WOODALLSCM.com November 2017 - 27 If you are planning to do a light show, both Bender and Jones said that location is key. Jones said her show is just off of a major highway. “People driving by can see a hint of lights, but not everything,” she said. “Location is a big deal. We are within the heart of a metro area, 20 minutes from Milwaukee. The people who are visiting the light show are not staying, they just want to come out for an evening. So our location is very easy to get to since we are right off of the highway. “The majority of our guests are coming off of the highway,” she added.“The market we are in has a lot of people. If someone is thinking about starting something like this they need to think through where they are located and if they can attract enough people.” Weather is a factor, as well. Jones said that with 60% of the income they receive from the event coming over four weekends, if the weather is nasty it can hurt their bottom line. “It works pretty much the same way on the camping side of things,” she said. Holiday events also give parks an- other chance to market their parks. Bender said that their campground used to be empty during the holidays, but all nine cabins were 75% full the first year they did the light show. They added 12 more cabins and last year every single one of them was filled. “We are seeing a lot more people staying with us due to the light show,” she said. “I think we are also seeing more locals come to the campground during the summer because they saw it during the holidays and they want to come back.” Of course, there are some camp- grounds that keep it simple.You don’t need to throw a large light show to keep your guests in the holiday spirit. Sandy Rodwick, owner of the Alamogordo/White Sands Kamp- grounds of America (KOA) in Alam- ogordo, N.M., said they do some decorations inside their community building and light luminaires on Christmas Eve, which are a New Mexico tradition. The luminaires are basically a paper lunch bag with a candle inside that is placed on a stick and lined along the walkways of the park. Rodwick said they light between 800-900 each year. “It was too windy for them last year and we had guests that normally stay with us comment about how they missed them,” said Rodwick. The campground also invites guests to enjoy hot chocolate and s’mores. “This is just a little something we do for the guests we have over Christ- mas,” said Rodwick. “It is pretty inex- pensive. It might cost a little more the first time, but you can reuse quite a bit of the supplies for the luminaires.” At Rayford Crossing RV Resort north of Houston, Texas, the park uti- lizes a group of “Winter Texans” to plan and assist with events. Scott McGee, general manager of the resort, said that the events help build a stronger sense of community at the campground. The holidays are no exception, with a large Thanksgiving potluck dinner held at the resort. YogiBear’sJellystoneCamp-ResortinEureka,Mo., transforms buildings with holiday decorations. YogiBear’sJellystoneCamp-ResortinCaledonia,Wis.,features an estimated 1.5 million lights in their holiday light show. Holidays– continued on page 30