Why do theme parks add new major roller coasters so often? Why does the king of theme parks – Disney World - have a webpage dedicated to the nearly 30 new attractions, shows, or restaurants coming in 2016 and 2017? These companies know that adding new attractions are key to building attendance. As Agritourism business owners, we need to follow the same practice for the same reasons.
Here are a variety of ways to keep your Agritourism venue fresh and exciting:
1. Major Attractions
We all start our business with a core attraction which may be an apple orchard, a corn maze, Christmas Trees, weddings, etc. These are what got us into the Agritourism game and will most likely continue to be that anchor attraction and revenue generator for your business.
Maybe it is time you consider adding another major attraction to your venue. It may sound like a lot of work but the right secondary major attraction can have a huge impact on your revenue. You will want to make sure that the attraction blends well with your anchor attraction. A winery and Zombie Paintball may not be the best blend whereas a Winery that now hosts weddings could be the perfect match.
Take a look at your anchor attraction and figure out what other major attraction would be complimentary. Now that you have that in your mind, spend some time mapping out what it would take to get your there and a timeline to go with it.
2. Secondary Attractions
These are those $1K - $20K type investments that give your guests something new to do while they are there enjoying your major attraction. These would be things like Jumping Pillows or Barrel Trains or Pony Rides. I would encourage you to add a new secondary attraction every year.
3. Food Options
Sometimes we over look this revenue source and just get comfortable offering the same thing year after year. This is another area to be sure to keep fresh and exciting.
In order to be worthy of being highlighted as something new and exciting you want to make sure it is something significant and not just adding corn dogs to your menu. Things like the addition of a Kettle Corn Stand, or Cider Apple Donuts, or the opening of a sit down café. These are all great things to consider when looking to keep your food area fresh and exciting as well.
4. Change Your Popular Attractions
Another way to keep your venue fresh and exciting is to add elements to those attractions that are already hugely popular. If you have a corn maze as one of your major attractions, you could keep it fresh and exciting by adding a new game to help guests find their way through the maze or an observation tower or a bike powered water mister to cool off. If you have a petting farm, the additional of a bunny town, or goat walk, or a new type of animal can be a way to change things up. You get the idea. Look at your most popular major and secondary attractions and see what you can do to change things up.
Not many venues incorporate themes but I am a huge believer in using themes to keep things fresh and exciting. We have had themes such as NFL, NASCAR, The Office, Presidential and more and they all lend themselves to keeping things fresh and exciting. The entire venue was themed through signage, flags, and decorations to go with the theme. Contests and discount days were theme specific. Themed attractions such as a field goal kicking contest, a NASCAR pit-stop challenge, and even voting for your favorite candidate using a corn cannon.
Themes are a great way to keep your venue from feeling stagnate from year to year and are a great option for those that have run out of space to expand but still want to keep things new every year.
We can keep our venues fresh and exciting by hosting different events. Music concerts, car shows, flea markets, fun runs and more can all be used to give your guests a new reason to come and enjoy your farm.
Don’t get stuck in a rut offering nearly the same thing year after year. Take some time this week and write down how you are going to keep your venue fresh and exciting. This is a key to building attendance each year by attracting new people as well as giving our regulars an even better reason to come back and visit. What is “Coming in 2016” at your venue?