You’ve found yourself the host or manager of a campground; congratulations! Now it’s time to learn how to manage your campground and ensure everything runs smoothly. Here are a few tips on how to manage a campground.
We broke these down into key areas to help you get started.
Get to know your campground and its features.
If you’re new to the campground, take some time to walk around and get to know the property. Identify any areas that may need some attention or improvement. Note the location of any water sources, restrooms, and trails. Chances are, someone will ask you for directions at some point, so it’s best to be prepared.
Once you’re familiar with the property, create a map of the campground (if there’s not already one). Include all the essential features like water sources, trails, and restrooms. This will be helpful for both campers and staff.
Also, what features do you offer at the park? Is there wifi? A swimming pool? A playground? Make sure you list all the amenities on your website and in any advertisements. We’ll cover marketing shortly, but knowing these details will come in handy.
Understand the rules and regulations.
Before managing the campground, you need to understand the rules and regulations. What are the quiet hours? When do people have to leave? Are there any restrictions on activities? There’s a good chance all of this outlined in the park’s brochure, so make sure you read it thoroughly.
If there are any rules or regulations you’re unsure about, reach out to the owner or previous manager for clarification. Once you have a good understanding of the rules, you can start enforcing them.
This is important not only for yourself but also for your staff and campers. Make sure everyone is on the same page and knows their expectations.
Plan out your staffing needs.
Now that you fully understand the campground, it’s time to start planning your staffing needs. How many people do you need to run the campground? What are their roles and responsibilities?
Think about the different areas of the campground that will need to be covered. For example, you may need someone at the front office to collect fees and someone else to clean the restrooms. If you have a larger campground, you may need additional staff to help with maintenance and security.
Once you know how many people you need and their roles, you can start hiring. Be sure to post job openings on your website and relevant sites.
Here are a few essential staff members you’ll need to run a campground. Remember that some personnel can perform multiple roles if your park isn’t as busy.
- Front office staff: someone to handle customer inquiries and payments.
- Maintenance staff: to clean and take care of the grounds.
- Security staff: to patrol the campground and keep things secure.
- Recreation staff: to organize activities and oversee the playground/pool/etc.
- Marketing staff: to promote the campground and attract new customers.
Market your campground.
Another area you’ll need to focus on is marketing. You must tell people that your campground is a great place to stay.
There are a few ways you can market your campground.
One way is to create a website for the campground. This is where potential customers can learn more about the campground and what it offers. Be sure to include lots of photos and a list of all available amenities and activities.
You can also promote your campground on social media. This is a great way to reach a wider audience and get people talking about your campground. Be sure to post regularly and use relevant hashtags. While at it, you can request guests to share their photos and tag your campground.
Another way to market your campground is by listing it on relevant websites. For example, if you’re managing an RV park, you can list it on websites like RV Park Reviews and Campendium. Be sure to ask your guests for reviews and post them on your website and other relevant platforms.
You can also reach out to local businesses and ask if they would be interested in partnering with you. For example, you could offer discounts to guests who stay at your campground.
Keep the grounds clean and tidy.
This is a no-brainer. To manage a prosperous campground, you must be clean and tidy. This means regular trash pickups, restroom cleaning, and general maintenance.
A quick way to get a bad review is to have a dirty campground. This is why it’s so important to have a solid cleaning and maintenance schedule.
You should also make sure that any common areas are clean and welcoming. This includes the pool, playground, and other places guests will visit.
You should also have a plan for how you’re going to deal with bad weather. For example, if there’s a heavy rainstorm, you’ll need to ensure the drainage systems are working correctly and there’s no flooding. The safety of your customers should be paramount.
Handle customer complaints.
Handling customer complaints is important when you manage a campground. No matter how well you run your business, there will always be some people who are unhappy with their stay.
It’s important to remember that not all complaints are created equal. Some guests may be difficult to please, while others may have legitimate concerns. It’s essential to listen to all complaints and resolve them to the best of your ability.
In some cases, you may not be able to please the customer. In these cases, it’s important to apologize and offer a solution. For example, if a guest is unhappy with their campsite, you could offer to move them to another site.
It’s also important to take complaints seriously and use them as an opportunity to improve your business. For example, if you’re getting many complaints about the campground’s cleanliness, you may need to reassess your cleaning schedule.
Make necessary repairs.
With guests coming and going, things will inevitably break from time to time. It’s vital to have a plan for how you’re going to deal with these repairs.
Ideally, you should have a maintenance staff who can handle most of the repairs. However, there may be some repairs that are beyond their scope. In these cases, you’ll need to hire a professional.
It’s also important to have a budget for repairs. This will help you avoid any surprises down the road.
One way to deal with repairs is to categorize them. Safety issues should always be dealt with immediately, while other maintenance can wait until there’s a lull in guests.
Be prepared for emergencies.
No matter how well you manage your campground, there will always be the potential for an emergency. It’s essential to plan how you will deal with these situations.
Ideally, you should have a list of emergency numbers posted somewhere visible. You should also have a first aid kit on hand, as well as a defibrillator.
It’s also important to have a plan for evacuations. This should include multiple routes and a designated meeting place.
You should also be aware of potential hazards on the property. For example, if there’s a river nearby, you should know how to deal with a flood.
Being prepared for emergencies can help keep your guests safe and reduce the chances of something serious happening. Depending on your state, they may also have some local regulations you need to follow.
Ah, yes, finances. This is one of the most tedious aspects of running a campground. After all, you need to make money to keep the business afloat.
There are a few key things you need to do regarding finances.
First, you need to track your income and expenses. This will help you see where your money is going and how much profit you’re making.
You also need to create a budget. This will help you allocate your resources and ensure you’re not overspending. If you budget correctly, you should have money left over at the end of the year.
Last but not least, you need to be mindful of taxes. Depending on your location, different tax laws may apply to campgrounds. Many campground owners choose to hire an accountant to help with this.
By staying on top of your finances, you can help ensure that your campground is profitable and sustainable in the long run.
Campgrounds can be a lot of work to manage, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be a gratifying experience. You get to work outdoors, meet new people, and help others enjoy the great outdoors.
We hope this guide on how to manage a campground will be helpful for you as you take on this new adventure. Do you have any other tips? We would love to get your feedback.