SOURCE: Ascedia, Inc.

August 07, 2006 11:00 ET

Ascedia Captures Great Wolf Lodge Experience Through New Web Sites That Drive Reservations

MILWAUKEE, WI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 7, 2006 -- When Great Wolf Resorts, Inc., (NASDAQ: WOLF) North America's largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, wanted a new Web site to more powerfully convey the experiences of its water park vacation destinations throughout North America, it turned to Milwaukee-based Ascedia, Inc., an interactive marketing firm with extensive accomplishments in the tourism and hospitality industries.

The challenge was not only to fully present the Great Wolf Lodge experience, but also to capitalize on site visitors' excitement by turning them into customers. Ascedia needed to make that happen with a solution that would convey a consistent Great Wolf Lodge brand image while allowing presentation of information specific to the various lodges the company operates.

Ascedia met the challenges by quickly grasping the essence of the Great Wolf Lodge brand and by proposing a "central hub" Web site with nine "satellite" sites organized around that hub, said Mark Roller, creative director at Ascedia.

"The people at Ascedia interpreted our needs very quickly," said Carrie Wilkey, director of e-commerce marketing for Great Wolf Resorts. "And since they have experience in travel and destination marketing, they understood our target markets. In a very timely manner, they fully grasped what the Great Wolf Lodge brand is all about."

"We immediately understood the brand feel was that of wood and water," Roller said. "The warmth of wood gives a comfortable family feel and water translates to fun, hence wood and water were the operative terms that drove our creative approach," he said.

With that solid understanding of the Great Wolf Lodge brand, Ascedia was able to develop a Web site solution that powerfully presents the Great Wolf Lodge experience while providing information specific to each Great Wolf Lodge location, all through www.greatwolf.com.

"We have worked over the past many years capturing the essence of customer brands, then transferring that experience into the online environment," said Dan Early, president of Ascedia. "We know how to move brands online."

The nine sites offer a real feel for resort amenities through an enhanced use of photography, and 360-degree tours of suites and condos.

"It's all about capturing the Great Wolf Lodge brand experience and transferring that to an online experience," Early said. "It takes special skills and creativity to do that -- talents that our people at Ascedia excel in."

Ascedia identified three audiences for that experience: 1) new customers, 2) repeat customers and 3) groups and meeting guests. Unique Web site content, site architecture and utilities were developed for each of those audiences. The site architecture easily channels readers from any area of the Web site into the reservations area, where they encounter a simple and enhanced booking process.

Since the sites launched in July, the resorts have seen a marked increase in reservations, according to Wilkey, who called the increase "immediate and dramatic."

The central hub/satellite approach let Ascedia offer Great Wolf Resorts operating efficiencies and messaging consistencies along with the ability to offer unique content tailored to specific audiences, according to Early.

"For Great Wolf Lodge resorts, we have been able to create a de-centralized content management system for each resort location to reach out to their specific audiences," Early said.

Ascedia's solution is also giving Great Wolf Resorts better information to maintain relationships with its various audiences. "The enhanced data collection and data mining processes we are now implementing will give greater impact to Great Wolf Resorts' communications with its communities," Early said.

The Great Wolf Resorts Web site work is part of a new e-marketing services agreement with Ascedia that will involve a variety of communications programs and support.

Great Wolf Resorts is a publicly held company (NASDAQ: WOLF) that operates indoor water park resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge and Blue Harbor Resort brands in eight U.S. and one Canadian city, with three more in development.

High-profile organizations throughout the United States such as Great Wolf Resorts have come to rely on Ascedia's expertise in interactive marketing services since its founding in 2000. Its tourism and hospitality clients include Universal Studios, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Packer Country, Potawatomi Bingo & Casino, North Carolina Department of Tourism, Tennessee Department of Tourism, Virginia Tourism and many more. Its complete client roster includes organizations in a wide array of industries. Ascedia has offices in suburban Chicago along with its Milwaukee headquarters.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Dan Early
    Ascedia
    414-225-9770 ext 1022