When the team here at Parks and Recreation comes up with sales and promotions, we try to imagine what kinds of deals are both interesting and useful to our customers. For example, the $1 for your first month deal is a favorite of residents while non-residents love when we offer the resident rate as a membership special. Even though we have a myriad of options, sometimes even our promotions can get stale. Think of it like this: You could cook that new dish, or you could just make that same dish you know how to make well and is well received. So instead of making drastic changes to our existing and popular rotation of monthly specials, we decided to create two options: a referral program and a text subscription service.
The referral program is just like it sounds: your friend comes to the Manassas Park Community Center, gets a membership, and you both get rewarded! In this case, when your friend gets an annual Basic or All Access Passport membership you’ll both get one month free. Your friend must be brand new to the Community Center (never held a Basic or All Access Passport) and the free months are applied to the end of your membership. In addition, you need to have at least two full months remaining to apply it to your current membership, or you’ll need to renew first and the free month will be applied to your new membership. So, yes, theoretically you could get a whole year’s membership completely free – you just need to bring 12 friends with you! Between group exercise classes, the swimming pool, the wellness area, the basketball courts, and the 1,000 programs offered, it’ll be easy to convince your friends to join! This new program will be offered year round, so you can take advantage of it over and over again.
You might be familiar with text subscription services. If you’ve ever been to a store and saw a sign that said to text a word to a five digit number in order to receive offers on your phone, that’s a text subscription service. In our case, you’d text specials to 33222. You might have also subscribed to some of our text alert services, where you receive facility closure information by text. It’s the same idea, except the new subscription is exclusively for promotions.
At this point, you’re probably wondering why would you want to subscribe to MPCC Deals, our text service, when you already visit the Community Center frequently and subscribe to our email newsletter. MPCC Deals will be up to five text messages a month letting you know about important sales going on. This includes the monthly membership special but also offers that we’re not going to advertise anywhere else. These will be exclusive deals only for our text subscribers usually offered for a limited time. Here are some possible examples:
- 20% off an indoor rental booked today. Limit one rental per family. Valid until 8:30pm on 7/27. Can’t be combined with another discount.
- Self-defense for women is tomorrow. Get 50% off the class fee until 7pm on 7/27. Limit two per family. Can’t be combined with another discount.
- Get 20% off any 6-month or annual basic membership. Valid until 8:30pm on 7/28. Can’t be combined with another discount.
In order to redeem deals like these, you have to show the text to the Front Desk staff on your phone. These deals, sometimes called flash sales, help give us a lot of flexibility in a very fast way. For example, if we notice self-defense for women has low registration, we can send out the text to help get Master Geoff more students. Another example is if we notice that January has almost no banquet hall rentals, we might send out a text to help get our beautiful space utilized. The service gives us great flexibility, quick results (either people take advantage of it quickly or they don’t!), and keeps Parks and Recreation services utilized. Meanwhile, you’ll get great deals only a select number of people will ever see.
It’s important to note that since these are brand new and we’ve never done anything like them before, that the programs may evolve over time. These deals will be available starting right after cleaning week in August – although you can sign up for MPCC Deals right away.
We’re still brainstorming more fun and engaging ways for you to save while taking advantage of Parks and Recreation services! Some ideas include encouraging people to shop local or to get out and volunteer. As we roll out new programs, be sure to read up all about it right here.
Jason Shriner is the Marketing Manager for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. He can be reached at 703.335.8872 or via email at J.Shriner@ManassasParkVA.gov.