Are You an RV Park, Campground or Resort?
With the influx of cash coming into the campground industry, accommodations are getting bigger, with more things to do on-site than ever before. Now, when you hear of a nice, new campground that has the word ‘resort’ in the name, they mean it. On-site dining and entertainment, shuttles to tourist attractions and more are all characteristics of a resort – whether it’s in the campground industry or not – with the intended goal of keeping visitors on-site as much as possible, though that is a bit counterintuitive regarding nomad guests😊.
Back to the original question — what are you, and what’s in a name? Being a campground resort as described above is great and a real benefit. It should be everyone’s goal to provide top-notch service, clean facilities and a great experience. RV parks, campgrounds and resorts can do all those things and many, if not most, do exactly that.
But truth in advertising still matters. For example, if you have a very nice campground but not the amenities of a resort — a pool, on-site dining or take out, water park…etc. — you wouldn’t want to give people the wrong impression by naming yourself as having those things. Keep in mind you only get to make a first impression ONCE! The good news is that with the amount of RVers on the road, not all of them are looking for an all-inclusive property. They’re OK paying a reasonable rate for a site if it has full hookups, great customer service and it’s easy to get in and out of.
Speaking of resort properties, how can you give your customers a great camping experience without the luxury of having dozens of amenities on-site? That part is surprisingly simple. Engage fully with your community to facilitate the things your customers will need the most. What are those? Food, for starters. Remember that the stove is the least used item in an RV! And, as much as the Hunt Brothers Pizza company would love your campers to eat its pizza three times a day, chances are they won’t. (Personally, I would, but that’s a different story.)
Your customers need a quick and easy way to know what there is to eat in town. Will some of them Google it? Maybe, but surveys show that many campers are looking to disconnect from their electronics — that’s why they are CAMPING! Will a lot of them ask your front office what’s good around here? You bet; and having that info to distribute is critical.
Visitors to your campground typically aren’t from your community and don’t know the local haunts. Could they go to the local Applebee’s? They could, but they can do that anywhere. They can only get the local flavor at a local place.
What about cleaning and maintaining their rig? As much as we hope and pray RVs don’t need a fix, they almost always do. But your guests don’t know who to call when they’re hundreds of miles away from home. That’s where you come in, with your preferred vendors. Campground operators don’t want the liability of an on-site mobile wash or on-site tech, so they refer their guests to a trusted source to come in and do the work.
And what about the kids and the pets? Your campground may have a pool, jumping pillow or pet park, but are your guests coming to you just for those items? What about a water park or other local attractions? Are you one of the only campgrounds in America that has a licensed vet or pet groomer on-site? If not, your guests need to know who you recommend. The one thing COVID taught us all is how important medical and pharmacy services are, so have the info ready for your customers.
You see, you might be more like a resort than you think (without giving a false impression), because there is very little that you can’t offer your customers through networking opportunities. Know what you are and advertise accordingly.
Don’t just market what you have; market your network to your customers when they arrive. Promote the services you have, but also be sure they know how to access the services you don’t.