From November 10 to 12, 2017, Huntsville was once again painted pink as the 11th annual Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend returned in full force.
Playing host to nearly 2500 women, Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend featured three sold out shows — Sass Jordan at Deerhurst Resort, and The Country Legends Tribute Tour and the Vagina Monologues at the Algonquin Theatre — not to mention, cooking demonstrations, workshops on beauty, health, relationships and fashion, outdoor adventures, art classes, and, of course, incredible shopping throughout Huntsville. More so than ever, this signature fall event proved to be an economic driver and incredible showcase for the Town of Huntsville.
“When the Chamber started to organize Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend, this time of year was identified by businesses as incredibly slow. Now, numerous business owners have reported that the Saturday of Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend is consistently their best sales day of the year. The economic impact of the weekend has made the event a resounding success,” says Kelly Haywood, Executive Director of the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce. “It’s an incredible collaborative initiative with the BIA, Deerhurst Resort, numerous retailers and the Chamber of Commerce where we all work together to help position Huntsville as the wonderful destination that it is.”
Not only is Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend a significant tourism event that draws thousands of women to Huntsville each and every year, it has also been developed as a marketing campaign to help keep Huntsville on the map and top of mind for future travelers. “If you didn’t see a direct impact on your business as result of this event on this very weekend, and while this is impossible to track, I can assure you that either the trickle-down effect will make its way to you, or the sheer exposure and multiple impressions of our community to so many women will result in increased visitation to our area,” says Haywood. Further to Haywood’s point, the Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend social media campaign reached over 513,000 Facebook users. These are 513,000 potential travelers that are now aware of Huntsville and now know what Huntsville has to offer.
This year, Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend saw over 40 businesses take part to offer specials to incoming visitors, and the initial feedback is extremely positive. Rachel Hunt, Manager of Pharmasave and Chair of the Downtown Huntsville BIA, says, “Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend 2017 was another fantastic year at Pharmasave as we painted our store pink with balloons, trees, and garland. We love to pamper our customers with the little touches like having our male staff dress up in suits to greet the ladies at the door or having live window models to display our fashion. Sales were up 10 per cent from last year, which is incredible. We also know that if we did not have Girlfriends’ Getaway annually, we would not have the sales we have on this weekend.”
This sentiment is shared across many different industries throughout Huntsville. Jeff Suddaby from local restaurant 3 Guys and a Stove says, “Seeing the steady growth from what was once a slow weekend in November, to the point where it is today, is truly outstanding. Our sales were once again up 25 per cent from last year thanks to Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend.”
Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend remains the perfect opportunity for women to escape the pressures of work and family and celebrate each other. The Chamber looks forward to November 9-11, 2018 for another year of incredible memories!
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