Let’s face it, most people do not like change. However, sometimes change is in our best interest, particularly when it comes to our parks.

We visit a lot of parks in a year-and I mean A LOT! Most of the time, the trips are in conjunction with a client due diligence trip. We are looking, investigating, and recommending for or against the purchase.

What is most interesting to me are the parks that are being run one way, but should be running in a completely different manner. I am always astounded at the mismatch.

Consider a recent park we visited, we shall call it Campers Delight. Campers Delight is a 378 site park and is full….of seasonal guests. Campers Delight should NEVER have been set up as a long term site. It is near rivers, streams, parks, horseback riding, bike trails, river rafting, hiking, and boating areas. Campers Delight should be teeming with daily and weekly guests paying a high average daily rate of around $75 per night. However, Campers Delight is full of long term guests paying an average daily rate of $15 per day. WHY DO YOU ASK??

I asked, and I was told, “Well, even though we know we could make more, we did not want the headache of transient guests.” What!! First of all, if you consider guests a headache, you should not be in hospitality. Secondly, the staff you need for short term stays is well worth the additional revenue generated. Campers Delight should have been alive with families, and campfires, and fun…but rather it is full of guests who live like squatters, trash their sites, and pay rock bottom prices.

The audit report we prepare for this park will show the vast amount of money that is being lost by putting a square peg in a round hole.

When you are purchasing or running a park-KNOW YOUR MARKET. Missing the mark by having the wrong guests, the wrong pricing, and the wrong targets mean sub par operations and sub par revenue. Neither makes a Campers or a Campground Owners Delight.