Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: What is the Passport America plan
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 > What is the Passport America plan

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PastorCharlie

NC

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Joined: 03/28/2004

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Posted: 05/13/21 02:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Its interesting that a park owner that does not desire to participate in the PPA program resorts to discrediting the competition who does participate in the PPA program.

I am a life member of Passport America, Good Sam and National Parks and they all provide a discount but that does not mean that Good Sam parks or National Parks are bad parks giving their customers unsatisfactory sites and services because they choose to discount their prices. It could be argued if they can operate on their prices then those parks that do not give their customers a discount may be over charging and taking advantage of their customers. The "Golden Rule" can well apply here.

I have traveled all over America and stayed in Good Sam parks, Passport America and National parks. I can speak from what I have seen and experienced, not from some unsubstantiated opinion about a business competitor. I would think a park that does not participate in any of the discount campground programs would be better served if they refrained from criticizing the competitors because they do; and if they felt constrained to comment then stick to the reason why they feel their business would fail if they did participate.

RAS43

Littleton,CO

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Posted: 05/13/21 04:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you Pastor Charlie!

SDcampowneroperator

South Dakota

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Posted: 05/13/21 08:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been challenged to provide proof of false membeship in membership programs.
When we operated our park we required proof of current membership in whatever club to recieve discount. A valid current dated card.
Show us the card , or by name with a click we could verify honest membership. Honest menbership is a reflection on them

The dishonesty , expired memberships we encountered were rare ,worth noting. . Other posters have reported they were not questioned about validity which undermines the entire concept of value for service so not so rare as we observed.
membership in PPA is to PPA alone, camps participate at will with free will to designate dates, sites and rates
If it works for that camp, I wholly support them

dedmiston

The West

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Posted: 05/13/21 09:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SDcampowneroperator wrote:

I have been challenged to provide proof of false membeship in membership programs.
When we operated our park we required proof of current membership in whatever club to recieve discount. A valid current dated card.
Show us the card , or by name with a click we could verify honest membership. Honest menbership is a reflection on them

The dishonesty , expired memberships we encountered were rare ,worth noting. . Other posters have reported they were not questioned about validity which undermines the entire concept of value for service so not so rare as we observed.
membership in PPA is to PPA alone, camps participate at will with free will to designate dates, sites and rates
If it works for that camp, I wholly support them


I should probably confess that my Good Sam membership had lapsed.


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tommyznr

NR, WI

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Posted: 05/14/21 08:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wapiticountry wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

SDcampowneroperator wrote:

valhalla360. has an aguably valid point as it applies to camps with strong weekend and event occupancy with weekday vacancy. . Many PPA parks we have encountered benefit some from the dynamic pricing PPA affords during those off peak periods.
We have also seen unscrupulous operators who designate only their worst nearly unusable sites as a ' bait and switch' and dishonest guests with expired cards flashing it to get the discount.
The reason there are well less than 10% of commercial camps participating in PPA shows that in each location the factors of occupancy vs cost still must be positive for the operator.
Occupancy, beyond static cost can add staffing, disrupt groundskeeping maintenance, and more. Utility, labor , supply and waste costs are static.
In our part of the country, where there is no city with more than 60k people within 6 hrs drive there is no weekend glut, a wednesday is the same as a saturday. Noone drives 6 hrs for a weekend getaway. They do for a week or longer holiday and vacation.
6 national parks, dozens of state parks, in the same travel time from those big population centers with no dynamic pricing draws the short stay bunch- if they can snag a reservation-
In considering wheather a park joins, or you join, consider your travel plans, the area and the parks region.
In areas hours away from cities you wont find deep discount parks. If you do, be wary, you may get what you pay for, or for full price what you wish for.


Do you have any evidence to back up claims of people being given undesirable/unusable sites? Given that you are saying it about your competition and appear to be against the program, evidence to support your claims appears warranted. We used 18 different parks this past winter all across the country. We've done similar numbers in past years. Never saw any evidence of what you describe.

I suspect most parks aren't too worried about the validity of the users card. Most never ask to see it. I don't know the internal finances but I'm guessing the parks don't get anything directly from the cost of the card (that probably goes almost exclusively to the PPA corporation), so they don't have a strong incentive to turn away a potential sale. You can argue that's not right but that's between the parks and the PPA corporation.

Occupancy does have some costs but not much. The vast majority of costs are present if a site is empty or full mid week. It would be a very odd situation if the incremental costs exceeded even 10% of the regular rate, so getting 50% still leaves a lot of room for profit. Unless you are at 0% occupancy mid week, grounds have to work around campers and you have to keep staff around the office for check in and other customer questions.

Of course if it doesn't meet your parks needs, don't join. But dire unsupported warnings come across as bitter.
Here are few few costs of occupancy off the top of my head. Electricity, water, sewer, credit card fees, labor to check in, clean sites, remove trash, answer questions, handle issues etc. Then there is the potential costs of pet waste, bathroom supplies, hot water heating costs for showers and a reserve for damages that must be spread over every guest because stuff does happen..
Then there is the unspoken fact that there is a value attached to providing a service. Just like a plumber won’t come to your house for $20.00 on his day off even though it would be incremental revenue I am not willing to service a guest for less than what I charge the average customer. If my normal rate is $60.00 and my incremental cost is $10.00 I am willing to do the work involved for the $50.00 gross profit. And just like the plumber I am not willing to do it for $20.00. My time is more valuable than that.


Like he said, if it doesn't meet your needs then don't join but you really didn't have much of an argument against his main point.

A plumber gets paid time and materials, some add minimum charges. You don't have that business model. Using your business model you would charge $60 to every customer whether you replaced an entire system or unclogged a drain.

Your real costs of occupancy are electricity penny for penny of what the customer uses and water/sewer penny for penny if you are on a municipal system. The rest is some portion of overhead based on overall occupancy.

Based on your responses, I would guess that you are an owner/operator who lives on site with little or no staff and you are somewhat working 24/7 even if you have specific office hours. If that is the case then, yes, each of those tasks takes away from something else you could be doing.

I would guess that outside what has already been mentioned, parks that belong to a club like this view the reduced occupancy fees as a sort of advertising budget. That is, they get into some publication and maybe a phone app and this is the cost they are willing to pay for that publicity.


Tom

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