Case Study: Empire Lakes Center and Golf Course

Empire Lakes Center and Golf Course
Public Relations and Advertising Campaign

The Challenge
Located in Rancho Cucamonga, Empire Lakes Center previously served as a defense industry manufacturing and office facility for General Dynamics Corporation. During the mid-1990’s, General Dynamics Real Estate began developing plans to revitalize the Rancho Cucamonga facility. The company developed and implemented a specific master plan designed to increase the value of the land and provide additional benefits to the community. The concept for Empire Lakes Center was to include a broad mix of industries, from retail shopping to high-tech manufacturers, from residential to entertainment, and was centered around the championship 18-hole, Arnold Palmer-designed Empire Lakes Golf Course.

General Dynamics Real Estate needed a broad, national campaign to promote the award-winning golf course as well as the property available at the surrounding Empire Lakes Center. The plan was to cross-promote both entities, highlighting the advantage of this unique opportunity to developers and golfers alike.

The Approach
Wilkin Guge Marketing worked with General Dynamics Real Estate to implement a campaign for Empire Lakes Center and Empire Lakes Golf Course highlighting the concept of “The Best of Both Worlds” to developers and site planners. A national advertising campaign and media plan was developed including ads in Area Development, Urban Land, Fortune, Real Estate Southern California, National Real Estate Investor, Expansion Management, Development Magazine, Business Week, Kiplinger’s, Money, Mutual Funds and National Business, as well as targeted local newspapers and business journals.

In addition, WGM implemented an ongoing public relations campaign to promote the golf course and surrounding properties, including announcements of ongoing transactions and development. Collateral materials were developed to support this campaign, including a corporate brochure, folder, and accompanying inserts for each parcel at Empire Lakes Center. Since the campaign included cross-promoting Empire Lakes Golf Course and Empire Lakes Center, WGM also developed materials for the golf course including a direct mail campaign to corporations, a newsletter and supporting advertisements in local golf publications and newspapers.

The Results
Within the first two years, Empire Lakes Center attracted major developers including Legacy Partners, Morgan Stanley, a JPI development of luxury apartments named The Jefferson at Empire Lakes, and the high-tech Fairway Business Centre by Richard Dick and Associates. Empire Lakes Golf Course was selected in 2000 as the new home of the BUY.COM tour’s State Farm Open, and official PGA TOUR event.