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Want families to visit this summer? Don’t overthink what kids need to have fun.

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The last time we dropped our kiddos off at the grandparents for a little summer sleepover, I gave my parents one last bit of advice before walking out the door:

“Don’t wear yourselves out, Mom and Dad, they don’t need much. They’d be just as happy going to the park for the afternoon as they would be with anything.”

It’s an interesting contrast between what is typically designed for kids and what they actually need to have an awesome time. One of the most played with “toys” in our house is the collection of cardboard boxes their actual toys came in.

Not Just Toys

But the same is true for travel.

Last year we spent a long weekend to our old stomping grounds in and around Vail. And what was the highlight of the trip? The hotel swimming pool and, yep, playgrounds.

pirate ship park in vail colorado

Scan the base areas of resorts during the summer and you’ll see everything from inflatable bounce houses to fancy trampolines that allow kids to flip and jump higher than they ever could. Every time I see these I have the same thought.

Yes, that can generate revenue, but you don’t need them for kids to have an awesome time.

So if your resort isn’t planning a lineup of base area activities this summer? Don’t fret, your community already has plenty of reasons for those families to visit.

Post + List + Email

If I were you, I’d do a few things before the week is over.

First, take a lap around town and get pictures of all of the playgrounds in your area. They don’t have to be fancy, a phone-camera version is enough. Maybe frame it so the mountains or scenery are visible so the parents realize they can enjoy the view too.

playground in minturn colorado

Second, write a blog post with the title “The Best Playgrounds in [City, State] and [Name of Resort]”. Add a paragraph about each one, the address, maybe a link to Google Maps and hit publish. Here’s a good example from a blogger for Vail’s parks.

screenshot of blog post about best playgrounds in vail

Third, jump into your guest database / CRM and find all the families with young kids. Maybe toss in a drive radius to focus on families that could make a road trip of it and then get this post in front of them.

  • Send it to them in an email to generate some immediate bookings and traffic.
  • Sync this list to Facebook and boost it there to keep it on folks’ mind and plant seeds.
  • Feature the post on your website in a way to give it a decent number of internal links to give it more weight in the eyes of Google for that crowd who are looking for it.
  • Add a QR code to your in-room information that links to it for guests who book through other avenues.

And, that’s it.

Create Once, Use Over and Over

This content / distribution play is one of many simple, small things that won’t matter to everyone but absolutely will to a good percentage of your database. Whether it’s playgrounds or great hiking trails or unique restaurants or whatever your community holds, spend a little time to create a blog post and audience for each that you can use and reuse as neded.

Get a couple of these done now, keep them in your back pocket, and use as necessary going forward. Tens of thousands of families (or hikers or foodies, etc.) like mine may just thank you with a visit.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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