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Arizona Sonoran News

Arizona Sonoran News

Student Newswire of The University of Arizona School of Journalism

Arizona Sonoran News

    Finding a good place to eat in Tombstone, via reviews on Tripadvisor

    Finding a good place to eat in Tombstone, via reviews on Tripadvisor

    The reviews are sometimes harsh:

    “Cold, over-priced food. Raunchy, very un-family friendly, totally inappropriate
    music, décor, life entertainment, waitress attire. Wish I didn’t’ even come to

    Sometimes they’re kind:

    “It’s not real fancy or anything like that, but it was real cozy and clean, not to
    mention the proximity to downtown Tombstone was great! Everyone was nice and
    our room was a lot better than we actually expected.”

    For small businesses, reviews on the giant social networking site
    can make or break your business.

    TripAdvisor, which claims 775,000 user-generated reviews of hotels and other accommodations and 2 million reviews of restaurants around the world, lets anyone share opinions about places and restaurants to advise (or warn) future tourists where to eat, stay or visit. The review guidelines on the website allow users free rein to make whatever comments they want—nice and
    not-so-nice alike.

    Tripadvisor lists 15 restaurants in Tombstone, but only 13 of them have been
    ranked and reviewed. The two that aren’t reviewed are Bonanza Pizza House, which
    closed, and Stampede Bakery that is attached to a B&B.

    Big Nose Kate’s Saloon has the most reviews, including the most current one,
    from March 7 by a tourist from Washington.

    “Luckily we were in no hurry, and I had time for two drinks (Grand Canyon IPA and
    the Tombstone Tea) of which I highly recommend both,” the reviewer posted.

    From its 311 reviewers, 83 percent gave the restaurant an “excellent” rating and it
    was ranked four and a half bubbles out of five.

    Big Nose Kate’s owners could not be reached for comment.

    Ranch 22, which sits at the bottom of the TripAdvisor Tombstone list, had 16
    reviews, half of which rated the restaurant as “excellent.” Ranch 22 had a 75 percent
    recommendation rating overall from reviewers.

    Larian Motel is one of eight motels reviewed on TripAdvisor. A manager who would
    only give her name as Linda said the reviews are “the number one asset to tourists because
    it’s honest.” The reviews are also well diversified, with comments coming in from
    Phoenix, Snohomish, Wash., and Salem, Mass., just to name a few.

    [Some hotel and restaurant owners who have been stung by less-than-glowing or even downright insulting reviews have furiously criticized Tripadvisor, saying its “anybody-can-post-a-review” model allows anonymous competitors to plant “fake reviews.” Tripadvisor has responded that it has methods in place to weed out fake reviews and ensure that reviews come from legitimate travelers. Link.]

    Tombstone TripAdvisor reviewers come from throughout the country, including
    Phoenix, Snohomish, Wash., and Salem, Mass.
    Social media sites such as TripAdvisor are important marketing tools for towns
    like Tombstone that depend on tourism to survive, said Tombstone Chamber of
    Commerce board member Kenn Barret.

    In the four years that he’s worked with the Chamber of Commerce, Barret said that he
    has noticed an increase in the number of tourists who have used TripAdvisor to plan

    “We know that a large percentage of people who take vacations plan them online, so
    it’s important to have good information,” he said. “People don’t just consult the auto
    club; they do a lot of research online. We can tell when we answer the phone that
    they have a little bit of information because they’re researching it before they come.”


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