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Customer Stories How Splash Lagoon water park generated vital revenue during COVID-19 closure.

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Generating revenue can feel impossible when your resort or attraction is closed and your guests have been ordered to stay home. Splash Lagoon (a popular indoor water park near Erie, PA), however, saw opportunity in the way other travel brands were responding. They sprang into action and worked with their account managers to launch a campaign that quickly generated a much-needed boost in revenue. I sat down with Brenda Bemiss, their Reservations Center Manager, and George Kilbert, their Corporate Marketing Manager, to get the scoop.

Pascale: Let’s start at the beginning. Where did this idea come from?

George: As with anyone in the hospitality industry, we’ve been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak but wanted to keep connected with our guests. We ultimately decided it would be a great idea to offer our guests a product that focused on a future trip to Splash Lagoon, giving our guests and their families a vacation they could look forward to during these times.

Brenda: We were also watching Disney Bahama’s sales. They were all doing great rates where you buy now but stay later, giving guests peace of mind that they could use it in the next 18 months. We ended up offering a rate savings card for $99 where you buy now and stay later.

Pascale: What went into getting this campaign off the ground?

Brenda: Nick Haggerty, our Inntopia account manager, worked with Jenni Tupek and me though screen shares, conversations, and e-mails. We needed to ensure that the promotion code was a unique code that could only be used one time after purchase. We both had to think out of the box, understanding that the rooms would come out of inventory, but zero revenue would show up in my future reports. So, we knew we would need to do some manual calculating for ADR in the future.

George worked with Katie Barnes, another Inntopia account manager, to make sure we reached the right people with the correct message. Then we all came together twice with screen shares and testing. It was truly a team effort!

George: Our team was really impressed with the support we got from Inntopia during this promotion. The details and purchase process were unlike anything we’ve offered before, but our reps from Inntopia hopped on multiple calls and screen shares to help build this really incredible promotion. We appreciated being able to collaborate with the team at Inntopia and get their support in numerous ways.

Pascale: You promoted the sale on Facebook as well as through emails to your database. I can tell from the comments on Facebook that you got an overwhelming response.

George: We’ve built a huge following on social media over 16 years of operation, and our marketing team has always recognized the power of our audience on social media, especially on Facebook. The audience is very attentive to our special offers and there is a certain price point we keep in mind when choosing which promotions to put out on social media. If we’re able to put together a package that comes in below that price point, we’re usually pretty confident that it will go viral within our tri-state region and audience.

There is a lot of uncertainty with the world these days, so we were pleasantly surprised to find that our social media audience is just as present as ever – absolutely shattering our engagement and impression records in just a matter of hours.

Brenda: Going back to George’s point about social media, the largest complaint was that we sold out so quickly! Guests are still reaching out to us two days later complaining that they did not get the offer.

George: This offer allowed us to generate significant cash flow immediately, while providing our guests with something to look forward to with their families.

Pascale: Amazing. Any lessons from round one?

George: People are still looking for something fun to do with their families, even if it might need to take place later in the future. People are ready to buy, and there are opportunities for attractions and facilities, they just need to be creative in building something unique.

Brenda: Yes, we need to get moving on the next offers as soon as possible! People are eager for life to return to normal, and this offer is a great way to emphasize that we will get through this, and there are better days ahead!

Pascale: So you’re going to do this again?

Brenda: We’ve already build a whole campaign around this concept, which we’ve been rolling out across our website, social media, and email database. We’ll have plenty more Future Fun Vouchers to promote in the next few weeks.

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Tyler Maynard
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