Who is Discovery Map International, Inc.?
Headquartered in the Green Mountains of Vermont, Discovery Map International, Inc., (DMI) has been creating and publishing beautifully illustrated, hand-drawn alternative advertising maps for over 30 years. We love our New England roots and are proud to be based in Waitsfield, nestled in the center of Vermont’s gorgeous Mad River Valley. In 1993 we were predominantly a Northeastern operation, but due to increasing demand and success, DMI (at that time called Resort Maps) expanded its reach by developing a franchise model for individual ownership and distribution of its maps of resort towns, vacation destinations and cities all over the U.S. and beyond. Today, that network of franchises has grown to 125 Discovery Map® maps in publication in the US—including Puerto Rico—and Canada, with additional maps added each year. Nearly 25 million Discovery Map® maps will be printed and distributed in 2014 and these figures continue to grow each year.
What exactly is a Discovery Map®?
A Discovery Map® is a colorful, hand-drawn map of the local area distributed free to area visitors at travel information and rest areas as well as business locations. Each map highlights local attractions and things to do, restaurants, accommodations, retail shops, real estate and other services. Each advertiser on the map is represented with a display ad on the perimeter of the map, including a color-coded grid locator and their actual building hand-drawn, highlighted and labeled, making it easy to locate. Essentially, each map is a piece of creative artwork that provides business and service details of a destination on an aesthetic and practical level unmatched in any other map available. Many users say they enjoy looking at them long after their trips are over!
In answering the question, “What is a Discovery Map®?” we are also very excited to say that we have a fully functional digital map production and advertising component as well, and we continue to invest resources into building an even better online presence in the future. This state-of-the-art electronic presence makes each franchise and advertisement as relevant in today’s age as the individual print map has been from its inception!
A Closing Note from Peter Hans, DMI President & CEO
Hello, I’m Peter Hans. I started my career as a commercial banker. I was based in Boston so I traveled a fair amount around New England—mostly in the north. I studied at night and, upon completing my last degree, I moved to Switzerland and became an investment banker. I lived in Zurich for six years and later London for six more. During that time I was fortunate enough to travel to most every major European city and also to Australia, Asia and South America. Of course, I got back home in the States regularly and in one year some 12 times—the airlines really had my number.
Shortly before leaving London I married and my wife and I moved back to the States to start a family. I imagined we would end up in New York, Boston, San Francisco or some other financial center but as often happens, my life took an unexpected turn. Sue, my wife, let on that she liked where we were living—in a small Vermont valley. This was all I needed to know and we decided to stay. After a brief period managing a small, high-tech company, the opportunity to take over Discovery Map International, Inc. arose, and I jumped on it.
I guess the lure of purchasing a company that merges travel maps and franchise ownership was two-fold: Throughout all my travels, like many people, I was always looking for a resource that provided me with quick and easy-to-find information about all of the businesses and services a place has to offer in order to enlighten my travel experience. Discovery Map International is exactly that resource. The second part of the equation is that I really enjoy owning my own business, nurturing it, and watching it succeed, grow, and profit. It stands to reason that I not only own the company as the “franchisor,” but I have also jumped into the exciting shoes of franchise ownership and own some maps as well!
If you have a creative and entrepreneurial spirit, have strong interpersonal skills, like the thought of providing a twenty-first century travel resource in print and digital form to help travelers explore a locale, and want to own your own business and control your own destiny, please feel free to fill our profile form or give us a call!