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 > Empty parks with no open sites.

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valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 06/23/22 03:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cptqueeg wrote:

A CG has a duty to hold a pre-paid reservation for some amount of time which is up for discussion. And it is different if it's prepaid.

The issue of empty spots partly stems from the policy of allowing booking of sites that aren't available by booking days ahead of the desired period so days that aren't available to all now can be booked. Rec.gov has a 10 day waiting period after which reservations can be modified to release those nights, but some people don't and that leads to many unused sites.


It's people gaming the system. They have to open the sites to reservations at some point.
- If you base it on the first day of the reservation, the gamers book the week before and then cancel or just don't show up for the first week.
- If you base it on the last day of the reservation, those wanting to stay a week or two get shut out as weekenders take all the spots before the week-longers can book.

Really, not allowing reservation changes and your site is open to rebooking if you don't show up is the fairest option.

Yes, there is a holding period (usually the next morning or check in time the next day) but you should also call to confirm if you won't be showing up on time. That would allow the staff the option to release the site or not.


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toedtoes

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Posted: 06/23/22 04:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

cptqueeg wrote:

A CG has a duty to hold a pre-paid reservation for some amount of time which is up for discussion. And it is different if it's prepaid.

The issue of empty spots partly stems from the policy of allowing booking of sites that aren't available by booking days ahead of the desired period so days that aren't available to all now can be booked. Rec.gov has a 10 day waiting period after which reservations can be modified to release those nights, but some people don't and that leads to many unused sites.


It's people gaming the system. They have to open the sites to reservations at some point.
- If you base it on the first day of the reservation, the gamers book the week before and then cancel or just don't show up for the first week.
- If you base it on the last day of the reservation, those wanting to stay a week or two get shut out as weekenders take all the spots before the week-longers can book.

Really, not allowing reservation changes and your site is open to rebooking if you don't show up is the fairest option.

Yes, there is a holding period (usually the next morning or check in time the next day) but you should also call to confirm if you won't be showing up on time. That would allow the staff the option to release the site or not.


I agree.

In the end, different parks have different rules. Private campgrounds are more likely to follow a "if you paid for it, it's yours whether you use it or not". Public campgrounds are more likely to follow a "use it or lose it" policy.

The camphost at Lassen told me that if the no show camper called to cancel - even the day after the scheduled arrival dat - they would get their entire reservation fee refunded. By not calling, they forfeited one night's fee.


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Dutch_12078

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Posted: 06/23/22 06:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

phillyg wrote:

Don't know about the OP's particular circumstances, but I've been told in FL state parks, and in retail parks, once the reservation is made they cannot book someone else in it. I've seen sites empty for a week at a time, yet the park shows no vacancy. It's very frustrating.


You've heard wrong regarding FL state parks:

"No Shows"

"Park staff will hold reserved campsites or cabins until the applicable check-out time, one day after the scheduled arrival date. In the event that campers do not arrive for their reservation and the camper does not call the park directly to cancel, the remainder of the reservation will be canceled as a no-show. The remaining balance of the reservation, if any, will be refunded."

RESERVATION INFORMATION


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ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 06/23/22 08:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't do state parks and such but in the past I have rented out about everything to others and have rented about as much for my own use. And if this in fact goes on its just asking for trouble unless it is made very plain in the contract that you can keep my money or lease my spot to someone else just because I am not there. You have to reserve and pay a year in advance and then show up late to find someone else has your spot? Get real. They keep a weeks worth of money for a year and don't have a spot for you? It would take a fool to fall for that trap. Now if it is made plain in the contract that this goes on after you have to pay a year out, I wouldn't go near the place...I don't think I have ever been sent a contract when reserving a camp site. So much for reading the FINE print. Does this really go on?

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Posted: 06/23/22 08:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with those folks criticizing those who pay for and hog sites for many days and are no shows to never use them or release the sites. Just another form of selfish. When I full timed many places were first come first serve and I had no problems finding a site upon arrival. Both private and public campgrounds could still save a percentage of sites for first come first served without losing money and those sites would still be used as filled up in popular locations.

I always avoided the must-see places for the most part. I have seen same
type of great scenery in other western locations as found in some NPs to satisfy my cravings. Don't need the overcrowding found in NPs. Many national forests are just as scenic as

Will not be viewing any more comments so save your ammo. Cheers

toedtoes

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Posted: 06/23/22 09:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ferndaleflyer wrote:

I don't do state parks and such but in the past I have rented out about everything to others and have rented about as much for my own use. And if this in fact goes on its just asking for trouble unless it is made very plain in the contract that you can keep my money or lease my spot to someone else just because I am not there. You have to reserve and pay a year in advance and then show up late to find someone else has your spot? Get real. They keep a weeks worth of money for a year and don't have a spot for you? It would take a fool to fall for that trap. Now if it is made plain in the contract that this goes on after you have to pay a year out, I wouldn't go near the place...I don't think I have ever been sent a contract when reserving a camp site. So much for reading the FINE print. Does this really go on?


There are policies listed for every campground on recreation.gov. In addition to those policies listed on the agency's website. And your confirmation email will state the cancellation requirements. No one is "shocked" because their spot got cancelled because they didn't show.

And if you could manage making a reservation 6-12 months in advance, surely you're capable of calling the park and telling them "I had an emergency and won't be able to arrive until tomorrow, could you hold my campsite?"

Lantley

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Posted: 06/23/22 09:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ferndaleflyer wrote:

I don't do state parks and such but in the past I have rented out about everything to others and have rented about as much for my own use. And if this in fact goes on its just asking for trouble unless it is made very plain in the contract that you can keep my money or lease my spot to someone else just because I am not there. You have to reserve and pay a year in advance and then show up late to find someone else has your spot? Get real. They keep a weeks worth of money for a year and don't have a spot for you? It would take a fool to fall for that trap. Now if it is made plain in the contract that this goes on after you have to pay a year out, I wouldn't go near the place...I don't think I have ever been sent a contract when reserving a camp site. So much for reading the FINE print. Does this really go on?

There are plenty of boxes to check that state you agree and understand the cancellation policies no fine print to read. If you haven't seen a contract you certainly have not stayed at a state park recently.
It is common practice with boxes to check to ensure you understand the policies. If you fail to check the box your reservation will cease at that point and it will not be processed.
Lots of us fools fall for that trap because we understand that the idea is to actually use the camp site vs. leaving it vacant because you can afford to.
If this policy, keeps no show types away and eliminates careless vacancies than it is working as designed and is a very worthwhile policy.


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Thom02099

Loveland,CO

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Posted: 06/23/22 09:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Regarding Colorado specifically, here's a different example.

CO State Parks are all reservation only. There no longer is walk up/first come first served sites. A favourite place of mine is the State Forest State Park, with 3 different campgrounds available. Most of the time, all 3 of them are full, there's rarely any empty sites.

That said, there's "overflow" camping at the Moose Vistor's Center in Gould. Folks that are waiting to see if something opens up in one of the 3 campgrounds. Problem is, since it's reservation only, you have to either go on line or call the reservation number. But there's no cell phone service there. Closest place for cell phone service is in Walden, 26 miles away. I don't know first hand if the Visitor's Center staff will allow folks to use a landline phone there at the center to call for a reservation. There is no cell service there.

There is one entry station for 2 of the campgrounds that is staffed, but with limited hours. The 3rd campground has an entry station but for the past 3 years it has not been staffed at all. The staffed entry station will tell folks that they have to make a reservation either on line or by phone call. So there's a Catch-22 here. I heard that conversation with someone ahead of me during a check in at one of the campgrounds.

A possible solution to this would be to go back to allowing some walk ins, after the passage of the check in time for the next day. Not perfect, but a solution.

My experience, however, at least with the Colorado State Parks is that there are rarely no show or empty sites. That cannot be said for Rocky Mountain National Park campgrounds and USFS campgrounds. I frequently see empty sites at both, particularly USFS where they still use the cards attached to a post at the campsite. Lots of reservations and no shows with some popular USFS campgrounds. One solution there is that all sites are first come/first served. No reservations at all. This is true for several campgrounds in the Poudre Canyon, as well as campgrounds in Wyoming between Centennial and Saratoga. To my knowledge, in that area, there's only one that allows reservations, all the others are first come.


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toedtoes

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Posted: 06/23/22 10:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMO, the option of first come first serve sites is different than the no show problem. The federal forests out here offer some campgrounds that are only FCFS sites. The rest usually have a set number of campsites reserved as FCFS. At Lassen, Manzanita Lake campground is all reserved only. The other campgrounds are FCFS.

austinjenna

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Posted: 06/24/22 05:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It seems like everyone is upset because they can't get the site they wanted or the days they wanted. The truth is the campgrounds don't care.

Here in Ohio if you book a site you pay for it at the time of booking. If you don't show up - they don't care as they already got paid. It actually works out better in their favor as you are not using electric, water, sewer, facilities etc...

They closed the loophole of people reserving a site for a week only to then change their reservations and only take the weekend days. Now you can't modify your reservation, you can cancel it, but it cancels the entire reservation and then becomes available again to the general public and you can't book it again for like 15 minutes. So you might get it or someone else might have already booked it.

There are lots of reasons why a site might be booked but empty. Family emergencies come up, breakdowns, etc...

I would be totally pissed if I had a reservation but for some reason could not make it the first day due to some unforeseen circumstances and show up the following day only to see someone else on my site because it was rebooked.



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