b'Jen. Because I get phone calls all thearent 100% sure what that looks likeperately to stick to our cancellation timefrompeoplewantingtodoyet.policy, Jen highlighted. events, weddings or family reunionsShe said the upgrade could be aButstaffingremainsthebiggest right here in our park. Our struggle isconcretepourandapavilion-typeproblem. Staffingwasabigchal-parking. We dont have any overflowstructure or a higher quality tent an- lenge this year, she lamented. parking. We bought an event tent thischored into this system. In additionButthatswherebeingafamily year and made a space for it. And thentothisimprovement,AspenAcresbusinesscomesin.Ourkidsare we did get to use it a couple of timeshasusedthesehighlycapitalizedboth college-age and they work their and had people rent extra RV spots totimes to improve the basics.tails off all summer, Jen explained. pile cars into, so they werent disrupt- Last fall we did some widening ofAnd I had a couple of other college ing the rest of the campgrounds andsites and our pull-through sites upkidsthissummerwhowereawe-that seemed to work OK.the middle of our campground, shesome. But we need experience and if But the wind at this high altitudesaid. We actually made them dou- we hire work campers, we just dont destroyed the tent in August and theble-wide. Every two spots, we madehave a lot of space. couple are considering a more per- oneandput50-amppedestalsinGrowing pains are hard, and I feel manent solution.those. In 2022, we are going to con- like thats the challenge of the indus-Were trying to figure out if wetinue to widen the sites up the otherquilts and sheets in sleeper cabins.trywereinrightnow,shecon-want to do something more perma- side of our property that is on theThe Pollocks are also the victimscluded. Werealltryingtogeton nent, find a better-quality tent or putsideofthemountaininthetrees.ofcampersoverbookingandthenboard with new technology to make upsomethingmore.IwenttotheThis year we were still trying to takecanceling.sure were communicating and giv-Glamping Show USA and my brainsit back from mother nature.I feel like one of our biggest chal- ingourguestsagoodexperience. runningahundredmilesanhourShe is also upgrading cabins withlengesiscancellationsatthelastAnd as a business owner, I definitely with all the possibilities. We do wantnew linens and towels in the bath- minuteandpeoplewantingtheirwant to give our guests an awesome tobeabletohaveevents. Wejustroomsandkitchensandall-newmoney back and we were trying des- experience. WCM UcamP Express Utilizes Automation for More of a Hands-Off ApproachWhen campers pull into the 10-siteany time and providefriendly space withthing is and when you come into the UcamP Express campground off Inter- the Phillips with viewsa dog park, handi- campground there is a sign saying, take state 57 in Salem, Ill., the first notable ob- from every angle thatcaprestroomandany available spotservation will be the absence of any stafftheycanviewfroman RV dump serviceThe Phillips worked with a commer-ormanagement.Insteadthecamp- wherever they are. available at any va- cial parking garage kiosk manufacturer groundwith its 60-foot, paved, pull- We can see everycant site. to customize the kiosk specifically for thrusitesgreetscamperswithansite,everylicenseFree firewood istheir needs.automated check-in-and-pay kiosk. plate and every part ofincluded and thereIt is like a kiosk that you would find Owned by Becky and Sam Phillips, ofthe campground withis a larger fire pit inat a parking garage, she said, but we Salem, the campground is a fully auto- ourtop-notchsecu- ashelterontheworked with them to modify it for our mated RV experience.ritysysteminrealproperty. Each siteneeds. It is a concept Sam and I talked abouttime,shereported.hasa65-footce- She said she has three employees on for years, stated Becky. When we trav- Right now, I am six hours away andment walkway to keep campers out ofcall to stop by and check on the park, eled, we wished we had places like thiswatchingthecampgroundonmythe mud, as well as a chiminea and aclean the bathroom, pick up the sites (automated) all across the country andphone. I now know that three guestsfour-person picnic table. and sometimes interact with full capac-there were none. have left, and I will call our part time staffShe stated that proper signage is aity situations to answer any questions.She lamented that the couple got tiredto come and check for any trash, dogvery important aspect of the automatedWetrytobehospitableeven of check-in lines and waiting for servicestools or any other needs. business model. though we are not there most of the in the middle of the night when theyUcamP Express is just $44 per night,You must have signage at each sitetime, she said. One night, we had $7 would arrive at a campground. which represents 24 hours from check- thatgivesthedirectionsofwhatsitemillionworthofhigh-endClassA Many times, it was a real hassle, shein.Weeklystaysare$275perweek.number you are in and how to go up tocoachesinourlittlecampground.I said.Handicap and extra parking are avail- the kiosk and pay, she explained. Thenthink its pretty impressive for a little With this automated version, campersable. Additional amenities include fullythere is also signage up by the kiosk, sig- town our size to pull those kinds of vis-never have to wait or wake someone inservicedsites,high-speedWi-Fi,petnage on the building as to where every- itors off the interstate. WCMthe office, they just pull into the kiosk, pay and pull through to their campsite. In addition, the expectations of service arelessdemanding,allowingowners more freedom to work full-time jobs.To give you an example, we both are working at full-time jobs and on the road traveling, and the campground is run-ning perfectly without us being there, she shared. We think this is the future of campground management. Especially for small campgrounds just off the inter-state like ours.Phillips said that with the proximity to the interstate and being just six hours from Elkhart, Ind.,the world capital of RV manufacturingthey get many own-ers of Class A and luxury fifth-wheels on their way north on the I-57 corridor to get maintenance for their coaches. Whenyouaretravelinglongdis-tances you just need a hassle-free option to stay one night, she explained. When you come to our campsite you pull in, pick immediately the open site you want, you go set up, take the dog to the dog park, let the kids out and at your conven-ience go up to the kiosk and check into your campsite and pay with your card.On the bottom of the receipt the kiosk prints the push-button codes for the Wi-Fi and the bathroom. There is no gate to pull into, just 10 sites in a well-kept field. Securitycameraseverywhereinthe campground record what is going on at WOODALLSCM.com April 2022 33'