If you operate a seasonal park, the weeks and months leading up to your opening day are no doubt an extremely busy time as you prepare to welcome your first group of guests. Here are a few extra tips to help you get ready:
1. Do a “first impressions” reality check. Pretend you’re a first-time visitor as you enter your park. What are your honest first impressions? Is your signage easy to read and well-maintained? How about your landscaping? Does it need any extra TLC? And how about the entrance to your office? Does it send a clear message that guests are welcome here? Pre-opening is a great time to make any tweaks that can turn a good first impression into a great one.
2. Head off any potential problems with utilities. Test every faucet, hose bib, electrical connection and outlet to ensure they’re in good working order. While you’re at it, check your wi-fi strength and coverage, cable or satellite TV service and any equipment guests may use such as washers and dryers.
3. Check your pedestals for reverse polarity. This is a potentially dangerous situation that occurs when the hot and neutral wires in an electrical circuit become switched and can create a shock hazard. Reverse polarity can also be introduced into your electrical distribution system through a guest’s RV, but if you know your pedestals are OK, it will be easier to start pinpointing which RV is causing the problem.
Before his season begins, Michael Hobby, CPO, OHC, owner of ARVC member-park Moon Landing RV Park & Marina in Cross Hill, S.D., uses a 50 AMP RV site circuit tester to check every one of his pedestals. “It’s cheap insurance,” he says. “In a park you have literally hundreds of outlets and you have hundreds of opportunities for something to go wrong.” Whenever Hobby’s maintenance team finds any issues, he brings in a licensed electrician to repair them. Learn more about reverse polarity here.
4. Make a list of things guests have given negative feedback on. Prioritize them, then address as many of them as you realistically can. Returning guests will notice these changes and appreciate your efforts.
5. Check out your recreational equipment. Make sure all of the balls, nets and other equipment you need for of your recreational activities are in good condition or determine if it’s time to repair or replace them.
Your Hard Work Will Pay Off
Taking care of these issues before your park opens will give you more valuable time for your guests.
Jim Button, OHE, has owned ARVC member-park Evergreen Campsites & Resort in Wild Rose, Wis. for more than 20 years, so he’s been through a lot of opening seasons. “The single most important lesson is that getting ready for the season is equivalent to getting your home ready for a special event,” he says. “We put in the time to make the campground look pristine and well maintained so we can focus our energies during the summer on our camper experience.”