Bontrager: RV Industry Needs to Look Ahead

The following GuestView column by Derald Bontrager appears in the June issue of Woodall's Campground Management. Many of us who have been in the RV industry for decades have experienced many highs and lows. We have seen the oil crisis of the ’70s, the recession of ’79, the declining market in the late ’80s and the Great Recession of 2009. The industry is currently on a six-year run of increasing shipments and early indications are we’ll enjoy a seventh consecutive year of growth. This... Read more

Lake Ridge RV Resort is Making Renovations

June 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Lake Ridge RV Resort in the southern Virginia community of Hillsville is undergoing renovations this year with the removal of two water slides that were built in the ‘70s, the upgrading of an 18-hole miniature golf course and the construction of an amphitheater and picnic area. “We currently are in the process of the transition of that area,” said Ronnie Hoglen, who manages the 200-site park with his wife, Lisa. “We hope to have that done by the end of the season.” The park also has 21... Read more

Aragona: Tailor Park's Amenities To Clientele

The following GuestView column by Mark Aragona of Wizard Works Product Development Co. appears in the June issue of Woodall's Campground Management. Sometimes, as business owners, we don’t see the forest for the trees. We spend so much time focusing on what we think to be the problems with our business that we miss obvious deficiencies that are important to our clients. I recently made a visit to a customer’s water park to help him identify some areas he could improve upon. We do this often... Read more

Reservation Systems Key to Drawing Campers

There are many changes happening in the RV park and campground market across North America, and one of the key ones is how campers want to connect with campgrounds and make reservations. While many campgrounds continue to accept reservations only over the telephone — and many still use pen and paper to file those reservations — future campers are much more likely to want to use their smartphones to book an online reservation and save the conversation for when they arrive. At least, that’s what... Read more

Pelland: Stay Focused on Customer Retention

The following Smart Operations column by Peter Pelland appears in the June issue of Woodall's Campground Management. Peter Pelland With all the emphasis that we tend to place upon the acquisition of new customers, we sometimes lose sight of the fact that customer retention is ultimately the true measure of success, and customer retention is predominantly built upon customer service. We all know that there are certain industries that are notoriously known for their failing standards in customer... Read more

Lake Osprey Resort Offers Picturesque Vistas

Two years ago Scott Roberts knew little of the Alabama Gulf Coast when a banking partner asked for his opinion of Lake Osprey RV Resort in Elberta, Ala. Roberts, CEO of Roberts Resorts, flew in with his sister Nicole and was impressed enough to buy it. Lake Osprey RV Resort sits about 20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and the wide-open beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Ala. It is a very competitive market with more than 20 privately owned campgrounds and the huge Gulf State Park with nearly... Read more

Curry Runs Tents For Troops Charity, Resort

Charlie Curry, the general manager of Toutle River RV Resort in Castle Rock, Wash., has turned his job into a passion for serving the men and women who work in America’s armed forces. If his name rings a bell for most people in the campground sector and the RV industry at large, it’s because of his founding of Tents for Troops is a nationwide program currently active in 47 states in which campgrounds and RV parks give away two free nights of camping to active-duty military members and their families.... Read more

Schmarder: Don't Mix Camping With Politics

June 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The following Modern Marketing column by Evanne Schmarder appears in June's Woodall's Campground Management. I’d like to interrupt this typically technological column with a bit of timely political straight talk. No, I’m not going to reveal my political leanings any more than I’m going to tell you my dress size, but I do have something to say that I think resonates with the camping public and could affect your bottom line. The U.S. population is vast and diverse with varying beliefs... Read more

Here's How To Help Guests Enjoy Campfires

Photo courtesy of KOA Meals taste better when cooked over a campfire. It’s equally true that the best conversations occur around a campfire. Except for perhaps a tent or RV, there is nothing more important to camping as the campfire. Perhaps Bud Styer, owner of Smokey Hollow Campground in Lodi, Wis., and a longtime industry consultant as the proprietor of Bud Styer & Associates LLC, said it best when he succinctly understated: “A campfire really is important.” “I’ve seen campfires with... Read more

Carter: Do You Know Who To Ask For Help?

The following GuestView column by Deb Carter appears in the May issue of Woodall's Campground Management. Writing is my favorite way to express myself. I write a column for the Northeast Campground Association, the Maryland Tourism Education Foundation and of course my campground, Buttonwood Beach RV Resort in Earleville, Md. But am I an expert on writing? Nope. Justin Leighty (WCM editor) has been after me for a year to write a column. I was honored, still am. But as I considered what I’m... Read more

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