Hoodoo Point Campground managers Julie Stellmach and Randy Pratt asked the Tower City (Minn.) Council, Monday (June 10), to consider a plan to install campground-wide Wi-Fi in an effort to keep up with increasing demand from campground users for the service, according to The Timberjay.
The city’s Internet provider, CTC, would provide the Wi-Fi service for an additional $220 a month over what they currently pay to have Wi-Fi at the campground store. That monthly charge would only apply for the six months the campground is open each year.
Installation cost would include the addition of some new electric outlets on the utility poles to power the system, with estimated cost of $4,500 in one-time fees, according to Pratt.
“Wi-Fi would increase our nightly rentals,” Pratt said. “It would just take seven additional rentals a month to cover the cost of the Wi-Fi.”
The council asked Pratt to come back with written estimates for the project cost. The earliest the system could be installed would be in the early fall. The campground would need to commit to the system for three years.
The managers also talked about the need for some long-term improvements, to keep the campground up-to-date and competitive with other area campgrounds and RV sites.
They proposed a round of modest fee increases for next season, increasing the seasonal rate by $50/summer, and nightly rates by one or two dollars. Pratt said Hoodoo’s rates are currently on the low end of costs for area campgrounds.
“That would cover the monthly Wi-Fi expense,” they said.
But other improvements will be more costly. The bathrooms, they noted, are in need of upgrade. “McKinley Park just installed beautiful new bathrooms,” they said.
Pratt said Breitung spent about $50,000 on their bathroom upgrades.
Electrical service to the RV sites also needs to be upgraded to handle the new, larger RVs. Even right now, Pratt said, the campground is having a rough time handling electrical loads with RVs that are running air conditioning on hot days.
“We turn away a lot of campers,” they said, “because we can’t do the Class A 45 footers.”
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