High Fives All Around

The famous Will Rogers is know for the saying, “It ain’t bragging if its true.”

In light of this, I guess you will forgive us if we celebrate the fact that an AOS park just landed in USA Today’s as one of the “Ten Most Popular Camping Resorts in America.” In fact, it came in number two overall in the US.

However, don’t take our word for it.

2. Castaways RV Resort & Campground (Berlin, Maryland)
Also located in Berlin and minutes from Assateague Island’s wild horses, this Ocean City-area campground has venues including Jackspot Tiki Bar and the dog-friendly Bark Beach, as well as paddle boarding sites and a camp store. It has 5,957 advance reservations for 2021. 

This popular resort was designed and managed by none other than the team of Ron Beard (AOS Land Planner) and Kathleen Walsh (Operations). In fact, “Bark Beach” was dedicated to Kathleen’s lovable lab, “Abigail.”

This stunning resort has everything one would need to make a camping vacation a true Five Star Experience.

We love working our magic for our guests and adding amenities that turn a camping trip into a memorable vacation.

This park was purchased from the original developers by a national REIT and they are now reaping the rewards of our amazing land plan and amenities.

Let us replicate this success for you at your park and allow us to turn your “Dreams into Destinations.”

Read more

The Processing of Poo

A few years ago, a children’s book hit the shelves entitled, “Everyone Poops.” Though I have not purchased this particular book for my littles, I am sure it is a fascinating read.

In the RV industry, the processing of waste is a HUGE deal. I write about it often and as we say here at AOS, “Sewer Drives Everything.”

To that end, we are thrilled to have a leading expert in not just waste, but RV waste, as part of our AOS team of experts.

When you partner with us to “Process Your Poo,” our Scope of Work includes:

  • 1.  Provide technical assistance required to select a suitable system for resort. 
  • 2. Assist in obtaining necessary permits environmental permits.
  • 3. Provide objective information regarding type of plant required. 
  • 4. Recommend the most cost efficient and reliable system for the needs of the resort.
  • 5. Review the design plans once engineer has submitted them to the Owner. 

Wastewater plants intimidate the most seasoned developers. RV Wastewater Plants are an entirely different animal. Make sure you do not wade through these waters (no pun intended) without the counsel and direction of an expert in systems FOR RV PARKS!!

A little investment now can save big for you later, both in construction and operational costs.

Read more

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!!

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more