b'Fi signals into areas that had previously beenMore Owners Seeking dead zones.from Yel-Tim Rout, CEO of San Diego, Calif.-basedAccess Parks, spoke with WCMOut Better Wi-Fi as lowstone National Parkwhere he was wrap-ping up the installation of Wi-Fi systems at theparks lodging units. The parks campgroundsaresettoreceiveCOVID-19 Shifts Work, Wi-Fiaspartofphase two of a build-out plan. School Environments Thecompanyalsocountshun-dredsofRVparksandcampgroundsacross North Amer-ica as its customers. Wevealready Tim RoutdonethisforGrandCanyon,GlacierandDeath Valley and lots of other parks, he ex-plained. Weve been setting up new parkson an almost daily basis because people arenow realizing that demand for broadband intheir park has skyrocketed.GrahamWall,projectmanagerwithBY BEN QUIGGLE their homes and enjoy the great outdoors. with kids doing all their schoolwork online, Salem, N.H.-based Sigma Wi-Fi, noted thatWhile many in the outdoor hospitality sec- Wi-FisystemproviderstoldWoodalls thats putting heavier demands on Wi-Fi. The the pressure is on for private park owners astor have been touting the need for RV park Campground Management (WCM) that they good news for the parks sector is since peo- more national and state parks begin to inte-andcampgroundownerstoembracein- are noticing more owners embrace Wi-Fi as ple can work remotely, they are going to start grate Wi-Fi into their campgrounds. stalling Wi-Fi at their parks, the COVID-19 cri- they look to find ways to keep campers at to travel more. But that does mean that the Usually, the statesis has shined an even brighter spotlight on their parks for longer periods of time.Wi-Fi park owners supply has to be that much parks are the onesthis segment of the market.The parks that are seeing the recoveries better and that much more stable. that are lacking re-With more individuals working from home are seeing heavier demands on Wi-Fi, ex- Eric Stumberg, owner of Austin, Texas- sources and ameni-and kids attending classes virtually, more RVs plained Jim Ganley, managing partner at based Tengo Internet, ties and things of thatare hitting the roadaccording to surveys by Gray, Maine-based Checkbox Systems LLC. notedtoWCM that nature,butiftheythe RV Industry Associationas campers I think as people have suddenly been thrown the current crisis has step up their gameare looking to escape from the four walls of into the whole world of working by Zoom and accelerated the need and get decent Wi-Fifor park owners to in- systemsinplace,vestinbetterWi-Fi thatwillbeabigReal Log Park Model Cabins technology.move and it will af- Graham WallWhen the expec- fect private park owners, he explained. tation is that its not I think its really important for owners tojustforfun,but realize that a lot of people will be at theirEric Stumberg campers have got to parks trying to work full-time, Wall added. Real Rustic Log Cabins stream and might have to do school, then you And so, to make sure to have Wi-Fi that Turn-Key! think about that for the fall and how you ac- theyre able to connect to is going to be crit- Durable and Appealing commodatewhatsgoingtohappenwith ical as businesses are shifting to remote workschool openings and people with school- versus coming into an office. Highly Profitable aged kids, noted Stumberg. If you dont Pays Off Within 1-3 Years have to go to a physical building, you can go Expectations are ChangingPark Model Cabins anywhere as long as you have a reliable, ro- WithmorenewcampersenteringtheStarting at $27,900 bust Internet connection. market it is important for park owners to man-Even the National Park Systemand state age expectations around what their Wi-FiLocated in Lancaster, PA park systems across the U.S. are building out system can provide to campers. Simply put-717-445-5522www.LancasterLogCabins.com Wi-Fi infrastructure with companies like Ac- ting Free Wi-Fi could send the wrong mes-cess Parks at the forefront of extending Wi- sage. Setting clear expectations now that de-mand or expectations are higher, is more im-portant, said Stumberg. Particularly withpeople who are used to the higher experi-ence because they travel differently. Thesenew campers might have been staying at adecent hotel that had decent Internet, andnow they expect the same accommodationin their RV.Providing clear information on what acamper is going to be able to do with the Wi-Fi provided at a park is important because itlimits the frustration a camper may experi-ence if they cant get their streaming serviceto work properly.Thats where you set the expectation up-front, noted Ganley. Thats when you say,We are in the middleof this gorgeous val-ley,20milesfromanywhere.Thatmeans that we donthaveaccesstothebroadband you mightbe used to at home.We can provide X, Y,and Z. And that mightbe email only, or that Jim Ganleymight be basic social media access, but youshould not be able to expect to stream, or youmay not be able to FaceTime. Or whateverWi-Ficontinued on page 2218 -August 2020Woodalls Campground Management'