Building Community Partnerships, with Sarah Howe
Sarah Howe has a 25-year career leading marketing and sales for organizations of varying industries, each with its own thread in the love of the outdoors. Her joy is ignited by energizing teams around common goals and passion projects, building support through stakeholder involvement, creating clear and effective messaging, as well as giving back to the community.
She currently holds board member positions with the Vermont Lodging Association, New England Inns and Resorts Association, Accelerate Woman Leadership in Hospitality, and StepsVT (Steps Against Domestic Violence). Sarah is an avid downhill skier, sailor, hiker, mountain biker, or anything else outdoors.
On this episode of Destination on the Left, Sarah and I discuss the importance of forging strong connections with both guests and staff at the Lake Morey Resort and how it has helped them strengthen their positioning within the community. Sarah also describes some of the unique community partnerships her company is building and how they help them deliver a better experience for guests and staff alike.
What You Will Learn in this Episode:
- Sarah’s background in the hospitality industry
- Innovations that have helped the Lake Morey resort stand out from the crowd
- When Sarah realized it was critical to consult the resort’s staff on what they felt was the heart of the resort
- How Sarah communicates a sense of connection to attract new guests to the resort
- Why Sarah is keen to encourage people to communicate with her at their comfort level, be that email, phone, or text message
- Creative solutions Sarah has come up with to help her destination move through recent challenges
- Why reaching out to your peers in the industry can help you determine how to make long-term changes
- Exciting things in the pipeline for Sarah and Lake Morey Resort
- How Sarah and her team are leaning into their community partners
Sarah shares why she appealed to the resort staff to understand what makes Lake Morey resort different. She shares how the team came up with their slogan, ‘you come as friends, and you leave as family,’ and why it’s important to her that guests leave connecting more deeply with each other. Sarah discusses how she leaned into that philosophy in her marketing and updated their website and printed materials to highlight how important connectivity is at Lake Morey.
Creativity in the Face of Challenge
Sarah and I discuss how COVID-19 inspired her team to take a step back and look at how they were doing things and really try to be creative. Change can be hard, but once you start making change, the next change is easier and opens those doors and lets the creativity flow.
Sarah describes how the input from other hospitality leaders in Vermont and New England helped her team to really understand what was happening and what was working and what wasn’t. Creativity often involves stepping out of your comfort zone, starting new projects, and embracing creativity.
Looking into the future, the team at Lake Morey is most excited about their community partnerships. Although they offer their guests a fun and engaging time at the resort, they are planning to offer other community engagement opportunities too.
They also plan to grow their free outdoor concert series and extend their winter markets and trivia nights. The Lake Morey resort is being creative and offering different experiences to different types of people so that the whole community can come and enjoy themselves.
- Website: https://www.lakemoreyresort.com/
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/sarah-howe-20032005
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lakemoreyresort
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