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DATE News (chronologically)
11/11/10
nascar
Die-hard NASCAR fans skew early HOF survey
With the half-year mark in the rearview mirror, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is collecting data that points to impressive customer service and satisfied patrons. Survey results were gathered from more than 3,200 visitors who have experienced the NASCAR Hall of Fame since its May 11 grand opening, and the new Charlotte attraction is earning high marks on features like quality of exhibits and artifacts and economic impact.

Among many encouraging results, 84% of visitors to the venue are coming from at least 50 miles away, staying for approximately 2.1 days and traveling with a party size of 3.5 guests.  True die-hard NASCAR fans that will do anything, go anywhere for NASCAR. Even more encouraging, 57% of respondents say they’re making the trip primarily to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame. That’s a significant visitation indicator since the economic impact of these visitors is approximately $191 per person per day – nearly double what Charlotte typically sees from leisure travelers.

“These latest results show the NASCAR Hall of Fame is doing a tremendous job in upholding the CRVA’s commitment to customer service and driving Charlotte tourism,” said Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority CEO Tim Newman. “Patrons have had incredible experiences in the Hall, and we are particularly pleased that the facility is attracting people to the Queen City. Just as we hoped, it is having a positive impact on our hospitality industry.”

In patron satisfaction surveys, out of a possible five points, exhibits received an average of 4.78, friendliness of crew members 4.81, overall quality 4.83, likelihood to recommend 4.70 and likelihood to visit again 4.35. Feedback from initial visitors has been instrumental in measuring and maintaining customer satisfaction.

Hundreds of comments collected from patrons about their overall experience demonstrate this further. “The interactive nature of the Hall of Fame was its strongest feature,” wrote one visitor. “Our two children, ages 5 and 9, had a terrific time and are already asking when we are going to visit again.” The most common theme among anecdotal feedback is that the NASCAR Hall of Fame offered much more than the guest expected.

“We have positive momentum from the guest ratings we have received over the last six months, particularly in relation to the excellent ratings in overall experience and the customer service,” said NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley. “We recently had a company reach out asking if we could offer counsel for customer service since they were so impressed with ours. That tells me we are staying true to our mission of making sure each visitor who passes through our doors has a memorable experience.

“We are thankful for the strong foundation we’ve built in just six short months with the guest experience, but we know we need to increase the number of visitors. One of our biggest challenges is educating the public about the breadth and depth of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. We recently evolved our advertising to target families and illustrate the interactive, entertainment nature of the facility. We are not a car museum; we really do have something for everyone regardless of their interest in the sport and our patron surveys validate that claim.”

In the first six months, the NASCAR Hall of Fame has had more than 150,000 visitors and is on pace with similar attractions. According to recent media reports, last year the Pro Football Hall of Fame had 196,205 visitors, the Baseball Hall of Fame had 289,818 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drew 373,604.

In addition to general admission tickets, the NASCAR Hall of Fame generates revenue through a variety of sources. Group sales and facility rentals have been particularly successful, with 773 groups totaling 34,642 individuals visiting the Hall to date and 92 facility rentals for special events of all sizes. Also, approximately 100 on-site special events and promotions activities have occurred at the NASCAR Hall of Fame since it first opened its doors less than 200 days ago.

“We are proud of the brand we have built in the first six months,” said Kelley. “We have to remind ourselves that we are in our infancy. We have a long way to go, but our customers confirm the product is spectacular and, over time, the word-of-mouth advertising will pay dividends.”

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