Recently I went on a road trip to view parks for clients to purchase. Some were just WOW and others, well, overpromised and undelivered.

At one of the parks, I obtained the site map prior to arrival. I was excited to see it as it had a fitness center, kitchen, group catering area, group fire pit, and a restaurant on the map. These are great amenities and when guests see them on a site map, it encourages them to book.

When I arrived to tour the park, it was NOTHING like I had imagined. I am sure the guests felt the same way. I had to do a double take to make sure I was at the right location.

The fitness center was old and dusty with equipment that appeared to be twenty years old. The group catering kitchen was filthy and most of the appliances look like they had not been cleaned in some time. No group I know would cook in that kitchen.

The funniest part was the “Group Fire Pit.” It was a rusty old fire ring with two lawn chairs.

When my 2 PM diet coke attack hit, I was so taken back by the condition of the facilities I would not even purchase a canned drink from the store. I wanted OUT of there.

I can only imagine what guests thought when they, like me, downloaded the map only to arrive and find these conditions. Do yourself a favor, take good photos and market properly, but do not try to pretend all is well when things are falling apart. Make sure if you have amenities, they are clean and in good operating condition, and if you do not have them, do not pretend you do. This park was a franchise park and it should never have been permitted to fly the franchise flag.

Overpromising and underdelivering is a sure fire way to create a negative guest experience from the start.