WHAT: Ocean Lakes Family Campground tests concrete pads on select campsites.
WHEN: Implemented in March, 2002
WHERE: Test sites are located in the “HH” section of the oceanfront campsites
DETAILS: Ocean Lakes Family Campground is testing cement pads on some of its oceanfront campsites. The decision was based on requests from Ocean Lakes’ guests and a growing trend in the campground industry. Some campgrounds feature cement pads, while others feature asphalt pads. Campgrounds located in more tropical climates tend to opt for cement because it is less prone to sags and dips due to heat and the weight of today’s larger RVs.
Most campgrounds offer several levels of sites based on the site hookups, site size and site location. These options are reflected in the various nightly campsite fees or escalating rates by site type such as basic, standard, premium, or super site. Often pull through sites and pads to park on are included with “premium” or “super” sites. For example, a site that offers water and 30 amp electric service would cost less then an upgraded site that offers water, sewer, 50 amp electric, cable TV, phone service, a modem-friendly hookup or a pull through site (versus a site that an RV must be backed in). By overall industry standards, Ocean Lakes’ sites are premium sites. All of their sites feature full hookups including water, sewer, 20-30-50 amp electric, 70 channel cable TV and a modem-friendly phone jack with free local calls and every site is pull through. “The nightly cost of our campsites vary nightly by one to two dollars depending on their distance from the ocean, not the hookups,” says Barb Krumm, Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “Adding cement pads to certain sites would have to be reflected in the nightly rates. We try to meet the demands of our guests and give them options, cement pads on various sites would be an option.” Ocean Lakes’cement pads are large and measure 18′ x 44′. Currently there is no additional charge for these sites. Ocean Lakes reserves sites up to 18 months in advance, so a rate increase would have to be phased into the rate structure.
For several years Ocean Lakes has researched whether its campers prefer cement pads on their sites or whether guests would prefer the sites to remain all grass. “Our guests seem divided on cement pads. Some guests applaud cement pads and say it would be a welcome addition, while other guests say they prefer their camper to be parked on the ground and hope we do not pour cement on their favorite campsite,” explains Lance Thompson, Vice President/General Manager. Ocean Lakes is unique because it reserves campsites by specific site number (not by sections). “Some of our guests have been camping with us for 30 years and know exactly what campsite they love. We are trying to determine the best way to keep all of our guests happy,” says Thompson.
Ocean Lakes’ guests love the new concrete pads! After testing several sites, Ocean Lakes decided to phase fifteen concrete pads per year. With 893 campsites, thirty-five sites now feature concrete pads. These sites are the first to be booked, along with oceanfront sites, and guests are sending in their favorite site numbers requesting that Ocean Lakes puts a pad on “their site” next.