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Belle Isle Conservancy Reopen Paving the Way Toward Reopening with 16′ Concession Trailer

Like many organizations, the Belle Isle Conservancy wasimpacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. For a non-profit organization that relies largelyon private and corporate donations and fundraising events in order to offer apublic park available to all, this was bad news.

The Belle Isle Conservancy opened in 1904 and has welcomedmillions of visitors to the Belle Isle Aquarium, Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory,Belle Isle Casino, and other attractions that make up the 2.5-mile, 982-acreisland park on the Detroit River.

Dubbed the “Jewel of Detroit,” Belle Isle provides an oasisof nature, education, and recreation for the greater Detroit area. However, onMarch 17, the aquarium and conservatory were closed and all planned events wereput on hold because of the coronavirus.

As the state of Michigan slowly began easing its lockdownorders, Amy Emmert, Director of Education for Belle Isle, and her team had tothink outside the box to find a way to reopen.

They decided to lease a 16-foot ATC concession trailer fromAdvantage to use as a mobile office space and registration point for visitors.

“It was initially planned to be used as an educational andinterpretation station at the Scott Fountain area of Belle Isle since there isno welcome or information center on the island,” Emmert explained.

During the month of September, Belle Isle utilized thetrailer as a safe registration point for their Blue Cross Blue Shield sponsoredSenior Thursdays, which afforded visitors 55 years old and over an opportunity toexperience the Belle Isle Aquarium for free in a safe, socially distantenvironment.

“The trailer has been an integral part of our registration processfor our Senior Thursdays in September,” Emmert said. “In order to ensure thesafety and social distancing of our senior guests, it was necessary due tospace constraints that we conduct registration outside of the aquarium. Thetrailer allows us to weather the elements, stay a safe distance from ourregistrants, and have everything we need at our fingertips.”

Like we have demonstrated many times before, a trailer providesa versatile platform not only for brands to showcase their products and restaurantsto serve their food, but also for brick-and-mortar locations to expand out oftheir physical location and greet consumers in a safe and engaging way.

“It is a point of location where park users and aquarium guests can come to get information about the island and all it has to offer,” Emmert said. “The trailer allows for staff to be stationed safely and comfortably in all weather and it is large enough with fabulous graphics that guests can glean information about the island even when the station is not staffed. The graphics include a map of the island, photos of activities available on the island, and websites for more information.”

Since the trailer is mobile, it can also be used for outreachprograms, events, and festivals as Belle Isle continues to reopen and expand beyondthe limited senior Thursdays.

“Now that we have successfully demonstrated we can open withlimited capacity, we are looking at strategies to slowly reopen to the public,”Emmert said. “We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from staff,volunteers, and park users about the trailer and its possible uses.”

If your brand or organization could use a trailer, or if youare even considering the possibilities, we're happy to talk through ideas, helpyou determine the best trailer within your budget to meet your needs, andprovide purchase or leasing quotes. Give us a call at 630-524-2029.

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