January … and the Camping Season Ahead

01/03/2010 at 6:41 pm Leave a comment

Normally we post positive and pleasant “come camp with us” messages. You don’t see posts about a grumpy employee, a sour customer, or a mean boss. 

It isn’t my preference to worry a customer with the realities of business. And yet if I provide only the rosy picture but then make drastic changes, then the customers become bewildered.

Costs of many things are rising beyond reach. I recall when utilities & fees increased by 2% a year, but we’re seeing a 48% increase in electricity fees, and 60% in garbage fees. These are just 2 expenses to running a business which incurs hundreds of expenses.

I recall one year, thanks to a hurricane named Katrina, our insurance rose from $7,000 a year to over $18,000 a year. It’s back down again, but what a shock to get such a bill with 2 weeks notice to pay it … with no notice that such a drastic hike would occur. You can’t quit carrying insurance but when the camping season is 1/2 over when you get that bill it’s a little too late to increase your camping fees!

Campers are smart people. They don’t need to be reminded that everyone who uses this facility must pitch in toward the costs of running this facility. If an RVer doesn’t need utilities, their fee still needs to incorporate enough funds to cover the basic overhead here. You might not need utilities, but utilities are still needed to light the driveway and heat and light the restrooms and the front office, and there’s still insurance and taxes and so forth to cover.

Campers are honest people … well, 99.8% of them are … yet they all know they have to pay for the .2% who don’t pay for their night. That’s right. Some people pull in after hours and sleep for free, and then leave in the morning without stopping in to pay.

Sometimes we can call the police for a sleep-n-flee charge but sometimes we don’t have sufficient identification factors. Believe me, filing such charges don’t cover the added labor expense they incur the business (let alone the grumpiness factor we have to overcome in order to smile for the other 99.8% of our guests).

Some people are so honest at the self-registration late-night counter that they leave too much money because they didn’t have proper change. They know they are covering the bill for the .2% who don’t have the right change so they leave a $10 instead of a $20.

Alas, we are into another January. Time for me to review 8 years worth of records (as well as really scrutinizing the 2009 records) to see if I can predict what will happen in 2010 and what changes need to be made for survival during these times.

You’ve seen us post about how wonderful our guests were in ’09 and how many more we had. These are trends we’ve worked toward for the 8 years under my control. These are trends I don’t want to jeopordize!

I’ve spent years changing out old appliances to more efficient ones, conserving and going GREEN in many creative ways, and implementing many cost-savings and resource-savings measures.

And yet things obviously need to change … still … or again.

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Entry filed under: Running an RV Park. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

2009 … Fabulous! Weather … whether or not its newsworthy

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January 2010
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High Plains Camping Twitters

  • @zeus1tre I have followed you and you need to follow us also to DM each other 1 year ago
  • @zeus1tre If you are the CEO of S & T Communications I need you contact me in reference to a certified letter we received from you today 1 year ago
  • At the KOA Salina for the annual meeting for KARVC. Meeting new people that own campgrounds in Kansas also. 4 years ago
  • The High Plains Camping Buffalo doesn't mind the snow. http://t.co/ZlUygEAmLr 4 years ago
  • Picked up the pizza equipment and heading back home. By mid-spring we'll have Hunt Brothers pizza at the park. 4 years ago
  • Heading to fort Scott today to look at pizza equipment for the store. Long trip 4 years ago
  • New year has begun! Looking a bit warmer weather so we can finish putting in the pub. Have a new worker camper couple coming in March. 4 years ago

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