Case Studies

Cleveland Metroparks case study

Cleveland Metroparks is home to 18 reservations spanning more than 23,000 acres with more than 300 miles of trails, eight golf courses, eight lakefront parks and a nationally-acclaimed zoo. Purple and Cisco joined forces in 2016 to help the organization to become cleverly connected, enabling visitors to access a seamless WiFi network whilst a plethora of analytics are captured about users, ready to be used for marketing, communication and operations planning. Just six months into their 3-year contract, Cleveland Metroparks has already seen some impressive results through harnessing Purple’s enhanced licence and location services.


Lines of customer data collected within six months


Increase in WiFi traffic


WiFi deployed over 23,000 acres

The Challenge

Public WiFi is a service that Cleveland Metroparks already offered to visitors, but the team felt their current system delivered minimal return. The platform they were using was extremely basic, consisting of a simple login page that asked people to accept their terms and conditions and captured no form of information about their millions of guests. They sought a solution that would allow them to learn much more about their clientele, including who they are, where they tend to visit and what their likes and dislikes are, which in turn would help them to develop a more informed, targeted guest experience.

However, one of the core requirements for Cleveland Metroparks during their search for a new WiFi solution was that integration and management of the platform needed to be straightforward. They didn’t want to have to hire network engineers to manage the public WiFi network and ensure it successfully functions with the Cisco access points already installed across the site.

Trial and Installation

Cleveland Metroparks initially received a demo of Purple’s WiFi and analytics solution in October 2016 and just two months later they signed a three-year contract. The platform was gradually overlaid onto 140 Cisco access points and in April 2017 the solution officially went live.

Commenting on the decision to install Purple, Anthony Joy, Chief Information Officer for Cleveland Metroparks, said: “We looked at several other providers but their platforms appeared very basic, some even required custom building. With Purple, the solution integrated well with our Cisco hardware and it provides us with an in-depth insight into our visitors, which is something we’ve not really had before.”

The contract also includes Purple’s location services, which will allow Cleveland Metroparks to easily monitor the movement of traffic, busiest zones and dwell time of visitors across the site. WiFi is now accessible in a total of 20 zones, with the majority for public use and a couple just for Cleveland Metroparks staff. The most popular on-site venue is Cleveland Metroparks Zoo which makes up 65% of the entire network traffic.

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In just under six months Cleveland Metroparks has collected 21,180 lines of customer data in the Purple portal, which is a significant benefit for the customer due to the fact they had a very limited customer database. The number of WiFi users has grown month on month, with the network now receiving 24% more traffic compared to month one. When a customer attempts to access the WiFi they are taken to a fully branded splash page where 67% of people choose to login via a registration form.

With Purple, the team at Cleveland Metroparks can now identify where their visitors have travelled from, with the portal statistics showing the vast majority of their visitors are from Ohio. This highlights an opportunity for Cleveland Metroparks to promote their attractions further afield to potentially increase visitor numbers from outside of the state. The on-site marketing team has been impressed with the results achieved so far and are hopeful for the future so they can use it to export demographic data and better reach the guests.

Future Plans

Commenting on the results achieved so far with Purple, Anthony said: “It has been really interesting to learn about the type of individuals that actually visit Cleveland Metroparks. The installation of Location Services will be particularly interesting as it will help us to go the extra mile with customer engagement. We’ll be able to analyse data about demographic and location to help us to determine what new educational programmes we should launch, where to place new food kiosks and where best to allocate staff members.”

Through harnessing the location analytics collected by Purple, Cleveland Metroparks will be better equipped to identify traffic patterns, adjust hours of operation and staffing strategies going forward, thus improving business efficiency. The team also hopes to set up a number of automated emails through utilising Purple’s Logic Flow feature.

Anthony adds: “We ideally want to drive traffic to key zones, for example in the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo we’d like to be able to send reminders and alerts to people about shows, talks and exhibitions that are starting soon according to the time of day and a person’s location in the park.”

Cleveland Metroparks also plans to utilize Purple’s Micro Surveys feature as employees currently distribute paper surveys on-site and the team wants to supplement this with a digital process to make data capture easier, save valuable time and prevent human error.

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