WOW! For those of you who own an RV Park, or want to own and RV Park, like me, attending an RV Park Conference will put your whole body into a tailspin!
The shear amount of knowledge in every session was well worth the money we spent to attend. In this episode I’m going to share with you several guest experience takeaways I learned from the Florida and Alabama 2022 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo that was held in Daytona Beach.
This conference wasn’t really a conference where your everyday RV traveler would go, it was more in alignment with RV park owners with existing parks or if you’re looking to develop your own park. This conference was loaded with new ideas and upgrade options!
I’m mainly going to focus on how technology is being used in the RV industry and because you already know I have a technical background and this stuff is just plain exciting, and it makes my heart jump out of my chest.
When I first decided that I wanted an RV Park my goal has always been to focus on the best of use of technology so I could lower the number of employees or overhead and capitalize on the profits.
I have visited a lot of parks especially here in Florida and no one that I could tell was using technology to their advantage. One of the things, that truly drives me crazy is when you pull into a park after hours, it’s dark and you start looking for the guy on the golf cart, because he’s going to take you to your spot. It drives me crazy because I feel sorry for the sucker that had to make sure he was at the gate at the exact time you arrive just so he can show you to your spot. I’m pretty sure he’d rather be at home with his wife than tending the gate until midnight and I’m pretty sure the owner doesn’t want to have to pay for that kind of service either.
Now, I know not all parks have the guy at the gate, so they leave you an envelope that has your site number on it and now you’re left to drive around in the dark trying to spot that itty bitty, barely visible site number with hardly any well-lit roadways to help you find your way.
Wouldn’t it be cool, if there was a way, to notify the guest upon arrival, where your site is and a directional map that told you how to get there? Well, there is!
When you arrive to your site at midnight and you begin your regimen of setting up your RV, you notice that there’s no water coming out of the spicket. UGH! What do you do? You know you’ll be good over night so it’s no big deal, but tomorrow you’ll need water because you’ll need to take a shower after your long day of travelling yesterday.
Your first gut reaction is I’ll walk over to the office tomorrow morning when they open at 9am to let them know we have no water.
What if I told you, you could place a service request from your phone and when the maintenance crew arrives to work tomorrow at 7am, they are already working on your situation before you even get out of bed! Yes, they have it!
Ok, so here’s another one. You leave bright and early to go run errands and get groceries and you’ve been gone all day and when you return home to your RV, you notice a sticky note on your camper door. The note reads, for anyone that would like to play pickleball today, there’s a tournament that starts at 1pm and will go to 5 pm.
You realize that you’ve missed the tournament and pickle ball is your favorite sport and you are immediately defeated.
Wouldn’t it be cool to get announcements much quicker and easier than a sticky note on your window? Yes, they have it!
Ok, so it’s laundry day. You gather up all your laundry, soap and the quarters you’ve been collecting in a zip lock baggie and set foot to walk about 300 paces over to the laundry facilities and when you arrive all the washers and dryers are full and instead of waiting for a washer to become available, you carry your laundry back to your camper and try again later. If you’re like me that whole scenario just made my back hurt!
Later arrives and you head out, only this time without your laundry and you notice a washer is available, so you rush home, grab the laundry and rush back only to realize someone beat you to it again.
Don’t tell me this has never happened to you because I know it has, it’s happened to me several times. When it finally opens up, you place your items in the laundry and go back to the camper after setting your timer for 45 minutes. You walk back over in 45 minutes and then place your wet clothes in the dryer and set another timer for 15 minutes and walk back home.
What if there was a way to know a washer or dryer was available without walking to the facility? What if you no longer have to collect and use quarters? What if the washer sent you a message letting you know that there are 3 minutes remaining in the wash cycle? Yes, it’s all available now!
In Episode 56 – Elon Musk is helping the RV Industry – you learned that you can now carry your own internet service with you in your RV for a low cost of $135.00 a month. With technology on board there are no more limits to where you can travel. If your favorite park is out in the boonies UT and it may be a while before their park is wired for sound, you can be streaming under the stars!
Jump aboard the technology train because it’s coming and it’s coming fast.
One question that’s probably lingering in your head is, ok, Mechiel now that you told me about all of these new fantastic technology features, where do I find parks that have this technology.
Great question! Here’s a general rule. If the “park” was created or existed 50 years ago and they’ve not done any upgrades – you won’t find them there. You will, however, find them at new “Resorts” or parks that are upgrading to resorts. Notice the terminology? We no longer use the word park when talking about RV resorts. Today, it is the upscale resorts or RV Communities that have the updated technology.
While I was at the conference, I met several park owners that were changing their mindset around adopting the new technology but it’s true not all parks today have this technology, but I will promise you this. My resort or community will have the latest and greatest technology.
I’m Mechiel Kopaska of the Fearless Innovator Podcast, thank you for listening and I hope you found this information helpful.