We all know how bad the economy has been and the tourism industry is certainly not immune. With visitor numbers down and the popularity of virtual worlds on the rise, the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission wanted to continue to spread information and interest about the iconic St. Louis Arch using a virtual medium. With a virtual Arch, users from all over the world could take virtual tours of the park, which would highlight the major features of the real life park. This in turn would peak the interest of the virtual visitors and put the St. Louis Arch at the top of their vacation hot spot wish list. The biggest question was how the massive Arch would translate into a virtual space without losing any of its impressive allure.
With the desire to reach a large audience, Designing Digitally, Inc. chose Virtual World for the St. Louis Arch. Virtual World was a good fit and would allow the Visitors Commission to have their own private island, while also creating the most exposure and a high capacity for visitors.
A complete to scale model of the Arch was erected on a full private island. Users were able to travel to the top of the arch for a full view of the grounds or go under the Arch into the underground museum for more info on the Arch and traveling to St. Louis. The museum also featured a ticket booth for visitors to purchase tickets to events and activities at the actual Arch. The island featured one of the famous river boats and a church that is located on the park grounds. The river boat has programmed timed tours to allow users to take a ride on the river and get the perfect snapshot of the Arch.
Since the completion of the island the virtual St. Louis Arch has experienced a high level of visitors and was even featured as a hot spot in the virtual world showcase. The client hosts events and tours on the island regularly and the Virtural World island was a topic in a St. Louis newspaper, which highlighted the project as a first of its kind.