A Few Representative Case Studies
Don’t see your particular need listed as a case study? Call us – we’ll be happy to share many other client experiences with you.
GREAT—Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team (Graham County, NC)
Magellan Strategy Group was asked by this community leadership team in 2014 to facilitate and develop a strategic tourism plan for Graham County, a spectacularly beautiful yet isolated mountain destination in far western North Carolina. Faced with increasing competition from nearby destinations and a lackluster local economy, GREAT recognized the need for a comprehensive plan that would coalesce various stakeholders and help drive visitation and economic impact.
To inform the process and provide insight into the local tourism sector, Magellan conducted a series of public workshops and an online stakeholder survey over the course of several months. We also utilized data measuring the health of the industry and identified numerous barriers to tourism growth. We developed a complete strategic plan that makes better use of Graham County’s precious financial resources, yet leverages its dramatic scenic beauty and its natural, historic, and cultural assets. The final plan includes recommendations for enhanced marketing, visitor engagement, product development, local policy initiatives, and steps for collaboration and partnership.
Fort Ticonderoga (Ticonderoga, NY)
Magellan Strategy Group was asked to be a part of the project team assembled by its strategic partner PGAV Destinations to assist this historic attraction in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. Magellan provided its tourism marketing and brand development expertise during PGAV Destination’s development of the Fort’s master plan. The Fort is currently in the process of executing this master plan.
Using a combination of primary marketing research conducted among its guests and members and secondary tourism research and market data, Magellan created valuable, action-oriented insights into the Fort’s current and potential customers which helped fuel ideas for new visitor experiences. Magellan also recommended changes in the Fort’s marketing and messaging to help drive visitation, and we facilitated an evaluation of the Fort Ticonderoga brand which resulted in long-term brand strategy focused upon the Fort’s leading role in American history and its interpretation.
Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest (Lynchburg, VA)
Magellan was hired by the non-profit foundation that owns and operates this historic attraction to produce a strategic marketing plan, which would drive incremental visitation. A stunning architectural masterpiece once owned by Thomas Jefferson, Poplar Forest has been a living historic restoration project that has also evolved as a visitor attraction located on a beautiful Virginia landscape.
The marketing plan devised by Magellan recommended strategies and tactics for more facilitation of pre-visit planning by guests using an enhanced online presence; greater differentiation of the Poplar Forest experience from other historic homes; growth of the local resident market through promotions that induce trial; and a more robust social media and media relations program. This plan also strongly suggested greater partnerships with other area tourism entities and visit influencers, and encouraged an event strategy that creates urgency to visit.
Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority (North Carolina)
We’ve performed two significant projects for this destination marketing organization, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The first was the development of a brand strategy that resulted in a new verbal identity for the county, Lake Lure and the Blue Ridge Foothills. Leveraging the broad national awareness of and legacy of visitor experience with the idyllic Lake Lure and the Blue Ridge brand name, Magellan created a brand strategy that was informed by primary research among and database analysis of the area’s visitors.
More recently, we were asked to assess the expected visitor impact of the new Tryon International Equestrian Center upon the local tourism economy. We created a detailed analysis of the potential room night impact upon area lodging, and suggested strategies and tactics that the client and its partners should pursue to leverage the influx of equestrian participants and fans. These findings were presented to a large public audience and in a written report to the client.
Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau (Tennessee)
Magellan was hired to facilitate discussions between two memorable Civil War-era historic home attractions in this suburb just outside Nashville, Carnton Plantation and Carter House. Stakeholders representing the two organizations, which operated the homes, were brought together to discuss potential ways of working together and mutual needs, including shared marketing and operational opportunities and the benefits that could result from greater collaboration. The result of this facilitation was a process that led to an innovative merger of the two properties, resulting in a single organization charged with their management.
Southern Foodways Alliance & Blue Ridge Parkway Association
Both of these groups represent organizations with a diverse membership and a broad geography across multiple states. But Magellan has facilitated multiple strategic plans for both of them, using member feedback, energetic board retreat planning sessions, and detailed follow-through. This has produced strategic plans for clients which leverage their available financial and human resources and take advantage of internal and external opportunities without sacrificing their mission and vision.
Clients & Projects
Below are the clients and projects with whom MSG has been fortunate to work since 2004. Some of these have been in partnership with other firms, and others have been solely the work of Magellan – but all have been highly valued.
- Asheville Art Museum
- Asheville’s Fun Depot
- Asheville Ice
- Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC
- Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, Asheville, NC
- Cherokee Historical Association, Cherokee, NC
- Chimney Rock Park, NC
- City of Asheville /U.S. Cellular Center, NC
- City of Roswell, GA
- Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga, NY
- Graham County Historical Association, NC
- Grovewood Village, Asheville, NC
- Imaginarium Science Center, Fort Myers, FL
- Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Key West, FL
- John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC
- Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, FL
- Nantahala Outdoor Center, NC
- National Civil War Naval Museum, GA
- Navitat Canopy Adventures, Asheville, NC
- North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, NC
- Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, Mount Pleasant, SC
- See Rock City, Lookout Mountain, GA
- Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, Stecoah, NC
- Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Lynchburg, VA
- Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock, NC
- Whalehead, Corolla, NC