Feeling sluggish? Ideas offered to plan ahead

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Are you feeling sluggish after setting your clock forward last Saturday?

If so, you, and likely most of your readers, are experiencing one of the many “rites of spring” we undergo every year. Five of the most common rites include spring travel planning, shopping, yard work, allergies and severe weather.

Your readers may be interested to learn that BellSouth offers resources, through RealPages.com® from BellSouth and BellSouth Web Portal (www.bellsouth.net), to guide them through these “rites of spring.” More than 80 percent of BellSouth Internet Services customers, including Fast Access and Dial-up, use the portal, most on average of 20 times per month. In addition, consumers made nearly 200 million searches on RealPages.com in 2004, making it the leading provider of online yellow pages in the Southeast.

BellSouth has highlighted five “rites of spring” mentioned above along with examples of how our resources can and have helped consumers navigate the season:

1. Travel Planning – In 2004, according to Yellow Pages Association (www.ypassociation.org) data, there were approximately 48.4 million references to travel headings in yellow page directories across the U.S., and more than 335,000 searches to RealPages.com for southeast businesses. Also, BellSouth Web Portal provides festival information in the Southeast on its spring channel – festivals can make great weekend getaways for the entire family!

2. Shopping – Want to know what’s hot in fashion this spring? Check out the fashion videos on the spring channel of BellSouth Web Portal. As you plan your spring shopping spree, expect a few of your friends and neighbors to join you: in 2004, RealPages.com reported more than 356,000 searches for shopping centers in the Southeast, and there were 11.8 million national references made for shopping centers in yellow page directories.

3. Gardening and Lawn Care – Like it or not, gardening and lawn care come with the spring territory.

€ According to the Yellow Pages Association data, the Lawn Maintenance heading for yellow page directories nationally had 47.1 million consumer references in 2004.

€ Nationally, Garden and Lawn Equipment Supplies was referenced 10.7 million times in 2004.

€ In 2004, 7.4 million national yellow page directory references were made for Garden Centers.

According to James Tackett, owner of J T L Lawn Landscape of Roswell, Ga., spring is big business for gardening and lawn maintenance. “We have to be ready at the first hint of spring,” he said. “Our clients are ready for their lawns and landscaping to reflect the season, so we prepare for long days. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

4. Allergies – No spring would be complete without high pollen counts, dust and mold to exacerbate allergies. BellSouth offers helpful hints on allergy awareness and treatment through BellSouth Web Portal.

According to Elaine McCarson, Manager of Chattanooga Allergy Clinic in Chattanooga, Tenn., “The April and May allergy season usually increases our office calls 25-30 percent, and new patients wanting to schedule appointments increases 35-40 percent.”

5. Severe Weather – Preparation and planning for volatile springtime weather is critical to the wellbeing of your family or business. Each local edition of The Real Yellow Pages® from BellSouth offers tips on planning, surviving and recovering from severe weather. In addition, BellSouth Web Portal displays your local weather on its home page, including forecasts and radar.

For more information on RealPages.com or BellSouth Web Portal, please visit www.realpages.com or www.bellsouth.net, or give me a call at 504-528-2214.