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Old 07-27-2015, 10:31 PM   #43
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KOA is the best known chain of RV parks, don't forget Good Sam parks, escapees parks, Holiday Travel Parks, Thousand Trails, Coast to Coast, RPI, and a few more that I can't remember right now.
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:39 PM   #44
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Rhod,
1) Our planning is mostly at night BUT we ain't stupid! We call durring the day when we get going. Sometimes we have two plans on stops in case we decide to go further.
2) We don't need or expect pools, game rooms, manicured lawns, wifi or 3000 cable channels. We pull a rebuilt, in excellent condition, retro 1978 Excel 22' TT NOT a Prevost. We do not expect to pay $10/$20 per night, $25-$40 is normal for us.
3) It's interesting that you take umbrage with me suggesting that a business opportunity might exist. Also that being in business allows one to just let the place go to ^&*(.
I don't know what your business background is and you could be much more informed than me BUT what I see at regular intervals across the country allows anyone with any business acumen to visualize the issues and remedies.
Most places are half full with long term clients and that is good for the bottom line.
My comments were not about starting a new facility but maintaining a currently operating one. ANY customer orientated business has to keep up appearances to continue to get new business.
Its no different than in the airplane FBO business where small inefficient FBOs are being bought up by large corps and making the needed infrastructure improvements and the ROI returns. We can also talk about the restaurant business world if you want.
"Build it and they will come" has some validity.
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Old 07-28-2015, 07:15 AM   #45
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FWIW the parts of that trip I have been through were sand and cactus so we expected sand and cactus and not much else. From what I saw driving through it that was pretty common. In the NE where I usually hang out I expect tight campground originally designed for tenting and often without hookups. That is typical state park fare. The tourist areas do better and charge for it.

FWIW 2 when planning ahead I usually use Google and look for camoing. That hits on everything. A quick button hover gets reviews if they have them and that goes a long way toward pointing out the long term places.
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Old 07-28-2015, 09:03 AM   #46
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Rhod,
1) Our planning is mostly at night BUT we ain't stupid! We call durring the day when we get going. Sometimes we have two plans on stops in case we decide to go further.
2) We don't need or expect pools, game rooms, manicured lawns, wifi or 3000 cable channels. We pull a rebuilt, in excellent condition, retro 1978 Excel 22' TT NOT a Prevost. We do not expect to pay $10/$20 per night, $25-$40 is normal for us.
3) It's interesting that you take umbrage with me suggesting that a business opportunity might exist. Also that being in business allows one to just let the place go to ^&*(.
I don't know what your business background is and you could be much more informed than me BUT what I see at regular intervals across the country allows anyone with any business acumen to visualize the issues and remedies.
Most places are half full with long term clients and that is good for the bottom line.
My comments were not about starting a new facility but maintaining a currently operating one. ANY customer orientated business has to keep up appearances to continue to get new business.
Its no different than in the airplane FBO business where small inefficient FBOs are being bought up by large corps and making the needed infrastructure improvements and the ROI returns. We can also talk about the restaurant business world if you want.
"Build it and they will come" has some validity.
I understand that you may not know the general area you want to stay until early afternoon, so that does make it difficult.

Bottom line, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION, the less traveled ways will never have the capital investment that the more traveled ways will have, as they will not be able to command the usage and ROI that the more traveled ways do. Therefore your expectations will have to be modified for reality.

I totally agree that that is no excuse for keeping a place up. After all, it costs very little to just PICK UP THE TRASH! Plus that old abandoned wreck isn't a wreck, it's "scrap metal", and can be sold off!

That being said, I wholeheartedly encourage people to jump on untapped business opportunities when they see them. I know I do if it will fit into my grand plan.

The comment about FBO's being bought up is the same for any business. If you have a good business model that works for you, and you can apply/modify that model to work in a new location then it often pays for an umbrella organization to buy out the mom 'n pop. Just don't forget customer service, (cough, CAMPING WORLD, cough cough), but that's another thread. I love gunk holing to out of the way airstrips that still have the junker, loaner car that they're happy to hand the keys over for with the unspoken understanding that it be returned with more gas in than it started with, but they are getting harder and harder to find nowadays.

Sorry I got your dander up, that wasn't my intention, but reading back over my post, I can see where it might have that affect. I apologize for that, my fingers typed faster than my mind proofed!

Just remember, it's the ride, not the destination that is important!
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Old 07-28-2015, 07:24 PM   #47
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I tend to agree with the OP here. And to me it is a simple maintenance issue.

If you have a busted picnic table, fix it. A power box is smashed up, replace it. The grass is tall, cut it. The last gully washer washed you a new gully across the drive, fill it in. The door handle to the ladies room is loose, tighten it up.

ROI?

That family with the fifth wheel that pulled in because they noticed the place was well-maintained.

And of course the other piece of the ROI, if you tighten that door handle, you won't have to spend money to buy a new one when it falls off and breaks because you didn't tighten it.

You get what you paid for? Really? I've stayed at more than my share of KOA's and other private campgrounds where I paid two to three times the price of a state park, and would have gotten more at the state park. In my eyes, you don't get what you pay for, you get what you get. Which is why reviews are my friend.

Personally, I don't give a flip about cable TV, pools, game rooms, or ice cream socials. Give me a semi-level spot, wide enough to roll out the awning and the grill, and keep the weeds down where they don't tickle my cheeks.

Oh, and if one of those full-time campers wants to stay up late drinking and listening to loud music, make it part of their contract that they must provide drinks for everyone they keep awake.
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Old 07-28-2015, 07:48 PM   #48
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My gal and I have been RV'ing for just shy of 2 months now, and have gone out nearly every weekend (she is a teacher on vacation and I am between jobs so having fun this summer). We have been dry camping for the most part, but have visited a couple "full service" campsites and are about to take a 2-week jaunt and have been trying to set up spots on our trip. It is interesting the level of maintenance which is out there. We bailed on an Independence Day weekend trip with about 35 friends when we decided to visit the "resort," prior to the event. One would think that a, "Resort," would be pretty nice! I don't think the place had had any major maintenance in years, and the daily/weekly kind of stuff was quite lacking as well. Without going into great detail, I had visited the site before my gal had, and was very concerned. Those in charge and a couple of other people who had been there thought the place was SPECTACULAR! We went up and within 30 seconds of stepping out of the car I could tell that we wouldn't be staying there (the look on her face)! Lol. We began a frantic search to give us a place to go for the 4th, and luckily found a nice dry camp at a NRA. Our friends that did go to the resort, were ECSTATIC and thought it was wonderful!!!!! Wow.

People have different ideas of what is good, clean, well-maintained, fair, quiet, safe, etc. I like safe electrical, clean water, few weeds (or at least trimmed down), and a campground whose ground surface won't end up on the floor of our TT! I don't care for "Camp Nazi's," who are in charge, but actually prefer them to not having anyone at all or a wuss who won't make the rude/unthinking/noisy ones behave. I also realize that there is a price to many of these requirements (and often more for even more comforts), but again, as the OP was discussing, if you are going to charge for a spot, rent is being paid, and the landlord has some responsibilities to maintain.
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:08 AM   #49
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Rhod, I truly appreciate your remarks and I thank you for them.
My concern has been the lack of on going daily/weekly maintenance I'm seeing in numerous places.
As was mentioned, both renter and landlord have responsibilities, some just don't get done and it affects the bottom line.
Try the "crew car" at Carrizozo NM sometime! You'll ride on springs and no padding.
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Old 07-29-2015, 06:04 AM   #50
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I am a big believer in the free market. I am also a big believer in being at least a litle informed. So, please review these places in one or more of the on line resources so the rest of can decide and let the market work. There may be a place for the rat holes; I simply prefer not to stay in one.
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Old 07-29-2015, 06:46 AM   #51
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It's the same old story, just try to find someone who doesn't think all this junk coming in from China and all the money going back to Chine isn't a crying shame. Now when is the last time you saw a Wally-world close down due to poor sales?

Campgrounds are in the same boat, everybody wants the nicest amenities, big new pool, on the beach, etc., etc. but then wants to pay the same $20 a night they used to pay back in the 60's when they started camping.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:13 AM   #52
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The bottom line is that "you get for what you pay for" !

If you buy a cheap motorhome... you'll have tons of problems with it; if you buy a quality made motorhome, you'll surely have less problems with it, nothing is perfect.
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Old 07-29-2015, 07:31 AM   #53
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The bottom line is that "you get for what you pay for" !
When we overnight at a Walmart or in a rest area we ALWAYS get far more than we pay for.
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