Pandemic driving consumers to pay more for agritourism


Pandemic driving consumers to pay more for agritourism

The owner of an agritourism giant says owners aren’t charging enough for their products and experiences.

Hugh McPherson runs Maize Quest Fun Park at Maple Lawn Farms based in Pennsylvania, a business that has expanded to 80 locations in the US, UK and Canada. He tells Brownfield many agritourism owners underestimate the value of the family experiences they offer.  

“We are creating some pretty magical moments. I think it is our farm background where we ourselves have to be so thrifty and frugal that we feel like we can’t charge as much as we should.”

McPherson says the pandemic has given consumers a new perspective and now more than ever they are willing to pay for fun.

“I think you have to take a look at it and say even if I am just growing heirloom tomatoes, I am in the entertainment business. Is my booth fun? Do people want to come to my booth? If you look at it that way, I think you will be able to get outsized margins for your product, because people are willing to pay for fun.”

He encourages producers to re-evaluate the products and services they offer and capitalize on their true value.

Brownfield interviewed McPherson during the Illinois Specialty Crop Conference in Springfield.

Interview with Hugh McPherson