Ripple Effect of Tourism
When you think of tourism, you may think of accommodations to attractions or restaurant to retail. What we don’t often hear about is the ripple effect that tourism has on businesses like banks, suppliers, attorneys, and printers. These are the ripple effects that bring prosperity to other sectors of the economy that help serve the tourism community. And for many of them, their success depends on the success of tourism.
For Cale Hall, his first venture into tourism started at the early age of 10, selling peanuts to those on their way to Tybee Island. With his first paycheck of $90 in hand, he opened a bank account and realized that hard work was going to be how he found his success—hard work and the ability to catch an opportunity when it called.
OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME
After high school, Hall took a job delivering beer. One of his stops along the way was a bar called Club One, a very popular bar that featured drag queen shows. The managers offered him a job making more money as a bar back full-time. He jumped at the opportunity.
His hard work earned him promotion after promotion, from bar back to manager. In 1996, the owner Mark Fountain wanted to open another bar, so Hall consolidated all of his money and became co-owners of Club One with Fountain.
Shortly after, a film based on a popular book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”
came out featuring a breakout star who performed at Club One, The Lady Chablis. “It was a ‘Midnight’ book boom,” said Hall. And it sparked a level of popularity that Club One
had yet to see.
REINVENT & INVEST
At 30, reeling in the success of Club One, Hall decided to go back to school to reinvent and invest more into Savannah. At South University, he enrolled in an entrepreneur class that required him to do a project. So, while he was working on his homework at Club One, the bartender and SCAD student Travis Sawyer was bemoaning a national printing company. That conversation led to a plan to start their own printing company. Creative Approach was founded by Hall and Sawyer in 2004 in Hall’s small garden level apartment on Tattnall Street. Today, that printing company has a location in Savannah and Atlanta and offers high quality digital prints for a competitive price. He got an A in that class.
GREAT RECESSION THREATS
When the great recession caused a slump in consumer spending, many small businesses were hurt. However, the effect of the recession on tourism was much less than any other sector of our economy. So, in 2008, when this four-year-old printing business was struggling to stay afloat, they found an unlikely partner. Tourism businesses needed to find printing options that were more affordable, and Creative Approach delivered.
“Tourism is the reason we survived the great recession of 2008,” said Hall. “When that happened, we became the printing company that could do short runs for rack cards and menus, saving the tourism companies money. We helped tourism grow, and they helped us grow our small business.”
They developed a great and loyal following that helped them grow their business into a state-wide company. Today, Hall continues to look for opportunities. He completed his BBA and MBA at South University and a DBA at South’s sister Argosy University, now also serving as Assistant Program Director for South University’s Online College of Business, helping train tomorrow’s leaders.
Started As /
Fast Food Server
Co-Owner, Club One and Creative Approach