Shifting from reacting to managing agritourism during COVID-19

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Shifting from reacting to managing agritourism during COVID-19

An agritourism business is looking to shift from just reacting, to better managing operations during the pandemic.

Chris Eckert is the CEO of Eckert’s Country Store and Farms in Belleville, Illinois the largest pick-your-own fruit business in the country. He says most parts of their business saw huge revenue increases in 2020 with high demand for socially distant outdoor activities.

“We were just reacting all the time and changing everything we do to capture whatever business we could.”

He says those constant reactions diverted them from truly managing the business.

“The opportunity lies in being able to focus again on managing expenses and planning events and promotions as we go forward in 2021.”

He says their team is more prepared to manage during a pandemic and are striving for a more profitable return on the revenue growth.

“I don’t think this revenue growth that we saw in 2020 is going to go away. I think we are going to continue to see good years for the next few.”

Eckert was a keynote speaker during the virtual Illinois Specialty Crops Conference last week.