DriveShack Research

Part
01
of seven
Part
01

Things to Do in West Palm Beach, Florida - Locals

People living in West Palm Beach are likely to enjoy going to the beach for fun, as well as shopping and eating at Rosemary Square. They also enjoy biking along the Lake Trail and partying at Clematis Street. To appreciate the local art and collections, residents go to the Norton Museum of Art, where they can enjoy the sculpture garden and the upscale dining experience.

The Norton Museum of Art is the Talk of the Town

  • Founded in 1941 by Ralph Hubbard Norton, the Norton Museum’s permanent collection consists of more than 7,600 pieces, distributed in five curatorial departments. The Museum recently went through renovations to expand the location and reopened on February 9, 2019.
  • The new structure now includes a 12,000 square feet gallery space; expanded classroom space; a 210-seat auditorium; a student exhibition space; a Great Hall; restaurant and store; a lawn for outdoor programming and a sculpture garden; and six cottages to house artists.
  • According to Bloomberg, the recently renovated Norton Museum is the “talk of the town.” It was also voted the best art gallery in Palm Beach County.
  • Locals enjoy the restaurant and cafe, with indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the garden. On Fridays, the Museum host a weekly Art After Dark Program, where visitors can view exhibitions, enjoy performances, and participate in art activities.

Locals Enjoy Shopping and Eating at Rosemary Square

  • Formerly known as CityPlace, Rosemary Square is a popular destination for tourists and locals. Located in downtown West Palm Beach, it offers a great variety of restaurants, entertainment, live music, and shopping experiences.
  • After months of renovation, the area reopened in December 2019, with newly paved streets, more trees, a 100,000-light faux banyan tree, and a new fountain. The opening gathered a crowd and locals enjoyed the outdoor atmosphere, the options available, the lightning of the Wishing Tree, and the green landscape.
  • The location is still undergoing severe renovations, with a five-year, $550 million investment to transform the area “from a retail and entertainment center to a vibrant community and destination.”

Nightlife at Clematis Street

  • Located in downtown West Palm Beach, Clematis is known for its nightlife. Home to popular bars, restaurants and clubs in West Palm Beach, such as Respectable Street, Avocado Grill, among many others, Clematis Street is known for having “something for anyone.”
  • It is a sought-after location for happy hour, as locals can choose from several bars and restaurants, such as Lynora’s, Bonefish Grill and Roxy's Pub, a local favorite.
  • Every Thursday, visitors can experience “Clematis By Night,” a free live music event considered “an institution in the Palm Beaches for the last twenty-two years when it comes to bringing the community together for a free event on the waterfront in downtown that features live music from the area’s best musicians & groups.”

Biking or Jogging Along the Lake Trail is a Popular Local Activity

  • Biking or running along the Lake Trail is a popular local activity due to its incredible view. The 5.5-mile trail, parallel to the Intracoastal Waterway, is packed with natural wonders, such as the kapok tree, nicknamed by the locals as “Big Tree.” Just over the bridge, visitors can rent bicycles by-the-hour and enjoy the trail.
  • The trail also takes visitors near The Society of Four Arts and The O’Keeffe Gallery, where they can spot monuments and art forms, a part of the landscape. Along the trail, nannies and children can be seen by the Lagoon. The view, photo opportunities, and vibrant artistic surroundings makes this spot a local favorite.

The Beach is Part of the Culture

  • Going to the beach is a traditional activity for those living in West Palm Beach. The public beaches attract visitors and locals alike throughout the seasons.
  • Delray Beach is one of the most beloved beaches in the West Palm Beach Area by the locals for its small-town charm and warm waters, while Palm Beach it's known for its beauty and luxurious atmosphere.
  • Peanut Island is a hot party spot, as well as a great place to snorkel and camping. Juno Beach attracts locals thanks to its dog-friendly shores, while the MacArthur Park is great for kids and nature lovers.

Research Strategy

In order to uncover what West Palm Beach’s locals do for fun, the research team scoured through multiple blogs, local and national news outlets, Trip Advisor, Niche and Yelp reviews (only reviews from residents were considered), and Reddit, Twitter and Facebook. We focused on activities residents were likely to enjoy frequently. Important to clarify that not all beaches included are in West Palm Beach per se, but are in the area and research suggest that they are likely to attract West Palm Beach locals.
Part
02
of seven
Part
02

Things to Do in Raleigh, North Carolina - Locals

Things that locals love to do for fun in Raleigh, North Carolina include riding bikes along the Neuse River Trail, visiting the Joel Lane Museum House, bar-hopping in downtown Raleigh, and visiting the Players’ Retreat and Mitch's Tavern.

The Neuse River Trail

  • The Neuse River Trail also referred to as Raleigh Greenway is a portion of about 28-mile path. It stretches from "the Falls Lake Dam in Wake Forest, North Carolina, down to the Wake/Johnston county line in Raleigh".
  • Locals run their dogs and ride bikes along the Neuse River Trail.
  • Other activities that locals do at the Neuse River Trail include hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Mitch's Tavern

  • Mitch's Tavern is located on the second-floor space on Hillsborough St.
  • Mitch's Tavern is popular with locals and was featured in the 1988 movie Bull Durham because of its unique feel and look.
  • Their menu is full of dishes that make locals frequent Mitch's Tavern during cold weather months.
  • The house-made soups, slow-cooked gumbo, and chili are famous during the spring. "In the warmer months, a couple of balconies with just a few tables overlooking bustling Hillsborough St. are prime spots for a dinner or a night out".

Joel Lane Museum House

  • Joel Lane Museum House is owned by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of North Carolina.
  • The house was built by Joel Lane in 1769 and it was considered “The Best House for 100 Miles”.
  • Locals call the house "the birthplace of Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina".
  • The house hosts events such as lectures, guided tours, and videos. The house can also be rented for special occasions such as birthday parties.

Downtown Raleigh

  • Locals and tourists are attracted to the Glenwood South District especially in the evenings.
  • Downtown Raleigh is the "hip and trendy home to restaurants, shops, and nightlife".
  • Locals frequent Fox Liquor Bar because of their custom-crafted cocktails, enjoy the club-like atmosphere at the Ruby Deluxe, and craft beer aficionados at Paddy O Beer.
  • Crowds of locals and tourists make the "neighborhood's al fresco restaurants great for exceptional people watching".

The Players’ Retreat

  • The Players’ Retreat is a dive bar that is a short walk away from the NCSU campus.
  • Locals call the place "PR". It is a hangout for professors, students, and townies.
  • Activities that locals do at the Players’ Retreat include having dinner, shooting pool, and watching b-ball games on TV.
  • The Players’ Retreat was first opened in 1951 and it is "known for its very long list of single malt scotch".
Part
03
of seven
Part
03

Things to Do in New Orleans, Louisiana - Locals

Residents of New Orleans, Louisiana enjoy having picnics at The Fly. The locals’ favorite sports team is the New Orleans Saints. Locals frequently visit the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Maple Leaf Bar, and Le Bon Temps Roulé to enjoy live music performances.

The Fly

  • The Fly is located at Exposition Dr., New Orleans, LA 70118.
  • Locals enjoy having picnics at the grassy undeveloped area located behind Audubon Park.
  • The Tree of Life is considered one of the perfect spots for a picnic date.
  • Other activities that locals do at The Fly include watching ships sailing down the Mississippi River, suntanning, and hosting BBQs.

New Orleans Saints

  • Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the home of the New Orleans Saints is located at 1500 Sugar Bowl Dr, New Orleans, LA 70112.
  • Locals are known to come together at the stadium to support the New Orleans Saints every Sunday during the National Football League season.
  • They also enjoy visiting sports bars and other spots to watch the team during away games or if they cannot make it to the stadium.
  • The Saints are sometimes called the Aint’s” to reflect the fans’ disappointment of their performance.

Ogden Museum of Southern Art

  • Ogden Museum of Southern Art is located at 925 Camp St, New Orleans, LA 70130.
  • Locals can enter the museum for free on Thursdays from 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Besides viewing the Southern Art collections, locals also visit Ogden Museum on Thursdays from 6 pm to 8 pm to enjoy the live music performances by local artists.
  • A National Geographic Channel special program featured a local millennial recommending viewers to visit Ogden Museum on Thursdays for the live music.

Maple Leaf Bar

  • Maple Leaf Bar is located at 8316 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118.
  • Also known as “The Leaf,” the bar is a hot spot for locals, especially on Tuesday nights when it hosts the Rebirth Brass Band.
  • The bar also hosts other local legends every night, and icons such as Bruce Springsteen and Bonnie Raitt have also made surprise appearances.
  • Maple Leaf Bar specializes in providing funk, groove, and jazz music.

Le Bon Temps Roulé

  • Le Bon Temps Roulé is located at 4801 Magazine Street New Orleans, LA 70115.
  • The bar is opened 24/7 and always filled with locals all day long.
  • Le Bon Temps Roulé hosts live music every night, and The Soul Rebels is the biggest draw for locals.
  • The stage has been dubbed “House of Dues” as many local bands performed here before going mainstream.
Part
04
of seven
Part
04

Things to Do in Orlando, Florida - Locals

Things that locals love to do for fun in Orlando, Florida include attending farmers markets, bar-hopping in downtown Orlando, and visiting Gatorland. An overview of five things to do in Florida, as told by locals, can be found below.

Farmers Markets

Downtown Orlando

  • Many local bloggers talk about the bar scene in downtown Orlando, especially on Wall Street.
  • Wall Street is a pedestrian-only street that is lined with bars and restaurants.
  • Wall Street also has several annual festivals that locals take part in. Some examples are Margarita Fest, Super Block, and the Florida Music Festival.
  • Church Street is also a popular spot for dancing, as it features several dance clubs.

Gatorland

  • Gatorland is an attraction that many locals attend and talk about.
  • Activities in Gatorland include hand-feeding alligators and watching gator wrestling.
  • The park also features a zip-line and an off-road adventure.

Mills 50 and the Milk District

Leu Gardens

  • Henry P. Leu Gardens is located in Audubon Park and is frequented by locals.
  • Locals specifically love it because it is not known as a tourist hotspot, so it is not usually crowded.
  • The garden has over 1,000 rosebushes and a butterfly garden.
  • There is also a monthly outdoor movie screening at the gardens.
Part
05
of seven
Part
05

Things to Do in Richmond, Virginia - Locals

Carytown, the Fan District, and Short Pump Town Center are favorite shopping and dining destinations for locals in Richmond, Virginia. Nature and animal lovers visit local parks like Belle Island and Deep Bottom. Richmond residents frequent local breweries and spend weekends bargain hunting at the Azalea Flea Market. Kings Dominion and G-Force Karts are favorite amusement choices among Richmond locals.

Insight #1: Richmond Locals Visit Carytown, the Fan District, and Short Pump Town Center for Shopping and Dining

  • The city's shopping and dining scene — its local businesses in particular — was highlighted as one of the most notable aspects of downtown Richmond in a 2018 CNN article. Carytown was specifically mentioned as a popular destination.
  • Located next to Richmond's Museum District, Carytown is a shopping area known for its boutique stores and local dining gems. Locals refer to this district as the "Mile of Style." Carytown has a 5-star Yelp rating with one local resident praising the district for its "diverse population" and another calling it a "favorite weekend hangout."
  • Short Pump Town Center features "over 140 different shops, restaurants, and entertainment options." The shopping area has a 4-star rating on Yelp with one resident complimenting its "heated pavilions and outdoor fireplaces" and another referring to it as a local "hot spot."

Insight #2: Local Parks Provide an Oasis for Richmond Nature and Animal Lovers

  • Richmond's department of parks and recreation strives to "provide exceptional recreation and leisure programs to enhance the overall quality of life for citizens and visitors" alike and offers several activities aimed at locals specifically, including a before and after school program for children.
  • Belle Island is one small part of the larger James River Park system best known for its flat, smooth rocks where locals frequently sunbathe. Other common activities include birding, climbing, fishing, hiking, trail running, biking, and paddling. It has a 4.5-star review on TripAdvisor with one Richmond local calling it a "historic and fun gem" and another gushing about its "amazing views."
  • Situated "at a fork of the James River," Deep Bottom Park is where tourists and residents fish, boat, and explore wildlife. It is particularly popular with local fishing enthusiasts. Park features include "picnic shelters, [two] boat landings, and a canoe launch." The bald eagle and great blue heron are two notable species of wildlife that park visitors can expect to see.

Insight #3: Richmond Residents Enjoy Visiting Local Breweries

  • According to the Visit Richmond website, VinePair dubbed Richmond the "number one beer destination in the world." Hardywood Craft Brewery, Mekong, Ardant Craft Ales, and Legend Brewing Company are four examples of breweries that are popular with Richmond locals.
  • Ardant Craft Ales is a "Texas-style joint" that used to be a "co-op in a local garage." It has a 4.5-star rating on Yelp with locals praising its dog-friendly atmosphere, “massive outdoor space,” and friendly bartenders.

Insight #4: Richmond Locals Hunt for Weekend Bargains at the Azalea Flea Market

  • The Azalea Flea Market is open every Friday through Sunday between 6:00 AM and 4:00 PM and features hundreds of vendors selling items that include "clothes, furniture, toys, kitchenware, books, purses, [and] jewelry."
  • Its community of nearly 800 Facebook followers talks about the size of its selection and the volume of visitors that come out to bargain hunt each weekend.
  • The Azalea Flea Market has a 4-star review on Yelp with one local ranking it among his "favorite places to get the most random stuff." Another local describes its "impressive" selection of vendors, while a third calls it an "awesome flea market."

Insight #5: Kings Dominion and G-Force Karts are Local Favorites For Fun and Games

  • G-Force Karts is an outdoor go-kart track with karts that reach speeds up to 60 mph. It has a 4.5-star TripAdvisor rating with one local calling it a "blast" and another praising its "fun arcade, Nerf gun wars, laser tag, and go-karts."

Research Strategy

We searched trusted media sources and Richmond, Virginia official websites to find five insights highlighting popular area activities specific to locals. We did not include information pertaining exclusively to tourists. The Visit Richmond website was particularly helpful because it notes which locations and activities are most popular with residents. One of the website's taglines is "Do the Richmond Region Like a Local." We then expanded our search to include community forums and review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor to find out what residents are saying about these popular attractions, locations, and activities. All referenced reviews are the opinions of Richmond locals specifically.
Part
06
of seven
Part
06

Office Team Building Work Activities

Work team-building activities that people actually like include escape rooms, cooking classes, pub trivia, improv classes, outdoor sports, and karaoke. These activities have several commonalities, including that they are challenging, they encourage interaction with others, they are collaborative, and they often involve food and drinks.

Activity 1: Escape Rooms

Activity 2: Cooking Class

Activity 3: Pub Trivia

Activity 4: Improv Class

Activity 5: Outdoor Sports

Activity 6: Karaoke

Commonalities

  • Challenging: each of the above activities is challenging in some way. Challenging activities may be especially effective for developing team-building.
  • Collaborative: each of the activities creates opportunities for individuals to work together. Research suggests that activities that encourage participants to work together are especially effective for developing teams.
  • Social: each of the activities create a positive atmosphere where individuals interact with one another.
  • Food and drink: food and drink can be incorporated into the majority of the above activities. Eating and drinking are common features of well-liked team-building activities.

Research Strategy

This request required the research team to find team building activities that people actually like. To determine whether something could actually be a work team building activity, we looked for examples of companies actually participating in that activity or suggesting it to others as an effective team-building activity.

To determine whether people actually like the activities, we used several possible sources of information. In some cases we used surveys of activity preferences. In other cases, we used news articles or other credible sources that asserted that people like the activity. Of course, different groups of people will like different activities; here, we considered an activity to be likable if there was some evidence that it would be liked by a general adult audience.
Part
07
of seven
Part
07

Brick and Mortar Attractions - Building a Loyal Customer Base

There are a variety of methods by which brick-and-mortar attractions can acquire and retain customers. They can utilize handouts to generate interest in new customers, for example, while cultivating relationships with recurring customers or offering loyalty programs to boost return rates. Below, these and additional methods are explored, followed by an explanation of our research methodology.

Handouts, such as vouchers or free trials, can draw in new customers.

  • Discounts can draw in new customers. For example, popular escape room company The Escape Game capitalizes on its holiday rush with "a big holiday push online and in-store that incorporated significant discounts."
  • Brick-and-mortar activities can offer a free sample of their activities to allow new customers to determine their level of interest. Escape rooms, for example, can offer a 10-15 minute "mini version" of their games for new customers.
  • Depending on the activity, a portable free trial can be employed to take to festivals and other large gatherings to attract new customers.
  • Offering free digital versions of the activity to the company's digital followers can stoke interest. Escape room company Breakout Games provides its social media followers "content focused on providing an experience in a smaller form: riddles, charades, and different puzzles they get to solve on [its] channels."

Cultivating relationships with customers, and focusing on customer experience at the establishment, can build loyalty.

  • Reaching out to customers, for example with personalized cards, can have a strong effect on the building of loyalty. A family-owned bowling center in Utah saw a 63% increase in its summer league sizes following the distribution of such cards.
  • For some activities, such as escape rooms, promoting other establishments in the area can help build trust with customers by showing that you "care more about them than their money," so that "when you do open your next room, they’ll remember you were the one who recommended another great experience." This has the additional benefit of potentially increasing the customers' interest in the activity.
  • Customer experience is vitally important to differentiate a brick-and-mortar establishment from competing establishments as well as competing activities. Movie theaters, for example, need to emphasize consumer experience given that video-on-demand (VOD) services like Netflix often offer a greater variety of films with more flexibility.
  • Emphasizing the unique experience of a given activity can give customers a reason to come to a brick-and-mortar attraction instead of staying home or going elsewhere. Movie theaters, for example, should exploit the persistent sense that "there’s still something special about visiting the cinema. The romance of the big screen."

Loyalty clubs and programs can ensure that active customers keep returning.

  • Brick-and-mortar activities can offer loyalty clubs and programs that allow customers to garner rewards with repeat visits to the establishment. Total Axe Throwing, for example, offers a point-based loyalty club.
  • Multi-tiered loyalty programs can be highly effective if properly instituted. AMC Theatres, for example, has two loyalty tiers: AMC Stubs Premiere, for a $15 annual fee; and AMC Stubs A-List, for a $19.95 monthly fee, with significantly greater benefits.
  • AMC Theatres reported that "45 percent of A-List members were not previously signed up to its AMC Stubs loyalty programs," suggesting that a higher loyalty program tier can draw in customers that are uninterested in basic loyalty programs.
  • However, these programs are more effective with some activities than with others. Escape rooms, for example, rely more heavily on new customer acquisition than the loyalty of repeat customers, given that each escape room is a "one-time sell" — customers are unlikely to return to play the same room again.

Online outreach, such as social media and online advertising, can be vitally important to brick-and-mortar activities.

  • Even establishments with strictly brick-and-mortar offerings can benefit greatly from an online presence. About 87% of all purchases, even ones made in a brick-and-mortar establishment, begin with online research.
  • Offering free digital versions of the activity to the company's digital followers can stoke interest. Escape room company Breakout Games provides its social media followers "content focused on providing an experience in a smaller form: riddles, charades, and different puzzles they get to solve on [its] channels."
  • However, utilizing online coupon sites like Groupon can sometimes have an adverse effect on customer loyalty, given that people browsing these sites are often more interested in finding deals than in participating in a specific activity.
  • Investing in search engine optimization (SEO), as well as pay-per-click online advertising, can expose a greater number of potential customers to a brick-and-mortar establishment while they browse online.
  • Brick-and-mortar establishments can also leverage digital remarketing tools, which allows companies to "strategically position" online ads where individuals who have previously visited their website will see them. An individual who visits the company's website will later see the company's ads while browsing elsewhere, reminding them about the company and potentially leading to purchases.

Collaborations can help expand brick-and-mortar activities' customer base and generate interest.

  • Brand partnerships can generate interest both from repeat customers and new customers. Escape room company Escape Hotel, for example, has partnered with several popular entertainment brands, such as with Fox to create an escape room with a theme modeled after Fox's Prison Break.
  • Partnering with local media can notify viewers in the area that the activity is available and help generate interest. "News outlets are always looking for fresh and interesting topics to share with their viewers or readers," and brick-and-mortar activities, particularly newer ones like escape rooms or axe throwing, are exciting topics for them to cover.
  • Brick-and-mortar attractions can also partner with one another, or with brick-and-mortar establishments in different industries, to draw in customers that might not otherwise have interest in their activities. For example, the bowling company Brunswick partnered with TravelCenters of America (TA), a rest stop company, to produce a rest stop combined with a bowling alley, arcade, and other brick-and-mortar attractions.
  • Similarly, many brick-and-mortar attractions pair well with bars and eateries — for example, two breweries in Oregon recently partnered to expand their burgeoning axe throwing business.
  • Simply handing out fliers or using other advertising techniques in the area can be highly effective, as it was for Forged Axe Throwing, which handed out 500 fliers to local businesses upon opening, to great success.

Research strategy

To determine how brick-and-mortar attractions attract new customers and build customer loyalty, we conducted an extensive review of industry publications for various brick-and-mortar attractions, such as NowEscape for escape rooms, as well as marketing publications and general news media. Additionally, we examined some brick-and-mortar establishments' own tactics in this regard to provide further examples. After gathering source material representing a variety of insights regarding customer acquisition and retention in brick-and-mortar attractions, we synthesized the findings above.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 05