We conducted our second annual Water Taxi Rider Survey to find out how people heard about the TRHP, where they got their weekend activity information, where they were from, their ages, and what they visited while they were here. We also asked for a rating of their experience. This data will help us to make better and more strategic decisions about our marketing, advertising, and tour promotions. It will also provide good insights for our partner sites to learn where people are choosing to visit. We are happy to report that we garnered an average 4.8 star rating (5 being the highest) from the 125 surveys we received. Take a look.
What a summer! After getting off to a rainy start the season of 2017 kicked into high gear with Sailfest’s 40th Anniversary celebration. Close to 400 visitors and locals took a break from the summer heat by hopping on and off the water taxi visiting Fort Griswold and other sites in Groton, Fort Trumbull and City Pier in New London. Our fireworks tours sold out with one rider commenting, “This is the only way to see the fireworks.”
We had over 2,100 riders this season, a 38% increase over last year. And dozens more took advantage of historic and sunset tours. We were also pleased to learn that almost 500 people took advantage of our mobile app to read or listen to information about the Park sites.
More exciting news: we are closer than ever to adding a fourth landing site at the Submarine Force Museum & USS Nautilus. Read about this tremendous collaborative effort.
As every boat owner knows, boats require constant maintenance and attention. Our water taxis – two historic Navy liberty boats (more about them) – are no different. We made some wonderful improvements this year including the installation of a captain’s T-Top and a new aft awning on the Groton as well as hand railings and sound systems on both the New London and the Groton. A captain’s T-Top and new aft awning for the New London are planned for next season.
In addition to riding the water taxi to visit all the sites in this rich historic district and just getting on the water, loads of people filled the boats to go to lunch, dinner and/or drinks on either shore, avoiding the construction on the bridge and being just a little greener.
Some of our Park partners took advantage of chartering the boats for fundraisers and other events, which are sure to increase next year (read more).
Thanks for all of your continued support. And a big shout out to our 2017 sponsors! By way of this new communication we will continue to keep you informed. But we always want to hear from you. If you have comments and questions, stories about your experiences in the Park and/or on the Water Taxi please contact me directly at email@example.com.
I wish you a very happy, healthy, and bountiful Thanksgiving.
We’re pleased to announce that Amy Perry has been named the Park’s Executive Director. She had been the Interim Executive Director and now assumes the position in a permanent capacity.
“Southeastern CT is rich with history and the Thames River Heritage Park will play a leading role in building awareness of and visitorship to the area. I’m thrilled to continue the work that has been in the making for so many years and by so many dedicated people,” says Perry.
“The TRHP Foundation is pleased that Amy has accepted the position. Having the benefit of her experience has been a boon to the organization since she joined us and we look forward to continued progress in the future,” says Marian Galbraith, TRHP Board of Directors President and former City of Groton Mayor.
Among Perry’s responsibilities will be to build a collaboration among the almost 20 heritage sites within the Park to create a community of sites for a rich and relevant visitor experience. Before joining the Park she had been a principal at Smizer Perry, an award-winning marketing and design firm and, more recently, served as Director of Communications for Chamilia, a division of Swarovski.
The CT Maritime Heritage Festival was a huge success. USS Cole Sailors Peterson and Ampong came out to help us weed and clean up our Groton Landing. The water taxi ran to capacity all weekend and the weather and skies were just spectacular. And, there was delicious chowder to be consumed all over town. Our hats off to the organizers and to Chairman John Johnson for his unwavering leadership in putting on a first rate festival. The Park is honored to have been a part of it.
The 2017 CT Maritime Heritage Festival is fast approaching. Mark your calendars – Friday, September 8 – Sunday, September 10th. The Thames River Heritage Park will offer special fares and schedules for the hop on-hop off water taxi service on Saturday and Sunday during the Festival as follows:
Special Fares Saturday and Sunday only:
• $10 for adult all-day unlimited rides (reg. $15)
• $5 for all-day unlimited rides for children ages 4-12 and active military (reg. $10)
• Children 3 and under are free
Special Schedule Saturday and Sunday only:
• 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. there will be continuous express water taxi service between Fort Trumbull and City Pier in New London.
• 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. there will be continuous express water taxi service between Fort Trumbull and Fort Street Landing in Groton.
The Water Taxi will operate on a regular schedule Friday, the 8th and after 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Sunset tours will be available as scheduled.