Thank You CARVC!

Thanks to all of you who joined me during my seminar yesterday. It was indeed a joy to meet so many new people!

As promised, here is a link to a PDF copy of my presentation. Let us know if you have problems accessing it and we will mail it directly. Our rock star Assistant, Jenna, can be reached at 800-579-9796 and she will make sure she gets it to you,

Please contact us if we can assist you in your park operations. We offer full 3rd party management of parks and many all staffing, hiring, firing, training, technology, and marketing.

We also do full land plans and economic packages for our clients. We would be honored to help you make your outdoor dreams come true!

Thank you again for having me. Hope to see you soon on the road!!

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Amenities That Pay

One of the questions resort developers ask us the most is, “What kind of amenities do I need at my location?” The answer is, “It depends.”

This week we were thrilled to join a seminar where we were able to answer that very question. You may think it is an easy question to answer, but there is much more to it than just deciding what YOU think you may want or need.

When looking at adding amenities to your park, the first thing you should consider is ROI, or Return on Investment. What is ROI, here is the official definition,

Here is the example we used in our presentation and how to take a very simple look at ROI.

Questions to ask:

What is the cost?

How will occupancy, rate, and overall revenue increase with this amenity?

Other things to consider:

What specially trained staff will I need to add this amenity?

Are there any special code issues when it comes to adding the desired amenity?

A pool will require special equipment, may require lifeguards, and there may be code issues to consider such as, “Where can I legally backwash my pool?”

All in all, adding amenities are a good way to increase rate and occupancy, but knowing the ROI will lead you to making the right investments at your resort.

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What Activities Fit Into A COVID World?

Recently we were asked on a blog, “What activities are safe during COVID?” They were specifically asking about Mothers Day and Fathers Day.

This is a very good question and we have a few thoughts.

One of our most popular Mothers Day events has been a fashion show, especially around properties with pools or beaches. We get a local swimsuit shop to come out and display their goods and bring extra for purchase. It gives the small business shop exposure and is a great way for them to get some pre-season sales.

Another option would be to have a local stylist come out and do a makeover on a model. It can be hair care, skin care, or makeup. Local direct sales persons from Avon or Mary Kay are more than happy to serve the audience and bring items for sale.

For the guys, we have done things like teaching them how to tie lures, photography lessons, or bring a local golf pro out to give some demonstrations. We have also done some grilling lessons by a local bbq master.

All the above activities can be done with wide open spaces between parties. All can be done outdoors in the fresh air and socially distanced.

Don’t let COVID take over in 2021. There are some very unique ways to have a good time and stay safe.

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Thanks to our Northern Neighbor

I want to say, “Thank you,” to all those who joined us today for our Seminar, “The Art of Revenue Management.” It is my hope you learned something valuable to take into your RV parks and Glamping Resorts.

If you were unable to download the handout, please find it here.

We are always happy to answer questions and point you in the right direction. If you have questions or comments regarding todays discussion, please let us know.

Thank you again for joining us during our presentation. We hope to see you soon somewhere down the road.

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The Other Side of the Pond

I was thrilled to be the first guest of the year on the highly touted UK Podcast from Sarah Riley and her company “Inspired Courses.”

Sarah and I cover the gamut when it comes to building a camping or glamping resort. We discuss land costs, utilities, demand drivers, and all things development.

You can listen to the podcast here.

If you are interested in getting started in Glamping or Eco Tourism, Sarah’s courses are a must. She is the step that needs to be taken before we get into land planning and the hard numbers of building your Glamping resort.

If you are interested in getting into Glamping, make sure you sign up for Sarah’s courses Inspired Glamping Podcast. She will give you all the tools you need to move into the world of Glamping in both the UK and the US.

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Looks Can Be Deceiving

One of the things we thrive on here at AOS is data. I suppose my apples do not fall far from the tree. I am a data nerd-it is why I went into accounting in the first place. Thus, as a company, we thrive on numbers and analytics.

Recently, we spoke to a client who commented that more sites seemed to be empty versus this time last year. He drove through his park and assumed his revenue was down and attributed it to what he perceived to be lower occupancy.

What he did not do is look at the data. The data showed he was up over $8000 in revenue and his expenses were lower as well-resulting in a much higher NOI versus the same month last year.

At AOS we always strive for the rate and occupancy balance. We want the best rate at the best occupancy. This means we do not strive for sold out, but rather we strive for maximum revenue.

Looks can be deceiving. Make sure you take things like ADR, booking window, and overall revenue before making final judgements.

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Have Yourself A Blessed Christmas

This year has been one of amazing growth! We have faced many highs and lows such as saying, “Hello,” to new clients and team members and saying, “Goodbye” to some team members we have loved. Most of all, we are excited to Celebrate our Saviors birth!

Last week in church, our pastor asked us to ponder if Mary knew what she was getting into when she said, “Yes'” to the angels announcement of the virgin birth. Clearly, she had no idea that pain it would bring and the way it would impact every area of her life. That is what happens when you say, “Yes,” to G-d-it changes everything.

Each day I strive to live by the words and teachings of scripture and to bring these teachings into the way I run AOS. Some people think this means being timid and a pushover. Rather, a careful reading of scripture points out that Christ teaches we are to right wrongs, hold people accountable for their actions, be merciful to those who need mercy, and walk in a way that we are “Above Reproach.” It means being good stewards of what has been entrusted to you, and to us, that means our clients assets.

To our clients, Merry Christmas and know we are excited to continue our journey into 2021.

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Sewer Drives Everything

If you have heard me speak, you will often hear me say, “Sewer drives everything.” Why? Because it is true!

When it comes to planning and building your outdoor resort, wastewater matters! There are only a few ways to deal with it, and each comes with its own unique set of challenges.

One solution is on site septic. On site systems alleviate the expense of package plants and impact fees, but they are not without their challenges. Valuable land must be set aside for drain fields, eco requirements must be met, and if gravity feed does not work, lift stations must be part of the design.

Secondly, private package plants are an option for many larger parks. These entail engineering, state approvals, and can be costly to build. Once built, they require maintenance and licensed operators to keep up with testing and state regulations.

Finally, connecting to an established municipal system is an option. This may seem like the least amount of headache, but impact fees can be in the millions for a large park. Add to this the monthly costs, and this may be the best way to go, but it is often not the most economical.

For glamping, you may also wish to use the option of composting toilets or incineration toilets. These are certainly viable solutions, but operationally there may be some challenges and ADR may suffer if guests consider this primitive and not an ideal scenario.

All in all, black water is an issue all outdoor resorts must take into consideration. Costs, ecology, smell, and convenience are all things that must be thrown into the equation. We at AOS work with specialty consultants in the field of RV and Outdoor resort wastewater. Residential systems are not equipped to handle the thinly diluted waste in this industry. You MUST consult with an expert. Spending a few dollars now could result in saving millions on your next project.

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Santa Came Early to AOS

When it comes to gifts, we just received some of the best. New clients to kick off the Christmas Season!

Our team is very excited to be working with Good Living Ventures and their seven parks in Arizona. We look forward to walking them through the transition from MH to RV at their AZ properties. We have spent time getting to know everyone and feel a real synergy with these fine folks! We will be on the road next week visiting them in the desert. Welcome team GLV!

Today, we celebrated as we on-boarded Rivers Edge in PA. This fine park was KOA Park of the Year just last year, and we look forward to working with the owners and staff at waterfront campground on the Youghiogheny River. Rachel and Kristen have been there this week getting to know this stellar staff.

Last, but not least, we welcome Flatonia RV Ranch in Texas. Situated between Austin and San Antonio-this cute park is a gem! It even comes with a great fishing pond!!

We never take it for granted that owners have entrusted us with their investments. Thank you to all our fine clients and allowing us to journey with you.

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Even in a Crazy Year….There Is Every Reason to Give Thanks

I have always been a “Glass Half Full,” kind of person. I guess it is just my nature to look for the positives even in bad times.

No one would have believed what was to come in 2020. Right around March 1, we began to hear rumblings of a virus in China. By the middle of March, our world was changing in ways we could have never imagined.

Of course, for our industry, it caused explosive growth. Folks who had never planned to Glamp, Camp or RV suddenly found it to be a safer way to socially distance and yet get out of the house. With work being done via Zoom and virtual schooling, even the kids were free to roam. With these changes-the year of Outdoor Hospitality came to life. For us, 2019 was a year of rapid growth. 2020 has been nothing short of crazy!

It is never lost on us that while COVID caused positive reverberations in our industry-far too many lost their lives and suffered at the hands of this cruel virus. We would be remiss if we did not stop to offer our sincere condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one to the horror of COVID

As we head into Thanksgiving, we at AOS are thankful for the health of our staff and clients, the blessings and growth we have seen in our industry, and the promise of a vaccine that will allow life to get back to a somewhat normal flow. We look forward to Advent and a Christmas Season full of promise and hope. To your and yours, we say, “Happy Thanksgiving.”

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