20 - November 2017 Woodall’s Campground Management grounds run more efficiently. Tyler Duffy, president of Camp- ground Automation Systems, said that Sunrise includes point-of-sale applica- tions that help track store sales and inventory as well as a recurring billing tool that will send automatic invoices to customers who are staying for weeks at a time. It also allows for customers to make online payments. “Sunrise is equipped to let camp- ground owners decide whether they want dynamic pricing on cabins or nightly minimums,” he said. Dynamic pricing allows owners to charge different prices for the same site, depending on demand and day of the week. It is a tool that resorts and hotel owners have been using for years to generate more income. Duffy said the system is designed to help campground owners see growth in their business. “It makes the owners’ lives a lot easier and helps capture those reserva- tions that they may have missed before,” he said.“When people call and no one is there, they go somewhere else. But with this system they can do everything online.” The software is also compatible with self-check in kiosks for afterhours check-ins. “Everything about this software is customizable,” said Duffy. Campspot Reservation Systems Campspot.com 616-226-5514 Campspot is one of the newer com- panies to develop a software system for campgrounds. It first went live in 10 parks in 2016 and now has 20-25 parks on the system. Josh Traxler, COO of Campspot, said that the company is expecting to make big gains this fall during the down period for northern campgrounds. “It is hard to get owners to switch mid-year,” he said. Traxler said that Campspot software is designed to be intuitive and help optimize a campground’s reservation system so that more guests can find the camping sites they are looking for. “Our reservation engine works to fill an owner’s park so that it cuts down on one-night gaps that are hard for camp- grounds to fill,” he said. “It is highly sophisticated and helps campgrounds get the most out of every site.” Traxler said that the system marries booking and marketing, allowing campgrounds to put up pictures, high- light park events and promote package deals, something he said is likely to get people to book a campsite. “There is also a section for add-ons, like golf carts, that people may want to reserve,” he said.“It allows the owner to up-sell during the reservation process.” Thesoftware’sBusinessRulesEngine also helps make managing a camp- ground easier, according to Traxler. Instead of binders filled with rules and regulations, campgrounds can compress all that information onto their reservation system. “You put all of that stuff online and it enablesemployeestohavebetteraccess to it, plus it gives customers the chance to see the rules, site parameters, etc., before they get to your park,” he said. Traxler also said that Campspot en- ables customers to lock-in the site that they want, giving owners an opportu- nity to charge an additional fee, which can turn into a new revenue source. “Thirty percent to 40% of our camp- grounds do this and they charge a $10- $20 fee for the service,” he said.“That is significant. The software really creates a lot of opportunities for owners.” Reserve America reserveamerica.com 877-297-3810 Founded in 1984, Reserve America has established itself by working with state and national park systems. “We just started looking at expand- ing into private campgrounds around two years ago,” said Gary Evans, vice president and general manager at ACTIVE Networks, which distributes Reserve America software. He said the system allows camp- ground owners to put all of the details they want to relay to customers in one spot, including available sites, pricing and pictures of the park. A “drag or drop” feature also lets users easily add information to the system at any time. Besides just streamlining reserva- tions, Reserve America also has prod- ucts that will manage point-of-sale processing — including retail transac- tions at a campground’s store — and help manage other aspects of owning a campground, including employee scheduling. Evanssaidthatbybeingcloud-based the system is very modern and light, meaning it can run on virtually any type of Internet connection. “We have a customer in New Hamp- shire that uses a dial-up connection,” he said. The system can also be accessed from anywhere by both customers and campground owners through mobile devices like tablets and smart phones. “Having a mobile-compatible prod- uctiskey,”saidEvans.“Wehavenoticed that around 50% of the reservations in our system are done through a phone orothermobiledevice.Everyagegroup is utilizing those devices, customers want the flexibility.” Training has also been simplified so that campground owners or employees don’t spend a lot of time learning how to use the system. “Training is pretty easy,” said Evans. “We offer online courses that let people go at their own pace. We have an estimated 10,000 people that use our system and they come from all educa- tion and age levels.We also offer a 24/7 support system.” RezExpert by DigitalRez digitalrez.com; rezexpert.com 800-811-5988 According to executives at Digital Rez, which has been distributing its RezExpert reservation management softwaretoclientssince1993,theirnew understand their financials. Peter Kearns, vice president of Mis- sionManagementInformationSystems, said that Mission Management recently purchased RVParking.com and Book- YourSite.com, both platforms that he said will help market the campgrounds that use the Astra system. Campground owners can also decide on a cloud-based version of the system or a locally hosted version. The locally hosted version is for customers that have slow Internet connections and want to store the information on their own computers. “If you go with the locally hosted product then the park’s staff has full access over its network and database,” said Kearns. “In the cloud-based ver- sion,thedataismaintainedoff-site,but it is all accessible with a good Internet connection.” He said that he understands switch- ing to a different system can be a pain for campground owners, but that Mis- sionManagementistheretohelpmake the transition as smooth as possible. “We mandate that users of the system also do at least four hours of training, either on the web or in- person,” he said. “That way they know how to use the product.” Campground Automation Systems campgroundautomation.com 877-783-2367 Campground Automation Systems has been working with campgrounds for more than a decade, now servicing 350-plus customers. Its campground management software, Sunrise, offers real-time online reservation capabili- ties and multiple tools that help camp- Mission Management’s Astra Campspot Reservation System Sunrise’s Dashboard Reserve America