b'Q&A Conversationsfrom page 14 LeFears kids love to spend time at the dialogue to establish that trust. And ularthings.Tosay,Hey,youknowTripL RV park.then once that trust has been estab- what? Even though Im for this certainopportunity to learn how valuable true lished, then we can talk more about thing, I dont want this as a businessownershipis.Andownershipisnot what can be done. owner to limit my ability to maximizenecessarily having the flashiest house, WCM: What is the best way to estab- my revenue. An owner may just list abut instead having some land. Thats lish that dialogue? ruleorapolicythatsayshowfarwhere the real money is, real estate. I Lefear: The first thing I would say to campers or staff can go with certainthink a lot of Black folks are still coming do is go to where the people are that you things so that their campground doesaround to understanding that is where are trying to attract. They have a bunch appear welcoming and appealing to allthe money is. of groups on Facebook that you can join and not just to a subset.And also, it takes a lot of money to and start to introduce yourself and have WCM: As a park owner, how do own-build a park. If you look at the econom- that dialogue and say, Hey, were look- ers employ people who are going toics, I think Black people are only 1% of ing for some input. It is about getting share the same values?the nations wealth. So, its going to be the input from those who do camp be- Lefear: That is the issue, we do notvery hard for an individual Black per- causetherearethousandsofBlack know the content of someones heart byson to own a park. That means Black campers,peoplewhowanttocamp just meeting them. I hear people sayfolks have to pool our resources and who are looking to camp, but who are that an owner should have vetted ancome together to build a park. Thats also a little bit concerned about the po- employee better, but a lot of the posi-something that were still learning to do. litical climate and the culture, and so tions these parks are hiring for are notI built my park and Ive talked to a lot of theyre hesitant. I think that would be a uber high paying positions where youother Black people who want to do it good place for people to start. can spend a tremendous amount ofand who have the desire to do it, but WCM: What do you feel campground time researching someone before youthey dont have the means to do it. owners need to do to be more welcom- hire them.I think the next stage is to put the ing to diverse groups of people?As a park owner it is your job to lookright people with each other, the right to defend myself or be outnumbered or Lefear: Iwouldencourageother at reviews, look at the complaints orbusiness agreement layout, so that they be outdone. That is one of the fears campground owners to consider the comments from other customers andcan start to become owners and do that a lot of Black people have, and so I things they are doing that may drive see if there is a pattern emerging. Andmore of the camping as well. think just understanding that and es- people of color away. Being a Black per- if there is a pattern emerging, then it isWCM: How could the outdoor hospi- tablishing trust is important. Once you son, when I see the Confederate flag, it your job as the owner to be proactivetality industry support minority groups establish that level of trust, then you does not automatically indicate any- and remediate that, whether its sensi-as they look at park ownership? can see some of those barriers come thing about that persons character, but tivity training or simply removing thatLefear: I think the first thing is simply down to where the communication can it does raise my antennas a little bit. I person from the business. Because atlisteningtotheconcernsofBlack be more open so that the real change think those are the things that camp- the end of the day, as a for-profit entity,campers. One of the biggest fears that a can happen, because right now I think ground owners should, if they genuinely you want to make sure that nothing inlot of Black people have is, I dont want itstooearlytosaywhatshouldbe want to diversify their base, think about your control is hurting your bottomto be in this rural area and not be able done. I think its the beginning stages of that may give someone else pause.For example, at my park, I dont allow TripL RV park featuresanypoliticalflags,whetheritspro- custom built cabins. Real Log Park Model Cabins Trump, pro-Bidenetc. I dont allowany of that. I have not had anyone whowas so politically inclined that had anissue with that. I had one guest whohad a Confederate flag on one side of Real Rustic Log Cabins his cooler and one of my guests mes- Turn-Key! saged me about it. The guest who mes- Durable and Appealing saged me was a white guy. I asked the Highly Profitable guy who had the cooler if he could justturn the cooler around. He said that Pays Off Within 1-3 Years was no problem and then he stayed forPark Model Cabins a year.Starting at $27,900 You just have to be careful. I dontLocated in Lancaster, PA ever want to turn into the thought po-lice and tell someone what they should line. It is still a business and you want717-445-5522www.LancasterLogCabins.com or shouldnt do. But I think its good for to appeal to whomever you want to ap-people to be cognizant of those partic- peal to, but you still have a business torun. You still have bills to pay.I think its making sure that youre es-tablishing a culture of inclusion andrighteousness. For me, my staff is di-verse. I have a Black manager and awhite manager. I have a male and a fe-male manager. We have a diverse groupthat gets along. Our No. 1 rule is treatingeveryone with respect. You should becourteous to everyone. If there are is-sues, report it to the right people whowill address it. I think that must be theculturethatyouarecultivatingandwhat you demand. The owners mustreflect that. You cannot have an ownerwhotalksnastyordirtyabouttheirguests to their employees, because em-ployees will start to get that in theirspirits and their minds.WCM: How do you make sure thatyour campers espouse those same val-ues and ensure that your park is wel-coming?Lefear: The world had done an awe-some job of making us believe that wehave more differences than we havelikenesses. That is not true. We are all sosimilar. We live, we eat, we breathe. Ithink that just highlighting the thingswe have in common is what I try to doin my park to foster that community.Wewillhavecommunitycookouts,Q&A Conversationscontinued on page 3028 -September 2020 Woodalls Campground Management'