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Mapping out business success

Suzie Harrison

Gallery owner Scott Hamilton has created a “Laguna Beach Picture Map”

to help Laguna businesses be found by potential customers.

Hamilton has lived in Laguna Beach since he was 3, with the exception

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of a little more than a year and a half, when he lived in Colorado.

That’s where the idea was fostered.

Five and a half years ago he was working in an art gallery in Aspen

that was in a spot off the main path, downstairs from the main level

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stores.

“I was in a retail section where people would be passing by,” he said.

“This guy came to the store about four or five times and told me he had a

map that would help get people here, and I said no. He asked, ‘What can

it hurt you -- it’s only five cents a day, that’s only $199 a year.”’

When he thought about it, Hamilton explained that he decided to try

the map because it seemed simple and a good way for people to find the

gallery without having to ask for directions.

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“Within two weeks a person came into my store and spent $45,000,”

Hamilton said.

Hamilton opened Hidden Dreams four years ago downtown on Forest

Avenue.

“I really don’t need the map but there are so many cool, great

businesses with out of the way walking traffic in Laguna,” Hamilton said.

Still, he decided to do a map, with a few extra touches and details.

“I thought of the concept of the map and took a picture at 10,000 feet

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above in an airplane, so I could get the whole area,” he explained.

The map is broken down into sections: North Laguna, Laguna Canyon,

downtown and South Laguna with main landmark points of interest such as

Main Beach, the fire station and the festivals.

“The map is an excellent idea for the tourist and local alike,”

Laguna’s Michael McFadden. “It ties North and South Laguna on one

convenient map.”

Making sure the map was easy to use was a major concern for Hamilton.

“On one side, it has all the listings from antiques, banks -- any kind

of business, you could be listed in your own category,” he said.

In the listing, each business gets a description explaining what it

sells, the phone number and address and additional information a customer

might want to know.

On the other side, Laguna is broken down into blocks. The aerial view

is detailed enough to show every roof, which marks the location of each

business.

The four sections of Laguna are color coded with each business

assigned a number that corresponds on the map.

For locations that aren’t visible or service-type businesses without a

storefront or location, the map has business card size ads available.

“That way they are just a phone call away,” Hamilton said.

FYI

To find out more about the map, call 433-5349 or check online at o7

www.lagunapicturemap.comf7 .


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