b'them. increase in gross income during her firstYou just dont want to give the sites year of implementing dynamic pricing. away at a ridiculously low price, Bordeaux I thought about how stressful it wasadded. Youre going to pay for that land going to be to change over, but to me thatwhether theres somebody sitting on it or 20% was worth the hassle, Blankenshipnot. Its just like advertising. You dont auto- said. matically get a return on that investment; During her first year of trying dynamicsometimes you have to build up over time. pricing in 2018 Blankenship said she sur-Offering some availability to people when passed the 20% mark, seeing a 55% bumpyoure not full or offering some sort of spe- in gross income. cial promotion or even creating events dur- Not everybody is going to have growthing your slower times of the year can help like that, but it is possible, she explained.owners take advantage of their low sea- In 2019, she has seen a 35% increase inson. gross income. Implementing a dynamic pricing model Even though you can attribute some ofrequiresanownertohaveanintimate that to the industry growing, most of it wasThe Jellystone Park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., has noticedsubstantial revenue increases over the two years it hasimplemented a dynamic pricing model. knowledge of their business, including how thedynamicpricing,Blankenshipex-much they need to make each month to plained. break even. She said that at her property, pricesWalsh touts Advanced Outdoor Solu- move up once she hits a certain occupancytions revenue managers as a tool to help level and she learned where her pricesowners begin understanding their revenue should sit at through a process of trial andsituation and begin implementing dynamic error. pricing.The first week comes around and ImWe charge a percentage of what own- making my reservations and Im up to thaters make because not every park can af- 90% occupancy and Im telling somebodyford a $65,000-a-year revenue manager, thesitesgoingtobe$120anight,she said. We use our revenue managers Blankenship said. Im holding my breathand spread those costs across numerous thinking No way are they going to pay $120clients. a night, but they said yes. They wereOwners need to be aware of what their staying multiple nights and it came out tocompetitors are doing and of any future around $800. After a couple calls like thatevents in the area that will impact demand you begin to feel more confident.and pricing, Walsh explained.Blankenship said she has had a fewBordeaux said the majority of park own- people complain, but that for the most parters should know when their slow and busy everything has gone off without a hitch. times of the year are going to be and will We tell our campers that we are doingwanttobeginimplementingadynamic the same thing that the hotel industry ispricing model during a slower period.doing, she explained. Owners should try it out and if they For repeat campers, Blankenship saiddont like it, they can always go back to the she gave them the old rate the first year sheway they did things before, she noted. I tried dynamic pricing but told them thatusually tell people that if a third of your cus- things would change for future bookings.tomers dont wince when you tell them the What ended up happening is beforeprice, youre not really in the sweet spot. they left, they would book their next fiveIn the sweet spot of pricing, about a third of reservations so that they still got that basethe people should take note of the price in rate, she explained. their head, but still pay. Most people arent Blankenship also noted that dynamicReal Log Park Model Cabins hearing any complaints at all, which tells pricing isnt just increasing prices. Whenme they are pricing too low. occupancy is low prices can move down toattract campers, too. Owners Success Story Its almost like a flash sale, like trying toHeather Blankenship, owner of the Yogi book those last few sites that didnt book at Real Rustic Log Cabins Bears Jellystone Park the higher rates, she said. Would you Turn-Key! Camp-Resortin Pigeon rather have the site empty or would you beForge, Tenn., decided willing to fill it for half of what you normally Durable and Appealing to try out dynamic pric- do just to have somebody there? Highly Profitable ingafterowningher Blankenship said owners should be tak- Pays Off Within 1-3 Years park for seven years.ing a look at what they are going to be sell-Park Model Cabins She told WCM that ing campers once they get to the park. IfStarting at $26,900 heroriginalreserva- owners have a lot of amenities and a largetion software program Heather Blankenship campstore it might make more sense toLocated in Lancaster, PA didntofferdynamic offer a discounted rate to fill the park know-pricing but another company approached ing that you will be making more money off717-445-5522www.LancasterLogCabins.com her and told her that she could see a 20% ancillary sales.WCM22 -January 2020Woodalls Campground Management'