July 14, 2022
On our third attempt, we finally had lunch at a local landmark. A survivor of the 1870s oil boom, its Victorian architecture is a real eye catcher but previous efforts to dine there left us wondering if it was just a banquet hall or wedding venue. A sign out front touted the weekly burger special, so we decided to give it one more try. As with earlier stops, the beautiful porch and interior were devoid of occupants and we were ready to give up when we saw an employee on a smoke break and asked her for directions to the dining room. We followed her vague directions — her lack of hospitality is a topic for a different day — and eventually found the 1877 vintage tap room. The bartender/waiter/cook could not have been more attentive. The food was excellent. Now that we know about the secret back alley entrance and parking lot, it may even become a “go-to” place when the sandwich hunger hits. The very professional hospitality worker asked how we heard about them and seemed a bit surprised that we had so much difficulty finding the dining room. This reaction is consistent with the mood in our new home turf. For an area pinning its economic hopes on tourism, event sponsors ASSUME everyone knows where various venues are; no street addresses or phone numbers are provided. It took asking a woman at our church to learn when the 4th of July fireworks were being held. Per spousal orders I am not making a big deal about this lack of outreach, but it has got me wondering about the marketing efforts of gear industry companies. My wonderful daughter studied advertising at the University of Illinois. The first day of her first advertising class her instructor pointed out that half of all advertising expenditures are wasted. The trouble is — no one can predict which half. Are your advertising efforts telling potential customers you are anxious to do business, or are you expecting them to find the secret passage to your salesforce?