b'Dynamic Pricing Gives Owners More Controlplace rather than letting a price go stale willalways be easier to deal with than havingto make one-time big jumps.Over Site Ratesand Helps Increase Revenue Anothercommonmisnomerownersmake, according to Walsh, is thinking dy-namic pricing is only focused on increasingBY BEN QUIGGLE rates. She told WCM that dynamic pricingis about balancing rates, either by loweringor raising prices based on demand. I like to give the visual of a seesaw,Walsh noted. You want the seesaw to bebalanced, not heavy on one end or it is allout of whack. If you balance rate and oc-cupancy, then youre going to be maximiz-ing revenue.Walsh said that one park owner sheworked with was charging rates above therates of competitors in the area. They pointed out that their park hadpaved roads, which is worth something butnot as much as they were charging, Walshexplained. The market was telling themthat campers were not willing to pay asmuch as they were charging. We loweredtheir rates more in line with what theyshould have beenand the parks rev-enue tripled month-over-month during thefirst month they utilized the dynamic pricingmodel. BothWalshandBordeauxalsotoldWCM that it is important for owners to beaware that it is okay if their parks are notalways filled or filled with some campersthat are paying a cheaper price.Proper communication can help alleviate any concerns over changing With dynamic pricing you can get moreprices when implementing a dynamic pricing model, while also offering revenue with lower occupancy numbersa chance for park owners to better balance their rates. because it means you are not using asmuchelectricityortoiletpaper,saidWalsh. Park owners who have attended any There shouldnt be okay to not please everyone. You just want If youre at 75% occupancy and the guystate or national conferences over the past a fear associated with to keep the good ones coming back and across the street is at 100%, but your pricefew years have no doubt heard the term incorporating dynamic you want to make sure that youre around is higher than his, youre making equal rev-dynamic pricing.pricing,shetold in business for years to come and that enue and youre still far more profitable be-A trend in the hotel industry for a long WoodallsCamp- youre keeping a good value for your park cause you have less utilities, less workers,time, dynamic pricing looks at site demand, groundManagement by managing your prices. less supplies being usedand you havetakesinfactorslikeholidaytrafficand (WCM).Guestsare Bordeaux also said that she hears from that option to increase the price a little bitbases site prices off those factors.waymoresophisti- owners all the time who are worried about more based on demand, explained Bor-While an owner might charge $50 for a Kathleen Walsh cated about this than losing longtime campers, a worry she told deaux. Also, if somebody else comes intoparticular RV site on a Tuesday, by Friday yougivethemcredit WCMthat is also based off fear.town and that other guys full, youre goingthat site might be going for $70 if traffic has for. If they have purchased an airline ticket, If those people love your park, they will to be able to pick that camper up at a higherpicked upand on a Fourth of July week- rented a car or stayed in a hotel room, they gladly give you a little price increase here rate because youre the only game in town. end, that particular site might be rented out are absolutely used to dynamic pricing. Wefor $90.are really the last industry that is refrainingI think in pretty much every other mar- fromdoingitbecausewearesofear-ketplace people expect when theres a high based.demand the price will go up and when Walsh works with campground ownersthere is a lower demand, things will be on across North America and said that shesale, said Donna Bor- has rarely seen campers get upset aboutdeaux, who co-owns the implementation of dynamic pricing. Campground Account- Its so rare that someones going toing, a firm that special- come in and complain if the staff is trainedizesinproviding how to handle it properly, she explained.accounting services to Owners need to train their staff on how tocampgroundowners. handle those campers and help them ex-The owners of camp- plain to campers that prices adjust basedDonna Bordeaux grounds are the ones on when they book a site. If you have awho really have a hard complaint, 99.9% of the time that conversa-time seeing it, and I think its mostly been tion alleviates it. Very rarely do you have abecause they expect it to make their jobs a guest continue to be explosive or angry. Iflittle bit harder. With todays software it they are, do you really want them as adoesnt have to be that way.guest anyway?Officials from reservation software com- BordeauxtoldWCM thatshethinks Based on demand, dynamic pricing will raise or lower rates so that owners are keeping theirpanies like Campspot, Newbook, Aspira campground owners formulate some of the parks filled with customerseven during the typically slower midweek period. and more have been touting the benefits of fear in their own minds because they aredynamic pricing during the past few years scared to make the change.and there, she said. Theyre coming to So, its okay to have open space, shewhile also adding more tools to help allevi- It takes a little courage to step outside your park for an experience. This isnt a ne- added. The name of the game is looking atate the amount of work owners have to do the box and do something different than cessity in life and this isnt like a prescrip- what your revenue can be and how you canto incorporate dynamic pricing into their what youve been doing in the past, she tion medication that went up $2. This is a lower costs, while increasing your revenueoperations.said. But when was the last time you sat luxury item. As much as people want to feel substantially.Still, for many owners there is a fear that next to somebody on an airplane and said, like camping is a necessity, it really is a lux- During slower periods, Bordeaux saiddynamic pricing will turn away customers How much did you pay for your ticket? I ury item. owners should be attracting campers by of-and alienate longtime customers who may paid more than that. I am mad. It just does- She said campground owners should be fering discounts. be used to paying the same amount year in nt happen. enacting consistent price changes every Whats it going to hurt if you offer a thirdand year out, according to Kathleen Walsh, Ive been a camper for years and not year, so that they can avoid a big price nightfreeoveralongweekend?sheowner of reservation systems provider Ad- once have I ever heard anyone ask how change all at once.asked. You want to encourage people tovanced Outdoor Solutions and a speaker much I paid for my site and compared it to Its not very noticeable if youre doing visit your park and you may be able to at-on the topic of dynamic pricing at confer- what they paid, Bordeaux added. There consistentpricingchanges,Bordeaux tract some people who wouldnt otherwiseences across North America.might be one in a million, but thats okay. Its said. And again, managing the market- come and build a long-term loyalty with20 -January 2020Woodalls Campground Management'