b'BY RON BARGER & BEN QUIGGLEReservation Software Providers Continue to Innovate asCompetition Stiffens Among New Firms Entering SectorA surge in interest in the outdoorhospitalityindustryhasnotonly led to an increase in thenumber of campers but also tosignificant growth among themanysuppliersthatprovideproductsfromclothingtorecreationalamenities.Perhaps no segment is growing faster thanthe reservation/campground managementarena, however. In North America, it seemsthat new companies are forming all the time,asreservation/campgroundmanagementsoftware providers are constantly innovatingto stay ahead of the competition and providenew features for park owners who are lookingto ease the burden of managing an RV parkor campground.WoodallsCampgroundManagement(WCM) reached out to a large number ofreservation/campground management soft-ware providers to get updates on what they Reservation software providers are innovating due to an increased demand in requests for moreprovide and to help park owners better un- functionality from owners who are using the software systems to operate their parks more efficiently.derstand the growing marketplace.Advanced Outdoor SolutionsMatlacha, Fla.-based Advanced Outdoor Solutions Solutions, told WCMthat the company also specializes(AOS) said the companys growth is continuing in 2021 in website development and site design, marketing,as it serves over 40 parks across the U.S. and expanded management of campgrounds and resorts and offersinto Canada.accounting features. The company provides three systems. It serves as a AOS also helps inventors and entrepreneurs inter-distributor for Rez Expert, a producer of Digital Rez, ested in investing or starting a campground with theand Newbook. It also provides its own software, Mo- start-up process, including site selection, permitting,saic. resort layout, budgeting, consulting, and more. Kathleen Walsh, the owner of Advanced Outdoor (302) 616-2895www.advanced-outdoor.biz Katheleen WalshAspiraAccording to Matt Smithson, director of de- keep the park in-line with ongoing regulations and pro-velopment at Aspira, private park owners are re- vides a safer, more comfortable environment for bothsponding well to the features that Aspira offers.guests and staff. We are expecting significant growth in 2021 Additionally, Astra Go! offers us a foundation to buildin response to the growth in the outdoor hospi- and will allow us to deliver new functions into the future,tality industry, he said. We have some signifi- he noted.cant new features we are working on for 2021. Also, the team made improvements to its side-by-sideThe company pushed the limits in 2020, deliv- map and grid functionality. Smithsons team is also work-Matt Smithson ering both timely and strategic functionality to ing to deliver SMS texting, a new park day-use and permithelp support our clients growth. module and enhanced meter reading, housekeeping andThe company has recently released a mobile app,Astra Go! maintenance functions. Its not for consumers but park operations, Smithson clari- (800) 547-9147 www.AstraParks.comfied. It facilitates contactless interactions for park staff, helpsCampLifeAccording to Tyler Duffy, president of many other features. CampLife,hiscompanyisseeingmore We recently released 13 new features and improvementsgrowth as campground owners become to adapt with our parks he added. We do have a few bigmoredependentonmanagementsoft- things on the 2021 development roadmap as well, includingware to help them more efficiently run expanding options for both campers and park operatorstheir businesses.that will be announced later this year. Were signing up more parks as more Duffy stated that CampLifes most recent features includepeople are camping or planning to camp Mobile Check-In, Sign+Store, document storage and guestTyler Duffy this year, and revenue is up, said Duffy. credit. Our online reservations are higher for the With fluctuating market conditions its more crucialfirst quarter of 2021 than they were for the first quarters of than ever for owners to be taking advantage of our dynamicboth 2019 and 2020, and that was, of course, pre-COVID.pricing functionality, he also pointed out. He shared that in 2020, 37% of parks that had been using Duffy noted that owners are looking for ways to appeal to newCampLife for five or more years had their best earning year campers, increase efficiency, and maximize revenue. on record.Were working on tools that create a modern and seam-Thats due in part to the tools we have to help them man- less camping experience for both the camper and camp-age guests and revenue, Duffy noted. That includes con- ground operator, he said. tactless check-in, robust rules and accounting engines, and www.getcamplife.com18 -May 2021Woodalls Campground Management'