b'SMART OPERATIONSA Campgrounds Response to COVID-19 Crisis is Key to Recoverybeen added to our everyday vocabu- usual cancellation policies during this historicallyflockedtoyourcamp-laries. pandemic. Do not even ask questions. ground to partake in a well-organizedThe tide will turn, and people will re- activityprogram,youmayneedtoPeterThe Campground Industry turntothebusinessesthattreated findalternativesthatwillinvolveThe impacts upon private camp- them honorably and respectfully.smaller gatherings and greater oppor-Pelland grounds continue to evolve on a daily, Next, go out of your way to let your tunities for social distancing. state-by-statebasis.Letusstartby customers know that you care about You may want to even rethink or re-looking at the positive side of the sit- their health and well-being and that name certain events. I recently founduation.Firstofall,Americansare you are introducing new measures to myself updating the activity scheduleThere is no question that our world coming together like we have not in ensure their safety. It is time for every on a campground website, and the an-has been turned upside down within years, sharing a common determina- business to introduce a personalized nualHooray!Schoolsoutforthethe last few months. Just when some tion to overcome the current crisis. coronavirusstatement.Thisstate- summer weekend suddenly took onpeoplewereconcernedthatthe Secondly, we will continue to find a ment should be thoughtfully written a different and less jovial connotation,springallergyseasonwasaboutto healthyrefugeinoutdoorenviron- and personalized for your own unique at a time when schools are closed forbegin,wehavebeenfacedwitha ments.Ifnearbypublicparksand situation.the remainder of the school year. Pre-worldwidepandemicofanentirely campgrounds are closed as a result of Outlineanyofyourrecreational pare to adapt and modify your sched-newandhighlydeadlyviruscalled the pandemic, you may be able to fill amenities or services that will be tem- ule.COVID-19.a new demand. Third, despite how it porarily closed, curtailed or limited, Another impact will involve inter-One impacted state after another mayappear,campgroundsarenot stressing how those actions have been nationaltravelerswhowouldnor-has responded in rather serious fash- being hit nearly as hard as businesses taken in the interest of your guests mally vacation in the United States.ion, starting with the states that were in many other industries, including and employees, as well as adherence Manycampgroundshaveseenahit with the earliest concentrations of airlines, cruise lines, travel agencies, to state mandates. Outline the meas- steadily increasing volume of trafficoutbreaks, eventually leading to a na- hotels,touristattractionsandthe ures that you have taken to maintain fromoverseas,andmanycamp-tionwide response at the federal level. aforementioned bars and restaurants. cleanlinessinyourfacilitiesthat grounds in the Northeast rely upon anHere where I live, in Massachusetts, In that sense, we can count our bless- might remain open, including your annual influx of guests from Canada.we have been one of the most highly ings.store,restrooms,snackbar,play- TravelfromEuropeiscurrentlyimpacted states, with more infections On the other hand, campgrounds ground, fitness room and rental ac- banned, as is non-essential traffic inthan any state other than New York have been seeing their cancellations commodations.both directions at the border crossingsand New Jersey. As I am writing in late exceeding their reservations in recent Most importantly, keep your cus- between the United States and bothApril, all of our schools and colleges weeks. Signs at many state borders ad- tomers updated and informed on a CanadaandMexico.Moreimpor-are closed, restaurants and bars re- vising that out-of-state guests must regular basis, especially with respect tantly, nobody wants to board an air-mainclosedwiththeexceptionof self-quarantine for 14 days certainly toopeningdates,limitationsupon liner these days, which explains thethosethatcanprovidetake-outor discouragetravel,andstate-man- visitors and the availability of rental 95% drop in air travel. It almost makescurbside pickup, state and municipal dated closures have energized the dis- accommodations. one long for the days when the great-offices are closed, shopping malls and cussionofwhetherornot Whenyouhavecarefullydrafted est impediment to Canadian visitorsmost retail stores are closed, and hos- campgrounds should be considered your statement (and run it by other wasanunfavorablecurrencyex-pitals and nursing homes are closed to businesses that provide essential serv- sets of eyes for proofreading!), share it change rate! visitors. Gatherings of people from be- ices. Fear and uncertainty do not drive onsocialmediaandpostittothe On the flip side, gasoline prices areyond the same household have been consumer confidence and spending, home page of your website, updating currently at historic lows, which willprohibited, including concerts, sport- and families who are facing layoffs at the statement as often as necessary, as helptoencouragedomestictravel,ing events, theaters, conferences (in- work no longer have discretionary in- the crisis evolves and hopefully sub- and a personal RV is probably the sec-cludingseveralcampground come to spend on vacations. sides. To post this statement to your ondsafestplacetobeotherthanconferences), and even church serv- website, you can include it as text near home itself.ices and faith-based gatherings. The Your Response the top of your home page; however, The bottom line, as I sit here at theterms social distancing, self-quar- Keeping in mind that we are all in you may want to consider the alterna- end of April, is that we have no ideaantine and sheltering in place have this together, it is time to waive your tive of providing a prominent link to a where the chips will have fallen comePDF file that people may download, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, andparticularly if your statement is some- beyond.Campgroundsandotherwhat lengthy.businessesinsomestateshavere-Another advantage of the PDF op- cently been allowed to reopen, andtion is that it will avoid having text re- time will tell whether that will havelatedtothecoronavirusbewhat been a wise move from a public healthsearchenginerobotsareindexing, perspective. This may be the summerrather than text that outlines the fea- whenpeoplemorethananythingtures of your park. One word of cau- need to escape to the outdoors andtion is to ensure that your PDF file is experience a natural setting. tagged and Americans with Disabili- It could even be that simply sittingties Act (ADA) compliant. (Remember around a campfire could be exactlywhenADAcompliancewasoneof the cure that the doctor has ordered.your biggest concerns a few monthsago?) PeterPellandistheCEOof Pelland Advertising, a company thatThe Impact Varies he founded in 1980 that has beenSomecampgroundswillbeim- serving the family camping industrypacted more than others. If your parks for nearly 40 years. His company spe-primary selling point is that it offers a cializes in building fully responsiveremote natural setting, you might be websites, along with producing a fulloffering the type of outdoor escape range of four-color process print ad-andsocialdistancingthatwillbe vertising,forclients.Learnmoresought by an even wider group of peo- aboutPellandAdvertisingatple. If your campground has proximity https://pelland.com/ or see its ad into local, state or federal parks that re- this issue. WCMmain open and offer recreational op-portunities, try to capitalize upon thatpositive situation. On the other hand, if your guestsprimarily stay at your park due to itsproximitytooneormoremajortouristattractionsthathavebeenclosed as a result of the pandemic, youwill need to improvise a more creativeapproach.Similarly,ifpeoplehave10 -June 2020Woodalls Campground Management'