Associate Director of Visitor Experience

Gardens of Golden Gate Park

San Francisco, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $101,000-$101,624
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Position Title: Associate Director of Visitor Experience

Hours: Full-Time (35-hour workweek); Work schedule covers Wednesday through Sunday with shared holiday coverage

Role Classification: Regular, w/ Benefits

Exemption: Exempt

Reports to: Director of Operations & Administration

Salary: $101,000 - $101,624


The mission of Gardens of Golden Gate Park is to connect people to plants, the planet, and each other. Gardens of Golden Gate Park is a public/private partnership between the San Francisco Recreation & Park Department (RPD) and the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society (SFBGS) to jointly operate the Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, and San Francisco Botanical Garden. A Lease & Management Agreement between RPD and SFBGS, approved by both the Recreation & Park Commission and the Board of Supervisors, sets the terms of the partnership. The agreement is a cooperative management agreement that outlines the roles and responsibilities for each partner. Key areas of responsibility for SFBGS include volunteer engagement, education, visitor experience, philanthropy, membership, marketing, and other functions. RPD is responsible for horticulture and facility management and maintenance, master planning and capital improvements conducted with SFBGS, and other functions. Together, RPD and SFBGS collaborate on collections management within the Gardens.

The Conservatory of Flowers is a national, state, and local landmark and a place of exceptional beauty. Built in 1879, the Conservatory was the first formal structure erected in Golden Gate Park and remains an internationally renowned icon, displaying and cultivating unusual plants to heighten awareness of the pressing need to preserve threatened rainforest environments.

The Japanese Tea Garden is the oldest operating public Japanese garden in North America. This garden provides visitors from around the world with an opportunity to experience the natural beauty, tranquility, and harmony of a Japanese-style garden and was originally created as an exhibit for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition.

San Francisco Botanical Garden opened in 1940 and is a 55-acre living museum within Golden Gate Park, showcasing 8,000 different kinds of plants from around the world. San Francisco’s oceanic climate with cool dry summers, mild wet winters, and presence of fog allows the Garden to grow a diverse array of species from around the world.


The Associate Director of Visitor Experience innovates and leads strategies to optimize the visitor experience and drive organization growth in Gardens visitation and admissions revenue. Responsibilities include overseeing admissions budgets, routine admissions reporting, leveraging analytics for data-driven strategies and personnel management for the visitor experience staff ensuring team alignment with GGGP's culture of excellence. This position supervises the Visitor Experience Manager and oversees the management of a team of 25-30 Visitor Experience Leads and Associates. The role plays a pivotal part in shaping the visitor experience and maintaining GGGP's status as a premier destination. The position requires the Associate Director of Visitor Experience to stay informed of industry best practices and strong communication and collaboration skills.


  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the Visitor Experience team including leadership of staff, oversee scheduling, cash and supply management, compliance with safety regulations, and continuous improvement efforts to enhance visitor satisfaction and operational efficiency.
  • Formulate admissions budgets, diligently monitor revenue goals and expenses, and conduct in-depth analysis to drive operational efficiency.
  • Collaborate closely with the Advancement team to align efforts with marketing initiatives and leverage analytics across various sources. Develop data-driven visitation strategies to enhance the visitor experience, attract new audiences, increase growth in visitation and admissions revenue.
  • Manage the admissions databases to meticulously monitor and generate admissions reporting.
  • Develop admissions analysis and forecasting models to predict visitation trends and demand patterns. Design and implement strategy to take advantage of peak demand and resource allocation to optimize operational efficiency.
  • Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to track visitation metrics and continuously monitor performance against these KPIs to identify areas of improvement.
  • Prepare comprehensive KPI reports to communicate findings, insights, and recommendations to senior leadership and key stakeholders. Clearly articulate the impact of data-driven strategies on visitation outcomes.
  • Maintain a strong customer service focus by ensuring all visitors receive exceptional service and support at the Gardens. Identify and address training needs within the visitor experience team through development of a comprehensive visitor experience training plan.
  • Supervise and guide the Visitor Experience Manager, fostering their professional growth and aligning their success with the culture of excellence upheld by the GGGP.
  • Collaborate closely with the People & Culture department and the Visitor Experience Manager to recruit and train visitor Experience staff, ensuring a cohesive and skilled team is maintained with the necessary tools and knowledge to excel in their roles and uphold the standards of excellence.
  • Uphold the integrity of the Lease & Management Agreement with the City of San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, by understanding and following agreement terms and ensuring compliance and adherence to regulations.
  • Implement comprehensive programs aimed at increasing the membership conversion rate, ticket, and pass sales at ticket counters through strategic development and refinement.
  • Stay abreast of current best practices implemented by similar organizations and actively engage in networking with industry peers to continually learn and implement innovative strategies.
  • Other duties as needed and assigned.


  • Education: A bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as business administration, hospitality management, or a related field.
  • Experience: 3-5 years in visitor experience management or related fields within the tourism, hospitality, or cultural institution sectors. Experience in strategic planning, budget management, and data analysis is highly valued.
  • Strategic Plan Management: Proven track record in effectively executing existing strategic plans, specifically in aligning visitor experience initiatives with organizational objectives and achieving measurable outcomes.
  • Financial Management: Experience overseeing a budget with attention to monitoring revenue and expense goals and identifying opportunities for cost savings and revenue generation to achieve financial objectives.
  • Leadership Skills: Proven experience in leading and mentoring teams, fostering a culture of excellence, and driving performance towards strategic objectives.
  • Analytical Skills: Strong analytical skills with the ability to interpret data, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions to optimize the visitor experience and drive revenue growth.
  • Project Management: Proficiency in project management methodologies and tools to effectively plan, execute, and monitor strategic initiatives and programs.
  • Technology Skills: Familiarity with data analytics tools, CRM systems, and other technology platforms used for visitor management.


  • Strong communication skills, conveying insights and plans effectively to senior leadership and stakeholders.
  • Proven collaboration skills with cross-functional teams and external partners to achieve shared objectives.
  • Customer-centric approach, dedicated to delivering outstanding visitor experiences and nurturing lasting relationships.
  • Thrives in dynamic environments, adept at adjusting to evolving priorities and market dynamics.
  • Monitors and improves KPIs for visitation, satisfaction, and revenue, implementing strategies for enhancement.
  • Committed to ongoing professional development, keeping abreast of emerging trends and technologies in visitor experience management.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND TO APPLY: Complete application with attached cover letter at  https://recruiting.paylocity.com/recruiting/jobs/All/99885d66-fdde-45ea-b169-b55cfb505be0/Gardens-of-Golden-Gate-Park

Gardens of Golden Gate Park is an equal opportunity employer and encourages candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information, or any other category protected by law.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership, Outdoor Recreation
Tags Outreach