The Walleye Magazine

NWO Innovation Centre BTIF Project


Sail Superior, in operation for over 15 years, provides a oneof-a-kind experience on Lake Superior. With four vessels and a variety of destinatio­ns, the company boasts over 100 years of sailing experience between its crew and captains. Their predesigne­d tours are the perfect means to access Lake Superior’s scenery and fresh waters. Captain and owner Gregory Heroux and the crew of Sail Superior work together to provide a memorable experience for all guests, whether on their majestic catamaran (perfect for larger groups), the two monohull sailboats, or their Zodiac RHIB speedboat. With the help of the Business Technology Improvemen­t Fund (BTIF), their online presence grew substantia­lly.

“We’ve maintained a presence year-round even though we are seasonal. We help people plan their summer experience well in advance” says Heroux.

The BTIF program provided funding for software developmen­t and marketing for the company in order to streamline their booking engine, help Google searchers find Sail Superior more quickly and efficientl­y, and target the imagery they use online towards their audience. The result was a profession­al, imagery-filled website that both invites clients to explore vacation possibilit­ies and reach out and ask questions they may have.

“For a large percentage of people, they know they want to be on the lake. They just don’t know how easy it is to get there. We provide the options. Whether it is a short 90-minute tour, a whole day, a half day, or a sevenday trip, we’re confident we can match our customers with the optimum vacation experience on the water,” explains the captain. With an updated website and booking system, the team was able to learn how to use and manipulate their app to keep up with reservatio­ns and availabili­ty, thus avoiding scheduling conflicts, which is imperative while planning wedding party tours, corporate events, or longer sails. Captain Heroux, having kept up with the Innovation Centre’s courses and various offerings through the years, heard about the BTIF Project through the centre’s monthly newsletter. Heroux himself has attended over 10 business courses with the Innovation Centre team and believes

“they find the right program or assistance for you and your business”.

“I’ve taken advantage of many of their programs. They have helped us grow. What is crucial now is managing that growth. The centre helps you with implementa­tion of new technology, allowing better use of staff to serve the customers,” says Heroux. He says Sail Superior’s client base has grown due to the simplicity of their booking engine, and the ease with which digital marketing can now be achieved. As regulation­s shift during the pandemic, improving their online presence has been essential to their growth and customer service. The Business Technology Improvemen­t Fund aims to increase innovation and efficiency in the day-to-day operations of businesses through advancemen­ts in software, hardware, and data management. For informatio­n on applying, please visit nwoinnovat­

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