Website design, development, and support
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Posted by: In: Our Clients 25 Aug 2015 0 comments

Striped Rhino Website Development has just launched a new website for Polson Theatres, Inc., the Montana and Idaho based movie theater chain.  The company currently has eleven theater locations and will be expanding into more locations in the coming years.

After an initial conference with the client, it was clear that the client had two major goals for the new website:

  1. Easy of use
  2. Not “dealing with code” [html/css]

The new website is built on the WordPress CMS (content management system), and uses a highly customized theme that was built from scratch and allows for SUPER easy biweekly updates of movies and showtimes for all eleven movie theaters.

dashIn order to accommodate the clients needs, a Custom Post Type of “Movies” was set up.  This post type has custom fields for desired movie information such as title, run-time, rating, description, etc., as well as fields for showtimes at each theater location.  In order to add a new movie, all that the client has to do is fill in the fields with appropriate information. If the movie is scheduled for a particular theater, the custom field for the individual theaters get filled in with showtimes (for example Polson: 4:00 | 7:00 | 9:00 | Daily); that’s all there is to it – the database driven website does the rest of the work.  By filling out one field on the custom post, the movie is automatically displayed on the homepage, the individual theater page, as well as pages such as “At A Glance“, which shows all current and future showtimes that the client has set up.

Generally, new showtimes start on Friday morning and run through the following Thursday. Historically, this has meant that in order to keep the website accurate, listings needed to be added as close to midnight on Thursday night as possible. The new website, however, is set up to allow for publishing and expiring posts at a previously selected time. This will allow for the website to be updated whenever it is convenient for the client, without the need for late night updating. On Thursday night at 11:59 PM, new posts will populate the website, and old posts will be removed, automatically.

We sold the idea of this site to the client based on the fact that it will save them many working hours per week. A rough estimate was that the old website took anywhere from 5-10 hours to update each week. On the new website, the client should be able accomplish the same job in just 1 or 2 hours per week. Using low estimates, this will mean that the client will save about 200-250 hours per year – which directly converts into a savings of THOUSANDS of dollars in labor!

Furthermore, because the client no longer has to deal with complicated html/css, it is now also possible for them to hand the task of managing the website off to an employee. This will free up the management to handle other, more important tasks – tasks such as …running their business.

Maybe it is time that you upgraded your website…

PolsonTheatres.com

Posted by: In: Our Clients, Tips and Tricks 20 Sep 2013 0 comments
The point that I would like to emphasis about this article is that an online store is a great way to augment your brick and mortar business. It gives your customers the ability to shop your merchandise 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. And it also broadens your customer base from the confines of your neighborhood to the entire world. I know the ins and outs of running an online business and would be happy to work with you in finding the same success for business!

The following article was written by Bryce Gray and published in the Lake County Leader.

521f8ef919066.imagePOLSON – Before last year, Polson resident Michael Brandt had never found a four-leaf clover. That all changed when an ordinary trip out into the yard took a fateful twist, and Brandt and his girlfriend, Ali Bronsdon, discovered one four-leaf specimen… and then another… and then another…

In what was either a stroke of fantastic fortune or a fluke of frontyard ecology, a half-hour search that day yielded a staggering haul of 180 four-leaf clovers. With some creativity and clever marketing (not to mention an ever-growing collection of clovers), Brandt was soon inspired to launch the website realfourleafclover.com and has been seeing green ever since.

Little more than a year later, Brandt’s start-up has helped him become a veritable kingpin of the “surprisingly lucrative” online clover business, netting over $2,000 in sales and attracting customers from all over the United States and Canada.

Brandt says that originally he had no intentions of climbing towards the top of the four-leaf clover industry. But after amassing a stash of clovers that would turn a leprechaun green with envy, Brandt says that his “entrepreneurial nature” quickly got the best of him.

“When I got 200 of them, I wanted to be competitive in the clover business. So I found who my competitors were and honed my search engine optimization,” says Brandt, who runs a website development company called Striped Rhino as his day job.

Soon, Brandt had ensured that realfourleafclover.com was one of the top Google search results for prospective customers before sitting back and watching the orders come pouring in.

Brandt has been impressed not only by the sheer volume of orders, but also by the size of some of the orders received. Single clover-hungry shoppers have placed orders of $90 and $120, and, earlier this month, someone requested 200 clovers, which slightly exceeded the site’s current inventory.

While the money from his foray into the clover business has been a pleasant surprise, Brandt says that he has benefited from the side project in other ways.

“I’m a website developer and have clients with stores and I wanted to figure out how it works. With this business I’ve been able to figure out the nuances of running an online store. It just so happens that it turned out to be fairly profitable.”

Brandt has also crafted the website into a good corporate citizen, making a donation of 10 clovers and $100 to the charitable Wings for Wishes fundraiser held last weekend.

In addition to “naturally grown” four-leaf clovers, Brandt’s yard has even borne a number of rare five-leaf clovers, which are available on the site for a premium. However, Brandt says “there’s no market for them,” as they have not sold as well as their quaternary counterparts.

The meteoric rise of the start-up has not gone unnoticed by the industry’s power players. Brandt was recently approached by a “purchasing agent” from South Korea offering to become an offshore middleman for four-leaf clovers at a reasonable rate. Brandt turned down the supplier’s proposal, but not after receiving a free sample of “really high quality” Korean clovers in the mail.

With more than $600 in sales over the past month alone, business is booming as summer draws to a close, although leaner days loom in the company’s immediate future. Brandt says that the inevitable onslaught of winter will put an end to the harvest and temporarily deplete his inventory.

But come spring, the yard will be lush with a new generation of clovers waiting to be paired with another wave of customers.

Posted by: In: Our Clients 21 Jun 2013 0 comments

logoStriped Rhino is pleased to hear the news that our client, Mission Valley Aquatics, has officially secured $6 million in financing from Montana CDC. The new market tax credits received by Mission Valley Aquatics allowed the organization to complete construction of the multimillion dollar facility and open its doors to happy swimmers in the community.

“New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) were established by Congress in 2000 to encourage the investment of private capital in designated low-income communities in order to create jobs, generate economic activity and improve the quality of services in low-income communities and to low-income persons. NMTCs attract investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax return in exchange for making qualified equity investments in specialized financial institutions called Community Development Entities (CDEs). In turn, CDEs provide below-market financing to transformative development projects in low-income communities across the country.”

It was based on the hard work of both Project and Facility Directors that the Montana CDC determined that the loan was well-suited for the needs of the town’s residents.

In an article posted on MontanaCDC.org, both Senator Max Baucus and Senator Jon Tester say that the investment is “a smart investment into Montana” and “a smart way to improve access to care and raise the quality of life for folks in Polson.”

Congratulations on successfully accomplishing what you have been working on for so long!

Read the full article below:


Just in time for summer, Montana CDC and U.S. Bank have secured $6 million in permanent financing to support the Mission Valley Aquatics community health facility. Founded in 2002, Mission Valley Aquatics is a Lake County based not-for-profit created to build and operate an aquatic facility providing swimming and therapy programs to people of all ages and abilities in and around Polson. The center includes an 8-lane, 25-yard swimming pool, and is the only available facility for the surrounding rural community.

“Supporting more than 40 jobs in Polson while building healthy community infrastructure is a win-win,” said Senator Max Baucus, who helped make New Markets Tax Credits available to rural areas as Chairman of the Senate’s tax-writing committee. “This is a smart investment into Montana jobs while bolstering an important economic corridor for Indian Country and the entire Flathead community.”

Over the past ten years, Mission Valley Aquatics created a design that is well-suited for the needs of the town’s residents, gathered letters of support from community members, and raised more than $4.6 million in funding from private donors and lenders. The New Markets Tax Credit financing from U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, the community development subsidiary of U.S. Bank, and Montana Community Development Corporation provides a critical piece of the project and allowed the facility to open for the summer season. Harnessing the power of NMTCs, Montana CDC raised U.S. Bank’s investment and leveraged funding from private donors and lenders to provide patient, low-cost capital to Mission Valley Aquatics.

Senator Jon Tester is also a long-time supporter of the New Markets Tax Credit program. “The New Market Tax Credit has helped dozens of Montana communities grow and create jobs,” Tester said. “Investing in this Mission Valley Aquatics facility, with its strong community support, is a smart way to improve access to care and raise the quality of life for folks in Polson.”

“We’re committed to fostering community development across the country and are pleased to partner with Montana CDC to help foster economic growth of Montana,” said Matt Philpott, director of New Markets, Historic, and Renewable Energy Tax Credit Investments for U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. “We applaud Sen. Baucus and Tester for their support of this financing tool for such worthy projects.”

This is Montana CDC’s first New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) project in Polson and the first to be built with a not-for- profit organization. Dave Glaser, President of Montana CDC, recognizes the importance of using New Markets financing to support community-based facilities. “Mission Valley Aquatics was a natural fit for New Markets, as the organization receives a stable source of financing, the community receives a health facility with long-term viability, and U.S. Bank receives an opportunity to provide capital to Montana.” Since 2009, Montana CDC has provided nearly $123 million in NMTC financing to projects throughout Montana and Idaho.

Like all New Markets Tax Credit projects, there are significant community impacts associated with the facility. Mission Valley Aquatics will provide access to fitness and aquatic rehabilitation services in a rural area, and create jobs in a rural community. The facility will maintain three permanent full-time positions and create 40 permanent part-time positions.

“We are grateful to have received New Market Tax Credit financing,” Tana Seeley, MVA Project Director, said. “It has enabled us to complete construction and open our doors to the public. We are already seeing the positive energy the aquatic center brings to our community.”

Montana CDC received its first allocation of NMTCs in 2009, and since that time, the financing has spurred projects totaling $123 million across Montana and Idaho.