b'SUPPLIER INSIGHTS BY RON BARGERCampspot Builds Out More Tools in Thriving Campground Management Software MarketCampspot, a reservation and bookingexperienceserving Cochran,directorof Campspot offers a number of tools that it says owners can usemanagement software provider, campersandcampgrounds. businessdevelopment. to attract more campers and make it easier to take reservations. is having a great start to 2021 in Since the initial software was We passed 1,100 parksthis thriving camping market- launched,Campspothas onthesystem,withplace. processedhundredsofmil- planstoincreasewhatTheGrandRapids,Mich.- lions of searches and millions weaccomplishedlastbased company, which also has of bookings. year into 2021.development offices in Denver, The company reports, We CochransaysthatColo.andChicago,Ill.,was hadanincredible2020with Campspothasbuilt-infounded in 2015 with the intent Casey Cochran more than 600 new parks start- technology that no othertoprovideasimple,modernonline ingonourservice,saidCasey softwaresysteminthemarket has.BetweenourGridOptimization AlgorithmpairedwithourLockSite feature, our eSigna-ture withExpressCheck-In, and recurringbillingwithautomatedpayments,wehavehelpedparkownersgainsignificant Campspot was built by park ownersrevenue while saving lots of adminis- for campgrounds specifically, he said.trative time, explained Cochran. But And this doesnt take anything awayour hottest seller will always be our from any other software in this space,supportandaccountmanagement but we feel it has given us the advan-team. They are the difference-maker. tage to be able to accommodate a lot ofHe stated that his team will continue those unique features that only parkdownthepathofautomating owners have and demand.processes for campers checking in by But the No. 1 reason for Campspotsadding text messaging and even camp exponential growth may be its busi-storeadd-onsthataretalliedwhen ness income strategy.campers reach the online checkout. Were a little unique in this space,All this, as well as online cancella- said Cochran. Its free to sign up withtions, are slated to be completed before Campspot. There are no upfront costs.the season kicks off in 2021, added There are no monthly costs or yearlyCochran. fees. If a park has eight sites or 8,000Hesaidthecompanysconcept sites, they get the same software. Therebegan in 2014 with a small group of is no tiered pricing, there are no differ-campground owners looking to make ent levels, everything that the softwaretheir lives easier. has, every park gets.It started as a group of park owners And once a park is signed up, wethat had a portfolio of parks and just make that entire investment up frontneeded software that had a little bit tobuildeverythingout,buildtheirmoreflexibilityfortheirday-to-day map, put in all the rules, import any ofneeds, Cochran explained. So, what their data, do all the training, do all thestarted as running very large transient support,hecontinued.Wedontparks has taken on a life of its own. We charge anything for that and then oncenow can accommodate all parks of all they are live and taking online reserva-shapes and sizes. tions, we charge $2 per online reserva-Its a modern booking engine with tion thats made.the focus on driving revenue for the Cochransaidmostparksmorecampground owner, he added. That than 90%take that charge/fee andhasalwaysbeenthefocus,butits pass it onto the guest.taken on a life of its own. Right now, we Theydontpayanythingforplan to have somewhere between 1,700 Campspot, he noted. To be honest,to 2,000 parks by the end of the year. there are no costs to them. Thats theThat is the current roadmap or plan. pricing model, there are no hidden feesCochranstatedthatCampspots or anything else there, its just what wedramatic growth is partially due to re- charge per reservation.cent trends in staffing and human re- On a parks website, Campspot in-sources at the front-office level at many stalls links to its software platform.parks. We provide a direct booking link forOwnersarerealizinghowtime- them, explained Cochran. They getconsuming it is to take every reserva- their direct booking link that is mir-tionoverthephone,henoted. rored to look as if its an extension ofEspecially with last years boom, it just theirownwebsite.Thenwehaveabecame almost impossible to manage marketplaceaswell,thatweusetotheamountofinterestthatowners bridge the gap between new camperswere seeing. There has been a big shift looking for parks that have availabilityof owners realizing, Hey should I be and linking them up with the parkstaking reservations online? And just as that are using Campspot.important, they want to be able to im- Internal reservations, points of saleplement the rules and the strategies andreportingareallrunthroughthat their park has had with that online Campspot. The campground collectssystem. themoneyupfrontandthenCochran said growth for Campspot Campspot bills the park at the end ofalso sprang from the fact that its soft- the month based on how many onlineware was developed for campgrounds, reservations they took.not modified from hotel and hospital- We service most of the large parksity software. Supplier Insightscontinued on page 3014 -April 2021Woodalls Campground Management'