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Pecos Gets a World-Class Tourist Website


Posted by Andrew Buckon August 19, 2015

The Challenge

Cities need websites, too. Especially when they have a great story tell.

Such was the case for Pecos––a town of about 9,000 people situated near the crook of Texas’ left arm, near the border with New Mexico. Home to the world’s first rodeo (1863) and a world-famous annual cantaloupe festival, Pecos has a rich history to share. (And a bright future too: It was recently crowned the “second-fastest-growing small town in America.”)

And so, the Pecos Chamber of Commerce decided their city needed a modern website––one that would serve as both invitation to and indispensable guide for tourists.

The redesigned website’s primary objective would be to promote Pecos as the city from which you should explore all that West Texas has to offer (Big Bend, Balmorhea Park, Guadalupe Mountains, Pecos itself, etc.). As such, visual design and content strategy would be paramount. The site needed to bring West Texas to life for users and then hand them the tools to make planning a trip easy and inevitable.

The new Pecos site would need to be mobile-responsive and built on a great CMS platform. It would also require a number of interactive tools––e.g., event calendar, event submission forms, searchable member directory, social media integration, etc.

The Solution

We partnered with Pecos’ marketing firm, REDCHAIR+13creatives (Lubbock), to plan, design, and build a tourism-centered home on the Web. The new website puts Pecos on par with any small town’s website in the country.

We began by digging deep into Pecos’ history and tourism, attempting to organize hundreds of chunks of content into a site architecture that would create a seamless user experience. When deciding which menus to include, which buttons to place where, how to lay out events on a calendar, etc.––our primary concern was always: How does this help bring tourists to Pecos?

Atop this practical-minded architecture, we laid a clean and bright visual aesthetic that nods toward Pecos’ rich history of cowboys, outlaws, rodeos, and BBQ. We were fortunate to be able to use the photography of, among others, Jerod Foster, renowned photographer and professor at Texas Tech University, and Wyman Meinzer, the official photographer for the State of Texas––whom the Pecos Chamber had already hired to capture their city’s unique spirit. Visual design is easy when you’re using the work of world-class artists.

We placed the website on an open-source CMS (ExpressionEngine) and made it fully mobile-responsive. The site offers users an array of tools––pre-packaged trip plans, an interactive event calendar, contact and event submission forms, etc.

This beautiful and highly useful website will serve the city of Pecos for many years to come. And the tens of thousands of visitors who stop in the city each year will find it a go-to resource for planning their adventure into the West Texas wilderness.

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