MC Fireside Chats - Episode 69

This week on MC Fireside Chats, presented by Modern Campground, we’ll be discussing the latest industry news in our open discussion format with our panel of industry leaders who will appear once every month with us!

*Casey Cochran, Director of Business Development at Campspot Software
*Randy Hendrickson, Founder & CEO of United Park Brokers
*Scott Foos, CEO & Owner of Horizon Outdoor Hospitality
*Sandy Ellingson, RV Industry Consultant
*Kurt Repanshek, Founder of National Parks Traveler
*Mark Koep, Founder, and CEO of CampgroundViews.com
*Angela Hylton, Editor in Chief of Modern Campground

Transcript

[00:00:00]

[00:00:51] What’s up, everybody. Welcome to another episode of MC Fireside Chats. It’s amazing how I pull that off every morning. I was telling everybody behind the scenes that I like to run around and put my camera at different places and literally like five seconds before the intro ended. I sat down in this chair because I like to make things hard on myself.

[00:01:05] I got my little lighter and I got this nice little wood stove here. That’s going to keep me warm during the winter. I’ll tell you I got that later, but welcome to another episode of MC Fireside Chats. My name is Brian Searl with Insider Perks here as always with Angela Hilton, who is the editor and chief of Modern Campground.

[00:01:19] Cara is not able to join us this morning. She had some previous commitments and today is our open discussion show with all of our regular panelists and things like that. So I want to just go around the room. We did this last time at Casey hijack, the whole thing, talking about photos and things.

[00:01:31] So let’s try to like even it out a little bit and let everybody talk. Maybe you can just got to go around the room, introduce yourself briefly. And then what have you heard in the last 30 days? So what’s been going on in the industry. What’s changed, what’s coming up, those kinds of things. And we can maybe discuss some of that stuff.

[00:01:45] So whoever wants to start Angela what have you heard. I’ve just been seeing a lot of new new people coming into the space. Properties, changing hands and closing on new properties, lots of new developments and things like that, which, I think we’ve all been seeing for awhile because that’s just the trend in the industry.

[00:02:03] But I think a lot of people are trying to close those things out, whether they’re selling or buying before the end of the year. So there just really seems to be a lot of activity there. Yeah. It’s really interesting. How things shift throughout the year, what people are doing and what their priorities are, and obviously it’s the off season now.

[00:02:21] And so a lot of that’s changing. I keep standing up here in the corner of the screen because I have to move to my mouse to change people around. So you can see Angela larger, all these different people larger. But yeah. W what else from my perspective, I’m trying to think we had those conferences, did anybody here attend any of the conferences Arvik or Koa or LSI, or there’s just the three, I think since we last had our show, anybody to go to this. I was at the Koa conference and it was great. All you’re going to have to expand on that Sandy cause I up and I can’t keep getting up and moving people like I went to Seattle and I’m not in physically fit shape anymore.

[00:02:54] So well, the location was awesome. We were in Baton Rouge, the attendance was more than expected. And so there were a lot of parks that were there. I was really excited because there were actually a lot of vendors there. It wasn’t just the same old crowd. And of course, Toby gave an amazing keynote and I’ve been talking about it ever since we left because the the title of her keynote was re-imagining your space.

[00:03:20] And I could not take notes fast enough. It was that good. And so it was really wonderful. And I think the camp Browns all left really excited. Yeah. I’ve, I’ve frequently heard like Toby did the keynote at BCLC, their virtual conference. And we get absolutely amazing. The facts that she perspec provides from a QA perspective are amazing, but also just her delivery, her ability to make things personal and stuff like that is really unique and amazing.

[00:03:48] How was the attendance overall sessions and things like that? Did you go to anything that Sandy or. I went to the first two days. And then the last two days I was actually working. So I didn’t get the last two days, but the attendance was like I said, it was amazing. It was standing room only, and a lot of the breakout sessions.

[00:04:05] The other thing I love too, was there a lot of sessions that truly were educational which I loved it. Wasn’t somebody just trying to sell them something. And she really focused this year on trying to educate and arm the campgrounds with what they need to go into next year. And I thought that was a really strategic thing that she did.

[00:04:25] And so because of the. People were standing outside trying to get in the two that I went to, they expected a hundred and there were over 200 people that tried to come into it. So they ended up having to split it and redo it. The only ones I saw that weren’t fully I mean there were still standing room only, but they weren’t as many people where some of the fishbowl kind of things that they do, which is just, Hey, come, everybody get together and talk about your new ideas.

[00:04:52] But for the most part, like I said, it was great. We have a lot of campground owners watching the show. What were the things that came around and seemed to be prepared for it? You obviously took notes and remember all this verbatim, right? Sandy, you can share it with a whole of couple of the things that stood out for me was, she was literally talking about how, where we’re at a point as campgrounds in our industry where we could continue growth, or we could see some decline.

[00:05:17] We’re going into a season with hyperinflation. How is that going to impact us those kinds of things. And what I loved was her focus on, we need to win this as a community, not just not individual parks, it’s not going to be this park does well. And this park doesn’t, it’s going to be by working together.

[00:05:35] We’ll all continue the growth. And that means being able to make sure that your part can be found online, that the new campers can not only book a lot, but can manage their reservation a lot. Redefining customer experience. For an older generation customer service. Might’ve been talking to a natural person on the phone, but for a younger camper or a newer camper, their customer experiences technology.

[00:06:00] And so they want to be able to find and see the things that they want in the time that is convenient for them. And so I really loved all those things. And then the other thing I’ve just really been marinating on and thinking about is she talked about re-imagining your space and looking at all of your physical assets inside of a campground and figuring out where are you missing opportunities for revenue.

[00:06:23] And looking at that conference room or, rec hall or whatever you call it, game room that you’re really not using anymore. And how can you reimagine that space to generate revenue taking a park that may only be at 70% occupancy and. Taking two sites and combining them into one premium side, adding some amenities to it, umbrella with the with the table and a nice grill or a fire pit.

[00:06:50] And then literally you’re not, they’re not reducing the right cause they’re just doubling the rate, but they doubled the space. And now they’re at 90 to 95% occupancy and they’re increasing their revenue. Plus they’re pulling in new customers that want those types of amenities. And like one part that was the example.

[00:07:08] They took all of the end caps on all the rows and combined two sites on each end. And so they reduced their actual site numbers by eight, but actually increase their revenue by 10. Those are just a couple of the tips that I walked away with. And I totally loved one of the things that you said that really stuck out to me.

[00:07:26] And I think maybe we can diverge and talk on this. Cause a lot of our guests can probably speak to it is the inflation aspect of it. It’s a really publicized thing. That’s been in the news a lot lately. Is it going to impact parks? Is it not oil is going up. Oil is going down. So let’s, I know a lot of people can weigh in on this, but specifically mark, why don’t you just start us off because I know you posted a couple of times about this and your group, and you’re really good with keeping people up on board with that stuff.

[00:07:46] So what have you heard first? And then we can maybe go around the room. Yeah. Sounds good. Hello everybody. The big thing about inflation is that it goes back to our politics. Anytime you start talking this topic, everybody picks a side in the reality is you can’t pick a side at this point because it’s real, it’s happening.

[00:07:59] You’re seeing massive inflation. So as park operators, you need to ask the key question, which is how does that affect me now? How is it gonna affect me in the future and are things that I can do now to prepare for that. And so the things you can do now are acquire supplies for your stores. They’re going to be cheaper now than they are during the summer.

[00:08:16] So can you stock up on supplies that you sell on your stores? Do that? Are there any construction projects that you can get done now? Versus in the future because it’s going to be worth more. And the other thing is for folks that are considering selling their parks, the number one inflation hedge is a real asset real estate, right?

[00:08:34] Owning, owning property. It’s going to go up with the inflation. So if you selling a park, are you going to be putting that money into a different, tangible asset? Are you going to be buying some sort of real estate to make up for that? So those are the big questions. Then on the macro level, we need to ask about the consumers.

[00:08:51] The reality is we not only have inflation. We’re almost at the point where it’s, we’re getting close to hyperinflation. You’re seeing these massive increases in grocery costs. You’re seeing significant increases. They haven’t gone up quite as fast with fuel costs, but that’s affecting the end consumer.

[00:09:08] And what that means is going into this next season. The big question in every owner’s mind is what do I set my rates at? And that’s the wrong question. The right question is how do I have dynamic rates that can change on the fly if you’re not doing that? The pricing, if you haven’t been doing it, it’s time to finally do it and think about it this way.

[00:09:27] Dynamic pricing, the prices can go up, but they also can go down. Let’s go. Worst case scenario. Next July fuel is seven bucks a gallon. You can be able to raise your rates, likely not. You’re probably gonna have to go down. So if you’ve got dynamic pricing, you can rapidly drop your rates to fill your park up.

[00:09:42] So that’s all doom and gloom on the flip side is maybe everything’s gonna be wonderful and there’s gonna be roses and tubes everywhere. I don’t know. Two of those would be a bad example of that, but nonetheless, thinking about how it’s going to affect you in the longterm. The big thing about inflation, and this is a key point it’s missed in all the mainstream news I’ll, and I’ll throw the question to panelists.

[00:10:00] Does anybody know what the number one driver of inflation. It’s expectations of inflation. So if all of us as business owners expecting placation, we’re going to create inflation because if I expect prices to go up in the future, I’m going to raise my prices now to adapt for that, that ends up creating an inflationary environment.

[00:10:19] So the biggest problem we have it, and I’ll put it out there right now, unless we get some big, and I think I’ve joked about it, that I only planned three days in advance anymore because who knows what’s going to happen with the raft Friday. If we get some sort of variant, we could have a deflationary move, but assuming everything stays normal, we’re going to have inflation because everybody’s talking about it and expecting it.

[00:10:40] So that’s my overview on inflation. And feel free to jump in anytime guys like Randy Scott, Casey, if you guys have some comments, we want this to be a, not wait your turn, jump into the discussion and I’m sure some of you guys have comments and all that. I think Sandy and mark hit it on the head and what we’re really focused on across our managed properties is understanding what our cost per occupied site is.

[00:11:01] So we really need to understand what it is in place and apply some sort of realistic measurement metric to understand what it could be next year, if we’re trending in the same direction so that we are ensuring our rates and our profit margins are where they should be. So we. When it costs us and then set from there especially in this market where inflation is a major factor, but mark brought up some great points about stocking up on supplies.

[00:11:28] We did that through COVID as well with the early onset days, early this spring, we saw chlorine prices skyrocketing. So all of our properties stocked up on a year’s worth of supply. And we should be doing that same thing. As we’re looking into 2022, some of our properties are postponing capital improvement projects.

[00:11:47] For the next couple of years, not just a year delay, but what makes sense to push back two or three years? What do we hope things will stabilize? Or what should we just go ahead and bite the bullet on and pay more than what we would have, 18 months ago. But, we need this amenity in place for our rate expectations for next year.

[00:12:04] So it’s really looking at it like, like mark said, had a macro and micro level, but I would just really stress to our property owners that are watching to understand what your cost for occupied site is and pay close attention to that on a monthly basis. Can you explain that a little bit more?

[00:12:20] Cause you’re the first person who’s actually said that out loud, the cost per occupied site, how are you calculating that? Are you building in your fixed costs and your veer variable costs of that? Or how do you figure that out? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So great question. You should be tracking on your profit and loss every month, all of your fixed expenses and your variable expenses.

[00:12:39] Very simply, but the easiest way to look at it without getting too complex is to take your P and L your profit loss statement for. The year to date and I would suggest doing a monthly view. So you have each month separated and take your total occupied sites for each of those months as well.

[00:12:56] And divide that into your into your total expenses. Your total expenses should include all of your operating expenses. And you can also calculate in your your debt cost as well. And any other expenses that’s going to, that you really pay to keep the doors open? Okay, go ahead.

[00:13:18] Oh, I was going to maybe take the other side of lashes the other side, but me have another approach to that kind of the inflation ideas. On a brighter note, I would say that campgrounds for the most part this isn’t everyone, but a lot of them have been significantly under priced for a long time as well.

[00:13:35] So they have, they’ve offered a lot more than what they give themselves credit for. That’s why you’re seeing so many of these groups coming in and buying a lot of properties because they still feel there’s good value that’s there. And so when we talk about, inflation and things of that sort prices going up, there are still a lot of parks out there that have plenty of room to, to increase their prices based on demand as well.

[00:13:55] So if you want to look at it somewhat in a positive light there, I think even. Even with some inflation and with some unknowns and things of that sort, a couple of things still were really solidified. I think over the last couple of years through this pandemic and everything is that people like to be outside.

[00:14:11] They like to be camping, but they found that type of vacation to be a better overall experience and more satisfaction than then go and do, go into a home. And so the data overwhelmingly says that people are intrigued by camping now. And I think even with some inflation, this was some traces is going on.

[00:14:25] I think there’s a lot of campgrounds out there. I’ll put this in perspective where there is about 1600 campgrounds that are using our software. And I think it’s 39% of them have implemented a dynamic pricing rule option. And we’ve been, we sat to a blue in the face, right? Hey, you got, just try something, try one do one holiday, just something, just so you can prove the value of this.

[00:14:44] But still it’s 39% of parks are using this. So that tells me that there’s a lot of room for, just increase in what mark said to me. And again, dynamic rates go both ways, right? It’s not a Snickers bar. You can’t sell it the next day. If you don’t sell it, the, that Wednesday is gone forever.

[00:14:58] The fact that there’s still so much room for growth in both occupancy and for rates, leads me to feel that’s going to be another good. And that’s why it’s very nuanced discussion. And just give me one sec, Randy, sorry. It’s a very nuanced discussion, right? Because you hear, you read all the time that inflation’s here and we should be terrified.

[00:15:14] And then on the other side, it’s not really affecting a lot of people in some ways, yet it might not. But like you said, if rates are already low, then maybe this doesn’t even impact the consumer as much as we think from that standpoint. And Randy, please go ahead. But then Kurt also, I want to involve you a little bit because you’re seeing maybe some trends from, I don’t know if you dive into the occupancy at the national parks and things like that.

[00:15:32] If that’s an indicator of consumer interest in demand and things like that, then maybe you could just shed some light on too, but go ahead. Raby. From the consumer standpoint. First off, nobody loves him plate and inflation is not fun for anybody. We’re all consumers at the end of the day. But having been around the block for the past 30 years, I can tell you from his, from historical perspective, the, when there’s been a spike in gas prices, for example, the parks that we manage did not experience a drop in occupancy.

[00:16:02] The reason being people shifted their travel habits, they wouldn’t drive to Yosemite. Perhaps they might spend a longer time at a shorter trip, but there still are. The other thing to think about that, I think, which is really quite salient is you’ve got outdoor hospitality going on this huge upward swing with interests, with appetite.

[00:16:23] People want to be outdoors. And what have you. So what’s best to do in my estimation is think about the incremental cost. If you are going to spend, let’s just throw out a number of three 50, a gallon to go do your camping. And now it’s four 50 a gallon. Are you going to stay home for a dollar per gallon?

[00:16:39] And that’s the incremental, it’s not that it’s four 50 a gallon or a dollar a gallon more than it used to be. So all that to say, and it all comes back to the pricing for the campsites. Also, I just have not seen historically a major historical falling off the cliff when there’s an inflationary environment, it isn’t fun again.

[00:16:59] But as far as what we do in this outdoor hospitality industry, occupancy is really not going to take a huge hit and you don’t need to be running in fear that, that the sky is gonna fall. Yeah. That’s why I want to have this discussion. Because I think you’re right. I think you’re very right.

[00:17:14] Cause none of us are old enough or some of us are old enough, but the industry has changed so dramatically since the seventies, when we had that huge, last real, huge inflation spike. That we don’t really know, but we have a pretty good idea that unless it gets to something dramatic like that, that you’re probably right from the consumer standpoint.

[00:17:30] But it’s very nuanced in that, like Scott said, it’s going to impact dozens of other things around your park too, without a doubt. No question. But as far as.

[00:17:39] To add to what Randy said, and then to just tie into the idea that this isn’t all negative for us, there were, there was another recent study that was done, and basically they actually look to see what, with the price increasing in gas on the last 90 days, what they were finding is that among the newer campers, instead of traveling 250 miles as the average mile, they’re now traveling 150 miles.

[00:18:04] So they’re reducing their price. But what was funny was the average number of times they count went up. So now instead of camping, one time, 250 miles away, they’re camping twice 150 miles away. The other thing that I thought was super interesting is that because of COVID and people learning that they could work remotely, remote workers are now kicking back in such large numbers, that companies aren’t able to force them to come back.

[00:18:32] And what they’re saying is that, if things go right. Rather than stay in a home that they may or may not like they’ll choose a mobile lifestyle. And so we may have more roving workers who are traveling during this time. And camp rounds will still benefit because they’re choosing that mobile lifestyle instead of staying static in some place, they’ll hit the road to camp.

[00:18:56] And I thought that was really good. Now my cautionary tale is because one of the tasks I’m supposed to do is to help find more sites for people to camp on whether we create new wins or we modify campgrounds. And so I’m constantly telling my campgrounds, please consider turning some of your long-term sites into short-term sites.

[00:19:16] We need those. So what I don’t want to see happen is people go and say, oh we’re going to cater to these. Long-term traveling people and give them these monthly rates. Please don’t let them come in and stay. But don’t convert these sites back to long-term stay sites that you’ve just turned over to transient sites because I promise.

[00:19:35] You’ll do a whole lot better off with where the industry is. If we’ll keep that and transient or traveling seasonal site than a long-term site, it’s very easy to be reactionary that’s for sure. You read the news one way or the other, and you want to instantly react based on whatever they’re saying, but it’s not, it never really plays out that way.

[00:19:54] And so oftentimes when you’re making a decision that quick based on one piece of information without kind of thinking it out, it’s usually the wrong one. And I’m not suggesting that short-term to long-term is the wrong one or longterm short term is the right one, but there’s lots of variables that come into play.

[00:20:08] And maybe to add to that, to Brian, what we’ve seen with properties that we take into management and work with on a consulting basis as well. Property owners are taking their properties very personally. They’re very emotionally attached to their properties, which we understand, but you have to let the data drive the decisions.

[00:20:27] And that’s why we track cost per occupied site, for example. So we can see how our expenses are trending and if we need to make adjustments to rates, but otherwise. We’re letting the data follow we’re following the data instead of taking it too personally and overreacting. And same to same point for Casey’s point with dynamic rates as well.

[00:20:46] If you’re too timid to implement dynamic rates across the board, or even increase your rates significantly, your base rates, just start with one, to try it and see what your max rate that people will pay through your dynamic setup. But on average, we increase rates anywhere from 10 to 20%.

[00:21:05] Often when we take over properties because the mom and pop operator or the previous owner was just too afraid of disrupting their loyal base and you know what people still kept coming and they understood that they got a great value for a long time. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve said this in just whether it’s in a demo or just doing some student sees seasoned reviews.

[00:21:26] The idea of people being afraid to raise prices, to affect the customer. And I think the easiest response is like have you done anything to the park to improve it? That costs money or, Hey, we’re having to pay our employees more now. So Ray’s got to go this is a business, right?

[00:21:41] Like I’m here. This is my business. So it’s crazy how how much of a thought process that is of saying, this is my business. This is what I own. This is what’s, providing for me day in and day out. And I’m afraid. I’m afraid to raise my prices a little bit. I We deal with it even as like a SAS company.

[00:21:54] I We, we talk about that all the time. Man, when you know, when’s the right time to raise prices, what’s the backlash going to these, aren’t going to freak out on us, but it’s but it also costs a lot of money to have developers. It costs a lot of money to do what we’re doing. So when’s the right timing, but overwhelmingly parks right now.

[00:22:09] Again they have the ability, cause I think they’ve been undervalued for a long time and I’ll add onto that. So one of the things to consider, as soon I’ll go on the negative side, everybody, one of the hottest say negative sides. Let’s say Costco really up and people are going closer to home.

[00:22:24] And this goes to a case who was saying about improving your amenities, improving your offering and your services at your parks. The biggest issue for our industry is the fact that half of the campgrounds are our public parks with prices of 15, 20 bucks a night. So in essence, your competition is so cheap.

[00:22:39] You can never go there. So if you’re just offering a place to park. Your competitor is the forest service campground or the national park campground. So you don’t want to compete with that. Your comp, your competitor is really a hotel or resort provide the accommodations to fill those needs. And then don’t worry about that because there will be switching costs.

[00:22:56] The biggest problem right now on the public agency side is the overwhelming demand that they’re getting in popular areas and the impact on resources in those areas and resource damage, damage to these, especially the boondocking spot. So we’re going to see that on the private side of the industry, because those areas are probably going to be shut down at the end of this year.

[00:23:16] If that doesn’t change, you’ll start seeing loss of to Sandy’s point loss of available campsites, especially on the public sector. That’s going to affect both the developed campgrounds on the public side, and then campgrounds and RV parks on the. So mark, I believe you, but we happen to have a national parks expert who can back you up, or so Kurt first to your question, two questions, and I’ll let you talk about both one is, do you want to respond to anything mark said?

[00:23:40] And two, how does, how is inflation impacting the national parks overall that you’ve seen or has it not at all? No, actually I want it to respond to it, to Casey’s point about don’t be afraid to raise rates because Brian is you well-known national parks, traveler, the nonprofit news organization. We don’t have any rates.

[00:23:57] We depend on the general public and the industry is out there to support us. And right now we’re in the largest fundraising campaign we’ve ever launched. It runs through the end of December trying to raise a hundred thousand dollars so we can improve our coverage of national parks and protect areas.

[00:24:12] So I’m hoping your other guests and your listeners and washers will chip in and help the traveler with that commercial. It’s a very dynamic time in the national park system in the United States. We’re seeing an incredible influx of money going into the parks for maintenance new bridges, new roads improving campgrounds at the same time.

[00:24:33] We’ve got the 21st century campground initiative that it’s been about a year since I first wrote about this. And I’m curious what the park service is thinking about, how can they can improve national park campgrounds. There’s a lot of demand out there. Do they put in wifi? Do they put in more other amenities like food, wagons food trucks and whatnot.

[00:24:53] And so I think in the coming months, in the coming year, we’re going to see that. A lot of dynamics at play and a lot of debate over exactly what the national park campground should look like, and whether it will start to approach some of the private campgrounds that surround the national parks. And I don’t think that’s what the park service wants.

[00:25:12] At least not a lot of the parks. They don’t want to compete head to head with all the amenities that are offered in the private campgrounds. It’s just it’s not workable in the national park setting. That said rates are going up. This is the time of year that a lot of national parks are putting out the proposals to increase rates.

[00:25:29] And in fact, I saw one the other day and unfortunately I can’t remember exactly which park it was, but I think they were going to raise their tent camping rate to $35 a night for a tent. And that used to be, the rate for an RV coming in along with the rate increase. Obviously you’ve as mark mentioned, there is a lot of.

[00:25:48] Demand for going out to the national parks and a lot of crowds that are hitting out there. And it’s hard to find a campground. If you don’t start really months in advance, 6, 7, 8 months in advance. And even then you might be locked out because of the eccentricities of our recreation.gov the online reservation system.

[00:26:10] But again, it’s a very dynamic time, I think, with all the billions of dollars and literally billions of dollars between the great American outdoors act, as well as the infrastructure bill. And there could be more money coming if the administration’s build back better plan gets approved. Does the park service have the capability to spend that money?

[00:26:30] And that’s in terms of. And the contracts to get the money, to get the work going as well as the oversight and the management teams. And then you’ve got whole bunch of issues with historic preservation rules and regulations, what they can do and how much they can do and how quickly they can do it.

[00:26:46] Back in October of 2015, I believe there was a flood that went through death valley. Scotty’s castle was severely damaged. They still haven’t finished the repairs, six years on. And a lot of that was due to some of the historic preservation regulations that they have to follow.

[00:27:01] You add inflation onto that. And that was another problem that death valley ran into because of the delays in contracting. All of a sudden the initial bid jumped up because of inflation and with what’s going on now everybody knows what construction costs are going through the roof. How will that impact what the parks are trying to do?

[00:27:22] Any speculations. There’s going to be a lot of gnashing of teeth out there. I’ll give you an example at big bend national park. They’ve got a serious issue with their water system that feeds the CISO space and the lodge and the campground up there. And apparently they’ve been earmarked about $50 million from the great American outdoors act to address that problem.

[00:27:47] Unfortunately, it can’t cost about a hundred million dollars or more. And how do you deal with that? Do you say we can’t fix this water system that provides water to the LODs that provides water for firefighting that provides water for residential and concession employee lodges and the campground?

[00:28:04] I think we’re going to see a lot of issues across the national park system crop up.

[00:28:11] Anyone else? Yeah. I was just going to say another issue in terms of what’s impacting people who want to go out into the outdoors, into the Republicans, not just inflation, not just the rise of gas, but as we saw this past year, what about wildfires and the smoke that it’s creating? I’d be curious to hear from the other guests here, how our RV campgrounds in the west being impacted by hay after day of wildfire smoke or people coming out to sit in that, are they putting off their trips?

[00:28:41] So I, I want it where you can absolutely answer that question, but I want to finish up with inflation real quick before we dive into too far of that. So does anybody else have any comments about maybe this play that Kurt’s describing between private and public parts and how that cross silver and then Scott, I have a question for you on data before we move on to the wildfires.

[00:28:58] I don’t have anything specific about the private and public parks or anything like that, but I did read an interesting or. Yesterday, and it was a survey and it kinda plays into what people are willing to spend, even with inflation going on and that sort of thing. And TripAdvisor done a survey of people asking, are they still intending to travel?

[00:29:21] What does that look like? How are they anticipating they’re going to spend their dollars and that sort of thing. And I also, I read another article that was talking about the trend, the gift-giving trend is moving into more of an experiential gift giving instead of the, tangible things.

[00:29:37] And trip, the TripAdvisor survey was saying that I think it was 30, 36% of the people that they surveyed were planning to spend more than they typically would on a vacation. And I feel like and more people are planning to travel than previous and more people are planning to give like trips or pieces of trips, aTV tours and all those kinds of things as gifts for people as well. And so I thought it was really interesting. I think people in light of everything are to the point now where one, there don’t want to be cooped up anymore. They want to go and experience things cause they missed out for a couple of years or a year and a half.

[00:30:09] And I think that I think that people are just like, we don’t like, who knows when something like that could happen again. So they want to go and have those experiences. They want to give those experiences. Instead of just all of these things out of the tree so that it is interesting that people are actually intending to spend more, even with inflation.

[00:30:24] And yeah, so I hopefully it’s hopefully parks will start seeing that impact as well. In the shoulder seasons. Yeah. That’s a good point. So we got two things. Now we want to talk about wildfires. We want to talk about experiences because they have something to add to that. But first I have no.

[00:30:38] Does anybody else have any one thing they want to contribute to what Angela just said before? I asked Scott about data.

[00:30:45] Oh, just a quick thing from this perspective, then Angela, to your point as well. And I think it was touched on this a little bit earlier. You’ve done, you’ve got a whole consumer base out there that has been cooped up and they’ve been mandated out of their former lifestyle and they, there’s a huge pent up desire to go out and travel and camp.

[00:31:02] And we all know that we’ve seen it in every bit of industry data. You can find camping is just going absolutely through the roof with an inflationary environment. What do you do? You pivot your spending plans? Once again, you might travel a shorter distance, but can’t more often, you might be more picky about the different things that you buy and how much you consume, but people aren’t going to stop living their lives.

[00:31:24] If anything, they might be accelerating slightly to Angela’s point. The data seems to suggest that would, it would. It also does though, is as the consumer becomes a little bit pickier about where they spend that money for campground operators, you really got up here. Maybe be the front desk, providing an amazing experience, treat them like royalty, earn every dollar you give, because they’re going to be very particular about how, and when they spend, they’ll spend freely, if they get to your park and you have them as a guest, you provide them with a great experience.

[00:31:52] They’re going to keep spending, right? They’re going to stay with you and keep spending the local community and at your park. But boy, you better up your game. You gotta earn every dollar. Yeah. And add on to that, Randy. That’s part of this change, demographic of campers. That’s come into the industry in this last two years.

[00:32:08] The Marriott crowd, the folks that didn’t traditionally camp there, they’re expecting that. I know this last year, one of the big complaints about owners and I’ve had some private conversations that were shocking is their experience with customers who felt like they had been wronged in.

[00:32:22] And then the reaction to that is just been crazy. And that’s just a demonstration of exactly what you’re saying. And I would say both to your point and Angela’s point. The other factor is. H, a lot of folks age two years, there’s you see in the news that there’s a lack of people willing to fill jobs?

[00:32:40] I think people figure, my store, I don’t want to work at McDonald’s, I’ll just do something else, but also you’ve got a large population of people with that. Forget it, I’m retiring and I’m going to go live life. And I think that’s a big part of what we’re experiencing, especially on the RV side right now, our folks just said that I’m going to go travel.

[00:32:56] I’m going to live on the road and I can consult from the road and do that stuff. And so we’re experiencing just that. Totally agreed. Okay. Scott data, here’s my question. You talked about, we’ve all talked about data at some point, right? And so obviously some other people can weigh in on this stuff too.

[00:33:12] We all, I think on this call, understand how important it is to our businesses and to our industries and all those kinds of things. You specifically mentioned gathering data as it relates to if I remember correctly increasing your rates, but also understanding your costs for different things around the campground and stuff like that.

[00:33:25] Yep. That’s right. So how would you say, and obviously we know that horizon does an excellent job that’s way above and beyond probably what the typical campground owner requests the country does, but what are some easy ways that you would recommend to park owners that. Source or use or methods that they can take advantage of on an entry-level basis to both gather, organize and understand this data.

[00:33:47] Yeah. Great question. It really comes down in my mind to organizing your data in a way that makes sense to you. We, we always step into situations where the the chart of accounts that someone might, and I’m speaking with, my wife really should be talking about Randall’s, who’s our CFO, and this is her specialty.

[00:34:07] So I’ll probably get in trouble. But we really recommend that you identify a chart of accounts that make sense to you, that you will follow. And your chart of accounts is basically your general ledger code listing, where you’re coding your revenue by site type, and maybe also by rate type, you’re coding your expenses by department and you have subcategories there.

[00:34:26] And that makes sense and making sure that you’re diligent with. All of your expenses every time to the right GL code and keeping a really good clean set of financials that is first and foremost in our mind, how we are tracking the high-level data points. The other piece of it is your PMs setup.

[00:34:45] And Casey probably can speak to this too. But so many times we see properties that do not have enough of a definition in their PMs set up to provide relevant data. So they might be coding all of the revenue to one thing. Their site types might not be broken up in a way that will provide you relevant information.

[00:35:05] And based on the uniqueness of each site and site it’s easy to have data exhaust and and have too much data, but really focusing on making sure your financials are clean and you’re coding properly. And that your reservation system site types are set up. Your coding, your revenue and your PMs to the right categories.

[00:35:22] And when you pull your occupancy report in your PMs, does it make sense to you? Does that information tell you anything? If it’s too general, then it’s not helpful. You might as well not even pull it. But pulling and having a detailed occupants report, for example, will allow you to really understand which site types are performing and underperforming, what adjustments you can make.

[00:35:44] Okay. And specific as it relates to inflation, are there specific things that you feel like maybe a top five things that RV park owners should be paying attention to as far as the price trends and data and what they’re gathering, just to make more informed decisions if they are. I think that the top things to look at are your costs of supplies.

[00:36:03] What you’re reselling in your store, the cost of your maintenance and housekeeping supplies. This year, we’ve seen a steady increase in our housekeeping supply costs. For example, we’ve been over budget by about 10 to 15% in housekeeping supplies all summer long. And that was really strange to us.

[00:36:20] And it started to obviously make sense that it was inflation. It wasn’t just occupancy demand because we accounted for that in our budgeting. It was really the inflation cost. So your supply cost for your store supply costs for operating. The propane costs, your pool costs and your pool, chemical costs are all things to keep an eye on as well.

[00:36:39] Really you should be tracking that on a monthly basis and we track ours on a weekly basis so that we can keep our fingers on the pulse of really what’s happening and make adjustments in the moment versus a month or two down the road when we’re looking back at the previous months. So it’s really important to have a good structure set up and a good system set up and it takes more work on the front end of setting that up than it does on a routine basis.

[00:37:04] Because then you’re just looking at the trends, looking at the them. Sometimes that’s the hardest thing is that front end set up though. I, Angela tell you stories about how I don’t want to do the front end set up sometimes. And it would be so much easier on the back end if I would just sit down and do it.

[00:37:17] And that’s the same point that the Casey made about dynamic pricing, the front end set up once it’s set up, it works. Yup. That’s right. There’s something else I wanted to just toss in there that. The, you can get overwhelmed by Ms. Scott mentioned statistical exhausts and yeah, you can overanalyze anything.

[00:37:32] You can also under analyze the proper thing to do in my estimation is make data the servant, not the master. Don’t get overwhelmed by it, but master the keys that you need to know that their key mattresses, that, that applied to your particular part case in point Casey with camp spot, people fear the dynamic pricing thing, because I don’t really understand it yet, but once you finally understand that it goes up and it goes down and it’s pricing things for you.

[00:37:58] And that software is working for you. It’s becoming a servant. It’s not the master. You can control that software. Anytime you want to. If, to Scott’s point, your math on the back end, what’s my per site cost to operate things of that nature. I would say also for the marketing guys, for mark, for Brian in particular and Scott, you know this better than anybody, I’m sure if you’re, you should be doing this anyway for your park inflationary non-inflationary environment, where are your guests coming from tracking your marketing sourcing data.

[00:38:26] And when you see that shift and pivot the people not traveling, as far as distance, you don’t have to change your marketing budget. You can reallocate to shorter distances from your party. A better saturation on that 250 mile radius, whatever it is, how people are getting to you, the whole point being at 35,000 feet, if you can make that your servant and just understand even a few basics.

[00:38:46] And I would defer to Scott on this, where’s my customer coming from, how do I reach them? And when they arrive, how ought I to be prized? If you focus on those, you’re gonna have a great running part, no matter what economic environment you’re in. Yeah. And the marketing conversation is certainly, I we’ve got some marketing experts on the show here that can speak more to that.

[00:39:05] But, I think really understanding to your point, Randy, not even. The expenses, the revenue, the rates, the occupancies and those key metrics, but truly, yeah. Understanding as we’re watching gas prices rise, we see people traveling closer to home. Where are those guests coming from? There’s different, almost all the PMs report or PMs systems have the demographic sourcing information.

[00:39:25] So we can see where folks are coming from sometimes zip code breakdowns, et cetera, which is super helpful. But on the marketing side, they can get really specific as well with where folks are looking at us from and what they’re searching and making sure that we’re adjusting that and pivoting as much as possible.

[00:39:40] And that’s why, again, we stress we make it standard practice. We stress to our consulting clients as well that you look at your, at these metric points on a weekly basis because it does change. That often, and you need to make sure you’re monitoring your pickup with your reservation case.

[00:39:55] And I have are things slowing down. Do I need to pivot you really need to make sure that you’re doing that routinely instead of instead of after the fact, God, you’re so singing my song, I love it. I love to listen to what you’re saying. And the sad thing is though, is I just don’t feel that most of the parks understand the importance of that, and they don’t even know where to begin.

[00:40:19] And my background started with technology and accounting software. And so I do have an accounting background and I can’t tell you how many parks I go into and I’ll be talking to them about their systems and their PMs software. And I’ll say, okay, did you call your accountant and have them talk to the software company before they set it up?

[00:40:37] And they’ll say, No, why would we need to do that? And most of the software companies, they’re focused on getting their PMs software and they’re not, they’re going to just take what the park tells them. They’re not trained to think from an accounting standpoint. And so you end up with the setup that is really not appropriate to getting the numbers that they need.

[00:40:59] And again, they are reactive instead of proactive in their management now because they wait till the end of the month until their accountant gets the information, fixes it for them, and then it’s too late to make any changes. And so that is definitely one thing I would love to see happen is a closer walk between CPA firms and the companies that are providing the software to the parks.

[00:41:22] Because I think that could change the dynamic, in such an amazing. Yeah, go ahead, Scott. I would just say, I couldn’t agree more say the N the number of properties that we see have all their revenue jump into revenue, and that’s it. There’s, there might be store sales and revenue and aggregate a rental revenue.

[00:41:42] That’s it? That doesn’t tell you anything. So it really does take that work, but to your point, it takes a unique mindset to understand the accounting side and the PMs side and how to merge them. And that’s something that I think we all could help the industry more. I think what your, go ahead, please.

[00:42:00] Just a little minor thing to what Scott and Sandy are both saying. It’s I couldn’t agree any more than I am with both of you. When, even when you’ve got the PMs integrated with your counting, you’ve done those good things. What’s really astonishing to me, to both of your points, I think is doing the month end look back is too late to do anything actionable, to change the pivot of where you’re heading and not, just having those things set up as great.

[00:42:25] But if you look at every month or two or quarter, you’re not managing the business, but on a weekly basis, you really have to know the math and follow the trends, especially in this VR environment where prices are fluctuating so rapidly your site costs might be varying rapidly. You have to watch it in real time.

[00:42:41] And once again, make the data, the server, the not the master, you use that to your advantage, but in real time working the data, that’s the way to win. And I think what you’re seeing is what Sandy is saying. A lot of these park owners are overwhelmed. They don’t know where to start, and we’ve been preaching this, not we, but this group right, has been preaching this for years that you need to bring in certain experts to help you with these things.

[00:43:01] And the argument is always we don’t have the money to do that or the resources together or whatever, but if you would be explained that if you would bring in the accounting person, like a Lindsay or a campground accounting, or I can’t remember the other name of the firm that’s out there that does Cambridge specific stuff off the top of my head, but they can save you the money that you would then sometimes in 10 20, 30 multiples.

[00:43:21] By doing that, by organizing it by being reactionary and being proactive by working with the marketing companies, by working with the management companies, by working with the consultants by, and so all these people have done right on well, can help you get a constant stream of this data to understand it in a more time efficient manner and to do so many things.

[00:43:40] Marketing wise and collecting data, Scott let’s call tracking. We can monitor your phone calls for the word gas prices and tell you how many people are concerned about it. We do that with you. Yep. It works great, but we have to set up those keywords and we have to understand what people want to see.

[00:43:55] And that’s a lot of the front end too, but. Something to that to Scott’s point about knowing who your customers are and keeping, keeping your finger on top of all of that too. And looking at those numbers where people are coming from, especially right now, because things are changing so frequently.

[00:44:11] You might think that you know who your client base is. You might think, you know who your target demographic is, but the industry is changing and it’s shifting. And there’s such an influx of people. As you guys were saying, people were retiring earlier than anticipated and more people that are new to the industry or working remotely.

[00:44:27] Now you may not know who your customer is, who your customer has been for the last 15 years might not be anymore. They might not be coming from the same place. And we have clients where they are, they’re running ads with us. And they’re like, we really want to target these keywords in these key areas. And we’re like, dude, really though.

[00:44:47] And they’re like yes, we really sometimes it’s okay, we don’t advise that. Okay. And then they’re really surprised to see that people are in fact, not coming to them. People from the area are not interested in, so they thought they knew, but it turns out that they didn’t. And yeah, I couldn’t agree more.

[00:45:02] Just always staying on top of who your demographic is because it’s constantly changing. And I think people forget that sometimes. Yeah. It’s definitely a fair point. Let’s pick. Does anybody else have anything to add to data before we pivot to experiences slash wildfires? Before I forget.

[00:45:20] Okay. Cool. All right, let’s go to wildfires first. Cause I feel like that’s a bit more quicker topic. Kurt had asked us the group to talk about how wildfires and probably you could lump in some natural disasters and things like that general, kurt, but wildfires specifically. How are they going to ask your question again?

[00:45:34] So I don’t butcher it. I was just wondering with the wildfire season that we’re slowly exiting how that impacted private campgrounds surrounding the parks or the Western general. It’s been a very smoky year. We had a story from a writer who traveled from Wyoming to the east coast and ran into smoke just about the entire.

[00:45:57] We just finished about a 10,000 mile road trip. I’m leaving in August and ending end of October and mostly in the west. And I was really shocked at how many sites, how many parks had only 60 or 70% occupancy. Great parks. And one of the things that they would say when I was talking to them as so many people cancel because of the forest fires very few people would say it was COVID or anything like that.

[00:46:25] It was really other circumstantial things. There were quite a few parks that they had to deliberately reduce their number of sites that they could book because of water restrictions. They were being restricted on water because of all the restrictions out in the west on water right now. So they couldn’t even supply enough water to all of their sites.

[00:46:47] And so there were a lot of environmental things. I think that impacted the west that we can’t look at just from a data standpoint and interpret what’s going on correctly. Yeah, I think natural natural events are going to have a greater impact the way we’re going. Not just the wildfires.

[00:47:03] But you look at the lake Powell and lake Mead and how water levels have dropped. I know Paige, Arizona is hurting a lot because the low water level in lake pal has dropped so much that they can’t launch houseboats. A lot of the houseboat reservations have gone away. I heard one anecdotal story of one operator who had to cancel 400 houseboat reservations in August.

[00:47:27] And I know the situation is not getting better. Here it is. December 1st, we’re hurting for snow infer. Hasn’t seen snow yet this year. It’s the longest in the city’s history. And if this keeps going up. I’ve reached out to the park service to figure out how they’re going to extend the boat ramps at lake pal, if they can.

[00:47:46] But that’s just one example of the issues that RV ears and tent campers are facing in the west and for California specifically. And by the way, I’ll caveat, when I’m about to say by saying Diana Kelly is the absence. She just knows California as you’d run the camp Cal now. And she was speaking about this recently on another another broadcast American glamping association call.

[00:48:10] So she’s the definitive expert for this, but to paraphrase some of what she was saying, what California’s experience is, fires. Yes, absolutely. But the after effect of that has been insurers, either dropping their parks and not insuring them at all or doubling or triple. Their insurance. If they’ll even write a policy, that’s a huge thing.

[00:48:30] Especially if you think about developing apart in California, almost before you find the land to start with, can I even ensure it once I build it, but secondarily Diana was making the point that perception is reality. And if the consumer perceives it’s going to be smokey and it’s all going to be burnt to a CRISPR, I’m going up there.

[00:48:48] I’m not going to make the trip. Now, this campground I may have been up there for generations was never cooked by a fire. Didn’t have the smoke, didn’t have the set and they evaded the entire thing, but they’re still suffering because the perception is I’m not going into a fire zone. So public perception has hurt tourism in California at RV parks, demonstrably let alone the operational costs.

[00:49:10] So from a real and imagined perspective, the wildfires in California, deleterious to put in. Yeah. And I think that’s a whole topic. We get dive into deeply, right? Rio versus perception and media coverage and hurricanes and how all those kinds of things. We probably won’t have time for the remainder of the show.

[00:49:27] But yeah it’s to Kurt’s point too, it’s everywhere. It’s not the west is what we’re talking about. And it’s been disproportionately impacted by the things like the drought we’re talking about in the wildfires and stuff like that. But even up here, I am in Calgary. Like it’s a small difference, but we would have a ton of snow usually by now it’s snowed twice maybe.

[00:49:47] And it melts that like the next day, cause we get a lot of sunshine, but so there’s, again, that’s not anything that would impact the camping industry, but those small little changes are happening, whether they’re consistent or not remains to be seen, whether they impact anything remains to be seen. But it’s interesting to think about, you go to the east coast right now and the entire state of North Carolina.

[00:50:05] It’s under an open fire ban at CA lookout and Cape Hatteras, national seashores, you can’t even build a fire in the sand dunes. That’s how seriously dry things are back there. So yeah, it goes from coast to coast. I didn’t know that, but that never would’ve occurred to me. Yeah. I had North Carolina. So maybe we can, we’ll have to maybe do a show on that and talk about some of the different things that are being impacted Angela in the future.

[00:50:29] If we can, maybe in 2022. So we’ve only got a couple minutes left here. I want to talk about experiences real briefly, cause Angela brought it up. And I think Randy touched on it briefly just how you need to delight and take care of your customers and think of new ways to bring them into your park.

[00:50:43] As Angela mentioned, the inflation is going up, but people seem to be tending to buy more experiences than they are goods and things. And how much that translates, remains to be seen, whether it’s a pattern that happens this year or continues onto the next years, I don’t know yet, but I think it’s important to think about as we move into this, more people do glamping, more people are focused on the experience and the uniqueness of their property, not just with the type of accommodations, but how the setup, isn’t how the dividers are between sites and how the service is.

[00:51:11] And do you deliver meals and do you put together packages and things like that, the opportunities there to not just extend your season? I think, and obviously you guys can all comment on this in a second, but not just to extend your season, but to really create a whole new season. In some cases like this is the campground related, but, and we were talking about this, got in the slack channel earlier posted some pictures of a Christmas party that we went to in Seattle.

[00:51:34] There’s a couple in Calgary too. And just the ability for that. It’s a pop-up bar for a regular bar. That’s open all year to transform itself for a month and a half or from Thanksgiving to the end of the year into a Christmas bar, probably. I’d be willing to bet 10 X their revenue during that time, because just as the charm that people will come in and see all the Christmas decorations and the curling and the special drinks and all those kinds of things.

[00:51:57] And so that’s a, not an example that translates to campgrounds specific to bars. If you could theme things around Christmas, just like how Halloween extended a lot of people’s sites. And if you can enhance those experiences, I think you can really do some amazing things. Yeah. And I think it really comes back to what Toby was talking about is re-imagining your space because instead of seeing the negative, there are so many ways you can turn it and see the positive.

[00:52:23] So for example, I, I if I had known then what I know now, I would have been telling some of those parts with there that were had to reduce their site occupancy, keep your sites open. Just allow boondockers to come in at a lower rate, no hookups, because boondockers are always looking for a safe place to go.

[00:52:40] They don’t necessarily need. All the amenities. And I have parks now that are in the Northeast, that they were never open during the winter, but they’re opening on weekends now. And they’re not in same thing. They’re not offering amenities, but they’re doing event weekends. And they’re bringing in people who have solar and who have they’re self-contained so they don’t need the amenities.

[00:53:03] So instead of closing, three months out of the year, they’re taking 12 special weekends and generating revenue. And so that’s what I really want to encourage our park owners to do is really take some time during this season when things are generally less busy and re-imagine what you could be doing with your.

[00:53:21] Absolutely giving people a reason to be there. When they otherwise would not be there I think it’s spot on, there’s a property that that we manage in the Oklahoma Ozarks that is historically. Dead in December. But this year we’ve launched a winter festival for the first three weekends of the month.

[00:53:40] And it’s not much, we’ve got like a drive-through Christmas, light display and pictures with Santa and some crafts and that sort of thing. But our occupancy would normally be 5% and now it’s 45%. And we just launched this a month ago. Wow, it’s not like it’s been in the works. And I think that people are, there’s so many new guests that are new to our industry that understand what outdoor hospitality can be and they’re paying attention to what we’re doing.

[00:54:09] So the more that we disrupt what has been, and we start to implement these themed weekends and create a true destination and a true experience at your property, the more that they’ll come back, we have so many more do eyeballs on us. Let’s take advantage of that and really show them what this could be.

[00:54:27] Anybody else want to touch on experiences before we wrap up here? I know we all gotta go in about a minute, but that could be a whole show up right now. I know we probably should have a show on that too. We’re just going to see Duran, like we’ll have a, we’ll devote a whole show like this to ideas for Angela, for a future show

[00:54:46] for this group, I imagine, but all oh, I w no, I was just going to say to touch on, but Sandy and Scott were both saying just trying to come up with new and creative ways to give those experiences. And, you’re at your property anyway, in the off season and your normal off season, and you can get people to come in that don’t need your utilities.

[00:55:04] Like why not open those sites up for them? What is it to you? You’re already there, you’re already maintaining other things. You’re already doing work on the property. So what is it to you? You make a little bit of extra revenue that some is better than none. And it’s not like it requires a gigantic staff because you’re not necessarily renting your units or, cleaning your bath houses and stuff.

[00:55:21] And then I also regarding the experiences and stuff like that to Scott’s point. Yeah, just getting creative, it’s it? Doesn’t it honestly, doesn’t take a lot to draw people in. Sometimes they’re just looking for something different and unique to be able to say, Hey, we did this and it was cool. And so it doesn’t, it doesn’t have to be anything crazy.

[00:55:37] And over the top, we’ve seen a lot of clients trying different things and and having success with just kind of silly events that they’ve thrown into what they already do. So yeah, I agree. Yeah. It doesn’t have to be much, look at this thing, I’m sitting next to you right here, right?

[00:55:50] Like I, this was a exhibitor who exhibited, but imagine this is super portable. This is not a propane one. It’s a wood pallet, one it’s super portable. It packs up, you can put these on luxury patio sites and extend the ability for people to sit outside and do things for maybe a month, maybe two months, whatever.

[00:56:08] And again, maybe that’s not the blockbuster idea of the century, but it’s one thing where you can create different experiences by stepping back like Sandy and Toby said and re-imagining your space. So just one more quick note on that. You really could do a series, let alone a full episode on what it means to do the guest experience, extend a shoulder season, provide onsite and offsite things to do and whatnot like that.

[00:56:34] There happens to be a guy in this call who I’ve known for quite a while on my screen, he’s right up there. I don’t know where he is on the other screens, but the master of this stuff. But I think all of us have our own little masterful take on this stuff, but that would be a really interesting thing.

[00:56:47] Just to do a total deep dive approach. What does it mean? What does the guest experience mean? How do you get there? Because a place to stay is not remarkable. Anybody can have a place to stay a place to experience something that’s a real talent. That’s a crime. And who knows, maybe we do something like that.

[00:57:06] That’s a special episode of MC Fireside Chats. That’s totally separately would be like a really deep dive into some of this stuff. And it’s on a different day than our regular Wednesday. I don’t know. But yeah, so to neatly wrap this up, cause we all have to go, I think we did a pretty good job tying this all together and just to close it off in people’s minds, we started to talk about inflation and yes, inflation is bad.

[00:57:25] Nobody likes inflation, but we can combat this in some ways by our pricing that may be lower than normal for some people like Casey said, but adjusting that, paying attention to the data like Scott said being re proactive instead of reactionary with a lot of that data and information, collecting it more often as all of our guests.

[00:57:41] And just being willing to, create some of those experiences that maybe even through inflation guests will come out and pay more for if you’re adding the little touches or experiences or events and stuff like that. And Angela talked about the only thing we haven’t solved is wildfires. I don’t think anybody’s going camping during wildfires.

[00:57:56] Kurt. I’m sorry, I can’t close that loop for you, but yeah, everything else? I think we just all ready. Does anybody have any closing thoughts before we wrap up the show for today? Cool. All right. Thank you all for joining us again. On another episode of MC Fireside Chats, we will be here next week, December 8th, talking about diversity in the campground industry.

[00:58:18] We’ve got a couple of really good guests, including Earl from black folks, camp two and a couple other organizations. We’re still trying to reach out to you. So looking forward to talking about diversity in the industry next week on December 8th, as a reminder, we are a podcast to the kid and all the networks.

[00:58:32] So you can see us there on Spotify, apple, Google, or wherever you want to. And other than that, we will see you next week. Thank you so much for joining us again.

[00:58:43]

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MC Fireside Chats
Hosted By

Brian Searl
Cara Braeutigam