organizations and you’re able to support each other on both sides.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:14:13] Yeah, without a doubt. They live it, they breathe it, they enjoy it. Kevin is a mountain biker as well. They walk the talk and they understand how to promote it.


Adam Stoker:           [00:14:26] Great. Well one of the things that was interesting when you and I were talking a couple of weeks ago, you talked about your audience. I want to start with what your audience has looked like historically, and then we’ll talk about kind of where we’re going with your audience and some of the challenges that come along with that. So tell me a little bit about your audience to date.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:14:46] Sure. So in the past, Red Mountain was considered a destination spa. It was really kind of a place for predominantly female visitors that were coming for a health experience, sometimes focused on weight loss. This guest had to be a little on the outdoorsy side, not just spa, but they were looking for transformation, they were looking for empowerment, they were looking for girl time and we were able to deliver that. The average age of the guest was 45 to 50. They were college-educated and we’re really looking for that break for self-care.


They were looking for help and guidance to do that and that’s really the genesis of the programming from the resort. What had originally been the National Institute of Fitness, which was a very focused weight loss experience that utilizes the amenity of outdoor recreation for physical activity, now had transformed into a destination spa. Again, it a place of self-care which wasn’t even a term 20 years ago, but a place for people to go through a life transition, to go through personal transformation, whether that be weight loss or whether that be something that was more spiritual or powerful.


Looking at post-COVID wherever we’re at in the COVID cycle, emerging from the covid pandemic, we have seen a major shift in guests and we anticipated that that would happen, but probably faster than what we thought might. Our guests coming to the Greater Zion area and probably as well as what their marketing is younger, they want to get out into nature, they want to work hard, play hard and celebrate. They want to have their families with them and they’re looking for the support of a spa, but they’re also very capable of navigating things on their own. And so that’s kind of where we’re at in really transforming the guest experience.


Adam Stoker:           [00:17:08] Yeah, this seems like a really interesting place to be because your business was built around a specific audience and you’ve seen that audience be a successful audience for you over time. Now coming out of COVID, you’re seeing the people that are booking change. So you’re in the unique position where you have to continue to take care of the audience that has gotten you to this point as a resort. But you’re looking at these bookings and you’re looking at the people that are arriving and experiencing some of the programming and you’re saying, “Okay, there’s something happening here, there are adjustments we need to make, but we can’t hurt the audience has been coming, but we need to make…” alienate is the word I was looking for. We can’t alienate the audience that’s been coming, but we also need to make sure that our programming matches the needs of this new audience that’s clearly starting to show a significant interest in the resort. It’s a transition period. How do you take care of both audiences?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:18:15] I wish I could use the word elegantly. It is a balance and it’s a challenge and some days are rockier than others. We found ourselves especially as we’re coming kind of out of what would traditionally be our high season, that has been very challenging for us because we have the guest who had been coming to Red Mountain for many years really had that pent up demand and desire to come to the resort because they have been waiting for the relief of COVID to feel safe to travel again. They came back and we may not be everything that they wanted because we’ve had to make transitions to accept this new guest and to make sure that were you using our resources to the best that we can.


So it definitely has — I don’t know that we’ve got it all ironed out yet. I’m not unhappy with where we’re at, but have we alienated them? No. Have we disappointed a few? Sure. But I think we kept the heart and soul of what made us unique with the outdoor recreation, with the spa, with the healthy cuisine, and they still found all of that. They may not have found the amount of choice that they once had. At one point, I think that we were trying to satisfy 100% of everyone’s whims and now we still have a very solid foundation of the core elements of our resort programming.


Adam Stoker:           [00:19:58] Okay, so, so this is interesting, Tracey. I want to dig into this a little bit because it sounds to me like the decision that you’ve made is we’re not going to take away the experiences that we’ve created for our historical or legacy audience. Instead, we’ve limited the breadth of options available to them so that we’re able to create new options for this new audience. It’s almost like during this transition period, we’ve got to audiences with the somewhat limited breath of options so that you can accommodate both, but you’re basically tailoring a customer experience to both without having too many options available. Is that a fair assessment of what you’re doing there?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:20:45] You said that much better than I did. Yes, and of course, that’s going to be an ongoing challenge day to day to really hit the nail on the head with each guest because they come with all of their own hopes and dreams and desires too, and it’s not something that we necessarily know before they get here. We kept the best of the best. We’re being very cautious about adding things onto our programming plate unless we really feel that they’re authentic and unless we feel that it’s going to resonate with the majority of our guests. We will still experience the disappointment of we used to have something in our core program called Endurance Hiking, but it was a niche of a niche and not everybody could do it. And the True Endurance hikers are empowered to do it on their own anyway, there the trail runners that are out here.


So we developed some great maps and some guidance and some — here are some apps that you might take a look at if you’re a true trail runner. We don’t need to guide you. You can do this on your own. Versus having to program to that and have the disappointment of only maybe one or two guests show up for the activity.


Adam Stoker:           [00:22:01] Interesting. Yeah. I’ve seen a couple of businesses and organizations that have gone through this similar type of audience shift and sometimes you end up with like literal clashes between the two audiences because in fact, I’ve been to retirement communities that we’re trying to shift from a retirement community to more of an inclusive bring your grandkids. Right? What you end up with is some people that go to the pool and they don’t want to have a bunch of kids splashing and playing in the pool. Then you’ve got families that want to be able to take their grandkids to the pool. that difficult situation between the two audiences sometimes it’s difficult to navigate. Have you guys been able to kind of avoid those types of situations pretty well? Or are you still trying to figure out how to host both audiences and have it work with both of them?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:22:52] Our biggest challenge is going to be the summer because this is the first period that we’re going to allow families, from June through September this year. We’re going to allow families at Red Mountain Resort, which has never happened in our entire history. We’re excited about that opportunity because we have so much to share and we really think that having families bond together in a wellness type of environment to go out and hikes together to go out and gaze at the stars, to do a family yoga class is really just going to be so much fun and so memorable.


But, yes, we are going to probably have clashes with the guests who are saying, “There’s an eight-year-old jumping in the pool.” Yeah, so we’ve done our diligence in trying to alert people on our website that there may be children here, that we’ve taken a couple of cancellations of people who just don’t want to come to the resort with their children here. But the family traveler travels in this summer and that’s the market that we think we can be very successful with. So that will be talking to me in September and asked me how that went.


Adam Stoker:           [00:24:08] I’d love to, actually. It’s a fascinating case study for me. As I think about this you’ve made the product changes that you need to accommodate the new audience. You’ve worked on your programming, you took the right steps first, you’ve got the product where it needs to be. How is your marketing going to change based on your new programming, your new audience? What’s your plan to update your marketing accordingly?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:24:38] We’re doing a lot of Facebook and Instagram marketing and we’ll be launching a great deal of that here in June just right after Memorial Day, we were very committed through May. Really showing those family experiences. We’ve done a video of a family on the property, enjoying the yoga class, walking through the inspiration trail and just really to set that this could be your family type of imagery. We’ll be doing a lot of Google display advertising, Gmail advertising and the really digital banner advertisements through the Google display network to get that message out.


We have a proprietary database that we’ve accumulated over the years and we send about four newsletters out each month and will be sharing the different family activities that are available and we’ll see how that goes.


Adam Stoker:           [00:25:36] That’s great.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:25:37] Yeah, we’re doing some lookalike audiences too through Facebook. I think that’s the appropriate term. The family traveler, the luxury, and the health and wellness traveler and hoping to get some more eyeballs on the resort that have the intensive coming to Southern Utah.


Adam Stoker:           [00:25:55] So you’re an operations person at heart. As the General Manager, you’re leading the charge on this. Tell me how you’ve organized this transition to happen. Is this something that was decided in a meeting last year that you’ve had several follow-ups? I guess what I’m trying to get at is your leadership style to help this transition take place.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:26:20] One of the things that happened to Red Mountain is we had a new management group be assigned to oversee us in December of 2019. So this group takes over right before the COVID pandemic hit and doesn’t really know the market, doesn’t know the resort, sees this great little asset and now takes a look at the traveler coming into the Southern Utah market and says, well why doesn’t Red Mountain perform in a similar fashion occupancy wise? And I said, “To be perfectly honest, it’s because family travelers come to Zion National Park. Family travelers come to Greater Zion. Family travelers come from Salt Lake City and we’ve missed out on those markets for years and years and years.”


So it was a lot of conversation back and forth with them and the leap of faith. Now of course the COVID pandemic hits and we wonder what should we do next? When we were closed for a five-month period and we started to explore that discussion of if we do allow a family traveler, how don’t we alienate our current very loyal guests, is this the right time to make the transition? What does that do to the brand? And what can we really offer? So once we took the leap of faith that we were going to do it then I gathered my team. I have a Director of Spa and Wellness, the Director of Outdoor Recreation, I had our maintenance person as part of it, our Housekeeping Manager or front office, my food and beverage team. They said, “All right, we’ve talked for years and years about having kids on the property as an opportunity. This is the time now, what can we do with them?”


They took it back to their teams and they came up with some just great offerings. I think that they’ll own it more because they came up with it. It wasn’t imposed upon them.


Adam Stoker:           [00:28:28] I love it. I love it. You’re getting smart people the information they need and then you’re letting them run with it.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:28:34] Yeah. And so I’m really excited to see what the results will be. We know that we’ve had some families pre-book, not a lot, but they’re getting there. We know we have a few activities that have been booked, but most of all I think that we’ve created this great space for years and years. We’ve created a level of service that our team is able to deliver and we have this beautiful location right next to [00:29:02]. So I think the doors are open for the families and it should work.


Adam Stoker:           [00:29:09] You’ve touched on one of the things that I think is and it’s weird to say this but a real benefit from COVID, if you can actually have a benefit from COVID and that’s the forced innovation that came from COVID. That businesses all over the world were forced to innovate and pivot and change and prepare for the future. It sounds like you and your team sat down and you said, okay, we’ve got to innovate too, let’s go. And it sounds like you did a great job of that.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:29:39] We’ll see. The results will tell us. But so far we’re excited. We’re looking forward to welcoming those first kids and just really see what the dynamic changes. But most of all like you said, it was so important for us to take this opportunity and to really kind of get, I hate to use the word push, but that’s what it was. It pushed us to take that leap of faith, and now we’re there and we run our hands over it for years and years.


Adam Stoker:           [00:30:11] Yeah, it’s really great you say you were pushed into it, but I actually think there’s a lot of businesses that refuse to innovate and didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to innovate that came from COVID. So, kudos to you guys for doing that. I know you’re waiting on kind of the results of this year to see how it goes. But do you foresee this transition being eventually complete from your old audience to the new audience? Or do you think you’ll always cater to the original audience that got you there, which is mostly women around age 50 or so looking for that type of experience? Or do you think you’ll transition fully to the family audience?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:30:55] I don’t think that will transition in the first couple of years, but I think that if we would talk five years from now, I would see a transition. I think that we can still hold space for both, but I think that that will take some navigating. But we’re like I said, it will take a few years. We certainly have appreciated, relied, welcomed. It’s so wonderful. It’s been so wonderful to see some of our very loyal guests return to the resort post-COVID. There’s been a lot of fist bumps and hugs and things like that. There are people who have been very invested in this property and our team for years and years. At the same time to get the affirmation from the guest who has never been to the property before, and say, “Oh, this is great, I’m coming back. Your team is wonderful. This is beautiful,” it gives you that affirmation, it was the right thing to do.


Adam Stoker:           [00:31:57] That’s great. What advice would you give resorts or destinations that are going through this same audience transition that you’re in the process of right now?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:32:08] Just remember the spirit of hospitality, we’re here to welcome people. I think it’s all manageable. I think that remain true to your brand, remain true to what you do the very best and as long as you have that nailed down, I think the transition of audience will follow very easily. But prepare your team and let them know that there are going to be mistakes made along the way, but we’ll navigate through them.


Adam Stoker:           [00:32:38] Yeah, I actually think you said something really insightful there and that’s that figure out what makes you great first and then try to focus on the audience from there. As opposed to saying, “Okay, well I want these people to come, so now we’re going to try to reinvent the wheel on our end. No. Figure out what you’re great at first, what do you have the resources to do and then look at the audience that best fits what you’re able to do. It’s kind of a chicken and the egg thing and I think you’ve got it in the right order.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:33:09] I sure hope so.


Adam Stoker:           [00:33:11] Well, good. Anything I haven’t asked you Tracey that you think would benefit our audience to hear?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:33:17] No, like I said, check back. Let’s see how we did it. But because it is an experiment. Here’s a little story to end with.


Adam Stoker:           [00:33:28] Yeah.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:33:29] For years and years, Red Mountains stayed very true to its nutritional paradigm, healthy food, clean meats, low fat, etcetera, etcetera. We started to see a few more men come to the resort and we started to see a fitter clientele and they weren’t necessarily always happy with our cuisine even though our cuisine I think is marvelous. So I said, “I think these folks just want a hamburger,” and I think there are just some of these guests who don’t want fancy food, but they hiked hard. They’ve played hard and let’s put a burger on the menu. So we found a local butcher, Barton beef, the ranching out on the Arizona strip. We’ve got some marvelous products from them. We put a cheeseburger on the menu and we sold that’s 25% of the guest’s first night.


Adam Stoker:           [00:34:25] Oh my God.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:34:26] It was something that we had hesitated to do for years and years and years because we didn’t think that it was true to our health and wellness brand that we had built a program and a belief based on a segment of guests who were here for weight loss. We didn’t want to offend them. Instead of taking a look at the guest that the other guest who was actually the majority and said, let’s focus on what the majority want. We can take care of this minority in a different way. That cheeseburger has really been a pivotal moment in our thought processes throughout the resort.


Adam Stoker:           [00:35:03] Yeah, I think it’s a testament to being willing to try something new. You took a risk, you tried something new and it obviously paid off. Now also there’s not a lot of problems that can’t be solved with a cheeseburger.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:35:16] So true.


Adam Stoker:           [00:35:17] But that’s another episode for another day. Well, Tracey, this has been a lot of fun. I really appreciate the value you’ve provided us here and the advice you’ve given. It’s a transition a lot of us are going through right now. If somebody wants to learn more about you or Red Mountain Resort, what’s a great way for them to get a hold of you?


Tracey Welsh:          [00:35:37] They can email me twelsh@redmtn.com. I’m on LinkedIn. They can message through Facebook. I do a lot of the social media so I can see us that way too.


Adam Stoker:           [00:35:51] Great. Great. Well, thanks again for taking the time and sharing your thoughts with us today.


Tracey Welsh:          [00:35:57] Thank you for having me. I do really appreciate it and I’ve enjoyed it.


Adam Stoker:           [00:36:01] Me too. Me too. And thanks everybody for listening. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please make sure to leave us a rating or review. That really does help the show to grow. We just hit 40,000 listens and we’re looking to continue that as we go. We’re shooting for 50,000 is our next major milestone and your reviews actually do help us get there. So thanks everybody for listening. Thanks, Tracey for joining us and we’ll talk to you next week.


Will Seccombe:        [00:36:30] Hello, I’m Will Seccombe with Connect Travel and we’re excited to be partnering with the Destination Marketing Podcast to promote the eTourism Summit, which is coming on September 20th through the 22nd, in Las Vegas. We’re thrilled to be celebrating our 22nd year of eTourism Summit, which is really historically been the go-to event for digitally savvy tourism marketers. This year we’re really excited because we’re going to be co-locating with US Travel Association and IPW, which is to bring a whole dimension of the tourism industry together in one place at one time as we work to recover from what has been a devastating year for the travel industry.


This year, we’re celebrating the Fourth Annual eTSY Awards celebrating excellence in digital tourism marketing. We’re also launching a new program, Emerging Tourism Stars, which is really to highlight some of the amazing talent that has come up through the course of this last couple of years and these emerging tourism stars and partnering with MMGY Global on that exciting campaign. So check us out at etourismsummit.com. It’s going to be an amazing event. We certainly hope that all the destination markers that can will make an effort to be in Las Vegas in September as we really work to see tomorrow and move our industry forward in an amazingly challenging time.


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