The Experience Business

Almost every year for forty years, no matter where I lived, summer vacation meant Lake Michigan. I’d load up the car with my son, my dog, shorts, bathing suits and flip flops and head west to the beach. Vacations here meant family, a slower pace and so much fun that I hated to leave. (That’s why I moved here the first chance I got!) I’m no different than the thousands of visitors we host every summer here in Manistee. I saved up all year for a week or two here and I usually went home with not much money left and sure that it was worth every penny.
This summer, visitors to our area need the escape from daily worries more than ever, don’t they? You’ll never read a list of things to worry about from your ever optimistic Chamber director, but you know what I’m talking about. Whether our visitors this summer are here for a day, a weekend, a week or the whole summer, they really need the relief from every day life that they can find here.
Let’s blow them away, shall we? No matter what your business is, if you cater to tourists you’re in the Experience Business. Tourists don’t want to just rent a room, eat a meal, buy stuff and go home. Our visitors want – and need and expect – an experience. So, are you ready? Is your store or restaurant or marina or boat or whatever clean and welcoming? Are your employees committed to delivering the experience of a lifetime to your customers? (Did you ever hear the difference between involved and committed? In a bacon and egg breakfast, the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed!) Are you prepared to do everything you can to make sure visitors leave your business so pleased that they don’t even care how much money they spent?
This summer, our visitors really need the special feeling that we can deliver so well here in Manistee County – and we really need them. Are you ready?

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