Opinons from the professionals

Discussion in 'Destinations' started by Wear, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. Wear

    Wear New Member

    I am attempting to design and open a new campground in Pigeon Forge, TN. I would like some ideas, opinions, and feedback from the "professional" campers using this informative website. My family and I have camped for many years and have a fondness for the type of people that go camping. Simply, they are just nice people. Anyway, I am looking for answers to several questions as well as being open to any comments.
    -What are some of the most important aspects in choosing a campground?
    -Are offered ammenities such as
    walking trail,
    laundry service/facility,
    garbage pickup,
    grocery delivery,
    pool size,
    pet areas,
    message therapy sessions or
    internet capabilities on each site
    interesting to todays camper?
    -What other ammentities are important?
    -What keeps campers coming back to an establishment?
    -Does offering area entertainment/attraction tickets and information interest you?
    -Do many campers today use online reservations or search online for campgrounds in a particular area?
    I am looking forward to recieving feedback from campers on these questions. In asking these questions and polling the campers of today, maybe we can design a camping resort that caters to most of today's campers. Any ideas and comments are welcome.
    Thank you very much in advance. I look forward to your feedback.
    David Wear
  2. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Opinons from the professionals

    For me, the most important aspects of choosing a campground are location and price. My source for finding them are Passport America book, the Camp Books put out by AAA, and signs along the freeway.

    I have 2 modes in which I use campgrounds. #1 is overnight while going from here to there. Requirements for this are: close to the freeway, advertised along the freeway or Passport America/AAA Camp Guide Books, late checkin ability, pull through sites, and low price. Usually all I need is electric hookup. Anything else would be wasted on me, and I wouldn't want to pay for it.

    #2 is staying for a while. It doesn't have to be conveniant to the freeway, but it has to be close to somewhere I want to be, or a desirable destination in and of itself (pleasant, with lots to do). This requires full hookup, pull through sites, shower and laundry facilities, and some degree of cable TV, at a minimum. Activities are appreciated and I don't mind paying a reasonable price for them, but overall price is still a concern.

    Price is of some concern to most people. You might want to be a Passport America facility, or if that is not to your tastes, try some form of 'quantity discount'. A place in Tucson, which claims to be the number 1 rated park, offers stay 1 night (at a high end price), get one night free...

    The things listed above are REQUIREMENTS for their respective modes of usage. Amenities can pull people in, but if the cost is too high, either you don't make money, or the price drives people away. When considering which amenities to offer, you need to balance cost vrs usage vrs price. If most people will use it, then they probably won't mind 'paying' (in the form of higher site fees) for it. If it is a specialty item, then unless it does not boost site fees for non users (or can be charged separately, like massage service), then consider it carefully.

    Other Amenities/Services rating (long term stays only):
    >Things which could/should have an extra charge for use are marked<
    Jaccuzzi - medium nice
    walking trail - nice
    garbage pickup - I prefer a load lugger a reasonable (<100 yards) distance away
    grocery delivery - Don't care for, but some might, particularly if the park is in the boonies >extra charge<
    On site store - very nice (assuming decent selection and not too terrible prices)
    On site resturant - very nice (same assumptions as the store, above)
    mini golf - nice
    real golf - very nice, for those who like that sort of thing >extra charge<
    pool (big enough for lap swimming) - very nice
    pool (other) - medium nice
    fishing/boating pond - medium nice >extra charge<
    boat rental - nice >extra charge<
    bike rental and trails - nice >extra charge<
    wood shop - very nice, but probably an insurance/maintenance nightmare >extra charge<
    a 'bus' which goes to stores, local sites of interest and entertainment - could be very nice >extra charge, particularly for custom destination and/or schedule<
    internet capabilities on each site (or some sites) - very nice >small extra charge ok<
    internet 'room' (with a few computers and stations where you can plug in a laptop - medium nice
    telephone line at each site (or some sites) - medium nice >small extra charge ok, long distance charge ok<
    tennis/volleyball/basketball/handball courts - very nice for those that play
    soccer/ball fields - don't know if they would get much use
    BBQ grills/picnic area(s) - could be popular >charge for the grill usage if gas<
    playground equipment - very nice for people with kids
    kennel facility - very nice for those with pets (and perhaps for those who don't :) >extra charge<
    Patrols to keep the late night parties down - I haven't had a problem yet, but I've heard stories

    Having separate sections for adults only, families, and pets, may keep the unfortunate interactions between these groups to a minimum. An area to walk pets, near to where they can be, is a must. Have a place to dispose of pet waste there. Having a separate area for transient customers would promote a reduced price/reduced service option for those just stopping for the night. Another choice would be to have the 'non-overnight' amentities accessible by card key, which would only be issued to those on the higher price and/or longer term programs.
  3. BirdDog

    BirdDog New Member

    Opinons from the professionals

    I hope you don't mind me posting. As I am not a professional.

    I just wanted to say. If you offer that massage therapy with high speed internet access. I'll love living permanently in your park. ;)


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