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Painting campground facilities has become a non-stop task at the 15 membership resorts operated by Bushkill, Pa.-based Outdoor World Corp.
In recent years, work campers have repainted and restained virtually every structure in every park in Outdoor World’s 15-unit system. “None of the buildings have gone for more than two or three years without a fresh painting,” reports Mark Turner, vice president of Outdoor World Corp., owned by Resorts USA, Inc. “That’s what our members expect.”
It’s all part of a proven formula for Outdoor World, which, unlike many companies in a wide variety of business sectors, has no intentions of expanding its network beyond its current 27,000 member families. Outdoor World chooses instead to vigilantly maintain the quality and consistency of its existing parks, which dot the eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida and westward to Illinois.
Even basic maintenance activities, such as painting and staining, are critical ingredients that shape guest perspectives. “When a member has joined Outdoor World and paid their membership fee,” said Turner, “they take a snapshot of the system at that time and that sets their expectations going forward.”
Outdoor World members, according to Turner, are usually fairly experienced RVers who purchase memberships based on the quality of the Pennsylvania-based organization’s facilities versus other parks.
The chain, he added, has locations that are ideally suited for travelers who journey up and down the East Coast. Amenities, including indoor and outdoor water parks, pools, miniature golf courses and lakes, are tailored for those same families.
And while members don’t necessarily expect Outdoor World to constantly add major amenities, Turner said, they do expect the properties to look just as well maintained as the day they bought their membership and they do appreciate the occasional upgrades.
As a result, the company recently added automated security gates, activated by plastic cards coded like modern hotel keys – for the duration of one’s stay. The company is also hoping to add wireless Internet, or Wi-Fi service, to its parks in 2005, Turner said, in response to rising consumer use of the Internet.
In observing other trends, Turner points out, Outdoor World has watched its membership base grow and become more diverse. “If you were to look back 10 years,” Turner said, “the membership base would be older. (Today) it is getting younger and we’re getting a greater mix of families.”