b"Owners Perspectivefrom page 27 additional improvements since join-ingKOA,includinginstallingmore scoured the Northeast and the Upperparkmodelcabinsandfurnished Midwest, from Michigan to Maryland,glamping tents as well as a furnished making offers on five different camp- covered wagon. During the summer grounds before they finally securedseason, they offer their guests family their current campground in 2015.activities that include hayrides, kids' It was very run down with lots ofcrafts, music and foam parties on the deferredmaintenance,Fernandobeach and guest appearances by peo-said.ple who do animal and magic shows. The other challenge involved theThey even have a pig roast, a chili people who lived and camped there.cookout and Christmas in July activi-Thisparkwashalfpartyandhalfties. They set aside about half of their family, Damaris said, adding that the200 sites for overnight travelers, with two didnt mix and created an unac- the balance for seasonal campers. ceptable environment.Their success has been such that Itwasanightmare,Fernandothey have been able to use some of Conestoga wagons add some character to the park.said.their income to help several people But they soon got rid of the prob- they have learned about who are fac-lemguestsbyimposingnewparking hardships in other countries, in-rules and regulationsQuiet timecluding Brazil, India and Peru. means quiet time, Damaris said To get to this point, however, the and by raising their prices.Lusvarghissaidthereweremany We had to boot a lot of people out.other lessons they had to learn on We had to call the police many times.theirowntobecomesuccessful But most left on their own terms,campground operators, one of which Fernando said.was to create their own network of Theotherimmediatechallengeother park operators to use as advis-was making the campground a placeers. where families with children wouldI feel like the most valuable thing want to camp. Initially, there were nowe did is get half a dozen successful amenitiesasidefromanoldplay- campground owners who have been ground.in the business for 20 to 30 years and But after spending two years mak- to stick with them. Visit them as much ingrenovations,suchasinstallingas you can. Ask questions. They can jumping pillows, a Water Wars game,bring their experience to your busi-a gaga ball pit, corn hole and creatingness, Fernando said. aswimmingpondtocomplementThe Lusvarghis mentors include their fishing lake, the Lusvarghis in- Bill and Marsha Cable of Austin Lake vited Larry Brownfield, KOAs assis- RV Park & Campground in Toronto, tantvicepresidentoffranchiseOhio; Nelson and Sandy Cicchitto of development services, to come take aLake Monroe Village in Bloomington, look at their park.Ind.; and Chip and Bambi Hanawalt Brownfield was so impressed thatoftheSunbury/ColumbusNorth within a week he sent paperwork toKOA Holiday in Sunbury, Ohio. the Lusvarghis, offering them the op- TheLusvarghisalsoidentified portunity to join the KOA franchiseother lessons they believe can help network,whichwouldraisetheirboth new and existing park operators marketing profile, as well as their abil- across the U.S. and Canada. Among ity to attract more campers. They alsothem: joined a KOA 20 Group, which allowsBe humble: We need to be hum-them to share their financials and dis- ble, Damaris said. No matter how cuss the details of every aspect of parkmany years you are a campground management.owner, you can also learn from other The Lusvarghis have made manypeople. But you have to be humble to listen.Dont be afraid to raise your rates: Havingawaitinglistisleaving money on the table that you are not picking up, Fernando said. Its less wear and tear on the campground to have fewer people generating more revenue. Ask your guests to give you a re-view:Damarissaidsheoftensees Campground OverviewName: Lake Milton / Berlin Lake KOA Holiday campground in Lake Milton, OhioSites: About 200, evenly split between transient and overnight campers.Rental Accommodations: Rusticcabins with outdoor sinks; parkmodels; and glamping tents. Amenities: Miniature golf; Water Wars game; gaga ball pit, corn hole; jump shot game; bocce ball; horseshoes; small zoo; swimming pond and large fishing lake.Website:https://koa.com/campgrounds/lake-milton32 December 2022Woodalls Campground Magazine"