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Since we can’t all win the lottery…

Winning the Lottert

I think it is a given... that if you won the lottery this newsletter might not even get opened.  However since you did open the newsletter - I guess it is safe to say . . .  well .... you aren't a lottery winner - at least yet.

In the meantime, let's talk about our Tombstone visitors and your business.   OK!?!?


Three Blocks of History and a Million Miles of Guest Expectations
Tombstone Arizona is a highly visible and well-visited community that is an important part of American history. Who hasn’t heard of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday or the Gunfight at the OK Corral?  Tombstone Arizona is part of every US History book, been featured in numerous movies and documentaries, and is a definite place that people from ALL OVER the world want to see, visit and experience.

Our community lives up to the tag line of “The Town Too Tough To Die.”   We have endured the continuing economic roller coaster, and are adjusting to the trends in “Heritage Tourism” and realizing the power of how social media can help our businesses.  The statement below is a marketing statement …a statement of expectations of sorts.

“Imagine an entire city on the National Historic Register.  What you’ll see in Tombstone Arizona today is a careful, accurate restoration of a historically significant Town in Southern Arizona.  Much of Tombstone’s architecture is unique to the West.  While the mining boom of 1877 brought the likes of Tombstone’s founder, Edward Schieffelin, it also provided the back drop for the “shots heard around the world” at the Gunfight at the OK Corral.  Tombstone Arizona is a living showcase of American history.”

Does this statement accurately represent Tombstone Arizona?   The Guests that visit Tombstone have an expectation of an AMAZING HISTORICAL ADVENTURE!  They want to see, and hear and experience the history of Tombstone Arizona.      

Williamsburg Virgina, Deadwood South Dakota and Dodge City Kansas, like Tombstone Arizona ALL depend on Tourism.   Tombstone relies on guests/visitors to ensure our Town remains viable, that it grows, that our business owners can remain open.

How do we do provide an AMAZING HISTORICAL ADVENTURE for our Guests?  We do this by being innovative, creative, thinking out of the box, and remembering that we are providing a Historical Themed Experience for ALL of our guests.


Managing Expectations 

FACT:  Tombstone is a Historical/Heritage tourist destination.
HERITAGE TOURISM. As defined by The National Trust for Historic Preservation, “Cultural heritage tourism is traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. It includes cultural, historic, and natural resources.”

EXPECTATIONS:  The visitors that eat, play and stay in Tombstone expect a relatively authentic experience.    

It is important for each business and group to evaluate regularly the message (and optics) that are being delivered to our Tombstone visitors.

For example:   The actors standing on the street... encouraging particpation in various events and shows.   If they are talking on their cell phones.... that is less than authentic.
Or if they are smoking .... however this maybe authentic - it is not visitor friendly.

Tombstone AZ is continually compared to Tombstone the Movie... and many visitors have written about this in reviews... that they would rather see a picture of the Real Doc Holiday... or the Real Wyatt Earp - not the Hollywood actor.  


Questions to Consider:

  • Do all of your staff (including yourself) project a positive image and energy?
  • Are all of your staff (including yourself) courteous and respectful to all Guests, including Children?
  • Do all of your staff (including yourself) stay in character and play the part? Tombstone is a town that represents the American Old West.   Does your staff dress the part?  Part of the Guest experience is in the details.  Having staff wear period clothing creates an feeling for the Guests, and a buy for the experience you are trying to create and maintain.
  • Do all of your staff (including yourself) go above and beyond?  Is your staff able to talk to Guests about the history of Tombstone?  Do they know the area?   Do they talk positive about other places and business in Tombstone?  Do they make recommendations about the area?
  • If you sell “Tombstone” related souvenirs – what sets your goods apart from the business down the street?  Is your businesses souvenirs unique to your business only?Are they logoed embossed? Do they have your business name on them?

Our Guests/Visitors have a limited amount of dollars to spend when they are on vacation or visiting Tombstone.   The want VALUE for the goods and services and are willing to pay the price.    Here is a nice article about How to Sell Value Rather than Price –


The Bottomline is..... 

Community Survival through AMAZING Customer Service and Historical Authenticity.  

Amazing Customer Service is this a realistic expectation for our guests to experience?    It better be or we might as well fold up Allen Street and call it a day right now.

The people who visit Tombstone, our guest, have choices on where to visit and spend their money.    And we store owners, employees, volunteers have a choice about how we treat them.   The choice we make regarding how they are treated WILL have a long lasting impact on a potential future visit and how they tell about their visit to their friends and family, and post about it on social media.  

The marketing thought is if a guest has had a bad experience they will tell at a minimum 25 people directly and also post about their bad experience on social media which could be seen by hundreds of people.   The Bad Customer Service experience has caused a loss of that guest and a potential loss of everyone they have connected with.  

Essentially EVERYONE in Tombstone working and volunteering on Allen Street is in the entertainment industry.  

We all must WORK TOGETHER, LEARN FROM EACH OTHER  and COMMUNICATE our success stories and our frustrations.

Tombstone has a rich history – from the late 1880 to about 1930 (the historical period).    Our visitors love to learn about Tombstone’s history – beyond the common topic of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.   There is the influence of the Chinese immigrants, the Jewish Community, silver mining, and more.

The goal is REPEAT VISITORS and for these visitors to influence and bring friends and family.   Let’s ALL work toward continually achieve this goal.   We all benefit when there are happy visitors and repeat visitors.