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Maryland’s Cabin Rentals Site A Success

August 21, 2015 by · Comments Off on Maryland’s Cabin Rentals Site A Success 

The decision whether or not to maintain standalone “Cabins & Cottages” content seems to be a question that is often on the minds of executive directors of state campground associations, Pelland Advertising said in a written announcement. Will members embrace (or balk at) the opportunity to participate, what are the costs, and will the venture prove profitable for participants? These are all important questions.

Pelland Advertising has been the website development and hosting services provider for the Maryland Association of Campgrounds since 2009. According to MAC Executive Director Deborah Carter, “The Maryland Association of Campgrounds is a small organization, with an equally small budget. We volunteer our time, and we work together as a team to promote our industry.” With only about two dozen members, there was nonetheless an interest in exploring this new direction in late 2014. Eight of the members ultimately participated in the program in its first year, and a bit of brainstorming and technical creativity were required to find ways to minimize costs.

The MAC website was built with a custom-programmed, searchable member database. Listings of campground members in any of the state’s six tourism regions were already generated through navigational shortcuts, and only a minor database revision was necessary to trigger a list of members with cabins or park models who chose to participate in the new program.

The search shortcut added to the site’s navigation was mdcamping.com/search.html?Rentals=yes. To increase awareness of the new program, Pelland Advertising also designed a four-color rack card that included the new MDCampingRentals.com address that redirects to the search shortcut. The result was both simple and inexpensive to implement.

Carter continued, “Peter and Josh Pelland worked with us to put the card together, came up with the layout, and made all of the technical aspects work.”

The lingering question was whether, despite the minimal costs, the new project would prove to be effective. According to Peter Pelland, CEO of Pelland Advertising, “Thanks to the use of click tracking in Google Analytics, we were able to uncover some impressive results. Since the new content was introduced on Dec. 12, 2014, there have been 8,238 page views from 5,588 unique users, spending an average of 3:17 of time on the ‘Cabins & Cottages’ data output page. Within that time period, this page has accounted for 5.68% of the MAC website’s overall traffic. In fact, the rentals page is the site’s fourth most popular content.”

He continued, “What is even more interesting is that the eight parks that participated in the Cabins & Cottages program all ranked among the top 10 recipients of outbound click traffic, which is a very healthy measurement of performance. This could be coincidental, but it is a likely conclusion that participation in the program helped to enhance these statistics.

“Each of these participants received anywhere from 1,046 to 1,930 clicks. If only 10% of that highly pre-qualified traffic is converted to reservations, and if a typical two-night stay generates an arbitrary $100.00 in income,” Pelland continued, “participants in the program realized roughly $10,000 to $20,000 in income from the MAC website alone. It is fair to say that the parks’ membership fees and the small added fee to participate in the Cabins & Cottages program were easily recovered many times over.”

According to Carter, “One of the best business decisions we’ve ever made was to work with Pelland Advertising. Peter created our very first website, and the company maintains updates and re-energizes the latest incarnation of our website to this day. His company also produces our ARVC-award-winning print directory. Having Peter Pelland on speed dial is just like having an easy button.”

Pelland Clients Get CONY Marketing Awards

November 21, 2014 by · Comments Off on Pelland Clients Get CONY Marketing Awards 

Two Pelland Advertising clients took top marketing awards at the 51st Annual Campground Owners of New York (CONY) Exposition for the Outdoor Hospitality Industry, held at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, N.Y. According to an announcement from Pelland Advertising, at the annual banquet on Saturday evening, Nov. 8, Brook n Wood Campground was honored with the Best Website marketing award, and Copake Kampgrounds of America (KOA) was honored with the Best Brochure marketing award. Both campgrounds are located in New York’s Hudson River Valley, and the owners consider themselves not only friendly competitors but very good friends.

Peter Pelland, Pelland Advertising CEO; Joe & Vanessa Leto, Brook n Wood Campground Owners; Mike Papp, CONY Chairman; Don Bennett, CONY President/CEO pose at the CONY awards ceremony.

Peter Pelland, Pelland Advertising CEO; Gary and Cathy Reinard, Copake KOA Owners; Mike Papp, CONY Chairman; Don Bennett, CONY President/CEO pose at the CONY awards ceremony.

Copake KOA owners Gary & Cathy Reinard are veterans of the campground industry and have just completed their fifth season at their park. According to Cathy, “We purchased a diamond in the rough, and spent the next five years shaping and polishing every facet of the park. In 2014, we were sufficiently satisfied with the results of our labor to hire a professional photographer and to produce a full-color brochure that will showcase our park at the upcoming camping shows.”

A companion rack card was produced for distribution throughout the KOA network of parks. She continued, “We are anxious to see the impact our new marketing materials will have upon business. In the meantime, the affirmation that we have received at the CONY convention has been really encouraging and satisfying.”

Peter Pelland, Pelland Advertising CEO; Joe & Vanessa Leto, Brook n Wood Campground Owners; Mike Papp, CONY Chairman; Don Bennett, CONY President/CEO, pause for a picture at the CONY awards ceremony.

Peter Pelland, Pelland Advertising CEO; Joe & Vanessa Leto, Brook n Wood Campground Owners; Mike Papp, CONY Chairman; Don Bennett, CONY President/CEO, pause for a picture at the CONY awards ceremony.

Brook n Wood Campground owners Joe and Vanessa Leto purchased their park in 2004 and soon had the opportunity to meet and welcome their new peers from a few miles down the road, since Joe was serving as a CONY regional director at that time. According to Vanessa, “We bought our park as the culmination of a dream where we could work together and build something for the future to hand down.”

With respect to the Reinards, she continued, “We are all actively involved in our communities. We have children in the same age bracket, turning into young adults with their own dreams and struggles. We share similar philosophies, and feel that the entire industry is elevated as we improve our parks.”

The parks have a practice of providing mutual referrals, though each park is unique and targets slightly different niche markets. As Vanessa Leto said, “We like each other and wish each other all the best in life.” Carrying that level of mutual commitment one step further, Gary Reinard is currently CONY’s region 12 director and Joe Leto is the alternate director. It is no surprise that they were each honored for their professional accomplishments.

According to Pelland Advertising CEO Peter Pelland, who was called up to join the winners during their award presentations, “We are pleased to be of service to the owners of these two fine parks and really appreciate the fact that Pelland Advertising is a key component that they share in common,” recalling how last year’s Best Website marketing award winner was Copake KOA – this year’s Best Brochure award winner. He continued, “We are thrilled to see Brook n Wood Campground and Copake KOA so deservedly recognized.”

Pelland: Beaver Dam Campground’s New Look

September 9, 2013 by · Comments Off on Pelland: Beaver Dam Campground’s New Look 

With an extensive list of new work in production, Pelland Advertising announced the completion of the first two legs of a new marketing campaign for Beaver Dam Campground, in Berwick, Maine.

A website built by Pelland Advertising back in 2004 has been replaced by a new responsive website that complements the look of the park’s new advertising designed by Pelland for the 2014 MECOA (Maine Campground Owners Association) directory, according to a news release.

According to Michelle Burgess and Sheila Buck, co-owners of Beaver Dam Campground, “After we bought a campground with an obviously ‘broken’ website, we met Peter Pelland at a trade show and knew that Pelland Advertising was the one for our website and advertising needs. Peter is professional, knowledgeable, a perfectionist, has a great sense of humor, and is a pleasure to work with. His company created a new website for us which literally paid for itself within two weeks.”

This year, when new specifications forced the production of a new ad for the MECOA directory, “the new ad that Pelland Advertising produced far exceeded our expectations. We knew that the ad would effectively draw people to our website which, in turn, made us take a closer look at our existing site. We are thrilled with our new responsive website, and the reaction that we have received has been tremendous.”

According to Pelland Advertising’s Charles Davis, the designer on the Beaver Dam projects, “One of our tasks with the new website was to create a fully responsive, smart-device friendly table system with rows and columns that dynamically respond in width and height. On the Rates & Reservations page, for example, the table of information adjusts to the device view, producing a toggle with a plus/minus button. The result is that HTML tables look awesome on smaller devices, regardless of the number of columns of data.”

Additional legs of this new marketing campaign for Beaver Dam Campground will be gradually introduced over the coming months. Michelle Burgess and Sheila Buck continue, “As small business owners, resources are limited, so our brochures will be updated when we are running low. When it is time to produce those, along with our new business cards and site maps, we will once again turn to Pelland Advertising.”

For more information on Pelland Advertising contact Peter Pelland at plpelland@pelland.com or call
(413) 268-0100 / Fax: (413) 268-0173 / Toll-Free: 1 800 848-0501.

Hidden Valley Rebounding from May 25 Flood

July 8, 2013 by · Comments Off on Hidden Valley Rebounding from May 25 Flood 

Hidden Valley RV Park in Van Ormy, Texas, has been owned by the Coleman family and operated by family members Teri and Mark Blaschke for 40 years.

But the family business was almost completely destroyed May 25 when a flood swelled the Medio Creek into a raging river that buried the 25-site park under 12 feet of water, according to a news release.

“The flood waters completely uprooted the electrical utilities, including the poles that were set in the ground four feet deep,” Teri Blaschke said. “It filled the sewer lines and septic tanks with silt from the creek and gravel from the roads. Our water faucets were all cut off at the ground. Even our camping pads with gravel and other types of materials were destroyed.”

To make matters worse, the Blaschkes’ insurance was of no benefit.

“When you have a body of water on your property, getting flood insurance is close to impossible to obtain,” Blaschke said.

“I thought we might at least have insurance coverage on the RVs we rent out, but our insurance company wouldn’t even cover that because of the flood,” she said.

But despite the obvious financial hardship, the Blaschkes are rebuilding and hope to have Hidden Valley RV Park back in operation by the time the Winter Texans return to Hill Country in the fall.

“That’s what we’re shooting for,” Blaschke said, adding that construction will be underway as soon as they obtain the necessary building permits.

Despite the obvious hardship, Blaschke said the flood may have been a blessing in disguise for the park, which was founded by her father, Jack Coleman, in 1973.

The Medio Creek when not in flood stage.

“When he built the park, RVs were a lot smaller. Now, they are much larger and we need bigger campsites.”

And when the park reopens, it will have larger sites that are big enough for today’s RVs, an improvement that will make the park more competitive and better able to accommodate RVers with vehicles of any size.

Help is also on the way from the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO), which is donating the company’s Silver marketing package to help them step up their marketing efforts as they rebuild.

The package, valued at nearly $3,500, includes 3,000 rack cards; 3,000 cooperative promotional placements in RV shows and other venues; a free link to their website at www.hiddenvalleyrv.net from www.TexasCampground.com; a free month on blogging on their behalf; plus 1,000 custom coupons and 1,000 car tags. Peter Pelland of Haydenville, Mass.-based Pelland Advertising (http://pelland.com  has also offered to print the rack cards, which will be designed by Crowley-based Texas Advertising.

 

Schmarder/Pelland Work Now an e-Book

April 23, 2013 by · Comments Off on Schmarder/Pelland Work Now an e-Book 

Unconventional Wisdom Works: 25 Marketing Strategies to Build Your Outdoor Recreation Business Today has just been released in e-book format, available for instant download at Amazon, according to a news release.
The electronic version can be read on a variety of mobile devices, including the complete family of Kindles and the iPad, making the marketing strategies it conveys available to readers anywhere and any time they have their tablets or smartphones with them. The e-book can also be read on desktops and laptops via an easy e-book reader download.
“We are delighted to publish Unconventional Wisdom Works in digital format. This version allows members of the outdoor recreation industry an at-hand marketing reference or convenient read when they are on the go,” remarked Evanne Schmarder, who co-authored the book with Peter Pelland. “Additionally, we’ve activated Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ feature so prospective readers can peek inside the book for a glimpse of the wisdom — from websites to Google+ — that Peter and I have shared,” she continued.
“If you prefer to hold a book in hand, with natural light reflecting off the page, don’t forget that the printed version remains available,” added Pelland. “You can employ unconventional marketing strategies but still enjoy reading a real book. Afterward, it will look great on your bookshelf and serve as a valuable reference.”
Unconventional Wisdom Works: 25 Marketing Strategies to Build Your Outdoor Recreation Business Today, $9.99 e-book/$24.95 paperback, can be purchased by clicking here.

Maryland Association Mulls Google ###s

March 18, 2013 by · Comments Off on Maryland Association Mulls Google ###s 

Deb Carter, MAC executive director

Peter Pelland

Editor’s Note: The following report on the Maryland Association of Campgrounds (MAC) spring conference comes from Deb Carter, executive director.

Our spring MAC meeting was held on March 4 at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Dover, Del., on the day prior to the Mid-Atlantic Conference to help boost attendance at the conference. The meeting was well attended (13 campgrounds were represented) and everyone is anticipating a good season ahead.

I took an informal survey of the members present – the average number of years they had been in the campground business was 44 per campground. That’s pretty amazing to think that we are small businesses, with all of the economic challenges we face. One of our associate members, Silvertop, has been in business for 66 years. And the newest MAC member, Bryleigh Irons from Ole Mink Farm, just turned seven weeks old.

The MAC Facebook has been online since September 2012. We are working on ways to increase viewership on the page. Several of our members have staff dedicated to increasing social media penetration and participation.

Peter Pelland, Pelland Advertising, prepared an extensive four-page report on our Google Analytics from our website, mdcamping.com. Some of the highlights:

  • Total of 68,322 unique people (out of 84,151 visits) spent an average of 4.18 minutes on the site between  March 1, 2012 and Feb. 28, 2013.
  • Average visitors viewed 3.35 pages of content; approximately 80% were new visitors.
  • 98.14% of the traffic came from within the United States, followed by 1.06% from Canada.
  • Demographically the states leading the traffic in order were Maryland, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Virginia, New York and New Jersey.
  • Increased viewership: Michigan (92.61% increase); Illinois (up 58.82%); Wisconsin (up by 61.68%) and Iowa (increase of 141.67%).
  • Numbers suggested MAC could benefit through greater promotion in the Midwest.
  • Drops in traffic from California, Texas, Maine and Oregon.
  • Total of 560 direct clicks from listings to email inquiries.
  • 61,094 clicks from the website listings to external websites over the past year. These numbers alone justify membership fees.

MAC Praises ARVC

Our members are very happy with the work being done at ARVC, and praised ARVC President Paul Bambei, Board Chairman Rob Schutter, Past Chairman David Berg, the ARVC Board and the support staff that works very hard to fulfill their mission of promoting the success and growth of RV parks, campgrounds and the Outdoor Hospitality industry. We discussed the number of ARVC benefits, both old and new.

Huge thanks to Jeff Sims, ARVC director of state relations and program advocacy, and all that he does for state associations across the country. The use of State Net is a very valuable tool for a small association like MAC.

In February a conference call was held with our Executive Director, Deb Carter, Bambei, Sims and other ARVC staff members. This is part of a new affiliated state association contact effort initiated by ARVC. We discussed marketing and membership – trying to find ways to work more closely together. The call was very insightful.

Maryland Legislation

A discussion of the bills before the Maryland General Assembly, now in Session until April 8 included:

  • Proposed increases in taxes/fees to aid with transportation funding.
  • Study to move the school start date back until after Labor Day.
  • Third Crossing of the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Offshore Wind Energy.
  • Swimming Pools: Automated External Defibrillator.
  • Admissions and Amusement Tax.
  • Gun Restrictions.
  • Death Penalty.
  • Tables games in casinos.

Other Concerns

We are looking forward to the CAMP meeting and National Issues Conference in May.

We continue to work closely with the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, the Maryland Tourism Council and the Destination Marketing Organization of Maryland. In Maryland, at least 43% of our residents participate in outdoor recreation each year. That generates $9.5 billion in consumer spending, generating $2.8 billion in wages and salaries and $686 million in state and local tax revenue.

 

Schmarder, Pelland Release Marketing Book

September 28, 2012 by · Comments Off on Schmarder, Pelland Release Marketing Book 

Evanne Schmarder of Roadabode Productions and Peter Pelland of Pelland Advertising announced the release of their book, “Unconventional Wisdom Works – 25 Marketing Strategies to Build Your Outdoor Recreation Business Today.”

According to a press release, readers will find over 200 pages of proven marketing techniques ranging from identifying target markets to Google Analytics to today’s most popular social media platforms. With chapters outlining cutting-edge tech tools, the book is written in layman’s terms and provides readers with not only conceptual background on each topic but easy to implement steps to bring the techniques to bear.

The book is divided into five sections: First Things First, Planning for Success; Your Website is Your 24/7 Sales Force; The Social Media Revolution; More Unconventional Ways; and New World Toolbox. In his foreword, “The Father of Guerilla Marketing” and bestselling author of the “Guerrilla Marketing” series of books, Jay Conrad Levinson noted that Unconventional Wisdom Works “…won’t bore you and it certainly won’t waste your time. Like me, you’ll be grateful that they’ve put into words the wisdom you require to achieve your business’ marketing goals.”

While Schmarder, a columnist for Woodalls Campground Management, and Pelland are best known throughout the hospitality sector of the outdoor recreation industry, this book is written with an eye toward all outdoor recreation business owners and operators.

“Unconventional Wisdom Works – 25 Marketing Strategies to Build Your Outdoor Recreation Business Today” retails for $24.95 and can be purchased by visiting www.UnconventionalWisdomWorks.com .

Schmarder/Pelland Book to be Released Sept. 27

September 19, 2012 by · Comments Off on Schmarder/Pelland Book to be Released Sept. 27 

Breaking down conventional barriers, the first definitive marketing book written specifically for the outdoor recreation industry – “Unconventional Wisdom Works – 25 Marketing Strategies to Build Your Outdoor Recreation Business Today” – is scheduled to be released on Sept. 27. The book is authored by Evanne Schmarder and Peter Pelland.

According to a press release, industry leaders including David Gorin, president of David Gorin Associates and Best Parks in America; Phil Ingrassia, president of the National RV Dealers Association (RVDA); and Jim Rogers, Chairman/CEO of Kampgrounds of America (KOA) have given good reviews to “Unconventional Wisdom Works” prior to its publishing.

Gorin: “Schmarder and Pelland have hit the nail precisely on the head with this book. They’ve written a must-read for both experienced business owners and novices. I highly recommend this book for everyone with responsibility for the marketing of a recreation business.” 

Ingrassia: “The book identifies easy-to-follow strategies that can help drive business development for outdoor recreation retailers and service providers.”

Rogers: “Schmarder and Pelland have done a great service for recreation managers and leaders by combining in one book management concepts, online marketing insights, recommendations, hot tips and practical applications that are in sync with today’s requirements for successful outdoor business management.” 

“We are greatly looking forward to the release of ‘Unconventional Wisdom Works’ and are humbled by the kind and generous endorsements from such successful industry titans as David, Phil and Jim,” said Schmarder. “Peter and I are confident business owners and operators will gain new knowledge and insight as well take a fresh look at their current marketing strategies, building and growing their businesses as a result of reading this book.”

“Over the years, small business owners – particularly those in the outdoor recreation segment – have suspected that there were better ways to grow their businesses and to ensure their success. What Evanne and I have done is to create a comprehensive compilation of practical advice that combines age-old marketing principles with the most cutting-edge digital age techniques,” added Pelland. “Nobody reading this book will be left hungering for more information, with that all-too-common feeling that they have been served mere literary appetizers while the authors have withheld both the entrées and the desserts. Evanne and I have the culinary skills to prepare and serve our readers what we believe they will agree is a full-course reader’s delight.”

Pre-orders will become available prior to the public launch. With the public release date one week away, there’s still time for interested parties to add their name to the pre-order list. To add your name to the pre-order list please visit www.UnconventionalWisdomWorks.com and “join our list”.

Marketing Guru Pens Foreword to Pelland/Schmarder Book

May 30, 2012 by · Comments Off on Marketing Guru Pens Foreword to Pelland/Schmarder Book 

Book due out soon.

The “father of guerrilla marketing” and international bestselling author Jay Conrad Levinson, whose books have sold more than 21 million copies worldwide, will provide the foreword to Evanne Schmarder and Peter Pelland’s upcoming book “Unconventional Wisdom Works: 25 Marketing Strategies to Build Your Outdoor Recreation Business Today.”

Levinson and his wife, Jeannie, are avid RVers and traveled fulltime, for a number of years, in their Gulfstream motorhome. His vast understanding of marketing techniques coupled with his experience as an outdoor recreation consumer made this partnership a perfect fit, according to a news release.

“Jay has been an inspiration to me for many years. In fact, one of the more popular seminars I teach at conferences and meetings is designed around his “…achieving conventional goals, such as profits and joy, with unconventional methods, such as investing energy instead of money” concept. When he offered to lend his name and expertise to ‘Unconventional Wisdom Works,’ Peter and I jumped at the opportunity. Truly, it’s an honor,” said co-author Evanne Schmarder.

The many pieces of the project are falling into place and Schmarder and Pelland expect to launch the book in the next few weeks. Pre-orders will become available prior to the public launch. To add your name to the pre-order list please visit www.UnconventionalWisdomWorks.com and “join our list”

‘Webtalk with WCM’ Features Pelland and Schmarder

February 24, 2012 by · Comments Off on ‘Webtalk with WCM’ Features Pelland and Schmarder 

Book is to be published this spring.

Woodall’s Campground Management debuts its “Webtalk with WCM” featuring an interview with Peter Pelland and Evanne Schmarder in today’s featured video.

Evanne Schmarder

Peter Pelland

Pelland and Schmarder have written their first book together, titled “Unconventional Wisdom Works: 25 Marketing Strategies to Build Your Outdoor Recreation Business Today.”

Click here to watch the interview on YouTube.

Click here to learn more about Pelland and here to learn more about Schmarder.

Click here to read an earlier story about their book and here to learn about their Facebook page.

Keep visiting www.woodallscm.com to learn about the next episode of “Webtalk with WCM.”

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