Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Good Sam - what's in it for the campgrounds?
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 > Good Sam - what's in it for the campgrounds?

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el.jefe

Michigan

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Posted: 08/18/19 02:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are a lot of good Sam participating parks that give discounts for this very cheap membership. I'm just wondering, what's in it for the park? Is it just hoping to get a little extra business by drawing in good Sam members? Or are there any other benefits to the park owners?


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agesilaus

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Posted: 08/18/19 02:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have to assume it's for the extra business. Getting listed in the big book. Plus it isn't that much of a discount. PPA parks, which has a 50% discount, has a lot more restrictions on when you can use the discount. Generally only midweek and you can assume they are trying to fill, what would be empty sites, otherwise.


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Allworth

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Posted: 08/18/19 06:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Advertising circulation!


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timmac

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Posted: 08/18/19 08:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I talked with a rv park owner in Montana, it was a nice large campground and he dropped Good Sam cause they wanted $20,000 to stay on their list, he found out 95 percent of his customers found him on Goggle search under campgrounds and plenty of RVers returning every year..

With todays internet who needs a campground directory and pays thousands a year to be in a book that very few even buy/own and still have to give a discount to RVers..

When was the last time you saw a Yellow Page book.. [emoticon]

Oh yea I to found his RV park on Google search as well as all my RV park stays, I have not bought the Good Sam directory for over 10 years now..

DFord

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Posted: 08/18/19 08:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've also heard it's costing campgrounds thousands to be in the GS directory and many are find it hard to justify the expense. That's a lot of campsite fees they loose to maintain a listing. We've been buying the directory but really use online sources most of the time to find campgrounds along our route. Love our membership in PPA.


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bikendan

Camano Island, Wash.

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Posted: 08/19/19 03:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

i get the same 10% off with my AAA card, that i would with Good Sam.
since we use AAA, i have no need for Good Sam.


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westernrvparkowner

montana

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Posted: 08/19/19 05:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A park is listed in the book without any cost. To increase their exposure the park can buy a display ad. The larger the ad,, the higher the cost. Ads cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to multiple thousands depending upon size, colors, complexity etc. Goodsam also has tiered pricing depending on the size of the park. Small parks get a discount and large parks pay a premium.
To be a Goodsam park requires a few steps. First, the park must meett minimum scores when reviewed by the rating team. Second, the park must buy an ad. Third, the park must agree to offer the 10% discount. Fourth, the park needs to pay a membership fee. That fee is only a few hundred dollars a year. No way the minimum fees for any size park would exceed a few thousand dollars. That $20K someone tossed out would be the total a large park would be paying to have a large, full color, display ad as part of their package. If they so desired, they could easily remain a Goodsam park and reduce the size of their ad, lowering that total cost dramatically.
The benefits to the parks are the value of the ads they buy. The value they gain by being a"Goodsam" park which includes placement of their park as a Goodsam park on the Goodsam website. A listing in the GoodSam cover page for each state and some signage and marketing materials. Finally, Goodsam parks can sell memberships and retain that fee. (Not really that big a deal, we might sell 20 to 30 in a good year, but it is something).
In my opinion, 20 years ago it was a must. Books were vital to most parks. Today the internet is much more important. But we still have lots of customers who say we were found via Goodsam. Do the advertising benefits outweigh the costs? I am not sure either way. We have chosen to cut back to smaller ads but continue to be in the system. Time will tell going forward.

CFerguson

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Posted: 08/19/19 08:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

westernrvparkowner, I just want to say Thanks for your posting on this site. In my year at this site, I have found your responses are always informative and to the point. Your perspective as a CG owner is also valuable to us. Keep up the good work.

bobsallyh

Livingston, TX.

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Posted: 08/19/19 09:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What we have found, when the book was "the thing", the bigger the ad purchased also got that park a better rating!

westernrvparkowner

montana

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Posted: 08/19/19 01:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bobsallyh wrote:

What we have found, when the book was "the thing", the bigger the ad purchased also got that park a better rating!
This is brought up often, but it is a false impression. First, the rating team rates a park prior to advertising sales. Second, a copy of the actual rating sheet is in the directory. You can rate a park yourself and you will come within a point of the actual rating if you follow the guidelines. Personal opinion doesn't count. A pool is a pool and it is a point. Olympic size or postage stamp size doesn't change the point. Same with road construction materials, site materials, playground equipment, office, laundry etc.
Common sense will tell you a poorly rated park isn't going to buy a big ad. Having a low score means having a park with poor infrastructure and few amenities. If the owners aren't sppending on their park they aren't going to spend on advertising. Plus, what would be the point to spend advertising money to trumpet how great the park is only to have the ratings indicate otherwise? It is pretty much a given the big ads are going to be the higher rated parks because they are the parks that are invested in the business and have the resources to both advertise and keep a nice facility.

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