b'Reservation/Management Platforms Work to Add Features Ahead of Busy Summer Season T he 2022 camping season is getting ready to nBY BEN QUIGGLE kick off in full swing as northern-tier park owners begin to come out of winter hiber-nation with sights set on another big year for the outdoor hospitality industry.Even with gas prices increasing at the be-ginning of March, many in the industry still expect campers to hit the road in search of memorable expe-riences, and reservation software companies are seeing some big jumps in advanced reservations. Its just growing and growing, year-over-year, noted Brian McGuinn, director of SEPI Mar-keting,theownerofMySites,to WoodallsCampgroundMagazine (WCM).We are seeing reservations move up significantly heading into the camping season, said Casey Cochran, director ofbusinessdevelopmentfor Brian McGuinn Campspot. Advanced reservations, I want to say, are up close to 50% or 60% compared to 2021, as far as sheer volume of reserva-tions. Its up dramatically as far as advanced reserva- Park owners are finding that they can manage even more of their parks with reservation/man-tions and thats not all parks. If a park is seeing theiragement software, giving them more time to focus on other areas.(Photo: Advanced Outdoors)advanced reservations arent up, it may just be the style of park and the way people are used to booking.exploring increasing their prices, added Cochran. Ifdoing things the same way for years.Everyone Ive talked to seems veryyoure at 60% capacity already for the Fourth of July, What they have now may work for them, she noted. bullish about what bookings look likethats a lot of people that are going toThere is a learning piece there, but and about what the peak season com- be looking at the rest of that inventoryonce they get over that hump their eyes ing up is going to be like, explainedover the next few months. An ownersareopentotheopportunitythatis Rory Fagan, vice president of Northquestion should be what is the thresh- there.Theyreveryloyaltotheir America for Newbook. old or what are people willing to paycampers and thats always been a fan-So far, year to date, reservations onfor it?tasticthingwithinthisindustry.Its our system are up 15% over 2021, andStill, even with demand at an all-timemore of raising your rates, or changing Rory Fagan 2021 was a barn burner, said Tylerhigh for many owners, some shy awayyour rates, so that it also benefits your Duffy, president of CampLife.fromdynamicpricingorotherrateability to provide the best customer With reservations up for many parksCasey Cochran management tools. service. Your ability to actually have theLisa Senecalheading into the busy portion of the We are seeing park owners increasing rates, but wetimeandgetthosebookingsinandfocusonthe year, many reservation providers areprobably have less than 5% of our parks that are utiliz- campers that do come in. noticing more park owners are inves- ing dynamic pricing, where the rates change based on WCMreachedouttoalargenumberof tigating rate management strategies,occupancy and demand, said Duffy. reservation/campgroundmanagementsoftware somethingthathasbeenaslow Lisa Senecal, director of marketing for RoverPass,providers to get updates on what they provide and to process for many owners. noted that there is a learning curve for some park own- helpparkownersbetterunderstandthegrowing Withdemandhighrightnow,iters of smaller- and medium-sized parks that have beenmarketplace. Tyler Duffy makes sense that owners would start We try to push rates as far as we can until we feel that market push back, she said. People think rate yielding is always raising rates. There are plenty of times we lower rates in order to get occupancy up. Walsh noted that the extra revenue can often be reinvested back into the business.Wi-Fi is an area that park owners can get hammered on, and it is expensive to get a good system in place, so the extra revenue helps in those types of areas, she said.302-616-2895www.advanced-outdoor.bizAstraAstra, a campground reservation/management product offered through Aspira, has been busy working on a number of different areas over the last few months.We have hired more em-ployees in every department from development to product and more, said Gary Dodds, Advanced Outdoor Solutions marketingmanagerforthe Kathleen Walsh, the owner of Matlacha, Fla.-based Advanced Outdoor Solutions,company.Wehavemade told WCM that the company has moved into Canada as it continues to grow. some great strides in the fea-Advanced Outdoor is pretty excited about whats coming in 2022, she highlighted.tures we offer and a lot of it is 2021 was just a year of explosive growth and 2022 has already starteddue to our ability to listen to out the same. Were growing not only with new clients, but also withthe customer and understand current clients buying more parks. Were getting ready to move intotheir needs.another space because weve outgrown this one.Astra-Go,thecompanys The company offers its own reservations system software, Mosiac,mobile app, was launched in and also utilizes Newbook, along with other tools. The company also2021 and Dodds noted that it specializes in website development and site design, marketing, man- is extremely popular.agement of campgrounds and resorts, and offers accounting features. That is probably the most requested part of our demos and something that our Walsh noted that the company utilizes rate yielding to make surecustomers are asking for, he noted. Were going to continue throughout the re-Kathleen Walsh that its clients are making the most revenue they can. mainder of this year doubling down on that, to make it as easy to use as possible, to 16 May 2022Woodalls Campground Magazine'