2 - May 2018 Woodall’s Campground Management May 2018 Vol. 49 No. 5 www.woodallscm.com Advertising: Ally Kollat, Account Executive, National Ad Sales [email protected] Office: (574) 266-7980 or (800) 831-1076 ext. 11 Chris Lang, Sales & Events Coordinator [email protected] Office: (574) 266-7980 or (800) 831-1076 ext. 10 WendyThorne, Account Executive, National Ad Sales [email protected] Office (574) 266-7980 or (800) 831-1076 ext. 14 Art Direction: Trina Nissley, Art Director [email protected] Owners, managers or marketing directors of privately held U.S. campgrounds may receive a free subscription upon request to Woodall’s Campground Management — one free subscription per campground. Others may purchase subscriptions at these rates: $24.95 per year U.S. or $35.95 per year in Canada. Contact Trina Nissley at Woodall’s Campground Management, C/O G & G Media Group LLC, 2901 E. Bristol St., Elkhart, IN 46514. Email: [email protected] Woodall’s Campground Management is published monthly by G&G Media Group LLC at the above address. Contact Information: Editorial Sherman Goldenberg, Publisher [email protected] Office: (574) 457-3370 Mobile: (574) 457-6637 Fax: (574) 457-8295 Ben Quiggle, Editor [email protected] Mobile: (574) 306-7781 Fax: (574) 266-7984 Rick Kessler, Managing Editor [email protected] (734) 777-6830 Jeff Crider, Senior Editor [email protected] (760) 469-5905 Bob Ashley, Editor at Large [email protected] (765) 675-4106 Publisher: Sherman Goldenberg Editorial Director: Bruce Hampson G& M E D I A GROUP All general correspondence, circulation and display and classified sales inquiries may be directed to the following: Woodall’s Campground Management, C/O G & G Media Group LLC, 2901 E. Bristol St., Elkhart, IN 46514 EDITOR’S NOTES By Ben Quiggle Anyparkownerwhohaspaidattentiontothecampersenteringandex- iting his front gate lately is no doubt aware of the wave of Millennials and Gen-Xers who are patronizing public and private parks throughout North Americathesedays. They are bringing family members, revenues and, arguably most important,afreshsetofeyestothecampgroundarena. Park owners are updating their facilities to meet the needs of this new wave of campers with Wi-Fi and new age accommodations — whether they’recreativealternativesorupscaleluxuryoptions. But as is often the case, just when you think you’ve got something pegged—inthiscaseattractingthisyoungerset—acurveballgetsthrown. ThatcurveballinthiscasemaybefoundintheconclusionsofKampgroundsofAmericaInc.’s(KOA’s) 2018 North American Camping Report — which indicates that 52% of Millennials and 50% of Gen-Xers polledfeelthattechnologyultimatelydistractsfromtheiroverallcampingexperience.However,only39% ofBabyBoomersand36%of“mature”campersfeelthesameway. Hmmm. If you’re like me, you might do a double-take because that seems to go against the constant mantraofcultivatingtech-friendlyfacilities.Why,onemightask,investinWi-Fiifitisadistraction?Butit makesperfectsensetoMelindaHuntley,directoroftheOhioTravelAssociation,whotoldparkoperators at the Ohio Campground Owners Association’s 2018 Spring Conference in early March that Millennials andGen-Xersarelookingforan“experience.” “Youneedtotellyourstoryandgivethemareasontheyhavetogocamping,”shesaid. By the same token, new KOA President Toby O’Rourke suggested in an interview with Woodall’s CampgroundManagement(seepage18)thatphonesandotherdevicesarebecomingmoreofautility— somethingyoubringwithyoueverywhereyougo,whatevertheactivity. “It’snotlikethey’regoingcampingandsittingthereandusingthatphoneasentertainmentwhilethey’re camping,”sheexplained.“Theyarecampingandenjoyingtheoutdoors,enjoyingtheirtimeengagingwith friendsandfamily,andthat’stheexperience.Ithinkpeoplearesoconnectedallthetimethatweareseeing peoplegetoutsideandwanttojustbeoutside.” So,itgoeswithoutsayingthatcampgroundownersarestillobligedtoprovideefficientWi-Fiservicefor whenevercampersdecidetheydowanttologon.Infact,theKOAreportmentionstheimportancecampers placeonsharingtheirexperiencesonFacebook.Afourthofrespondentssayitisimportanttothem. The takeaway?While it is important to have upgraded sites as well asWi-Fi and enough power to fuel everyone’s digital devices, it is also important that campground owners continue to focus on what makes campingagreatwaytogetawayfromitall—accesstothegreatoutdoors. WCM Wi-FiIsn’ttheOnlyThingYoungerCampersAreLookingFor