b'State Association Conference Sessions TakeaLookatRateManagement, Unruly Guests, Tax Issues and More nBY JEFF CRIDERWoodalls Campground Magazine (WCM) attended a number of different state association conferences this spring to catch up with park owners and learn more about trends in the industry.Part of that experience included attending education sessions that dove into a variety of different topics. In an effort to share important information with park owners/operators that couldnt attend these conferences, WCM is sharing excerpts of some of those sessions below.Look for even more excerpts in WCMs June issue as well.Excerpts below are from the Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners Conference and Tradeshow held in mid-March.Bud Styer talks about park improvements to an overflowing crowd Dont be Afraid to Raise Rates make campers happy, Styer said, be- during a session at the WACO conference.(Photo: Jeff Crider/WCM)to Pay for Park Improvementscause they see you spending their money Some convention speakers offered mul- for their benefit.Ive seen people take existing tennisthis place up? tiple seminars, including Bud Styer, a long- Investing in games and attractions arecourts that nobody plays and convert themSometimes, he said, its worth it for park timeparkownerandparticularly important for park operatorsto pickleball, he said.operators to leave their park for a period of industry consultant, whowho want to target the family market, heStyer punctuated his seminar with pho- time and come back to it with a fresh set of talked about the impor- added. If that kid is bored and he wants totos of rundown, poorly maintained parkseyes. tance of making park im- leaveat10a.m.onSaturdaymorning,with unkempt trailerswith junk behind andHe noted that Wisconsin park operators provements.Henotedyouve got a problem. The family has aunderneath themand the eyesores theyroutinely give their buildings a fresh coat of thatparkoperatorsproblem, said Styer, who specializes inpresent to anyone coming into the park. paint before hosting WACO members on shouldntbeafraidtoowning and operating family campgrounds.There are other people who are in thesite visits of their facilities. Why dont you raiseratestocompen- I have 103 pedal karts. You cant getstoragebusiness.Thatsnotyourjob,do it for your customers? he asked. sate for their investmentsthem on a Saturday morning, he said, be- Styer said. I like buying parks that look likeStyer also talked about the importance Bud Styer inparkimprovements,cause the demand is so high. this because the upside is so simple, and Iof investing in rental units because of the especially if the improvements are visible.There are several games that park oper- like throwing things away.revenue they can generate. Get a park As long as you spend the money forators can add to their parks at relatively lowBut Styer also encouraged seminar at- model or a stick-built cabin, he said. The their benefit, they will not hassle you overcost, such as gagaball, which starts at lesstendees to take a hard look at their ownrisk factor is minimal with rentals. We con-the money, said Styer, who led a seminarthan $2,000. Its a game that kids willparks to see the eyesores and other thingsstantly buy them. titled Updating an Older Park.play, Styer said, adding that adjustablethat need to be fixed. If you can see it, heStyer added that rental units can be used Investments in visible things like road im- basketball hoops are another worthwhile,said, so can your customer. He may say,to transform low-performing campsites into provements and new playground equipmentlow-cost investment.I wonder why (the owner) doesnt cleanlucrative campsites, a critical strategy as 30 May 2022Woodalls Campground Magazine'