Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Borrego Village Association – Visitor Experience Plan

 

Last updated 5/16/2022 at 9:58am

Visitors to the town of Borrego Springs know about Anza-Borrego Desert State Park; In fact, many stay there for the express purpose of spending time in the park. Yet, visitors typically consider their experience in Borrego Springs to be entirely separate from their experience in the park. The Borrego Village Association (BVA) would like out-of-town visitors to view their time in Borrego Springs as an extension of their Anza-Borrego experience, connecting the two localities to create a richer, fuller experience for both.

In February 2022, the BVA engaged Tustin, California based The Acorn Group to develop a comprehensive Visitor Experience Plan. This is the first phase of developing a comprehensive Interpretive Master Plan. They are especially well qualified to take on this work for our community as in 2014 they developed the Interpretive Master Plan for Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Our first step was to organize a local stakeholder focus group representing the Park, key hospitality and tourism service providers, and civil society organizations, to help guide and assess Acorn's planning goals.

In March, Acorn, with help from Anza-Borrego Foundation, Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association, and students in the Borrego Springs High School Interpretation Program, we initiated a visitor survey. It was conducted as in-person intercept surveys using iPads equipped with QuickTap surveys to visitors at a total of six locations, running through April 24. The survey results will help us to understand the nature of a person's visit, reveal the information visitors would like to receive before and during a visit, and reveal "pain points" during the visitor experience as opportunities for improvement.

Our next step is to use the survey data, along with a community assets assessment, situation analysis and focus group feedback to create, by early this summer, a Visitor Experience Plan with a comprehensive interpretive, informational and wayfinding media strategy. After that we will implement the recommendations that result from the plan, which can include a combination of signage and wayfinding along with web based applications and digital media.

The Acorn Group offers a range of services in interpretive and educational master planning, exhibit design, curriculum development, and evaluation. The Acorn Group and the catalog division, Acorn Naturalists, are long established firms in the fields of education and interpretation. They are incorporated in the State of California and certified as a Small Business and Women's Business Enterprise.

The Visitor Experience Plan is funded by grants from the Under the Sun Foundation, San Diego Board of Supervisors, and private donors. If you wish to help support this effort to help Borrego better benefit from well managed and planned tourism please contact us at borregovillage@gmail.com or visit us at BorregoVillageAssociation.org.

We greatly appreciate your support!

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