5 Steps To Create Great Recreational Tourism Experiences

In this article, I will be discussing a few steps on how to ensure great experiences regarding recreational tourism in the state of Maine. These steps will be straightforward and easy to follow. However, many people miss these small details that truly make all the difference in the end to create lifetime customers.

1: Treat them like Family


When people travel all the way up to Maine they appreciate one great thing Maine has to offer, hospitality. People from Maine are friendly when a cashier asks “How are you today?” They mean it. They look into your eyes and smile with sincerity. This is not a common behavior everywhere.

If you are running a guide service, or whatever it may be, it is important to remember names, to ask them their concerns and to make sure they are comfortable. This is important to people. Remember they are on vacation, they want the most limited amount of stress possible while they are trying to have a great experience.

2: Be prepared

When people spend money on a fishing guide they are expecting to catch a fish. When people go hunting with a guide they expect to take home an animal, although, sometimes this isn’t so. Guides must be experienced. They should be prepared to work around the least ideal situations. It is important for them to schedule dates to go out accordingly to ideal conditions. It’s hard to predict these patterns and sometimes you will be forced to perform in the least ideal conditions. Going out on days by yourself and observing patterns is key. For example, a carter fisherman should go out on days they would normally not catch and attempt to do so. This will make them much more prepared for a day where the weather is not ideal because even on the least ideal days you want that customer to get the ideal experience they paid for. 

3: Look the Part


Whatever the activity is, it is important for professionals to look like pros. This means they must be using the best and most up to date gear. Backcountry ski guides should be using the most up to date skiing equipment and safety gear. Hunting guides should be wearing the proper equipment and if they have hunting dogs, they should look in shape and well-trained. If they are a fishing guide, having the proper tackle that gets the job done is important. This also goes for whitewater rafting guides with all their equipment. There are a couple of key reasons why this is very important. One is that it shows the professionals are prepared. The next reason is it shows the client that they have an idea of what they are doing. Regardless of what the business is, having the proper equipment makes a big difference and gives the client some piece of mind.

4: Capitalize on the great moments with Pictures and Video

Whether the customer has just hit their first great line on skis, shot their first big buck, or if they just caught a monster fish, it’s necessary to capitalize on these moments because it highlights what customers have been waiting for all along. Pictures and videos are a great way of doing this. For example, whitewater rafting professionals hire a photographer and a videographer on the river to capture moments of the customers experience going through the rapids. When the trip is over the customers can watch a video of themselves and hold those great experiences dear. They can even bring the video home to show friends and family. 

5: Have Fun

By showing the client that you enjoy the job you are doing makes the overall experience much more memorable. The definition of recreation is an activity done for enjoyment when one is not working. That being said, the activity at hand shouldn’t appear like work for the professional. Having fun with the clients shows them that you are truly living out your passion. Furthermore, when people are having fun all around you, this, in turn, should give the client the ability to have fun as well. This will ensure that great memories will be created. 

Management Success: 5 Ways to Create the Best Customer Experience

As a service provider, your main focus is to provide the best overall experience to your guests. However, the backbone of what goes into a great customer experience is commonly overlooked by many. A quick Google search will return more information than you’ll know what to do with. Thankfully, this is NOT that type of article. The following tips and concepts below will guide you in creating and managing a successful experience plan.

#1 Conduct a SWOT analysis

The first key step in generating a guest experience is understanding yourself and organization. Identifying the strengths and opportunities can help generate ideas for unique offerings and align with your vision. This focuses the attention on the resources and things that you are good at. In addition, this model also identifies threats and weaknesses. External sources can also have a harmful impact. You should always be setting goals in areas that need improvement. In return, this can make you more aware of the surroundings and improve the guest experience.

#2 Segment Visitors

Understanding your guests will help you deliver the highest quality experience. Segmenting visitors based on several characteristics will make their encounter much more enjoyable and personalized. This involves differentiating by service offerings and tiering. You can group buyers by:

  1. Demographics: This typically involves age, race, religion, gender, family size, ethnicity, income, and education.You can pull census data to determine who, where, and how you want to market your product.
  2. Psychographics: Involves personality traits, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. This occurs when you break your market down along these interests and attitudes so you can market the appropriate product to each segment of the market.
  3. Behavior: What are the observable behaviors of the customer (ie-spending, consumption, usage, desired benefits, etc)? Identify how loyal the customers are and tier products and services based upon this.
  4. Need-based: What does the customer truly want in a service? Are they more quality sensitive or price sensitive? How well does a product or service enable the guest to successfully execute any job? Customer needs-based segmentation is valuable because it reveals underserved and over-served market segments that exist in a market and the size of each of those segments.

Segmentation will allow you to better develop and market your products because there will be a more precise match between the product and each segment’s needs and wants.

#3 Plan for Success

Hiring qualified employees for the distribution and delivery of your product is very important. Being in the service industry, guests will encounter the service staff almost immediately, creating personalized relationships with them.

You should create better pay and benefits to attract quality staff. Be on the lookout for outstanding service performers as they bring in natural qualities that cannot be taught. Keep the job scope broadened to encourage the application of new skills. Also, ensure that relevant training and empowerment practices are implemented to allow for frontline staff to feel valued.

All of these cues will make employees happier in their work and provide higher quality service, thus creating a greater customer loyalty base and experience.

#4 Remember to Use and Craft the Service Environment

Crafting the service environment can help exemplify the experience for the guest. This includes the style, appearance of physical surroundings and other elements experienced by customers at “delivery” sites. The service environment can shape the customer’s experience, behavior, feelings, and reactions. The ambiance and spatial design can all increase the desire for certain goods, services, and experiences. It can also help to assess questions related to quality and brand as services are often intangible. Having a strong understanding of your guest’s emotions and characteristics will be key in aligning the proper environment.

#5 Identify Fail Points Through Blueprinting

Using a blueprint to plan out the experience for your guest will identify the on and off stage processes. In addition, this model can also exploit fail points in your service. A fail point is any point within the encounter that has the potential to affect customer satisfaction or quality. Risk is always involved in the service industry, as it is in any activity undertaken in life. However, proper management techniques can help reduce the effects that risk will have on a guest. Using total quality management methods will prevent errors in the delivering process. “Poka-yokes”, or fail-safe methods ensure that certain steps and standards are being followed.

This process allows the provider to understand the service/experience and improves areas that are weak and undefined.


So that’s it! We hope you take these tips into consideration and apply them in your organization to create a great customer experience!

KSL/SkiCo Acquires Deer Valley

In a recent article, SAM Magazine reports that KSL Capital Partners and Aspen SkiCo will be acquiring Deer Valley Resort, a purchase that continues a recent pattern of “ski resort ownership consolidation” (SAM Magazine). The article goes on to say that, “In just the last six months, the yet-to-be-named joint venture has combined Intrawest, Mammoth Resorts, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, and Aspen Ski Company” (SAM Magazine). And with the recent purchase of Deer Valley, the buying spree doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Previously, Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass was an unrivaled pass option for skiers who wanted to visit and ski at a variety of amazing resorts. But with KSL/SkiCo’s recent acquisitions, the joint-venture is shaping up to be Vail’s biggest competitor in the super-pass market. Although KSL/SkiCo hasn’t released any mega-passes yet for this season, it is certainly a major possibility for next winter.

As with many of these recent purchases, there are some concerns that KSL/SkiCo’s acquisition will result in major changes for Deer Valley, which has been privately owned since the resort opened in 1981 (McCombs). Hopefully, most of these concerns are unwarranted. This is supported in a statement by David Perry, president and COO of the joint venture, saying, “We look forward to working with the staff and Park City community to carry on the traditions that make [Deer Valley] so special” (SAM Magazine).

See the full article below:



Also cited:


Into the Classroom Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

Into The Classroom

Maine is known as a world-class fishery, anglers travel from all over just to get a chance to catch Maine fish. Some may think that all of this just happens because Maine is a pristine landscape with abundant fish and wildlife. Actually, keeping Maine’s fish and wildlife in balance is a lot of hard work tasked to many people all across the state. Recently UMF’s Rec 106 class got a chance to dive into the world of wildlife and fisheries management.

On the first day of class, we learned that our professor, Sonny Pierce, wouldn’t just be teaching us from a textbook. Instead, he would use his 25 years experience working as a fisheries biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and his own personal passion for fishing. Most nights in class we would learn about habitat management, the life cycles of wildlife and fish, working with the public, and why it’s so important for Maine to care about its fisheries and wildlife. While students can learn a lot in the classroom Sonny knew we could learn just as much with hands-on experience and planned a field trip to the Embden Fish Rearing Station.

It was early on a Saturday morning when I and my fellow classmates arrived on campus half awake and ready to travel to Embden. By some miracle, all of our class was there on time and most were prepared.  After a quick roll call, we all packed into cars and made the 40-minute journey to the station not knowing what was in store for us when we arrived. As we drove I gazed out the window trying not to fall asleep and was happy to see the very habitats we had been taking notes on in class in their entirety.

Embden Maine

Photo courtesy of the Maine Encyclopedia.

As we pulled into the station it was not at all what I expected, which in all fairness might have been along the lines of the fish section at Petco or the tanks at Seaworld but I digress. Instead, I saw a house and a large building with two large doors on each end and the constant sound of bubbling water filled the air. We were greeted by our tour guide Gene Arsenault the stations Fish Culture Supervisor and he gave us a rundown of the stations’ stats and a bit of history. After that, we were off to explore the station piece by piece building by building.

We started at the source of all the water used in the facility. A small shed on the edge of the property with two large pipes that seemed to go on forever and disappear into the forest. These pipes actually ended in Embden pond, one in shallow water and one out deeper, bringing water all the way back to the mixing shed. Once in the shed, the water passed through screens and under lights to keep it debris free and somewhat sterile. The water was then pumped into the largest building which at the point we all assumed had the fish seeing as we hadn’t seen any yet.

On our way to see if our hunch was true we stopped to look at the large trucks fitted with tanks used for transporting fish. Gene told us that the trucks travel all over Maine and as far North as St.Agatha a 5-hour trip one way from the station. The trucks were pretty big and as you can imagine cant reach every body of water that needs to be stocked in Maine. For harder to reach or remote locations a seaplane flown by the Maine Warden service lends a hand or the fish get backpacked in by a team of two. These methods might seem a little extreme or like a lot of work but this is what goes into making Maine a world class fishery. 

IMG_2920We finally made it to the big building which at the point from the smell we knew the fish were there. As we walked in we could hear water bubbling and splashing from what looked like metal kiddy pools that filled the entire building. As I stepped closer to them the tanks looked empty but were actually completely full of small dark-colored fish.




Each tank was full and the fish got bigger as we moved throughout the building. Gene demonstrated how the fish were fed with automatic feeders stationed above the tanks and how their feeding habits changed with size. The bigger they got the more aggressive and the more we got splashed as Gene threw a handful of food into the tank.


IMG_2921We left the building just as we came in, following the flow of the water. The water in each tank is kept fresh constantly pumping old water out. This old water travels out of the building and into the drum building. No this not where Gene keeps his drum kit but instead two huge drums with nylons filters that the water runs through on its way to the evaporation pool. The station only keeps one drum on at a time just in case it breaks down they have a backup. Water then flows out of the drum room and into an outside holding tank that was by far the worst smelling part of this trip! But everything has a purpose and nothing goes to waste no matter how bad it smells. Filtered water leaves the tank and goes back into the water table while the bad smelling scum is left behind. This scum or sediment is actually sold to farmers to fertilize their fields. We had seen everything there was to see, smelt every smell, and no one fell asleep despite it being before noon on a Saturday.

I’d like to think that we all went back into the classroom with a better understanding and appreciation of Maine fisheries. I know I came back with a better understanding of just how much work goes into making sure everyone who casts a line in Maine has a chance of catching something.

For more information about the Embden Fish Station visit their page on Maine.gov

Wecome Back!


Welcome back!!! We hope everyone had a wonderful summer filled with rad adventures and lots of sunshine! All of us at TRAIL are pumped to be here and are excited to get back to exploring Franklin County and all it has to offer! This year we plan to bring you information about the best trails and outdoor activites, student events, business insights, and interviews with people making a difference in the recreation community!

Heres hoping you all had a wonderful first week of classes and spent some time outside enjoying our last bit of summer!





4 Key Elements of Visual Content on Your Social Media Site


1: Get target markets engaged in your content in less than five minutes.

In today’s world, people are busier than ever. People are constantly in a rush. Most people rarely even take the time to read the newspaper anymore. Today, visual content is one of the biggest aspects of advertising. The internet is becoming increasingly more popular every day and Youtube and Instagram are some of the most popular examples of social media. And people just find it entertaining. Today there are many companies that utilize visual content. For example, the entire RedBull Champaign is video content and people are very engaged in their commercials. In fact, their commercials have very little to do with their product. However, the biggest reason why this is a good outlet is because people can get a feeling, and make a connection to whatever it is that resonates them in less than five minutes during your lunch break.

2: It can be Humorous

One thing that I know for certain is that humor is a great way to engage people. A visual campaign that makes people laugh is a great way to get people interested in your social page. For instance, a potential target customer goes on your website and is immediately brought to a humorous video advertising your company. If this video immediately makes them laugh, it will probably create meaningful a meaningful experience for them.

3: Provides Simple Social Analytics 

The nice thing about most of these visual content pages is that they have a comment & like section for your content. Now, it may not be the most accurate representation of how people feel about your company but it will give you a rough idea of what people think of your content. For example, if your Youtube video or blog gets many dislikes you will know that you must change something up if you are not getting views. Things you may need to work on are your tags, and if people have questions in comments you can easily reply to them. This keeps your target audience feeling informed which will make them devoted to your company.

4. Video is a Popular Media Source

Remember, YouTube is a social network that comes with a pre-loaded community just waiting to see how your business can inform and entertain them. Video is a great media source. Most people use videos to learn and discover new things. With busier times come with busier people and less time for a newspaper. You can also create video blogs which may be easier for some people to do because they are uncomfortable with their writing skills. 


We live in the digital age. Video is getting increasingly popular and most people use it as a reliable media source. This source is used and will be used for time to come.

From the Classroom to the Slopes


When I walked in on the first day of class to Alpine Operations, Leadership, and Management I had no idea what I was in for. As someone who has never even had a pair of ski boots on her feet, I was a bit intimidated by this class dealing with an industry I knew nothing about. Luckily, my class was full of experienced alpine students many of whom work on mountains in and around Franklin county.

Our first task as a class was to decide on an event that we would all take part in planning. We decided to hold a ski and snowboard event over spring break. This gave us only three weeks to get our proposal approved and market the event. We choose Titcomb Mountain as our location and with the help of their General Manager Megan Roberts, our proposal was approved. With Titcomb offering skiing and snowboarding for every age and skill level we decided our events should be just as inclusive. With eight events planned my class got to work advertising our event The Titcomb Challenge. With events like a boot race, costume contest, ollie contest, and a light parade we hoped to attract all ages. We used posters, a facebook event, a press release, and tabling in the students center to get the word out.

Finally, the day had arrived, I walked into the lodge at 8 A.M. and set up the registration table. Everyone working the first shift was groggy and nervous, we had no idea if anyone would show up to this event we had put so much work into. Our Professor Clyde Mitchell kept morale up as we waited for people to arrive at the mountain. The first people to sign up were two little kids who couldn’t wait to compete! One of them was our first winner coming in first place for our boot race. As the day continued events were running smoothly and every team member was hard at work.

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The day ended at 9 P.M. with everyone participating in a light parade down the main slope and gathering in the lodge around a fire.

My class learned a lot about leadership and how planning an event can bring the community together.