Newport, RI – Despite the health crisis’ impact on tourism and the overall economy, the Fort Adams Trust continues to make great strides in its summer long “Holding Down the Fort” initiative. The initiative has entailed a multi-faceted marketing communications effort that began in early May including: video production, volunteerism, donations support and the launch of the 1824 Coffee Post snack shop in the park Visitor Center.
May kicked off the “Holding Down the Fort ” with a series of videos highlighting specific aspects and unknown points of interest about the history of Fort Adams; all uploaded to the Trust’s new YouTube channel. Coupled with a focused social media outreach campaign, hits on the videos are now up to over 16,000 in just a short time. Simultaneous to the videos’ development was a focused outreach to engage and solicit volunteers from the fort’s fan base to assist with tours’ management and the continual renovations and reclamation efforts imperative to the fort’s preservation. The tours’ volunteers substituted usually paid seasonal staff that had to be temporarily furloughed for budgetary reasons due to the health crisis’ impact. Coinciding with the volunteers’ assistance, has been a restructuring of tours with the launch of Self-Guided Tours for families and others along with sold out Guided Tours on weekends at 11 A.M., 1 & 3 P.M. for groups less than 15; all within state of Rhode Island Guidelines. The volunteerism has been critical to Fort Adams’s success in the past and has had even greater impact with recent tour revenue increasing from a trickle in early May to a projected robust August. Beyond the help of the on-site volunteers, has been the fort’s fan base’s monetary support with its generous response to a June donations fundraiser effort that has currently exceeded goals by over 25% and continues to grow.
Long in the making, the fort launched its 1824 Coffee Post snack shop in early July offering traditional family oriented food and beverage for visitors to the park and fort.
With the addition of hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn and a variety of other snacks, the 1824 Coffee Post has proven to be an excellent addition to the Visitor Center Gift Shop providing park visitors with much needed affordable snacks and refreshments. The snack shop sales combined with tour tickets are currently generating much needed monthly revenues averaging well into five-figures.
“The beginning of the tour season did not project for a very successful 2020 Fort Adams Trust year given the impact of the health crisis and unfortunately we were not alone with that outlook,” stated Fort Adams Trust, Executive Director Joe Dias. “However by taking the initiative and addressing the challenge with positive creativity; the fort’s staff and the Trust’s board of Directors with the support of DEM have been able to roll-out the ‘Holding Down the Fort’ marketing initiative to address the fort’s needs. The Trust cannot express enough of our deepest gratitude to the surrounding communities, the volunteers and considerate donors who all, despite other priorities, have so generously supported the fort these past months. It’s testimony to how important the legacy of Fort Adams has become and will be into the future,” Dias added.
Anyone interested in volunteering as part of the Fort Adams “Holding Down the Fort” team to assist with fort tours or preservation efforts into the fall season, as well as charitable contributions to the Fort Adams Trust should contact Robert McCormack, Director of Visitor Experience at the Fort Adams Trust (401) 619-5802 or RMcCormack@fortadams.org .
Source: Sandy Kristiansson for Fort Adams Trust