Seismic Shift

If you have been paying attention at all to the industry, you know there are monumental changes occuring.

I am not talking small changes, I am talking disruptive changes. Some are common knowledge, some are about to be revealed later this year.

Change is inevitable, and this article from RV Travel highlights the changes occurring in Outdoor Hospitality.

Like it or not, change is coming and it is not a trickle, it is a raging river. Getting with the program, taking advantage of new technologies, and adjusting to the changes will be an exciting adventure for all.

I have been in the industry for 20 years, and I have never witnessed so much change happening so quickly. Mom and Pops are selling, corporate investors are flooding in, software MUST change to meet the demands, and cutting edge ways to travel are about to be revealed. AOS is keeping up with all of it, and is looking forward to being at the forefront of the shift!

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Take a Listen

We were excited this week to have our Founder and CEO, Kathleen Walsh, featured on the “Fireside Chat,” series hosted by Brian Searl of Insider Perks and Cara Braeutigam of the Canadian Campground Association.

You can listen the the Podcast here.

They discussed 3rd Party Management for RV Parks and Campgrounds, who is and is not a good fit for 3rd Party Management, and why AOS is the fastest growing company in this space.

Take a listen to this informative discussion and let us know if we can answer YOUR questions regarding 3rd party management of your assets.

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Making New Campers Feel Welcome

This week I did a swing through some of our Northern parks. Namely, the states of New York and Maine.

One thing became very apparent, there are scores of new RV guests out there this year. As I worked the parks, many guests came in nervous on their maiden voyages or in their rental. They were excited to start the adventure, but apprehensive about getting started.

This presents both challenges and opportunities for you as park owners this year.

The challenge is making sure you have the staff on hand to assist these guests. Many of them were asking for assistance in getting connected or backing in. Many were unsure of how to setup even the most basic functions inside their rigs. Most were still nervous driving. This can be particularly challenging for night scheduling. Making sure you are well staffed in the office and on the grounds -both day and night- is going to be paramount this season.

Having said this, I believe the opportunities far outweigh any challenges. By assisting new RV’ers to the art of camping you make a lifelong guest. They will never forget how you helped them learn about their rig, get connected, and made their first stay a memorable one. The security of having water, electric, sewer, and propane properly connected gives them a sense of comfort and helps make their next stay a more educated one. The old fishing adage might now be rephrased as, “Hook a man up and you make a nice one time stay, teach a man (or woman) how to hookup and you make a educated lifelong RV’er.”

Take these new RV guests under your wings this season and help become safe and happy campers.

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Pets Mean Profits

For those of you who offer cabins or cottages-there is often a struggle between allowing pets in these units or prohibiting pets from in roofed accommodations.

As with all things AOS, we allow the data to do the speaking.

Below is a graph showing how much more pet friendly units are booked compared to non-pet units. For this particular sites, type Pet Units booked 4 times more often than non pet units. A pretty staggering statistic.

Added to this, a per day pet free of up to about $35 per night can be added to pet friendly units.

The most often cited argument against pet friendly units is, “Pets will damage my cabins.” I can assure you, after 20 years in the industry, inebriated adults and kids have done much more damage than pets. If you build your units with pets in mind, you will have easy cleanup and damage will be minimal. Use LVT Flooring, easy to clean surfaces, and upholstery which easily vacuums, you will have little to no damage and ease of cleaning.

Keep a few pointers in mind. Limit your units to 2 pets. Provide a broom and dustpan, and even a pet blanket for covering furniture. Remember, you cannot charge pet fees for Service Animals. Most of all, embrace this money making trend and count your green.

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Extra Extra Read All About It

If you are already and AOS client, you received an email this week regarding the latest upgrades to our service offerings.

If you are not, let us share what we are rolling out in the Month of April.

#1 Marketing Dashboards

Our new marketing dashboards are a dream come true. Our marketing team -working with our software developers -have created amazing dashboards to give our clients and us real time snapshots of how our marketing efforts are performing. All social and web channels feed to these reports, and even more impressive, with a small upgrade fee, even PMS booking revenue can be tracked. This data allows us to further dictate how dollars are being spent and how those dollars are performing.

#2 Risk Management Courses

Starting in April, all GM’s will be required to participate in our online Risk Mitigation Courses taught by our insurance and legal experts. Topics include: How to Deal with Difficult Guests, Removing Difficult Guests, Safe Propane Pumping, Pool Safety, Dealing with the New Class of RV’ers, and many more. These courses will equip the AOS team, both on and off site, in how to navigate these sensitive topics.

AOS is in serious growth mode, and appreciate all the clients who have entrusted us with their portfolios. Looking forward to a great summer season!

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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.

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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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