Cody Long on the importance of doing something unique when the opportunity aligns:
The golf season in Alaska is really short; it basically runs from May 1 to the end of September, as we consider any golf in October to be a bonus. We focus a lot on maximizing every available money-making opportunity for us because our window is so small. We do have one thing heavily in our favor: daylight. On June 21, the longest day of the year, you can play or practice golf for 20 hours straight. In fact, for most of June, July, and part of August, we have tee times running from 5 a.m.-10 p.m., with the range open as well. The additional daylight has seen a successful event result from it. First, Callaway did a 24-hour fitting/demo day event that started at 5 p.m. and ended at 5 p.m. the next day. Besides the demos and fitting, the event also featured live entertainment and a long drive contest for our youth golfers. Callaway is back this year, and although it’ll just be for one night (from 5 p.m.-midnight) we look to feed off the same excitement as the 24-hour fitting event.
Cody Long on the business impact of doing something unique when the opportunity aligns:
In just that one fitting/demo night, we did triple the sales of Callaway equipment than we did for the entire year before. In addition, because so many people, both locals and resort guests, were around, we also saw an increase in food & beverage and golf shop sales. In addition, there was a benefit on the instruction side in the same year as the Callaway 24-hour fitting program, as the 300 participants we picked up from that event helped us win the Play Golf America Top 100 Performer for our Get Golf Ready program. These programs and benefits have received some media attention, which allowed us to help put Alaskan Golf on the map, as well as affecting our bottom line in a positive manner. The Midnight Putters event is an opportunity for us to get more players on the course and promote our product in a positive way. We’ve also seen some tourists specifically come for the solstice, which leads to increased business at some unusual hours, and is a great way to take advantage of every opportunity to make the bottom line grow. While a lot of facilities around the rest of the country will not be able to run 24-hour demo days or offer tee times for 20 hours of the day, they could certainly provide solstice promotions as a way to garner attention, traffic and sales in the twilight hours of the day.
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