As a descendant from a pioneering Wyoming family, Will Dornan founded Snake River Angler in 1997 in the tiny town of Moose, near the entrance to Grand Teton National Park. The business grew to become a full-service outfitter, offering guided fishing and scenic float trips along 13 area rivers. “To introduce somebody to the river and to fishing and being outside is something that is super important to us,” says Manager Jake Ragsdale. They opened a second location in 2006, on the square in nearby Jackson, complete with a retail store. “It’s really a one-stop shop if you want to fish here.”
“The Internet allows us to promote ourselves the way that we want to be seen, and the way that we want to run our trips.”
Jake Ragsdale, Manager
Snake River Angler gradually evolved from a two-person business with an old-fashioned, paper-based booking system into a modern digital operation with online booking. They maintain an efficient website and a strong social-media presence. They also use a variety of Google tools to help run the business. Jake particularly relies on Google Analytics to help him understand what people do on the site, so they can keep their website humming and productive. “We’re looking at all this data to figure out different marketing strategies,” he says. “We’re constantly growing and figuring things out, which makes it really fun and also a challenge.” They depend on Google Maps to direct visitors to the store, while Gmail and Google Calendar make it easy for the staff to communicate and stay on schedule. They also use AdWords, Google’s advertising program, to connect with potential customers looking to plan a trip to Wyoming.
Snake River Angler gives 20 guided trips every day.
They now have customers from all over the United States and around the world. This seasonal business grows from seven or eight employees in the winter to about 35 during the busy summer tourist season. Jackson residents have twice voted them the Best Fishing Outfitter. “We support the community, and it’s really nice because the community supports us as well,” Jake says. “It’s a great life. Our guides fish for a living, float down the river, and share their knowledge and passion with the tourists,” he says. “And we get to be in Jackson, which is a pretty good perk, too.”
For more information on the Snake River Angler case study, visit https://economicimpact.google.com.
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