How long did it take to make the new holimites.com website?

I was a bit curious, so I went to check it out. The file with the first draft of the graphic layout done by the no.parking team was dated February 24, 2017. So, counting from this date until the site’s online publication on March 6, 2018, exactly 375 days have gone by!

Then again, about the same amount of time was spent postponing redesigning the new holimites website. When you think about how much work it involves, creating a new site is one of the things you try to delay as much as you can.

If you take a look at the 5 restyling moments of the holimites site, this is what always occurs:

  • euphoria
    creating something new is always gratifying
  • doubts
    As the first layouts roll in, so do the first challenges: “Is this gonna work?”, “Will they find the button with the package information?”, “Should we move this here and put something else there?” and so on. We show the mock-ups to all our friends, asking them the most absurd questions to see how they react to this phase of hybrid navigation.
  • back to the start
    Our challenges multiply when graphic designer meets website designer – in our case, the fabulous team at E-Side. The doubts we had at stage 1 become nightmares and we start tinkering with the graphic elements. Then, once again, we take the proofs back to our friends – our, er…guinea pigs – to test their reaction.
  • from old to new
    “We can still use some of the content from the old website!” …..Yeah, right!!! Of course, some of it can be used again, but most of the content gets re-written, re-touched and double-checked.
  • the first beta is online
    Fantastic! We can see a shimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. First trial, then test. Drat! It doesn’t work the same on mobile devices! It’s not gonna work. Time to change a few things… again.
  • “Well, since we’re already working on this, why not…?”
    This is the phrase that, if overly abused (as we admittedly have done), makes webmasters go bananas (Antonio, please forgive us!). Making the website might have taken half the time it did had it not been for this remark – because as soon as it was said, you bet it meant those sections on the site were going to be done from scratch.
  • “Please, please, no more!” or test, test, test and test again
    This is probably the hardest stage to endure. You can’t stand to see the graphic design you were ecstatic about months ago. There seems to be no logic in the site’s operation and you’re once again tempted to change what you had agreed on months before. In this phase, you begin to accept the fact that you will NEVER resolve all the problems of the early stages and you just hope that once online….someone out on the web will be quick to point out the problems you didn’t catch, so you can promptly fix them.
  • We’re online!
    Refresh the browser and … breathe a sigh of relief!

Here’s the new Holimites.com website!

Thanks to the outstanding graphic designers at no.parking and the web design team at E-Side – both of Vicenza – for their patience and professionalism. We’ve been working with them since 2000…when Holimites was founded.

This how we looked like:

Holimites pre 2018

How we look now:

Holimites new website

What‘s behind the making of a Holimites catalogue?

Did you never think about how much work goes into making a catalogue? Aren’t you a little curious? Keep reading, and I’ll tell you about it!

Catalogo Holimites 2018

Holimites Katalog 2018

It’s early in the 2017 summer season, but at the Holimites office we’re already planning the 2018 season. The catalogue has to be printed before the end of Fall.

There are a lot of things to do: from planning all the excursions and giving them a test run on the trail to calculating the rates. Everything has to be studied down to the last detail.

You may be thinking: “Ok, that’s not so bad…”
Imagine having to solve a puzzle. Starting a puzzle is easy to do, but as you get going, the difficulty increases. Every year we have new ideas and new challenges to solve.

The puzzle is made of 25 guided tours. They need to be carefully woven so that the entire Holimites team is perfectly coordinated during the entire season. The tour arrivals and departures have to coincide with the baggage transfers from hut to hut sot that the van won’t be running around aimlessly, loosing time and money. Our expert guides need to schedule their agendas ahead of time and rooms in Dolomite huts and hotels have to be reserved in advance.

The prices of the packages need to be appealing to our clients, but at the end of the year they have to generate earnings on Holimites’ annual statement. Finally, the text and pictures inside the catalogue need to attract readers browsing through it. Images need to stimulate the imagination, enticing a reader to spend a vacation in the Dolomites.

Ok, we can do it! Or better – every year we give it all we’ve got to improve on last year’s edition.

At the end of the summer season, after proofreading it for the umpteenth time, we can proudly hold, our NEW CATALOGUE.

There you have it – our creation for 2018! Browse it online on holimites.com and let us know if you’d rather receive a paper copy at home.

Astrid

PS: I’m sure that now, after reading my short article, you will appreciate each page even more.

Crazy until you don’t do it

How many times in your life have you given up that amazing idea of yours?
Your dream was doing that certain thing – in a way it felt bold and powerful, but also crazy and hard to achieve. Doubts started creeping in and that huge ‘flame’ became a tiny ‘spark’.
Then, you built up some courage and decided to talk about it with those close to you –
mom, dad, wife … friends, etc. How many times did those exact same people extinguish the last
little spark in your ‘amazing’ idea?

Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut or – better yet – talk with people who have no idea of what you’re up to!

Just think how much progress would never have been achieved if the inventor would’ve listened to the voices around him or her.

I saw many flames die out and bubbles of ideas burst in thin air – but, that’s not how I react: I do just the opposite. The more people tell me something can’t be done or that my idea is too crazy, the more stubborn I get and the more I’ll stick to my idea until it’s done. Ok, let’s face it … many of those ideas will never have a sequel, but it’s from those failures that you learn to take better aim at your target when you get that next crazy idea.

It took me 3 years in order for the Mür dl Giat climb to be listed in the course of the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel. Yes! That was MY idea  ;-). The first time I proposed it at a meeting, 14 votes out of 15 were “NO” votes…followed by laughs.
But, hey, to my satisfaction … even the pro peloton of the Giro d’Italia rode it on the finishing stage in Corvara in 2016. 

Then there was this other idea launched by pro photographer Jered Gruber and published on his Instagram feed and in the issue 62 of Peloton magazine:

While riding with @igortavella on the steep little farm roads that wind their way along the flanks of the Dolomites, I wondered if it would be possible to do 5000 meters (or more) of climbing on all the little roads in less than 100k. Igor laughed – of course! In that moment, an idea hit. We should do a ride later this year: invite anyone who wants to join us to get a big flavor of Igor’s backyard, his secrets – paved and dirt – but all doable on a road bike, so long as the rider is ok with gradients that are always north of 10% and isn’t scared of some dirt roads and a bit of amazing singletrack (meaning this won’t be everyone’s cup of hot chocolate). It will be on a Saturday or Sunday or both – everything will of course be based out of the Tavella hotel: the @UstariaPosta in Badia. We are thinking early to middle September. It will be the #YOLOMITES 5000 brought to you by @holimites and Igor. If the rider has had their fill at any point, they can cut it short whenever they want – we will never be more than 20k from the start at the Ustaria Posta. #yolomites5000 #conquereveryroad

Un post condiviso da Jered Gruber (@jeredgruber) in data:


This idea became the #YOLOmites5000

Imagine: all the locals here ride road bikes, but NO-ONE took part except me. Even so, people from Japan, Malaysia and USA flew to the Dolomites just to take part in this ‘crazy’ event.

Lastly – but it will not be my last idea for sure – I had this idea in mind: What would it be like to ride one of the most famous road bike loops in the Dolomites, the Sellaronda, … at Moonlight? I started to think about this even before the #YOLOmites5000. But, true to my nature, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, so I started to talk about it. Yet, instead of a flame turning into a tiny spark, the idea kept burning, growing bigger inside of me until one evening, at the end of July 2017, I typed in the Strava event planner:

1st Holimites Moonlight ride

At the time I thought that I would be alone on the ride and, honestly, I didn’t pay any more attention to it until enthusiastic questions from possible participants started coming in. Two, five, eight people were signing up to take part in the event considered by many a “crazy” ride. The result was a group ride with 14 great friends:

Looking back, it’s rather funny that I typed in “1st” when I wrote the title. Maybe it’s the optimist in me that expects that there will be more Moonlight Rides. If you don’t want to miss the next Ride – or my next crazy idea – make sure you join the Holimites cycling club on Strava.

The bottom line:
If you have an idea … go for it, don’t be influenced by others!

Igor
Owner and founder of this other crazy idea called Holimites :-D

Deer, beer, Wifi – the story of a dolomites trail run

 

DEER
They are nine.
They came from Alaska.
They are friends, wives, mothers, housewives. And they also are doctors, teachers, shop owners, freelancers and other.

So you can guess that: they have a lot to talk about, and in fact they talk, they talk ALOT: they talk while hiking, while running, while walking and during the pauses. Of course they talk (a very lot) at breakfast, lunch and dinner. And they talk also – not really “of course” – while sleeping. So, in few words, they simply talk ALWAYS and LOUDLY.

Then one day Tata the guide sees a deer while traversing the woods, and says just one word (you know, he’s a mountain guy, they don’t talk too much): “DEER !”

And the magic happens: the whole group immediately stops. Don’t take me wrong: they don’t stop talking, they stop being loud, and proceed gently whispering (and trying to see the deer).

So this is the first keyword of the week, widely used all the times when the attention was needed: DEER !

BEER
Now you can imagine that: after so many hours talking while running, hiking, dining etc. etc. etc. they can be really very thirsty.

So that day we were reaching the Pisciadù Hut (elevation 2.580) after a long and hot hike, and the guide’s assistant (Mia, that’s me) said another single word (I don’t talk so much neither, even if – as widely stated – I’m not a mountain girl): “BEER !”

Suddenly the group started screaming and running hands-raised towards the hut. And this became the second keyword of the week, used to celebrate to most deserved and awaited moments of the day: BEER !

WIFI
And so this is us for the whole week: running and hiking for about 100 km and 6.000 mt up, and constantly talking about husbands, sons, daughters, school, colleagues but also books, the best and worst of the day (I did like that!) and some other questions that I didn’t understand (because listening takes resources too and those were not always available – I mean: they talk also very fast sometimes!).

At the end, we found there was only one situation (apart from deers, that’s obvious) where the group stopped talking, and this was kinda signal they where sending to each other, because there was only one good reason for not being talking: connection available!

And this became the third keyword of the week: WIFI !

***

Originally posted by Mia Battaglia on his Facebook profile after a week running on the Dolomites Alta Via #1 & #2 trails

***

And, then there was … Holimaiz!

There’s no doubt that brand name recognition is extremely important. Today, we can count on marketing companies that take your idea, what you want to do, the clientele you want to market and come up with the name that best suits your new business.

Way back in 2000, when we founded Holimites, our only thought was to find a fun and catchy-sounding name. During one of our brainstorming sessions, I said:

“Why don’t we join the word in English for “Holiday” and “Dolomites” and call it Holimites?”

Brilliant!!! That’s what we thought.

If we keep within the English language, the logic works and, besides, Holimites is also easy to pronounce. The problem arises with other languages: when you read “Holimites” in Italian, something that sounds catchy in English, sounds rather silly in Italian.

Once guests understand that Holimites is a combination of Holiday and Dolomites, our majestic mountains get the better of it and, then….Holimites becomes Holomites.

What to do?
Maybe we should’ve changed the brand name right from the start, but being the mountaineers that we are, we were (and still are) very stubborn.

Then, out of the blue, my son came up with a brilliant idea. This was his homework in German:

“Write 5 word with the letter H”:
HolimaizThe only worry is that he hears a lot at home about work … Hotel … Holimaiz (Holimaize).

He sure gave us a lesson: if you’re ever going to create a brand name, first ask a child to test it out! Either way, you can now also find us at Holimaiz.com.  ;-)

Igor
Founder of HoliMAIZ