The Johnstown Area Heritage Association has realized a long-term goal with the implementation of Bandwango, an online platform that allows visitors to buy and redeem discounted attraction tickets on their mobile phones.
“Johnstown is unusual in that our heritage tourism attractions all tell parts of the same story – the stories of early industrial America, like immigration, the 1889 flood, and steel and coal — which makes for a really compelling visitor experience,” said Richard Burkert, JAHA’s president and CEO. “Online ticketing is a convenience today’s visitors expect, and Bandwango takes it to a whole new level.”
Visitors have the option to purchase the Johnstown Heritage Pass, which includes admission to the Johnstown Flood Museum, Heritage Discovery Center/Johnstown Children’s Museum, Center for Metal Arts, and Wagner-Ritter House & Garden. The pass provides a discount of more than 20% over individual ticket prices. Individual tickets to each attraction are also available.
Visitors can buy passes or individual tickets from a desktop computer or their mobile phones. After purchase, they are asked to select tour times for the Center for Metal Arts and Wagner-Ritter House & Garden at their convenience, as tours of these two facilities are guided. When they arrive at the attraction, they simply tap their phone and present the pass(es) at the entrance, and click “redeem.”
“Center for Metal Arts and the Wagner-Ritter House & Garden are not open for walk-up visitors, but with Bandwango, visitors can schedule their tours so we can have guides available,” Burkert said. “We are delighted to be working with the Center for Metal Arts to be able to make it possible for visitors to see their shop, and the Blacksmith Shop.”
JAHA obtained a grant for Bandwango through the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Destination Recovery Marketing Program for local tourism-related businesses, which strives to “promote authentic experiences and convey a sense of place” as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program focuses on cross-promotion and collaborative efforts in an effort to encourage visitors to stay in our area longer.
“We’re happy to be able to support JAHA in its efforts to make it easier for visitors to tour our area’s historic attractions,” said Lisa Rager, executive director of Visit Johnstown. “As we compete for visitors, tools like this online platform will help drive more visitors to our area, compel them to spend more time here, and therefore spend more money in the community. We need to continue to further our collective efforts create a positive visitor experience and enhance our appeal as a destination.”
In association with the Bandwango launch, the Johnstown Flood Museum and Heritage Discovery Center/Johnstown Children’s Museum are now open six days a week. Hours are Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10:00 am-5:00 pm; and Sundays, noon-5:00 pm.