Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Wins Awards for Web Site Design and Search Marketing Strategy

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Florida's Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Web site won two awards at the 18th annual Adrian Awards, a black-tie event held in New York City at the New York Marriott Marquis on January 28, 2008.

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Florida's Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Web site won two awards at the 18th annual Adrian Awards, a black-tie event held in New York City at the New York Marriott Marquis on January 28, 2008. The event was hosted by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association (HSMAI) to honor travel and hospitality advertising and marketing excellence in the U.S.

The annual contest attracted more than 1,300 entries from hotels across the nation. Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, an Intrawest property, received both a Gold Award for Web site design and a Silver Award for search marketing strategy.

"The redesign of the Sandestin Web site was a year-long, in-depth process, translating research into a user-friendly and revenue-generating format," said Craig Ferris, director of internet revenue for Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. "The site incorporates actual users' feedback and successful online marketing strategies. We are pleased with the results of the site thus far and it is an honor to be recognized with the Adrian awards for excellence."

The goals of the Web site re-design were to raise awareness of the Destin luxury beach resort property, increase online conversations and simplify the site navigation for consumers. The new Web site gives visitors a true account of Sandestin's upscale accommodations and award-winning amenities, such as world-class golf and the 28-acre pedestrian-friendly Village of Baytowne Wharf. The Web site features interactive Flash elements, videos and colorful photography, simplified navigation bars and forms and an improved online booking system. In addition, all of the text was optimized for search engines.

With help from Brulant, Inc., a technology-infused interactive marketing agency located in Beachwood, Ohio, the Sandestin Web site was transformed around the tagline "Off in our own little world.™" The new layout features highlights from Sandestin's 2,400 acres of hotels, restaurants, golf courses, and entertainment.

The result was a significant, positive shift in revenue, as well as an increase in per booking averages, during the first two months after the site was launched. The search marketing strategy, involving both pay-per-click and organic optimization strategies, was also successful and received the Silver Adrian Award

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a 2,400-acre destination resort located in Northwest Florida, between Pensacola and Panama City. A member of Beaches of South Walton - a 26-mile stretch of world-famous sugar-white sands and diverse landscape in which 40 percent of the area is protected under state parks - Sandestin invites guests to enter its world of 30 charming village neighborhoods featuring 1,800 condominiums, villas, town homes and a wide variety of hotel accommodations. The resort boasts more than seven miles of beaches and pristine bayfront, four championship golf courses, 15 world-class tennis courts, 19 swimming pools, a 98-slip marina, certified children's programs, a fitness center and spa, 65,000 square feet of meeting space and a pedestrian village featuring a host of boutique shops, casual and fine dining restaurants and nightlife venues. Sandestin is part of Intrawest Hospitality Management, a world leader in operating and managing destination resorts. For more information, visit http://www.sandestin.com.

Intrawest ULC is a world leader in destination resorts and adventure travel. The company has interests in 10 resorts at North America's most popular mountain destinations, including Whistler Blackcomb, a host venue for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Intrawest network also includes Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Florida and Club Intrawest--a private resort club with nine locations throughout North America. Intrawest develops real estate at its resorts and at other locations across North America and in Europe. Intrawest is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information, visit http://www.intrawest.com.

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Colleen Kirsch
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