ArborTrek Canopy Adventures is Vermont’s first world-class zip line canopy tour company. Nestled in the scenic valley below Smugglers Notch, the three-hour tour is designed to educate, entertain, and inspire. With the Northern Green Mountains as a backdrop, ArborTrek’s tours are half thrill ride, half eco-tour. Led by experienced guides and naturalists, each tour provides guests the opportunity to explore wild places, learn about the local ecology and lore of the region, and fly through the forest at high speeds.
ArborTrek Canopy Adventures is a new company, but its founder, Michael Smith, is a seasoned professional with more than 17 years of experience in adventure education and challenge course programming. He chose Resmark Systems because it was the only complete system he trusted to run his business and the only one that could promise a significant ROI.
Michael Smith, president and founder of ArborTrek Canopy Adventures, has more than 17 years experience in the challenge course industry as a facilitator, builder, manager, trainer and business consultant for numerous Fortune 500 companies. In 2008 he consulted with Zoar Outdoor, a thriving outdoor adventure company regarding the feasibility of a canopy tour in the Berkshires. He had almost given up finding software that would do all a tour operator needed, when Zoar introduced him to Resmark Systems. He immediately signed up as a reseller--and the rest is history.
Since that time, he has been involved in numerous zip line tour projects around the country. As a consultant he absolutely requires that the company use Resmark adventure travel software. Smith says: “I was very close to hiring a team to develop our own software when I discovered Resmark. It had all the features I had included on my wish list, a strong development plan, and a support team that responded to all of my requests immediately.”
Smith’s goals are not limited to his current location in Vermont. He is building ArborTrek Canopy Adventures in to a national brand and expects to have a dozen or more courses opening in the next few years. Smith continues, “This would not be possible without a business management solution and support team like Resmark. I saw a lot of costly, labor intensive, paper solutions before Resmark; and a lot of expensive software solutions that just mimicked the paper solutions.”
ArborTrek Canopy Adventures is unique because they knew the value of Resmark tour operator software well before they used it, and they knew it would be key to growing their business. They also knew that it would be hard work setting up the system for maximum benefit. ”What I like most about Resmark is that you can get down and dirty with it. Basic features can be run out of the box, sure. But it’s when you really dive in that you see the real opportunity that it presents to grow the business,” say Smith.
Smith integrated Resmark with their website and their business partner Smugglers’ Notch Resort’s website quickly and smoothly and within two weeks online reservations and reseller reservations were coming in.
Smith says “Online reservations are not a solution to avoid phone-based bookings. We pride ourselves on customer service and the phones are still are best opportunity to serve our customer first-hand. But not all of our customers want to call and our affiliates and resellers want speed and efficiency. Resmark’s online features and customer relationship management functions help us provide excellent customer service in an efficient manner regardless of the time of day or mode of communication our customers prefer so that we can spend more time running the business, and more importantly, making the customer experience unforgettable.”
ArborTrek is not interested in just providing a three hour event for their customers-- they want to provide a customized, complete experience for each customer.
Smith adds, “We not only want to enhance the reservation process, but also the pre-trip anticipation and build up, all the way through to the post-trip follow-up. Resmark is our most effective tool in achieving this goal. It makes a huge difference in how our customers feel about the company and our brand.”
Resmark reservation system allows ArborTrek to personalize the customer experience from initial inquiry to post-trip survey, and make it financially feasible through automation. It has also relieved the ArborTrek staff of some of the more mundane everyday responsibilities of running the business and allowed them to spend more time personalizing the customer experience.
Smith continues, “As a business owner, I always have a laundry list of things I would like to do to deliver better customer service. The efficiency and automation built in to Resmark has helped me to achieve many of these items that would otherwise have been too expensive, too time consuming, or to staff intensive to accomplish.”
Resmark allows ArborTrek to partner with other companies easily and efficiently. Resellers and agencies and their customers can book an experience online or by calling ArborTrek directly. Partners can book online anytime day or night, not just during business hours, with no hassle. Resmark also allows ArborTrek to set up automatic payment schedules for each reseller, ensuring accuracy and timely payments.
They already have a partnership with the closest ski resort, but there are dozens of other resorts, lodges, and businesses in the area and ArborTrek plans to partner with as many of them as possible in the coming months. This not only expands their business and opportunities, but it also proactively keeps competitors from doing business in their area. “Partnering makes good business sense,” says Smith. “It allows us to leverage the marketing dollars of our partners and our partners to do likewise; the whole community benefits.”
The adventure travel business is a lot of early mornings, late nights, and weekends. However, Resmark has allowed the staff to come in a little later and go home earlier, again because reservations can be made online and each customer automatically receives several emails in advance of the trip. If this function had to be done manually it would take two to three more staff members.
This has allowed Smith to spend more time developing staff and growing the business. “As an owner, Resmark allows me to monitor the business 24-hours a day, whether I am at the office, at home, or on vacation with my family.”
ArborTrek has a high level of confidence in the stability of the Resmark Software. Smith comes from a development background and has worked with web-based applications for more than 11 years and knows solid software. They have already developed a couple of custom applications with no problem and plan to develop more as the business expands.
When it came to selecting business management software, Smith says he was extremely picky because he knew he was not just buying software, he was selecting a long-term business partner.
“Resmark stood out above all of the competitors in this category. The software showed a strong development track, it worked, and their customer service was hands down the best I experienced while conducting my research. More importantly, the principals in Resmark were not just developers; they were seasoned tour operators building software they knew worked because they used it every day. Two-and-a-half years later and this still holds true. The product is better than ever, the support is second to none, and the new features and training webinars being offered are first-class.”
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