b'campgrounds,campsitescontinueditional acres, which gives them the to be in short supply in many areasability to more than double the size of the country, particularly duringof the park in the coming years. peak travel periods. There also con- Omstrom and Becker have not yet tinue to be large numbers of agingcompletedanycapitalimprove-parks that require improvements inments at the 65-site Polson Motor-appearance,amenitiesandinfra- coach Resort, but they have begun structure.some beautification projects, includ-All these factors represent businessing new signage, lighting, and land-opportunitiesforBeckerandOm- scaping. strom, however, who describe them- Ofcourse,whileOmstromand selves as serial investors. As a result,Becker have identified lucrative busi-they typically acquire parks in sought- nessopportunitiesintheprivate afterdestinationsthatrequireim- park sector, they have also learned provements.Buttheyareeagertofirst-hand that owning and operating make these investments because theya campground or RV park isnt easyThe company has worked to improve every park it has purchased, including adding more camp-know such investments will enableand that there are many lessons tosites at the Dallas Northeast Campground. Photo: Open Road Resortsthem not only to boost occupancieslearn. but to generate higher rates.Itsverymuchlikeowninga We want to provide high-quality,hotel, Omstrom said. Its very peo-family-friendly,highly-amenitizedple intensive. Its very labor intensive. parks in great locations, OmstromYou must have hands-on manage-said.ment or the wheels quickly fall off. OmstromandBeckeraredoingOmstromadded,Ifyoudont that by acquiring parks in some ofreinvest into the park and give peo-the most sought-after destinations inple a good experience, you will get the country. They are also makingbad reviews because, at the end of significantimprovementsateachthe day, were in the hospitality busi-park, and they are expanding themness. by adding more RV sites and rentalOmstromandBeckerhavealso accommodations whenever it is fea- learned the importance of retaining sible to do so.aparksbestpeopleasemployees At Dallas Northeast Campground,whentheyacquireaparktokeep Omstrom and Becker added 20 pre- things running smoothly. We are big mium full-hookup RV sites, boostingon consistency, Becker said. Addi-the park to its present mix of 115 sitestionally, they have learned that there and 10 cabins. They also renovatedisnoshortageofworkcampers theparkseventcenter,recreationwantingtoseekworkatparksin hall and camp store and added 30great locations such as Yellowstone personal storage units, a fitness facil- National Park or Flathead Lake. That ity,anoutdoorgrillingkitchen,ahelps with recruitment. communityfirepit,aplaygroundLookingaheadtothesummer and a dog park.campingseason,Omstromand AtRedRockRVPark,OmstromBecker are bullish. and Becker added 65 premium full- Gas prices had an impact on de-hookup RV sites, boosting the park tomand last year. We did have a lot of 155 sites in addition to adding a tinycancellations because of that, Om-home from Wheelhaus and a com- strom said. pletelyrenovatedAirstreamasaWhilegaspricesthisyearare rental unit. They also renovated thehigher than they were a couple of camp store and added a new bathyears ago, they have been falling a lit-house, laundry facility and dog park.tle bit recently. That can only help the Improvements at the Polson/Flat- campground industry, he said. head Lake KOA Holiday include theMyguessisthatwhatsonthe additionofthreenewtentsitesbooks today versus last year at this which complement the parks 49 RVtimeismorerocksolid.Moreof sites and six cabinsand the renova- thosereservationswillstickthis tionoftheparksminiaturegolfyear, he said, adding, People who course.OmstromandBeckeralsoare booking reservations right now noted that they have about nine ad- are not likely to cancel.WCMThe Becker family The Omstrom familyWOODALLSCM.com April 2023 39'