Today I have a suggestion for marketing South Padre Island. It is really my wife Lori’s idea. What she said was that a bunch of her school worker friends were headed to the Island because the room rates went way down and there were some really great deals. Her point was maybe that the Island should market more to the Valley, especially the professionals 30 to 50 years old.
Last weekend was the top of the season and local folks are not exactly whining but business is definitely off but steady. "Steady" is what they're worried about.
Perhaps that’s maybe because the town isn’t advertised very well in the Rio Grande Valley. I won’t go into the slick media campaigns developed for “who’s your padre” and those nice video segments, but there could be reasons to cultivate some more local marketshare because of the rising cost of gasoline and travel – not to mention the recent airport security measures. I do not mean to be critical of the convention and visitors bureau and other Island organizations; it is just that marketing in other cities like Dallas, Houston, and outside Texas is fine but the Valley seems like a better candidate for the fall shoulder season.
So far, signature events in the post-high season are the bike rally and Sand Castle Days. However, the Island does not market itself well to those in the Valley who can be spontaneous or have special interests. For example, let’s talk birds: the fall migration has already started (reportedly with some arctic birds) and will continue to the winter. While the fall migration is not as spectacular as the “fall out” seen in the spring, the butterflies, hummers, and shore birds are much more prevalent, especially in October.
The waves are usually better, the water stays warm, and the fall is possibly the best time to visit the Island. The fishing is just beginning to get good. The crowds are not as hectic. I think this would be a great market strategy, emphasizing the fall shoulder season and the local Texas market.