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RMS North America’s Front Desk System Gains Traction

June 27, 2012 by · Comments Off on RMS North America’s Front Desk System Gains Traction 

It used to take the front desk staff at Outdoor Resort Palm Springs eight to 10 minutes to process a typical reservation. But ever since Outdoor Resort installed RMS North America’s front desk management system last summer, front desk staff at the 1,213-site resort have cut their reservation processing times to an average of two minutes.

The RMS system is so effective and easy to use that Outdoor Resorts was able to reduce front desk staff from five to three employees, said Carolyn Dailey, Outdoor Resort’s director of operations and finance.

“It’s a very user friendly system for the staff as well as the setup process,” Dailey told Woodall’s Campground Management.

The challenge with some front desk management systems is the complexity of the program, which requires extensive training as well as lengthy reservation processing times, even for seasoned staff.

Few people know that challenge better than Dailey, who has installed front desk management systems in hotels, country clubs and campground settings.

Dailey’s perspectives are shared by other park managers across the country utilizing RMS. “It’s such an easily accessible system. It’s very easy to train employees to use RMS,” said Troy Bittner, general manager of Signature Resorts properties in Naples, Fla., and Bay Harbor, Mich.

Bittner said it’s possible to train employees to use the RMS system “in literally a day or even a few hours,” compared to other systems requiring a week or more of training.

The system’s ease of use also translates into much shorter reservation processing times. At Signature Resorts, he said, actual reservation processing times have been cut from five minutes to less than 2 minutes using the RMS system.

“The efficiency of our reservations staff has greatly improved with RMS. We have the ability to process more reservations,” Bittner said.

Faster processing times reflect the ease of use of the RMS system, as well as the built-in research functions. Staff members have the ability to perform multiple searches and to conduct other research without leaving the reservation screen or losing reservation data initially entered into the reservation request.

The research function is particularly helpful when callers request a specific site type, and change their request mid-call, perhaps to be near friends. The RMS system allows the front desk staff to search for RV friends and facilitate finding a space nearby. If a campsite with the caller’s requirements is available next to their friends’ campsite, it’s easy for the front desk staffer to switch the campsite while processing the same reservation request.

But while the ease of use and training are big selling points for RMS, Sarina Bentley of Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina in South Carolina said she likes the flexibility of the RMS system.

While many parks assign specific campsites at the time a reservation is made, Bentley prefers not to assign specific campsites until the guest arrives.

Bentley takes this approach partly because the campsites at her park are privately owned and she gives the owners the ability to use their campsites at their convenience. The sites are also very diverse, with a mix of oak and palm trees, which, while scenic, sometimes interfere with satellite dishes or slideouts, depending on the size of the RV.

“We let our guests pick the site they like best,” Bentley said. RMS is the only reservation system she has found that can process a campsite reservation without assigning a specific campsite.

Bentley also likes RMS’s accounting system. RMS manages both her RV sites and boat slips in the marina. The system facilitates tracking multiple financial transactions and allocates them to the guest’s account, just like at a hotel.

The RMS system also manages accounting for privately owned lot owners at resorts that rent their lots from time to time. Dailey of Outdoor Resort said the ease of use of the RMS accounting system has enabled her to expedite accounting and payments to her 200-plus campsite owners.

All of these functions that are built into the RMS system are the result of many years of feedback and recommendations from campground, hotel and marina operators around world.

“RMS is developed in Australia and is currently used by 80 percent of the outdoor hospitality industry within that country and is rapidly gaining market share in Europe. RMS, now established in the United States, is certain to become the preferred reservation system for outdoor hospitality in North America,” said Reza Paydar, president and CEO of RMS North America, based in La Jolla, Calif.

“RMS gets constant feedback from its customers worldwide,” Paydar said, adding that RMS programmers are constantly able to refine and upgrade the reservation system to best serve the needs of RMS clients, regardless of whether they are small privately owned parks or large corporations with multiple parks.

The RMS system is a cloud-based reservation system and any updates are performed automatically and at no additional cost to the RMS subscriber.

RMS capabilities include reservation chart management; the ability to combine short, medium or long-term stays on the same system to maximize occupancy; a dynamic pricing feature which automatically adjusts the rates based on occupancy; utility metering, which monitors and minimizes utility costs; and the ability to manage housekeeping and maintenance to reduce labor costs.

The best feature, Paydar said, “is the system’s affordability.” Monthly rates start as low as $150 plus a $3 charge for each online reservation made with the system. No up-front purchase or long-term contract is required. The company also offers a “Seasonal Program” for smaller seasonal parks who have more limited demand. Parks are simply invoiced at the reduced rate during their off season.

“With most of the reservation systems today, park owners have to wait three to eight weeks to get their money from online reservations,” Paydar said. “With the fully PCI-compliant RMS system, parks get their money deposited immediately into their bank account.

For more information, visit www.rmsnorthamerica.com/woodalls2012 or call (888) 802-5827 to request a demonstration.

 

Southeast Publications Donates $20K to KOA Care Camps

April 9, 2012 by · Comments Off on Southeast Publications Donates $20K to KOA Care Camps 

Southeast Publications, the leader in guest guide production for RV resorts, campgrounds, marinas, recreational facilities and travel industries, held its 2012 Annual Spring Meeting at the Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert, Calif.

Almost 100 sales associates from across the U.S. and Canada attended. The associates hold an auction at the Spring and Fall Meetings to raise funds to benefit the Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) Care Camps non-profit organization that helps send kids with cancer to special camps where they can enjoy camping and recreation experiences.

“Southeast Publications has supported the KOA Care Camps program for the last 18 years; we believe in the benefits of camping and in giving back to others,” said Wally Warrick, CEO of Southeast Publications. “Camping is a fun activity and what a better way to help these children than giving them a chance to go camping.”

The 2012 Spring Auction was kicked off with a donation from Sunland Resorts for $1,000; Signature Resorts donated $1,000 and RMS North America donated $1,000. Auction items included donations from sales associates and raised $10,238. Warrick matched the funds raised for a total donation from Southeast Publications of $20,238. Southeast Publications has raised and donated over $400,000 to KOA Care Camps.

“Our founder, Peter Warrick, chose KOA Care Camps to be the focus of our belief in giving back and we’ve continued with that tradition since 1994,” said Wayne Morris, vice president of Southeast Publications.

About KOA Care Camps

Care Camps is a non-profit charity of the KOA Owners Association. The KOA Care Camps Program was created in 1984 to assist in providing financial support to qualified special non-profit cancer camps for children throughout the U.S. and Canada. Since 1984 more than $4,283,845 has been contributed.

For more information or to donate, please visit www.koacarecamps.org.

About Southeast Publications

Southeast Publications was founded in 1986 by Peter Warrick and has grown to be the industry leader in providing guest guides and directories for travel, recreational and hospitality industries with over 125 Sales Teams across the U.S. and Canada. The Southeast Publications corporate headquarters is located in Tamarac, Fla., and operates an 80,000-square-foot office and production facility where all jobs are serviced and produced in-house for all customers.

 

 

For more information, please visit www.SoutheastPublications.com

Virginia RVers Win Signature Resorts Prize

January 24, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Three more winners to be announced this year.

Signature Resorts has announced the first winners of its December sweepstakes for a free month’s stay at the Signature Naples Motorcoach Resort in Naples, Fla.

Ray and Becky Cichello from Catawba, Va., won the prize valued at $1,800 for the month of January. Three more winners will be chosen through February and March. Any RV adventurer may still enter for their chance to win by visiting the Signature Resorts website. Entries close in March, according to a news release.

Thrilled to hear of their win, the Cichellos had to compile their composure prior to planning their luxurious RV vacation. The family, who plans to bring their 40-foot 2008 Bounder Class A motorhome, has the option to visit anytime in 2012 as do any future prize winners, subject to availability.

“I am so excited! As of this very moment, we don’t have a date in mind. And, I have to calm down to let this sink in!,” said Becky Cichello.

Signature Naples Motorcoach Resort is a premier luxury RV resort which earned the highest rankings possible from the 2012 Woodall’s North American Campground Directory.

Good Sam Enterprises LLC owns the Woodall’s directory as well as Woodall’s Campground Management and www.woodallscm.com.

Signature Resorts Adopts New Billing Technology

October 20, 2011 by · Comments Off on Signature Resorts Adopts New Billing Technology 

When snowbirds return to Signature Resorts in Naples, Fla. this winter, they won’t need to break out their wallets every time they order food or refreshments or participate in the park’s growing roster of activities, which include everything from boat rides to yoga classes.

Instead, Signature Resorts guests can simply let the concierge know of their plans, and the charges will be automatically billed to their RV site, just as they would be if they were staying at a luxury hotel, according to a news release.

“This kind of guest folio capability is unheard of in RV parks and resorts,” said Brian Woodling, who joined Signature Resorts as general manager of the company’s Naples resort in January after spending 20 years with the Marriott Hotel chain.

But after installing the RMS property management system last summer, Signature Resorts in Naples now has the ability to manage point of sale transactions, online reservations, utility charges and other accounting activities as easily and effectively as the world’s largest hotel chains.

“RMS enables us to provide a higher quality guest experience,” Woodling said, adding that the system can also send out emails and text messages to send out birthday and anniversary greetings and to invite previous guests to participate in special promotions. “We can customize it to do whatever we want,” adding that Signature Resorts has also installed the RMS system at its resort in Bay Harbor, Mich.

“We anticipate that other resorts will quickly follow our example as the availability of the RMS property management system becomes increasingly well known to RV parks and resorts across the country,” Woodling said.

Originally developed in Australia, RMS North America has been quietly introducing its new property management system to North American RV resorts, campgrounds, private motorcoach resorts, outdoor recreation facilities, marinas, motels and hotels this year.

And while park operators are often sold on the system’s ability to seamlessly and instantaneously manage reservations placed through multiple websites as well as those taken by phone by front desk staff, the system’s accounting functions are proving to be an equally compelling enticement, said Tom Chiarello, vice president of business development for RMS North America. “This product will revolutionize the way campground operators run their business,” he said.

RMS North America plans to preview its property management system at several upcoming industry trade shows, including Outdoor Hospitality Convention and Expo in Savannah, Ga.

Based in La Jolla, Calif., RMS North America is a world leader in state-of-the-art property management and online reservation solutions for RV resorts, campgrounds, private membership resorts, outdoor recreation facilities, marinas, motels, and hotels. RMS currently has over 3,000 customers worldwide in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and several other countries.

Interest Builds in Signature’s Naples Resort

February 7, 2011 by · Comments Off on Interest Builds in Signature’s Naples Resort 

The toughest decision Larry and Kathy Patterson face this month is whether to buy a Class A motorcoach site at Signature Resorts’ new Naples Motorcoach Resort now or wait until Feb. 26, when as many as 95 sites at the luxury motorcoach resort will be sold at auction, according to a news release.

“At this moment, I don’t know what we’re going to do,” said Larry Patterson, a snowbird who runs a private equity firm with his wife, Kathy.

Both in their early 50s, the couple has been full-time RVing for the past four years in their 42-foot Country Coach motorhome, spending their summers at Signature Resorts Bay Harbor, Mich. and their winters at the company’s luxurious Naples Motorcoach Resort.

“We have just fallen in love with this facility,” Patterson said of Naples Motorcoach Resort. “We love the fitness center and the swimming pool. They have Zumba classes and yoga classes. Every morning at 7 we play tennis. It’s a great environment for fitness. And we love the social schedule they have. They have activities by the pool and entertainers that come in regularly each week. And they have a social every week so everybody gets to meet everybody.”

The resort, located on Henderson Creek with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, has creekfront lots and boat docks for snowbirds who enjoy fishing. Other amenities include a lake with a white sandy beach and three pools with spas. Concierge towel and food services are provided at both the beach and the swimming pools. Other amenities include an on-site theater and game room.

In short, Naples Motorcoach Resort offers everything an active snowbird could desire – and more. And Signatures’ managing partner La Jolla, Calif.-based Paydar Properties Inc., is selling the lots from $89,900 to $245,000, which is roughly half of what these lots were selling for two years ago.

“I could not replace these lots for what I am selling them for at the auction,” said Reza Paydar, Paydar Properties Inc. president and CEO.

Paydar Properties acquired Signature Resorts’ properties in Naples and Bay Harbor, Mich. two years ago at auction from Monaco Coach Corp. At the time of acquisition, construction of these resorts had not been completed and the new owners invested millions of dollars of their own capital to complete the development of the resorts.

“We bought these resorts with cash and improved them with cash without having to rely on outside financing,” said Paydar. “And because we were able to purchase the resorts at attractive prices, we can afford to sell the lots at Naples Motorcoach Resort at bargain prices,” he said.

Paydar Properties has identified a qualified lender who is willing to finance RV sites for buyers who can produce a down payment of 35% to 40%. The company is also offering pre-auction sales incentives for buyers that close prior to the auction date of Feb. 26.

Those incentives include a $10,000 coach home exterior as well as another $10,000 in incentives for landscaping, pavers and the interior of the coach home. The buyers will also receive $500 towards closing costs if they purchase sites or pre register with the required deposit before the auction.

“We’re not sure if it’s better to buy now and take advantage of the incentives, or wait for the auction,” Patterson said. “There’s a lot of interest in this park because of its location.”

In fact, because of very difficult and extremely challenging entitlement barriers, zoning restrictions, and the high costs of entitlements, Paydar said developers could never afford to build another resort like Naples Motorcoach Resort in the Naples area. “There will not be another resort like this in Naples,” he said.

For more information about Naples Motorcoach Resort, visit its website at www.signaturervresorts.com or contact Reza Paydar at (858) 456-9201. For information about sales, contact Joe Fabbrini of Eastview Realty at (239) 989-2899 or e-mail him at jfabbrini@eastviewra.com. For questions concerning the Feb. 26 auction, please contact Francis D. Santos at Fisher Auction Co. in Pompano Beach, Fla. at (954) 942-0917, Ext. 16, or e-mail him at francis@fisherauction.com.

To see photos and video of Naples Motorcoach Resort, please click on the following links:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/signatureresorts/sets/72157624593186543

http://signaturervresorts.com/naples-video

Signature’s 2nd Resort Set for Grand Opening

February 4, 2010 by · Comments Off on Signature’s 2nd Resort Set for Grand Opening 

p1Randall Henderson, president of Nashville, Tenn.-based Signature Resorts, says the Feb. 12-13 grand opening of Signature’s second upscale resort, in Naples, Fla., sends a message to the industry and the American Class A motorhome enthusiast that good things are still happening in the high-end resort market.

“We think it’s time to start looking positive again,” Henderson told RVBUSINESS.com. “I mean, we’ve all had the same experience of shrinkage. But at some point, recovery has to start and someone has to recognize it. And we’re glad to recognize it. We think it’s here, and we’d just as soon lead off by adding some new facilities to the marketplace.”

Henderson, the founder and former president of upscale Outdoor Resorts, has been working diligently of late to reestablish Signature Resorts, previously a unit of Monaco Coach Corp., as a stand-alone brand under the 50/50 ownership of Morgan RV Resorts, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Sunland RV Resorts, La Jolla, Calif., respectively. Signature’s new owners purchased the company’s assets after Monaco’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Signature currently has two resorts, 125-site Signature Resorts at Bay Harbor, Bay Harbor, Mich., and the new 184-site Naples Motorcoach Resort, which opened its doors on Jan. 4 to both purchasing and renting customers. Twenty-six of those sites are canal frontage, and 32 boat storage sites are available.

The clubhouse at Naples Motorcoach Resort.

The clubhouse at Naples Motorcoach Resort.

“This is one of the first motorcoach resort openings in a long while,” says Henderson. “You know, it’s on the water, which is unique down here – to be on a navigable waterway out to the Gulf of Mexico. We’ve got three swimming pools with hot tubs; that’s a lot of amenities for 184 sites, a smaller property. We’ve got a great clubhouse with card and billiard rooms and a home theater and a full-size health club. If I do say so, it’s the nicest facility that’s been built east of the Rocky Mountains in this country. I mean, it’s the Ritz-Carlton of RV resorts when you take into account the physical plant and the location. The amenities are simply nicer than anything that’s been built.”

Henderson says a good representation of industry people, from manufacturers to association execs and area dealers, are expected to attend the grand opening, which is to include a motorhome display, including a $2.2 million Liberty custom coach and the formal rollout of the redesigned high-end Newell coach.

Henderson says the resort will always retain a certain percentage of short-haul rental sites for overnight travelers in addition to the sites that are sold to long-term buyers because it’s a great way to market and remarket the facility’s sites, giving potential customers a first-hand look at the Florida resort.

Typical RV pad at Naples Motorcoach Resort

Typical RV pad at Naples Motorcoach Resort

So, renters will always be welcome. “That’s a norm,” he added. “We don’t really ever expect someone to just drive in and buy something. We expect them to utilize it and determine whether or not they like the area, whether or not they want to stay for extended periods, whether or not they like our services. You know, it isn’t just a matter of a good location or quality amenities any longer. It’s a matter of good services, which the hotel business has had to deal with for a long time now.”

Chains Acquire Monaco Coach’s Signature Resorts

July 23, 2009 by · Comments Off on Chains Acquire Monaco Coach’s Signature Resorts 

signature-rv-resortsSignature Resorts, the luxury RV division of the bankrupt Monaco Coach Corp., has been acquired by Morgan RV Resorts, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Sunland RV Resorts headquartered in La Jolla, Calif.

The Signature resorts are in Naples, Fla., and Bar Harbor, Maine.

Morgan RV Resorts is the country’s largest privately owned RV park corporation. Morgan’s 41 RV resorts in 14 states offer RV owners camping and recreation facilities with over 17,000 lots in diverse  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 RV Resort  Five of Sunland RV Resorts are strategically located in San Diego. 

In announcing the Signature Resorts acquisition, Morgan RV Resorts co-owner Bob Moser and Sunland RV Resorts President, Reza Paydar said they are 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,” the new owners stated in a press release.

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,” said Henderson, who pioneered luxury RV condominium ownership and has developed 23 RV resorts in 12 states and Mexico over the past 25 years.

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