Mountains of snow, green grass, and blue skies make Holiday Valley Resort one of the East Coast’s leading, family-oriented, year-round vacation destinations. With 30 miles of trails for downhill and cross-country skiing, tubing, and snowshoeing in the winter, plus 18 holes of golf, tree top adventure park, mountain coaster, aquatics centers, and mountain biking in the summer, Holiday Valley entertains vacationers from all over the world.
To stand out in the competitive vacation resort market, Holiday Valley needed a rich, visual, dynamic web experience as engaging as the resort itself. Holiday Valley’s new web presence, which is built and deployed with Adobe Business Catalyst, presents a fun, family-oriented image, providing visitors with up-to-the-minute information and dynamic tools to virtually explore the area, book a trip, and buy lift tickets. From a business standpoint, the new site enables a small, nontechnical marketing team to manage web content in house, resulting in increased operational efficiencies, streamlined marketing operations, and added value to the bottom line.
The resort’s old website had not been updated in five years. In moving from outdated web and content management technology to a Business Catalyst web implementation, Holiday Valley set out to transform online visitor experiences, increase time spent on the site, extend the vacation- oriented personality of the facility, and improve key performance indicators—including increased season and daily lift ticket sales and lower cost per inquiry and cost per booking numbers. Content on the Holiday Valley site includes winter and summer vacation information, so the new site also needed to give visitors a way to easily move between seasons.￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
The website Stevens Advertising built for Holiday Valley using Adobe Business Catalyst offers fun ways for site visitors to explore and engage with the resort.
Previously, the Holiday Valley web management platform was available only on Internet Explorer and the website did not support mobile or tablet devices. When the resort’s marketing director, Jane Eshbaugh, began sourcing technology vendors who built high-traffic ski hospitality sites that she liked, she found Stevens Advertising, a full-service web, branding, and strategic marketing agency.
Stevens Advertising responded to Holiday Valley’s request for proposal with a comprehensive presentation that highlighted how easy it is to manage content and images using Business Catalyst. Based on that presentation, Stevens was hired to build a new Holiday Valley site from the ground up and create a new, fun visual identity for the resort, as well as integrate core marketing functionality into the new Business Catalyst web implementation.
“Crafting the user experience with Adobe Business Catalyst as the framework for a proposal definitely helped us win the account,” says Mike Muller, executive vice president and 20-year veteran at Stevens Advertising. Winning business and providing outstanding customer service have been the lynchpins of the Stevens Advertising business model since 1917. The agency’s century-long commitment to innovation and continuous adoption of industry-leading technology has most recently resulted in Stevens Advertising embracing Business Catalyst as its primary web development platform.
Stevens Advertising has built, hosted, and deployed more than 120 web implementations on Business Catalyst. The firm uses Adobe Dreamweaver® as its primary code editing tool, and also uses components of Adobe Creative Cloud, including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for design elements throughout the site.
Since launch of the new Holiday Valley site, traffic has increased by approximately 10%, more season passes are being sold online, and the cost of sales has exponentially decreased. Visitors are spending more time on the site and have the chance to explore their upcoming vacations even before they leave their homes. For instance, they can engage more deeply with the Holiday Valley brand by virtually exploring interactive trail maps and by checking out the action and snow conditions on strategically placed web cams.
A handful of Holiday Valley staff handles the content upkeep of the site that Stevens Advertising built, resulting in a more streamlined, accessible, efficient approach to the resort’s web marketing program. By simply accessing the site’s easy-to-use Business Catalyst content management dashboard, Eshbaugh and her staff can make daily content updates, keeping the tone of the site entertaining, cross-selling upcoming holiday promotions, and continually reinforcing the fun aspects of the resort.￼￼￼￼￼
Nontechnical staff at Holiday Valley can easily use Adobe Business Catalyst to update the websites with event, snow reports, photos, and special offers.
“Adobe Business Catalyst makes it possible for a nontechnical user like me to keep our site fresh by simply filling out fields, using check boxes, and pulling down menus—all of which I can do from my desktop or mobile device and still tend to everything else on my plate,” says Eshbaugh.
Daily content updates are made without risk of damaging the overall front-end presentation of pages or back-end functionality. Eshbaugh and her staff can easily revise page titles, change header images, create events, add promotional pages, and update snow conditions in minutes. The resort also benefits from gathering valuable customer information on web forms for newsletter subscriptions and other outreach campaigns. Visitors can click through to Holiday Valley’s on-property e-commerce module to purchase tickets and retail goods, and can link directly to hotel property sites to book accommodations.
An interactive trail map built with Adobe Flash® Professional is one of the most engaging parts of the Holiday Valley site. It is tied to a web app that receives data from content editors and displays which slopes are open, which lifts are running, and other daily snow and weather conditions. The Holiday Valley solution also makes extensive use of web apps in Business Catalyst to manage calendar and database items. The new layout makes it easy for visitors to click between summer and winter content, and the shop online button is prominently featured to encourage sales.
From Muller’s perspective, Business Catalyst is the most powerful, easy-to-use, and cost-effective web platform on the market for its clients as well as for the agency. Clients—including Holiday Valley— respect the Adobe brand, appreciate the easy-to-use content management interface, and realize measurable cost savings related to web support and training costs. “Adobe Business Catalyst is a perfect fit for us to push the web envelope,” says Muller. “It is the ideal solution for wrapping all our clients’ requirements into powerful, integrated self-service business and web marketing tools.”
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