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Nearly 100 attendees participated in CalARVC’s Software Education Day Tuesday (Feb. 27) at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, billed as the largest and most in-depth event of its kind to showcase the reservation and management tools available to the campground industry.

Six of the nation’s top campground reservation and front desk management service providers spent the day showcasing the capabilities of their systems as well as the training they provide for front desk staffers to learn how to use their systems.

Software Education Day attendees included campground and RV park operators, along with management staff from Pechanga Resort & Casino, who said they were not completely satisfied with their current reservation management system and wanted to see what other options were available.

CalARVC Past President Darrell Sisk of Pismo Coast Village RV Resort told Software Education Day attendees that the event was unique because it not only gave each of the vendors nearly an hour to pitch their systems, but it afforded park operators opportunities to meet with vendors informally to ask questions and “take a test drive” with the reservation systems of interest to them.

Each vendor spent the bulk of their presentation time showcasing their systems on a large projection screen, so park operators could see the layout of each system, the types of grids or maps that each vendor uses, as well as the unique attributes of each system.

Vendors highlighted critical attributes of their systems, including:

• Safeguards to prevent double booking.

• Their dynamic pricing capabilities.

• Their ability to process “site lock” fees.

• Their ability to handle online sales of items about and beyond campsite or cabin reservations, such as firewood, golf cart rentals as well as food and other retail items.

• The protection they provide from virus, malware and ransomware attacks

Participating vendors included:

• Aspira, a Dallas, Texas-based company best known for owning and operating ReserveAmerica.com, which supports reservations for more than 5,000 mostly public park campgrounds and more 17 million unique visitors per year. Aspira also offers a comprehensive administrative management system and is broadening its reach to include more privately owned parks.

• Campground Automation, a Mount Juliet, Tenn.-based company whose product offering includes self service check in kiosks as well as front desk management software, which it markets as the Sunrise Panorama reservation system.

• Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Campspot which offers a real-time, web based reservation software application. Campspot’s customers include parks affiliated with the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort franchise network, Northgate Resorts and Adventure Bound Camping Resorts.

• Mission Management, a Niagara Falls, Ont.-based company that markets the Astra Campground Manager  front desk management system, which can be locally hosted or cloud-based, depending on the strength and reliability of the park’s Internet service. Mission Management’s recent purchase of RVParky.com has integrated over 333,000 Android and Apple iOS app downloads, 120,000 active users, 31,000 campground reviews and 22,000 campground locations into its reservation system.

— ResNexus, a 13-year-old Salem, Utah-based company that got its start in 2005 by developing cloud-based reservation software for the bed and breakfast industry. The company has since broadened its reach to include the campground industry and currently has over 2,400 properties.

— San Diego, Calif.-based RMS North America which developed a reservation and property management system that handles everything from online bookings to credit card processing, check ins, check outs and dynamic pricing.

About 75 park operators had signed up to participate in today’s emergency planning workshop at Pechanga Resort & Casino, which CalARVC has organized as its Spring RV Park Day.

The workshop will feature FBI Special Agent Richard Sanchez and Border Patrol Senior Agent Bejar who will discuss the types of criminal activities that take place in and around campgrounds and RV parks. 

Campground operators will gain a better understanding of what the FBI and Border Patrol do, what to look out for, and how to reach out to them if they observe suspicious behavior.

The afternoon session will feature Hytropy.com CEO Patrick Hardy, one of the nation’s top disaster planning firms, who will help park operators develop their own disaster plans.