Working with the Dunes Resort is a riot, we get to be sassy, a little bawdy, and a lot creative. When you’re running the largest gay resort in the country, you need a website to support booking, events, galleries, social media, and more.
If your website isn’t working for you, then it’s long past time for an update.
It’s all about summer at the Dunes Resort. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, this hotel and club are packed full of DJs, cabaret, drag queens, and more. Each weekend features a lineup of artists and activities around the grounds—from the pool and pool bar to the tea deck and cabaret stage.
So far this year, we’ve created 38 posters (and counting), ranging from individual cabaret acts to themed weekends—and this doesn’t even count the 50-60 social images.
So, while we were able to get the word out through our creative and social efforts, the community was still having a tough time figuring out exactly when and where these events were happening. In other words, the website wasn’t doing the trick.
So naturally, we did a website audit.
It didn’t take long to see the problem. There was no event information on the home page, and the page that did house the events plugin just wasn’t working. Each event setup through the plugin created a new “event square” on a grid. And remember, their days are PACKED with events. This resulted in a massive mess of squares and colors.
Yeah, that wasn’t working. Plus, we wanted to find a way where we could show off all the hard work we put into the creative.
Fortunately, we had already been working on a brand “refresh”, so the timing for pitching a new website was perfect.
The 8THIRTYFOUR Way
When we propose a new site, we don’t just give it a facelift and call it a day. We take It all the way back to square one, starting with keyword research and sitemaps. And since the Dunes is one of the largest gay resorts in the country, we already had a great starting point. To put that in perspective, Dunes (currently) ranks #4 for “gay resort” on Google…for the entire internet.
After identifying our keywords, we began refreshing all the content on the site, from the home page to the FAQs. Simultaneously, our designer was wrapping up the new brand guide. With the framework in place, now we just needed to redesign the site according to these new guidelines.
The Good Stuff
We knew what we needed to do. Design a more robust home page that included events, CTAs, social feeds, photos, and color. So, we did it. We think the site speaks for itself, so take a look.
Just look at this beautiful social feed on their home page. Would ya just look at it?
Most importantly, we needed a place on the homepage to display upcoming events. So, we threw in this slider that rotates through the next 9 events on deck. If a visitor wants to learn more, simply click the button below for a calendar view.
The hardest part about designing this new site and look was finding a way to say “Hey, this is a resort…and a nightclub…and a venue…and a pool.” We took their iconic blue and orange colors, added some purple and pink, then tied it all together with some gradients. This allowed us to capture that summer “pool” feeling but also hit on the dancing and DJ vibes.
The Client Love
Of course, none of this means anything if the client isn’t happy. Needless to say, we hit a home run.