What do you do when you have over 25 years of tourism experience and live in one of the most scenic destinations in the country? For husband-and-wife team John and Melanie Power, the answer was simple: You offer VIP helicopter tours at an affordable price. “It’s a saturated industry, but we felt there was a better way to provide that sort of service to the customer,” says Mark Stanway, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. They launched 5 Star Helicopter Tours in 2012, offering daily first class aerial trips to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon and nightly flights over shimmering Las Vegas to visitors from all over the world.
Like Las Vegas itself, 5 Star Helicopter Tours has grown from modest beginnings to the premier choice for Nevada adventure. They operate a fleet of five Airbus helicopters and 10 Mercedes-Benz ground transportation vehicles to shuttle customers to and from their hotels, and offer an entire portfolio of outdoor excursions, including ATV tours and overnight camping trips. The company relies on Google tools to compete in an already crowded market. AdWords, Google's advertising program, drives awareness and keeps 5 Star at the top of visitors' minds and web searches. “It drives over half of our online traffic and reminds customers that we're here,” Mark says. “That's very important.” They also use Google Analytics to measure their web traffic and adjust their marketing strategy accordingly. And through YouTube videos, they attract curious visitors with inside looks of their VIP services. “Everything Google is doing is hugely significant for our company’s success,” Mark says.
Today, 5 Star Helicopter Tours is as big of a Las Vegas act as any. They’ve already shared the glory of the desert with over 120,000 customers. Their website sales continue to grow by 65 percent annually, with AdWords driving 45 percent of that growth. And with plans to purchase two additional helicopters, they have no intention of slowing down. “We want people to enjoy more of what helicopters can do and make memories that they're going to share for the rest of their lives,” Mark says. With Google, small businesses like 5 Star Helicopter Tours can bet on themselves and their future.