Kathleen Walsh

WOODALLSCM.com (WCM) has received some questions from park owners about how they should be managing rates if their park is open during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Kathleen Walsh, CEO of Advanced Outdoor Solutions, a provider of reservation management software and a frequent speaker on the topic of rate management, took a minute out of her busy schedule to give a few thoughts on what park owners should be considering as they look at their rates.

She noted to WCM that her company has been “inundated from both clients and industry folks about dynamic pricing in the midst of a national crisis, such as the one we face today.”

“Since many of the parks we service are in hurricane zones, we have faced this situation as a company numerous times in the past,” Walsh explained. 

She said it is important for park owners to realize that revenue management does not mean that rates will always go up.

“It is about selling the right site, to the right person, at the right time, for the right price,” explained Walsh. “This means rates can go up or down depending on supply and demand.”

Walsh said that park owners should hold rates during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We never take advantage of our guests by raising rates during a national crisis,” she noted. “We hold rates or even lower rates to be good neighbors. We also open up extra sites, release minimum length of stay restrictions, and work with neighboring parks once we are full.”

Walsh said that while park owners rely on technology to adjust their rates normally, owners should never allow technology to do all of their thinking for them.

“Hold rates steady through the crisis, knowing that the goodwill you gain during this time will pay dividends in the future,” she explained.

That doesn’t mean park owners should not be looking towards the future and keeping rate strategies in place for when the crisis is over, according to Walsh.

“Owners want to continue yielding rates for future bookings that will be arriving after the crisis is over,” she said. “Owners should also be focused on marketing to get the messaging out that they are open and a safe haven for travelers.”

To learn more about Advanced Outdoor Solutions, click here.