Armed Forces Recreation Centers

Armed Forces Recreation Centers


The U.S. Army MWR Marketing team manages a diverse portfolio including four Armed Forces Recreation Centers (AFRC) and various smaller lodging facilities. The facilities ranged from lodges, hotels, and condos to cabins, RV spots, and camping areas. Each location had an independently built web presence with a dated look and varying compliance standards. 


Each property having a completely different site architecture and content standards made it difficult for service members and families to use. Site updates and innovations remained isolated to individual properties, which each required different technical skills to manage. Without centralized compliance controls, getting an Authority to Operate (ATO) was a time consuming process. 

The distributed responsibility approach not only weakened the brand’s cohesion but also increased operational costs. Additionally, it led to missed opportunities in leveraging technological advancements.


PortlandLabs approached this challenge with a solution that balanced uniformity with individuality. Their solution was a flexible theme with a consistent information architecture and labeling approach that would work for all locations. It allowed each AFRC resort and lodging facility to showcase its unique character. This was done through customizable colors, imagery, videos and logos, all while aligning with the larger Army brand.

  • Development of a Unified Web Architecture: A cohesive labeling system and web architecture were created to standardize the diverse requirements across all properties.
  • Flexible Theming System: This allowed individual properties to retain their unique charm and appeal within the overarching brand identity.
  • Shared Codebase for Efficiency: Implementing a shared code system ensured that improvements in one area could be applied across the network, fostering uniformity and innovation.
  • Managed Hosting for Compliance: All of the sites are managed to meet DISA Impact Level 2 controls via centralized hosting infrastructure and processes.
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The Data

Increase in Revenue
Increase in Transactions
Conversion Rate


The collaboration between the U.S. Army MWR and PortlandLabs yielded remarkable results:

  • Enhanced Brand Cohesion: A consistent and recognizable brand experience was established across all properties, reinforcing the AFRC brand identity.
  • Improved User Experience: The new system provided a seamless, intuitive interface, critical for the target audience of highly mobile service members and their families.
  • Operational Efficiency: With a shared codebase, updates and new features could be quickly deployed across the network, resulting in significant time and cost savings.
  • Increased Engagement: The unified yet flexible web presence led to an improved digital experience, fostering greater engagement among service members and their families.
  • Improved Business Results: Across revenue, transactions and conversion rate. 

Using Concrete CMS, PortlandLabs was able to help the U.S. Army save money, improve marketing metrics, and deliver more services to a wider audience consistently.