In a recent press release: Saratoga Springs, NY, Signature Resorts, the luxury RV division of Monaco Coach Corporation has been acquired by Morgan RV Resorts, Saratoga Springs, NY and Sunland RV Resorts headquartered in La Jolla, CA. Morgan RV Resorts is the country’s largest privately owned RV park corporation. Morgan’s 41 RV resorts in 14 states offer RV owners unmatched camping and
recreation facilities with over 17,000 lots in diverse and exciting locations such as the Adirondacks, the Chesapeake Bay, Cape Cod, and the Florida Keys. Sunland RV Resorts, currently owns and operates seven RV Resorts in Southern California which includes; Golden Village Palms RV Resort, California’s largest and most luxurious RV Resort with unparallel amenities. Five of Sunland RV Resorts are strategically
located in San Diego California “ America’s Finest City” and within close proximity to its world famous attractions. Sunland most recent acquisitions includes; Emerald Desert Resort located in Palm Desert, California and, in Southern California considered to be Palm Desert’s premier RV Resort, Signature Motor Coach Resorts in Naples Florida, Continued Page 2
Continued from front page and Bay Harbor in partnership with Morgan RV Resorts. In announcing the Signature Resorts acquisition, Morgan RV Resorts co-owner Bob Moser and Sunland RV Resorts President, Reza Paydar said they are truly excited to add this top of the line group of RV resorts to their portfolio. “Signature Resorts is and has been the unmatched leader in RV living in America. Their properties have no equal in beauty, recreation and luxury living for Class A coach owners. They are the five-star choice in the field.”
E. Randall Henderson Jr. will continue as President of the new Signature Resorts, a position he has held since 2004. “With the Sunland and Morgan partnership, we are now expanding the Signature Resorts brand with the experience, resources and the team to set a new standard for luxury. Signature Resorts will serve those owners who demand the very finest in luxury RV living.” states Mr. Henderson, who pioneered luxury RV condominium ownership and has developed 23 RV resorts in 12 states and Mexico over the past 25 years.
GLENDALE, Calif., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Garlic Research Labs, Inc announces Garlic formula is keeping Mosquitoes at bay this summer in cities across the US. Mosquito Barrier, a product from Garlic Research Labs, Inc is being used with great success by city parks, campgrounds, golf courses and individuals all across the country. Mosquito Barrier's extremely strong liquid garlic is made from very potent garlic cloves, unlike garlic that is typically found in grocery stores. Spraying garlic to keep insects away is an age-old practice by farmers and master gardeners and it works because Garlic contains natural sulfur which repels insects, including mosquitoes,
ticks, fleas and even black flies. Mosquito Barrier works in 3-steps. First, it kills the adult mosquitoes on contact. Second, the garlic coated plants keep mosquitoes out of the area. Lastly, it suffocates any mosquito larvae in standing water, such as puddles, under decks, water in tin cans or depressions in lawns. Typically, four applications are enough for the entire mosquito and tick season. Even in the heaviest of infestations the gallon size is nearly always sufficient for an entire year for most homes. For those concerned with the smell, the odor disappears once the garlic extract diluted in water dries, typically within 3 to 4 hours.
pleased to report excellent results on our previously voracious mosquito population.
Mosquito Barrier is currently being used successfully everywhere. Maggie Stoecklein, Parks Supervisor in Round Rock, Texas says, "We have had great success with this product in treating mosquitoes. We have ball fields that are close to creeks and the Garlic Barrier keeps the mosquitoes in check." Jerry Taylor of White River KOA (Kampgrounds of America) Interior, South Dakota says, "After having applied several gallons of Mosquito Barrier to our 31 acre campground, I am
All we have to do to verify that the mosquitoes are indeed still in season is to walk along the White River, which is adjacent to our property, and therefore not sprayed. They are still there, and in droves, while being virtually eliminated here." Gus Aime, Director of Security for Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis MS states, "Wow!! This product is a miracle. I live in Bay St. Louis, and since Hurricane Katrina my family has been practically eaten alive by mosquitoes and infested with sand fleas. Thanks so much for this product. I am a believer."
Schmarder. “The GuestReviews social media communications program offers users insights, tips, tricks, and more on getting the very most out of this tool...the potential is unlimited. We are delighted to help build awareness of the power of this product."
July 23, 2009 -- Evanne Schmarder, owner of Roadabode Productions, has recently been hired to develop and implement a social media communications strategy for RV park/campground guest satisfaction survey leader GuestReviews. The social media program kicked off mid-July with an email communication to all owner/operator GuestReviews users. The e-newsletter, “Making the Grade”, combines a
wide variety of useful, timely, and relevant information on how to take full advantage of the features and benefits of the GuestReviews online feedback tool. “GuestReviews is a remarkable product that has immense value to the RV park and campground owner/operator. Just like any business tool, the more well-versed a user is with the product and what it can deliver the better results they will be able to achieve,” remarked Ms.
Bob MacKinnon, President of Guest Reviews added, “We knew we had a great product, as evidenced by our 800 registered users. We were looking for a way to provide a quick and effective exchange of ideas, helping them better understand and effectively utilize our feedback tools. Evanne assisted us in quickly identifying communication needs and opportunities and within weeks we launched the first edition of our enewsletter. We are very excited about the prospects of making
Bob MacKinnon our users aware of best practices and how they can get the most benefit from guest feedback.” As the program matures Roadabode Productions and GuestReviews will be initiating other practical online methods to provide cutting-edge information sharing for both GuestReviews users and eventually GuestRated users (consumers), taking advantage of the social media “wave” to help promote the RV park and camping sector of the outdoor hospitality industry.
BILLINGS, MT (July 22, 2009) - The Traverse City, Michigan KOA Kampground has been named one of the Top 300 Campgrounds in North America by the Trailer Life Directory. "Of the more than 12,000 parks in the Trailer Life Directory, your park placed in the top 300," said Trailer Life Directory Publisher Cindy Halley in a letter to Traverse City KOA owners David and Cathleen Kuebler. "It takes a special commitment by the management of a park to consistently maintain high standards in all areas of their operation," Halley said. "Attainment of a high ranking in each of the three categories of the Trailer Life Rating System takes ongoing hard work and dedication, and it is an honor for Trailer Life to recognize your park as one among the Best of the Best."
Fun times at Traverse City KOA
Kurt, Lori and Tyler Hostetter The Logan.Hocking Hills, Ohio KOA Kampground has also been named one of the Top 300 Campgrounds in the United States by the Trailer Life Directory. Owners of Logan/Hocking Hills KOA, Kurt, Lori and Tyler Hostetter. also received the letter of congratulations. The KOA Kampgrounds are two of more than 460 campgrounds in the Kampgrounds of America system, which includes parks in the U.S. and Canada. KOA is the world's largest system of family campgrounds, founded in Billings, Montana in 1962.
David and Cathleen Kuebler
The Logan/Hocking Hills Kampground in Ohio
Colorado Springs: One person was airlifted to a Denver hospital with severe burns after a recreational vehicle exploded on Saturday. It was part of a multi-car accident on the interstate. KOAA says the RV exploded after hitting a sign off I-25 just before noon. They say at least six other vehicles were involved in the crash. Other drivers saw the R-V driver trapped and were able to pull him from the burning vehicle. The Colorado Department
of Transportation says the southbound lanes of Interstate 25 were closed from milepost 142 to 140 because of the crash, causing traffic backups for miles much of Saturday afternoon. The highway re-opened late Saturday afternoon.
By Sue Farrell Holler
KOAA reports at least one driver says she saw a police officer stopped in the southbound lanes trying to pick something up that was in the lane right before the crash.
We pulled into a provincial campground near Wabamun Lake one overcast evening. It was about five o’clock or so when we found the office and the firewood supply. A sign on the chain link protected woodpile – that I was surprised was not also protected by a large and ferocious dog – indicated sales from that site were for a few hours on weekend evenings. But this was a weekday. How do you get firewood during the week?
Five other people were injured in the crash. Article: www.9news.com
We selected our site, used the “cash or cheque only” self-check-in kiosk, and set
up camp before heading back to the office to find out about securing some wood. Close behind us was a young man who needed to pay for his campsite with his debit or credit card. Three of us stood in disbelief at the office, reading the sign that the office closed at 5:30. We checked our telephones. Yup, the office was closed. It was 5:38. Someone noticed movement behind the open window with the shade pulled down. “I think someone’s in there,” our young companion noted. “Hello. Hello? Is anyone in there? Can anyone help us?”
Continued from previous page he called. The movement ceased, but he persisted. “I know someone is in there,” he said. “I saw someone moving.” “Hello? Hello?” he called and rapped on the upper window. A middle aged woman lifted a corner of the blind. “We’re closed!” she barked and bared her teeth. “I can’t help you!” The young man explained his predicament. “We just need wood,” my husband said. “We are closed!” she spat. “I’m cashing out now. I can’t help you!” In the face of my fire-loving husband, however, she eventually relented and agreed to sell us a bag of wood at roughly the price of gold, provided we had the correct change, which we did. She took our coins, then snarled. “I’m going to have to come out there and get it.”
MONROE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Deputies say one man is dead and another is in the hospital after a fight with a third man who opened fire on them. It happened in front of witnesses just before 11:00 p.m. Friday night at Hidden Lake Campground in Monroe County. The sheriff's office says
I suspected this was not a happy woman at the best of times, but obviously having her cashing-out ritual disturbed by tourists made things worse. The young man, who by this time was visibly distraught, stood staring at the bulletin board. Before the snarling pitbull emerged from her cage, we mentioned there was a bank machine in the nearby townsite and gave him directions. I didn’t think to check his plates to see where he was from, but I sure hoped he wasn’t from out-ofprovince. What a lovely “Welcome to Alberta” that would have been. Surely, if the woman couldn’t have taken his magical piece of plastic to pay for his stay, couldn’t she have recommended the bank machine and the self-check-in?
Josh Anderson shot and killed Vince Cole and wounded Danny Adams. Investigators believe Anderson was the only one who had a gun. He's being held for questioning. At the time of publishingNo charges have been filed.
There are many arguments in favor of both the laptop and the desktop PC. Let's start with the laptop. Even if you don't see yourself taking a PC with you when you leave the house, and even if you don't feel the desperate need to check your email and surf the Web wherever you are, a laptop might still be a great option. Less space for cords and CPUs means more space for even better things like golf clubs or shoes. there are areas where a desktop PC trumps a laptop. Here's one. If you're looking for a PC that can scream through multimedia downloads (think music, movies, and that massive vacation video that Aunt Lucy sent before realizing it was 30 MB) a desktop PC can really provide major bang for the buck. Performance rich and economical to boot. When you're looking for mega performance features in a reasonably priced package, the desktop PC could be the right solution for you. With
a larger tower or "box," the manufacturer has a lot more space to work with and can pack in a great deal more, truly awesome, technologies. For instance, any great new processor that comes out favors the desktop PC first. The laptop is a great option if you: Live in a small space that simply cannot house you and a desktop PC at the same time. Have an aversion to wires. Want to take your PC anywhere including in and around your house or on adventures beyond four walls without having to bring a hand truck. You love your PC so much that you cannot bear to part with it. The desktop PC is a great option if you: Want to pay a little less and get a little more Don't plan to take it anywhere, or if you do (you gamers especially), you don't mind the hassle of packing it up every time Like the idea of upgrading the heck out of it Are a super demanding computer user and multimedia junkie. Want to get updates on processors etc first.
Jellystone News: It’s the month in which we celebrate our country’s hardearned (and hard-defended) independence, and we’re so excited to honor a member of the United States Marines as July’s Camping Memories contest winner! Sergeant Robert Spade was kind enough to share his family’s longtime love of Jellystone Park CampResorts. Thanks to Sgt. Spade for being part of our family - and especially for his service to the our nation!
By Lucas Hartford Hopefully everything goes smoothly at your business for the season but if something should happen here is what you need to know if someone gets injured: Do not pay or make any financial obligations Do not make statements to anyone which assume responsibility Provide needed medical assistance Gather information Preserve all evidence and if needed photograph the scene Eliminate any immediate hazard, without destroying the evidence Notify police if a law may have been broken Complete an incident report form to memorialize the information while it is fresh in your mind Make a report of the incident to your insurance company Keep all of the information you obtain confidential One difficult area with any incident is the balance between compassion to the injured person and accepting responsibility. It is absolutely okay, and recommended, that you do show compassion toward anyone hurt at your business whether you believe you are at fault or
not. We are all human and to see another person injured should invoke feelings of compassion and sympathy – and as the business owner or manager you should convey these feelings to the person who is injured at your premises to let them know you do in fact care. It is okay to care about them and that is very different from assuming responsibility or making financial obligations to them. Showing compassion does not make you any more liable for the incident but assuming responsibility or making financial obligations may make you much more liable – and for some people can jeopardize your insurance coverage. As some examples here are things you would not want to say to someone injured at your campground or RV Park: “We should have trimmed that tree earlier in the year.” “We’ll pay to replace the stuff that was broken.” “Our insurance company will pay for your injuries.” “I should never have let this happen.” Some things that are okay to say might include: “I am very sorry you were hurt. What can we do to make you more comfortable?” “I’m sorry Uncle Dave was injured. I know your camper is hooked up right now; can I drive the rest of your family to the hospital
to see him?” “I’m sorry your camper was ruined by that tree limb falling. Can my staff assist you by getting a tarp over the roof to temporarily keep the rain out?” If someone seeks medical treatment and later in the day comes back to their site, it’s perfectly fine to go see them to check up on them. If the person wants to know how they will be remunerated than give them the name of your insurance company and the phone number for your insurance company. Tell the camper that you will be reporting it to the insurance company who will be contacting them soon, but if they want you can give them the number of the company as well. Caring is good – admitting fault is not good until a complete investigation is able to be done. If you have an employee that is injured you should make sure to contact your Worker’s Compensation insurance company. For injured employees depending upon the state
your business is in you may also be required to notify the state’s Department of Labor within a certain period of time of the injury. And that period of time can often be as short as 24 hours. We suggest Evergreen clients make sure they have watched the video “How to Report a Claim” that is available exclusively to Evergreen clients. In addition you should have a few incident report forms available which are available from Evergreen. If you need either of these items just call Evergreen and ask for them. Evergreen also has online claims reporting available if you want to do it online. In addition if you have a serious injury or loss and need to speak to someone outside of normal business hours (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm EST) you can call the same number, 1-800-343-7900, and you will be directed to our 24x7 claims service person who can help you out anytime day or night.
In a report on www.coloradoan.com Campgrounds and picnic areas in Poudre Canyon and elsewhere in Roosevelt National Forest could be getting a face-lift soon thanks to federal stimulus funding. The Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests have received $4.1 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for facilities upgrades - money sorely needed to make repairs, Forest Service spokesman John Bustos said. "We'll be getting some repairs done to picnic tables, fire grates, those kinds of things that we've been needing to do for a long time," he said. Forest Service officials will decide within two weeks which campgrounds will be upgraded, he said. The forests' maintenance backlog has been stacking up for a long time, he said, and the funding will make a dent in the number of
projects that need to be done. Without the funding, only maintenance problems that pose a safety hazard are fixed immediately. "In the case of something breaking down a little bit and something needing to be replaced, as long as it's not a safety item, then we prioritize those things from year to year, and it's hard to say when that might be addressed," he said. Of the money the forests received, $1.1 million will be spent on campground upgrades throughout the two forests and Pawnee National Grasslands. About $2 million is earmarked for facilities improvements at Brainard Lake Recreation Area near Boulder and another $1 million will be spent on Rainbow Lakes Trailhead reconstruction near Boulder.
Bridge in Roosevelt National Forest
Girl zapped by bear deterrent is listed as stable WALPACK TOWNSHIPNJ Reported in Pike County Press, the young girl has survived a heavy jolt of electricity in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA) after coming into contact with a makeshift bear deterrent. According to the National Park Service (NPS), at 3:11 P.M. on Friday, July 24, Park Rangers from Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Worthington State Forest responded to a report of a seven year old girl who was not breathing at the Delaware View House, a general store located in Walpack Township on the New Jersey side of the park.
The girl was flown to Morristown Memorial Hospital where she was listed in satisfactory condition as of 6 pm Friday evening. Further on-scene investigation revealed that the girl had apparently been electrocuted by a makeshift contraption designed to ward off black bears. Park leaseholder George Kately of Sparta, NJ, who operates the historic Delaware View House was arrested for allegedly maintaining a hazardous device on federal land and disorderly conduct. Kately cooperated fully with the investigation was released by a federal judge later that evening. Park Superintendent John J. Donahue expressed his deepest concern for the victimâ€™s recovery.
By Art Lieberman We have written nearly a dozen articles for Campground and RV Park e-News over the past year, dealing with Processing Card Industry (PCI) compliance regulations. Indeed, it is a year. This is our 52nd article. When we’ve written about that particular subject we have received lots of correspondence from campground owners who are concerned about the security regulations. Indeed they should be. A violation of those regulations can sink a business – any business.
In our articles and even some press releases we have informed readers about the history of the formation of the PCI and the Data Security Standards (DSS) established by Visa, MasterCard and Discover in order to prevent security breaches and identity theft. We have told about the theft of data from TJX, the parent company of T.J. Max, Marshall’s Department and several other retail chains. We’ve also followed the story of the more recent breach of the computers at Heartland Payment Systems and RBS
Worldpay, which have further alerted the PCI of the dangers of theft of information. We’ve gone into, in some depth, information about the transmission of information via telephone lines or the internet and the security of “hard” data through print-outs and receipts. We’ve discussed POS equipment such as credit card terminals, debit card pin-pads and even swipers attached to computers. We’ve also discussed computer programs and their vulnerability. A few weeks ago we wrote about “Triple DES” encryption of pin-debit devices and about replacing older terminals. In fact, we’ve written so much about PCI Compliance and the newest regulations that WE ALMOST UNDERSTAND IT. OK, maybe just a little. This week we’ll be attending a webinar to try to learn even more. Later this month, on August 18th and 26th, MCCS for Campgrounds will be conducting a NEW FREE webinar on the subject. The webinar will be cosponsored by Merchants’ Choice Card Services, Campground & RV Park eNews and us. Both webinars will cover all that you need to know to keep
your campground free from a security breach. We highly recommend that you take an hour out of your busy summer season and attend the webinar. All you need do to register is to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you an invitation where you can select which date is convenient for you. Both webinars will be at 2:00 PM EDT and they will be interactive. You’ll be able to view the presentation on your computer and listen to it on a toll-free call. Your investment is your time only. Finally, look to the E-News next week for an exciting announcement about our company. There will be a press release and my column will contain information that might be a benefit to our present customers and to others who might be interested in becoming customers. (Art Lieberman is President of MCCS for Campgrounds, a credit card processor sponsored by Woodforest Bank NA. Art has been in the Credit Card industry for nearly 12 years. Art has been conducting webinars online and seminars on credit cards in many State and Regional Association Conventions. He can be contacted at email@example.com
GRANGER â€” Those worried about the future of the recreational vehicle business can pause for a moment this week to celebrate the industry's beginnings. The second annual Vintage Trailer Rally, which will be Friday to Sunday at the South Bend East KOA at 50707 Princess Way, Granger in Indiana will display dozens of vintage trailers. About 35 campers dating back from the early 1950s to the '80s will be on site. Some of the RVs will include Shastas from the 1950s and '60s, Avions,
Terras and Winnebagos. "It's a positive event for the RV business," said Patricia Schenk, one of the organizers. "It shows that people are still camping, and that there was good stuff made here in Elkhart. These things last for one reason: They were built right." Owners of the vintage campers will be available for tours throughout the week. Many of the trailers from yesteryear are smaller than the ones on the road today. "Back then a family of four could comfortably fit in a 20-
footer," Schenk said. "Now two people need a 40footer to be comfortable." At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Al Hesselbart, RV historian and member of the RV Hall of Fame, will give a DVD presentation on the history of the business. On
Saturday, there will be a swap meet and a local band will play in the evening. The event is free and open to the public. The campground's hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Article: South Bend Tribune
As Congress held hearings on the Cap and Trade bill in early July one of the people who testified was Boone Pickens. In that hearing and again later by way of interviews he let it be known that the giant wind farm he had planned for Texas was on hold. Because of the high costs and difficulty of raising several billion dollars in the current economic conditions he has decided to do smaller projects in several other states at a later date. In particular, he noted two expensive and difficult problems that would need solving: building transmission lines and storing the energy created. These are both very expensive. There are also technical challenges associated with storing any energy not immediately used. He also noted that with gasoline under $3.00 per gallon there is less consumer support for alternative fuels.
By doing smaller wind farms as close as possible to the sites using what is generated the cost of transmission lines would be reduced. Storage of any excess electricity is still a problem but there would be less to be stored. It may be the case that the most economical approach to windgenerated electricity will be with individual homes and businesses or with small clusters of customers who could have the propellers and towers on site and who could switch back to the grid for power when the wind was not blowing. Or it may prove economical to pair wind generation with solar panels at the local level. What seems clear, however, is that any hope of producing large scale electricity with wind instead of with fossil fuels is still not economical and will only happen far into the future. Wind power will be a part of the solution to eventually replacing fossil fuel, but only a part. Pickens went on to push again for much more exploration and use of natural gas. The example he gave was this: suppose gasoline were selling for $2.50 per gallon.
Giant wind farm planned for Texas now on hold Suppose a vehicle got 25 miles per gallons. That would compute to 200 miles of travel for $20. Natural gas would provide that same vehicle sufficient fuel to travel the same distance. The cost would be $4.00! In other words, natural gas would cost only one fourth what gasoline costs at today’s prices. Further, use of gasoline would produce only half as much carbon as gasoline. Pickens continues to advocate the development and use of all available U.S. worldwide fuels, fossil and non fossil, in order to keep the price of energy down and to break our dependence on foreign oil. Currently the United States imports more than 70% of its oil. But he emphasizes that natural gas is the best bet right now. Contrast Pickens’ advocacy with the Cap and Trade legislation which
would make carbon emissions a taxable commodity and thereby the use of fossil fuels permanently expensive either directly or indirectly. The debate is clearly joined: more and cheap fossil fuel in the short run or less and more expensive fossil fuel in the short run? The “short run” is not exactly known. It could take 25 years to develop adequate alternative fuels or, of course, there could be a miraculous breakthrough any time. Bottom line in this author’s view: we would be foolish as a nation and a world to ignore or reject the approach being advocated by Boone Pickens. All of us are also well advised to do two things: conserve our use of energy and fuel and also get involved in the policy debates underway politically.
Last weekend, reported on wway news channel 3, Louise and Ed Nobles were married. But it was not just any old wedding. "I want something different,” said Louise. “If we are going to have a wedding, I want to be coming down the river in a boat." Louise kayaked down the Lumber River, instead of walking down an aisle. At 80 and 74 years old, Ed and Louise Nobles finally got it right. They wanted to have a unique, Native American wedding. They met at the Lumber River Campground nearly a year ago, but the story of how they met is a little different, depending on whom you ask. "We took a little cruise on a golf cart one night, she nudged up against me, I nudged back, next thing you know we had our
arms around each other, and we took it from there," recalls Ed. Louise said, "You know, I would like to find a nice fishing buddy who will not take advantage of me, and who I can go out with sometime. He said, ‘you don't have to go any further, he is right here’." Surrounded by family and friends, the Nobles began the rest of their life together, right where it started. Walter Ward, the groom’s nephew said, "They're mighty lucky, they made an excellent pair." The couple went through two wedding ceremonies; one, where they exchanged vows and rings, and another, traditional Native American ceremony where they were adorned with symbolic garments. One tradition is to wrap the bride and groom in rope,
and tie seven knots, each symbolizing the seven wonders of life. This is where the term tie the knot originally came from. Both ceremonies will forever remain in Louise
and Ed's hearts, as they look forward and smile, envisioning their lives together. "One day we'll be sitting in our rocking chairs, holding hands, and thinking about our day of marriage," Louise said.
By Gary Wakerley Back in the days of old, I was deemed a Guru when it came to the Internet and along the way I had built and maintained a portfolio of Internet sites for the Campground industry (some 180 in all). I was also a consultant to the industry and did lots of educational stuff at conferences. This activity over a period of years brought the entire industry (in Australia) into the Internet era (by the way the industry is basically the same, people the same, culture the same, you guys just talk funny that’s the only difference), so it was my job to ask a lot of questions, keep at the forefront of Internet technology and keep statistics on everything. I became a walking Internet encyclopedia! I would analyze booking stats until the sun came up just to learn the habits of the camping & RV’ing public and one thing about the way the public made their bookings became very clear. When planning a vacation or planning places to stay along the way, folk would send out multiple e-mail inquiries to parks in the same general location and the response they got from each park would determine where they booked. I would always say to clients – now that you have a great
Internet site, what are you going to do to WIN the booking? With the way the Internet has evolved there are now two main methods that the park owner can use to allow the public to book at the park via the internet. 1. On-line in real time, where you have no contact with the client and the client has no opportunity to get additional information from you. 2. Via a booking form, where you receive the booking or inquiry and can respond accordingly. Both methods are in use today and it is probably fair to say that On-line in Real Time is increasing with the later declining. This column challenges that trend. There are two perspectives in play here, from the Park Owners point of view and from the public’s point of view and each method has its own defendable and logical position. Park Owner – I don’t have time to answer all those inquiries; on-line in real time allows me to get on with other stuff. Client – I want to know that my booking is confirmed and I want to know NOW! Give me on-line in real time. Park Owner – I want to offer good old fashioned SERVICE and it does not stop at my Internet site. I want to know who is making the booking and I will determine if I want them in my park, I’m also not interested in giving
away a percentage to the real-time guys. Give me the booking/inquiry form. Client – I have questions and I want answers before I make my booking. I want personal service give me the booking/enquiry form. In 2009, 95% of your problems are going to be caused by 1 or 2% of your clients, I think that it is reasonable to expect that problem clients are going to increase for you if you adopt the real time option and minimized if you adopt the booking/enquiry method. There are plenty of surveys out there but none on this subject that I know of? The statement on problem clients is just my gut feeling, is it yours also? It seems to me that problem clients not only affect you and your staff but also have a devastating effect on your good clients and can have a devastating effect on your business! Camping and RV’ing in the USA is a culture and an experience that I believe should be nurtured and protected from cultural change, that doesn’t mean that we can’t be progressive and maybe I’m just conservative up to my back teeth but adopting change just for the sake of convenience or efficiency may not always produce the outcomes we expect. I clearly remember the general feeling in the industry several years ago
– that we need to offer the same convenience that the Airlines offer when it comes to the ability to book online and of course we are a long way down that road. Wouldn’t it be great if we could achieve the same reputation and the same perception of excellence that the airlines have? I think not!!!!!! Tread carefully is what I’m saying. Having spoken about the two basic internet booking methods and the dangers associated with ‘Online in Real Time’ I have drawn an analogy of what our industry might look like in the future by going down the ‘Online in Real Time’ road and I have compared that to the Airline Industry. I have recently flown from Knoxville to Anchorage and back and I couldn’t help thinking how serious this issue is because our Airline industry leaves so much to be desired and I really hope that we can avoid their fate. Here are some of the things that happened to me in the last week. 1. Oh! Sorry Sir but your flight has been cancelled! We don’t care that you will now arrive a full day late, but hey! Take this $20 food voucher as compensation for the $2000.00 this delay will cost you. Have a nice day! 2. A Delta representative will meet you at the top of the ramp and help you with your flight changes. Of course the representative
Continued from previous page was AWOL. 3. Having finally arrived in Anchorage a day and a half late, we (the team waiting for my arrival) could start work, that is we could if my luggage had have arrived at the same time that I did. 4. Airline staff thought I was joking when I suggested compensation for late baggage and the clothes I had to buy etc. as a result of the 1 full day late luggage. 5. A major delay occurred at Anchorage and after 15 minutes I just had to find out why, as it happened this guy was escorting his disabled adult brother who was wheelchair bound and needed to be lifted out of his chair and into the airline seat, but no airline staff would help the man’s brother because of liability issues and they were waiting for two paramedics. When I offered to help the man with his brother the airline said that that was fine except that the man’s brother did not have a boarding pass and therefore could not be allowed on the plane. The paramedics finally arrived and we took off 1hr 15min. late. What I’m trying to say here is that flying used to be a fun experience, but because of changes that we apparently all needed, the airline industry has turned into purgatory. Change for the sake of expedience does not
always reap the rewards we expect and I for one hope that camping and RV’ing will always remain the fun experience it is and has always been and that the changes we implement along the way don’t send us down a similar path to the airlines. For those who choose to use the regular Booking/Inquiry form over that of On Line in Real Time here is a factual story that might give you something to think about. A client of mine has a large park with a full range of site types and 10 different styles of accommodation, they are located in the hub of one of the busiest tourist areas in the world and as you would expect competition is fierce. Over a two year period their internet bookings grew from $320,000 in the first year to $1.2mil in the second. I asked the manager one day what percentage of Inquiries the park converted to Bookings and I was merely asking for this information so that I could complete a survey I was compiling for an upcoming conference, of the 50 or so parks I had surveyed so far the average was running at about 25%. The manager told me he converted about 99.9% and after I picked myself up off the floor I asked him HOW? It was at that point he made me promise to keep the information private and I have done so up until this point in time.
Recap: We have clearly established that folk make multiple inquiries to parks in the area they wish to vacation to, their decision on which park they eventually choose is based on your return e-mail and the information contained in it. Obviously, presentation has a lot to do with it. The manager told me that he does not e-mail anybody with information; he phones them directly and answers their
questions face to face (or phone to phone as it happens). He has employed a person full-time to undertake this task, the client is suitably surprised but delighted that someone took the time and the worth of the process speaks for itself. Personal contact in itself embodies the Camping and RV’ing ethos, is the culture being lost as ‘On Line in Real Time’ grows? You make the call!
Judging by the response we get from readers on featuring these "old RV's" we will continue to feature them as long as we can source the old photographs. it is interesting to see how far the industry has progressed in the last 60-70 years. This 1937 Ford House Car was produced in very limited numbers at the Ford Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota. The body is framed and paneled in wood, with sheet steel clading. Photo and information courtesy of a previous owner,
This rustic French-built CitroĂŤn 2CV woodie camper is reminiscent of Northern California hippie campers.
A Cape Cod, Massachusetts 1940's Ford wooden beach buggy with a pop-up shelter and additional storage compartments. Source: Ford Treasury of Station Wagon Living, Volume 2 a book compiled by Franklin Reck & William Moss
If any Campground owners have any old photos they would like to share please email us! firstname.lastname@example.org
A doctor on his morning walk, noticed an older lady with a crown sitting on her front step smoking a cigar, so he walked up to her and said, "I couldn't help but notice how happy you look! What is your secret?" "I smoke ten cigars a day," she said. "Before I go to bed, I smoke a nice big joint. Apart from that, I drink a whole bottle of Jack Daniels every week, and eat only junk food. On weekends, I pop pills, have sex, and don't exercise at all." "That is absolutely amazing! How old are you?" "Thirty-four," she replied.
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