Standing Out in a Crowded Market – Vegas Edition

Last Updated September 26, 2017

The tourism meccas that offer the greatest opportunity also pose the greatest challenges. As a small business, it can feel daunting to make your brand stand out among the major players who can afford massive marketing budgets and drown you out.

Vickie Wilson, the CEO of Vegas Valley Tours definitely knows what it’s like to put up the good fight. Tourists and locals are simultaneously being wooed by Cirque Du Soleil, A-listers performing at massive hotels, and new entrants into the culinary tourism market. Grab a cocktail and bet on some great advice in our latest interview!

EZ: Vickie, tell us a bit about your company.

VW: December of 2013, we opened to the public with our first tour product called the Downtown Las Vegas (DTLV) Food Tour. To this day, we offer a variation of that tour (under the same name) with a few modifications as well as two other tours in historic downtown Las Vegas.  We are the only food tour company operating exclusively in downtown Las Vegas and we operate in three distinct downtown neighborhoods, The Art’s District, The Fremont East District & the Historic Casino Corridor.

We have been fortunate to have amazing tasting partners in downtown Las Vegas like Chicago Joe’s – recently featured on Food Paradise, The Donut Bar featured on Ellen, Steve Harvey, Food Network and Tanked, and Freedom Beat where Chef Scott Commings (season 12 winner of Hell’s Kitchen) starts off our tour with some savory and homestyle American favorites.

EZ: Let’s talk Vegas! The options for tourists are so overwhelming, tell us about the challenges this creates for you.

VW: In Vegas, even the ordinary is extraordinary and with very little effort, guests have endless options and opportunities for activities and attractions. Wih that said, we have to develop new strategies to stand out in the crowded field of Vegas activities and be true to who we are. If I knew the exact formula for ensuring our information was readily available for those who are most likely to purchase – I would put “it” in a bottle and sell it under my new business called instant success. That said – we work on identifying the best way to reach our target audience. Day-by-day, we work on being the best food tour company we can be and our customers show their appreciation through referrals, reviews, and gratuities.

EZ: How do you to set your tours apart in an insanely competitive market like Las Vegas?

VW: As our market continues to grow with various attractions and tours – we have identified key differential qualities that set our tours apart from others and created brand awareness around what makes Vegas Valley Food Tours a unique food tour company. For example – with each of our tours,  we offer equal parts of history, community culture, and culinary insight while other tour companies may focus exclusively on food or history.

EZ: Clearly you need to keep one step ahead, so how do you do that?

VW: We think about the next natural step in our progression each tour season while being true to who we are. Vegas Valley Food Tours is a historical culinary tour in downtown Las Vegas. We are the best at what we do and we are the subject matter experts on Las Vegas history & downtown culinary options. Slow growth over time has allowed us to continue to offer a product we believe is superior in quality at a price point we believe most can afford.

EZ: It’s certainly a challenge, but what advice do you have for other operators who, like you, would see this as an opportunity?

VW: Accept that once you have success – others will follow your lead in every possible way imaginable! Do what you can on the front end to protect your brand and continue to offer a quality product.

EZ: Thanks Vickie!

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