Alta Oasis is a luxury resort that relieves common vacation pain points while helping families relax and decompress. By reducing planning time and avoiding chaos through cutting edge technology, Alta Oasis increases convenience, simplicity and privacy.
This project was completed in August of 2019. All artwork is my own unless stated otherwise.
"The Theme Park Capital of the World"
In 2017 Orlando, Florida set a national record being the first U.S. city to reach 72 million annual visitors (Santana, Orlando Sentinel). Thanks to its year round sunshine, world class entertainment, relatively cheap land, and international airport access, investors and developers flock to the tourism hot spot for a chance to create the next best thing in family vacations.
Globally acclaimed resorts such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando,
SeaWorld and Legoland call Orlando home.
Unfortunately, reasons that make Orlando popular amongst millions are the same reasons that contribute to making the vacation locale overbearing, stressful and draining.
Overstimulation and the non-stop nature of Orlando vacations inevitably wears everyone out.
Record crowds in small spaces make for frequent should-to-shoulder nightmares.
With so many options to choose from, extensive planning can get confusing and stressful.
The Affluent Market & Luxury Travel
29% of affluent Americans spend over $50,000 U.S. dollars per year on travel. However, rather than defined by a dollar amount, luxury travel is often characterized by a state of mind; a behavior. Top vacation motivations in this demographic are typically relaxation, exploration, experiencing different cultures and new cuisines, and enhancing familial relationships (Blount, Portrait of American Travelers). When traveling to Orlando, affluent families expect to have a unique, memorable experience. One that can't be replicated via generally accepted means and especially one that isn't marred by heat exhaustion and claustrophobia.
Expenditure of affluent Americans on leisure travel and vacations during the past 12 months in 2017
10,000 24,999 U.S. dollars
25,000 to 49,999 U.S. dollars
50,000 U.S. dollars and above
1 to 9,999 U.S. dollars
Additional Information: 168 respondents; 18 years and older; net worth over 25 million U.S. dollars
Source: Spectrem Group
The high net worth don't want to holiday somewhere near the area where a low-cost carrier deplanes or embarks. They want to be as far away from the masses as possible.
Luxury Lifestyle Editor and Journalist
There is an opportunity to create a convenient, personalized, peaceful escape that satisfies all family members and allows for recuperation, and revitalization after a draining Orlando vacation day.
We create memorable, personalized, seamless vacation experiences for affluent families who want to make the most of their time while enjoying peace and privacy.
Create a luxury resort that meets the needs of affluent families who want to relax in Orlando by reducing planning time, cutting out lines, crowds, chaos, and sensory overload while increasing convenience and simplicity, privacy, personalized services, and peaceful, serene environments.
Amidst Orlando's multitude of attractions and activities sites, Alta is a luxury resort themed to the lore of Atlantean descendants that makes planning a high end family get away convenient and care free. With extravagant spas, personalized itineraries, and activities for all ages, Alta is the perfect place to stay in order to capitalize on all the benefits of Orlando.
1. Secret entrance to Alta 2. Family centric housing allowing for larger groups 3. Private housing for increased exclusivity 4. Altan Spa and Marketplace 5. Pool and recreation
Strategic location and resort layout isolates guests from crowds, promotes peace and evokes exclusivity.
Cutting edge Pegasus vtols integrated into resort infrastructure allow guests to come and go as they please.
Personal resort hosts available 24/7 can customize and enhance the guest experience.
An Ideal Vacation
Peter Curtis is a New York banker at a black tie event. He's talking to his colleague about how his son Kasey is an absolute Star Wars NUT who is dead set on going to the brand new Galaxy's Edge addition at Disney's Hollywood Studios. He shudders at the thought of Orlando in the middle of June.
Orlando is the amusement park center of the world. Peter is worried that what was supposed to a time to relax and recuperate will turn into a hot sweaty mess, standing in line for hours and endless planning. He wants the best for his son but it all sounds too stressful.
Just then, Peter's colleague tells him about an amazing vacation experience called Alta Oasis where guests don't deal with any of that! Peter finds Alta's website and sees the all inclusive resort that allows guests to escape crowds and relax in peaceful, serene environments even during the chaos of a family vacation. He recognizes this resort as something unique and books a room.
A few weeks later a surprise package comes in the mail for Peter's family. They've received amulet crystals that help them access everything at the resort such as open their room, make purchases at the gift shop, or access the spa. In the background, the family's Altan Concierge team discusses main bucket list activities with Mrs. Curtis.
When the Curtis family arrives at Orlando international, they are shuttled directly on the tarmac to the private Altan Terminal. Kasey is estatic when he sees BB8 there waiting for him. This is also where the family first sees the Pegasus Air vehicle, a new vertical take off and landing aircraft that can cut transportation time drastically and make commuting infinitely more convenient.
As the Curtis family soars over the traffic below via Pegasus Air, they get a rare and beautiful perspective of the excitement that awaits them. On the horizon they see a massive silhouette protruding the flat Floridian terrain.
As they get closer it appears to be a mountain reaching out of a tropical forest. From above they see a landing pad on top of the mountain emerging right next to a waterfall that looks like it belongs to a remote island. They land on the pad at the top of the mountain but suddenly the entire platform begins to slowly lower itself down into the mountain. The next thing they know, the Curtis family is inside a cave looking out from behind a waterfall and out into the open air where the first vista of Alta is revealed to them. They're greeted by an Altan host who's ready to take them by gondola to their private bungalow.
The Curtis family slowly weaves their way through the resort via water canal taking in all the beauty of the Oasis until finally, they arrive at their private bungalow.
The kids go crazy over their exciting room where they can play and have a space of their own.
That night the Curtis family is welcomed to the resort by an amazing team of Altan cliff jumpers who tell the story of the Altan people and their origins in Atlantis.
The next morning the family enjoys a gourmet breakfast and just as they're about to leave, their daughter Candice spots her favorite movie character roaming about the room. They decide to put off their Star Wars plans by just a few minutes so she can have a special moment.
Because they know Kasey loves Star Wars, the Altan Concierge Team has arranged tickets for the opening of Galaxy's Edge at Walt Disney World. Even though it’ll be crowded, there’s no rush because Pegasus drops them off directly at their destination where a VIP Tour guide arranged by the Altan Concierge Team is waiting. And like magic, they’re off for their day at the parks.
After a few hours in the hot Orlando sun and surrounded by thousands of sweaty people, the Curtis family is ready for a break. Even though Alta is 10 miles away, they’re not worried because Pegasus can make that trip in 5 minutes compared to a 22 minute car ride.
When Kasey comes back, he’s shocked to see that his room has transformed into a space portal! His adventures from Galaxy's Edge can continue at the Alta Oasis.
Lucky for him, their family's personal concierge has arranged for Kasey to participate in a saber training course that Alta has at their kids pavilion.
While the kids are occupied, Mr. and Mrs. Curtis decide to take advantage of the moment and request a private couples massage on their back patio.
The next day the family recoups by lounging at the serene pool. Because Alta doesn’t have hundreds of rooms, they’re not bothered by swarms of tourists looking to save a lounge chair.
And on their final day, it’s hard to say goodbye but the Altan Concierge team makes it easier by arranging for a special character to give a farewell gift to Kasey. It will be a moment he shares with all his friends.
Business Viability & Strategy
Orlando is home to a large number of amusement parks and other attractions that draw millions of guests per year. Existing in the heart of all that chaos goes directly against what I discovered to be the most desirable luxury experience. For that reason, I strategically dislocated Alta by selecting cheaper land further away from main Orlando intersections and hot spots. With the right technology, the chosen location provides easy access to highly desirable activities without sacrificing space, comfort, and peace.
With state of the art VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) technology, Alta Oasis is able to dismiss the problem of increased distance from destinations by flying over congested interstates thereby cutting down travel time and providing private travel that is fast, comfortable, and easily accessible to guests. This helps travelers focus more on their vacation and less time on their commute. What was once a 22 minute car ride to Disney World, would now be a 5 min VTOL ride.
Alta to WDW
Alta to MCO
Alta to KSC
The two main competitors, Four Seasons Resort and the Ritz Carlton, sit right in the middle of the two largest theme parks in Orlando. They face the challenge of bustling crowds, frequent tourists, and utilize proximity to resolve long commutes. Alta's strategic location allows for a more luxurious, relaxing stay, by taking advantage of cutting edge transportation systems and making distance a non-issue.
In comparison to Alta, alternative Orlando resorts are simply not of the same caliber. Shown here, the Ritz Carlton ranks mid range for personalization and slightly lower for cost while the The Four Seasons high cost still does not provide the privacy and personalization the price tag could provide. Alta focuses on providing privacy and exceptional service to deliver an unforgettable experience.
There is an opportunity to create a convenient, personalized, peaceful escape that satisfies all family members and allows for recuperation, and revitalization after a draining Orlando vacation day.
Financial Details (8 Slides)
Initial Research Plan
With the overarching research objective of understanding the experience of affluent family vacations, I focused my research within three topics: customer attributes, common pain points, and traveling with children. This initial research helps me understand core values and motives of the target demographic. Each research goal utilized a specific method to help peel back the layers of this complicated topic.
Research Methods and Interviews
Image Deck- Participants prioritize cards in order of best to worse experiences.
Archetype Cards- Participants choose cards that best represents them.
Dixit Cards- Creative cards stir up emotions that help describe a scenario.
Ease and Convenience
Choice and Flexibility
Hyper-busy parents accustomed to planning family vacations around dozens of tasks are looking for a change of pace where someone will plan around them for once and make their life easier.
For a more enriching family experience, having the luxury of choice allows for all vacationers to find the activity that brings the most excitement and joy.
Being on a vacation is a treat. Being able to arrange custom experiences brings a luxury get away to the next level.
Mode Seam Analysis
Hours or days spent researching
Having to “sell” ideas to the family
Long transfers from airports
Worrying about unknowns
On demand curbside pick up
Bags taken straight to destination
Pre-purchased event tickets
This analysis tool was used to evaluate the existing order of operations surrounding vacation behavior. Modes represent pleasant experiences throughout the vacation while seams define experiences that leave more to be desired and create pain points. Going through the current framework of experiences allowed me to uncover design opportunities and establish a baseline of expectations for the experience.
Enterprise Value Criteria
Zooming out, I wanted to establish the value criteria for the enterprise. From the perspective of the luxury vacation resort, what elements create a positive holistic experience that exceed standard expectations?
Transportation Value Criteria
Key take aways and Insights
A variety of hotels in L.A. offer luxurious vacation accommodations. In an effort to further my research and understanding and of what these upper level hotels provide, I visited Hotel Bel-Air in person to observe and analyze.
One of the most captivating aspects of an experience is the back story. The back story can help guests feel more involved and connected to the environment they are about to explore. At Alta, it was important to create a strong narrative so that guests would feel as though they had entered a new world and escaped their old one. Being a luxury resort, the surrounding aesthetics and architecture could also be manipulated to portray a high end experience and one where guests could simply let go and enter a state of relaxation. From the back story, activities could also be created where kids would connect with the narrative in order to accomplish tasks. The back story also serves as a reason for guests to return specifically to Alta as there could be story components that guests wish to continue uncovering.
The story of Atlantis was originally told by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato around 360 B.C. For this reason, many depictions of Atlantis often evoke a degree of ancient Grecian architecture. However, in Plato's record, Atlantis was its own independent nation, thus I intended to portray the architecture with its own aesthetic nuance and detail with Grecian roots.
Considering the intent for the resort and target market, it was also important to capture a sense of luxury, romance, tranquility and peace. This proved difficult as the story line told of a civilization thousands of years old.
Inspired by Grecian Corinthian columns, the columns at Alta not only serve a structural purpose, but also aesthetically tell the back story of Alta. The Corinthian column is a more detailed, intricate, ornate architectural element and was often used for buildings of great importance.
To create an immersive themed experience, all the staff would be dressed in costumes inspired by by ancient Greek clothing. The design challenge was to achieve proper theming whilst providing comfortable, lightweight, and professionally appropriate uniforms.
Life Cycle Use Case
These sketch depictions outlined different possible interaction points throughout the life cycle use case. The goal was to identify when a customer would be compelled to take action and what challenges they faced throughout their luxury vacation experience.
1. The customer is familiar with vacations. When they go on vacation it is difficult to appease all family members at once and quickly their vacation turns into an overbearing experience. At this moment they aspire to have something different that facilitates their vacation and makes it feel more like an escape or getaway.
2. Customers will find out about our resort through pinpointed advertising initially directed at Moms of affluent families. This will mainly be through social media. A possible direction could be some sort of promotion at Costco.
3. A customer would initially analyze Alta through ads or social media posts made online by travel influencers. Once aware, customers can be directed to our website which offers more detailed information.
4. In this scenario I will treat the acquisition of the product as the moment the customer arrives at the airport and begins their family vacation. Acquisition should be easy, seamless, and require little effort. Receptionists at MCO airport will direct guests
5. Guests become familiar with their upcoming Alta experience when they encounter this memory book. Here they see Altan hot spots that are must-sees on their upcoming adventure.
6. The customer uses the Alta resort as a means of relaxation, escape, and simplification.Value is gained through time saved, headaches avoided, happy events stored to memory and unique environments experienced. Don’t forget that value is also perceived through the parent’s evaluation of how much t their kids enjoyed the experience as well.
7. Value will also be perceived as they roam the grounds with high quality materials used in construction and decorating. Events can be recorded in a virtual/physical memory book that documents the entirety of the trip which allows customers to review their experiences, associate value with those memories.
8. Payment would be through a credit card on file and calculated at the end of the vacation. RFID systems can be implemented to better facilitate payment/checkout of goods. Further, payment methods can be added to your resort app which make payments as easy as a fingerprint/face scan.
9. Upon reviewing their virtual/printed memory book customers would reflect on the amazing, unique time they had at Alta and how much it enhanced their vacation experience. It is at this time that they will feel inclined to return.
10. Vacations are full of photos and in today's society, you didn't really go on vacation if you don't post photos of it. Social media will be our main vehicle for people to spread awareness.
After recognizing areas that present themselves as gaps or pain points in the user journey though initial research, I was able to move forward designing possible alternative directions. Through the use of storytelling and visualization I was able to outline a potential process that a user might go through while planning, preparing and carrying out the ideal vacation scenario. This first draft served as an opportunity to quickly sketch ideas that would culminate in a comprehensive experience. This design method served as a springboard for a clear, complete user journey. Areas that proved to be in need of attention surrounded transportation, isolation from crowds, and convenience in planning and travel.
From start to finish, planning a comprehensive luxury vacation requires extensive outlining and organizing. To better understand time allocation, cost, and activity options, I created different models of a family vacation schedule to evaluate the needs of a reasonable luxury get away.
Although families would often be out of the resort visiting one of Orlando's many word famous theme parks, it was still essential to create to different themed activities that would entertain children. The goal was to create an educational opportunity for kids to imbibe their curiosities through expedition, play, and interaction. Often, busy, preoccupied kids, means more opportunities for parents to spend money in other parts of the resort.
In an effort to intertwine the story of Alta more closely in the guest experience, I dove into the environmental design for high traffic gathering spaces. The goal was to emulate a warm but grandiose ambience while simultaneously utilizing methods of illusion to trick the guest into thinking they are transported to another world.
A tool typically used in architecture to spatially map out required facilities, this bubble diagram functioned to visualize and prioritize what facilities Alta Oasis would need as well as a rough estimate regarding how much physical square footage would be required.
Utilizing a variety of urban planning strategies I iterated different configurations of the Atla infrastructure. Ultimately I decided to use a spoke and wheel model to prioritize clear way finding and mitigate any high traffic congestion.
The initial Alta layout was designed as a hub and spoke model. The central landmark served as a visual landmark to ground navigation and create a community meeting spot. The design also utilized water ways and natural landscaping to intuitively lead guests through their experience.
Initial Mobile App Wireframes
Alta’s Concierge Team is the life blood of the resort. Initially, a concierge would organize the guest's vacation plans according to the guest's personal preferences. Through an Alta Oasis app, guests could theoretically manage that schedule, request changes, order room service, call a concierge, etc. The Alta Concierge Team would go above and beyond to make the guest’s vacation one that they will never forget though customized experiences and surprises throughout their stay.