Campground Website Photos

Discussion in 'CGR Site Admin, News and Announcements' started by SASMITH, Sep 5, 2011.

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  1. BankShot

    BankShot
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    I feel that sometimes some folks have a "short fuse" when something that is actually quite minor in the scheme of things, sets them off, etc. To give a park that is really nice in most all areas a one or two rating simply because the wi-fi signal wasn't up to their liking or the showers weren't all tiled and with large shower heads, etc.is simply taking things a tad too far IMHO. Much like what Docj said above, when something happens that is really out of order and needs to be addressed such as rudeness, unkept facilities or non caring hosts that are just there to take your money, then of course a lower rating is justified. We've seen the good, the bad and the ugly along our way and we try to give ratings we feel are justified based upon what we experience. And a couple of times our ratings have been 180 degrees out from others who have stayed at the same park..............

    BankShot................(aka Terry)
     
  2. westernrvparkowner

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    Exactly!! Just go read the 1 star reviews that start out with a rant about how poorly the customer felt they were treated by some employee or rule. Then the review spits out a half dozen other things that were never mentioned in any other review of that park. Things like the power didn't work, the restrooms were filthy, the office doubled as an opium den , etc. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, photos would just save those posters keystrokes. If they couldn't take an unflattering picture of that park they could just insert one from another park, who could say otherwise.
    There are photos on Tripadvisor supposedly of my park that are not, and photos on a neighboring park's reviews that are from mine. Heck, one of them was lifted directly from my website. How could those photos be challenged? Do you think Tripadvisor would take my word? Do you think they would send out professional investigators? The fact is the photos just remain, misleading everyone. Thankfully, I think the public's expectation of information from review sites has changed. Most people now know a significant percentage of those reviews are not indicative of the actual product.
    As for advertising, can anyone point me to an advertisement that doesn't paint that product in the best of lights? Budweiser doesn't show some fat slob in a wifebeater T-shirt stumbling out of the car he just rammed into a tree because he was drunk as a skunk. Microsoft doesn't show someone putting the finishing touches on their Powerpoint presentation that has taken 3 days to prepare only to have it disappear into a fatal blue screen error. And you can't surf the web to find the Delta Airlines ad featuring the baggage handler tossing your suitcase like he was entered in the Olympic hammer throw.
    However, you can go to my websites, read the "fine print" and find our rules. You can read the disclaimer about how we don't offer many activities for children. How our Wifi is not guaranteed to do everything just because you want it to.
    Call us with specific questions and we will answer them to the best of our ability. We will tell you that you can't get cell service with certain carriers. We will give you the bad news that we cannot accommodate your 40 foot fifth wheel towing a 30 foot cabin cruiser (if that makes up big rig unfriendly in your mind, so be it. But we will continue to advertise that we are.). We will go into deeper detail about our wifi and our facilities for children. We will be upfront with you and say we can't help you when you say you want a private site away from everyone else.
    Like Doc stated, do a bit of research, especially if you have special requests or needs. Expecting any merchant or vendor to have advertising that doesn't show their product in the best (and quite honestly, unrealistic) light is an expectation that will never be met.
     
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  3. BankShot

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    Well said westernrvparkowner........!!!

    BankShot................(aka Terry)
     
  4. Fitzjohnfan

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    My only other pet peeve about photos on park websites (besides misleading ones), are the photos of "local attractions". How is a photo of the nearest amusment park or zoo, going to help me decide weather to stay at your park?
     
  5. westernrvparkowner

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    Most people have no idea what there is to see or do near their overnight stops. That photo of an amusement park or zoo may actually cause a family traveling cross country to stay an extra day or two. The odds are great you don't know there is a (insert an attraction here) nearby if we didn't include that information on our website. And once again, pictures do speak a thousand words, so that picture of a zoo or roller coaster is much more likely to attract your attention than the mere mention of it in the ad footnotes.
     
  6. mdcamping

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    We have been going up to the Cape Cod, MA for the past few years. We discovered this delightful beach on the bay side down the road from the campground. With RVPR expending their photo options to also include Nearby Scenery I figured I would spill the beans on some of our favorite go to places! I like the new added tool. :cool:

    [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  7. docj

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    As an RVer, I totally agree but we do routinely use TripAdvisor to find things to do in unfamiliar areas.
     
  8. Fitzjohnfan

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    Ok, point well taken IF the photos are labeled appropriately. For example, if the campground photos are organized such as CAMPSITES, CABINS, LOCAL ATTRACTIONS, that would be fine. There are a few rv parks that seem to try to take credit the attractions in the area. That's what I disagree with.
     
  9. Rollin Ollens

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    [QUOTE="westernrvparkowner, Thankfully, I think the public's expectation of information from review sites has changed. Most people now know a significant percentage of those reviews are not indicative of the actual product.

    I'm pretty sure that 99% of all business now are cognizant of how important customer reviews are. I'm also pretty sure that close to 99% of customers can read between the lines and know what is BS and what isn't. What is important though is what's in the middle and why. A picture is worth a thousand words and it works for both a negative and positive responses. Yes you can manipulate scenes pretty easily these days just as you can describe in print a piece of doggy do to seem like a delicious hot dog. Basically, all mediums must be subject to scrutiny but that doesn't make either of them less valuable.

    I value "truth in advertising". I recently rated a park not as well as it could have been even though it delivered everything it advertised. No question about it and I made note of the fact in my review. What they did not advertise was how blaahhh the park was. There was no effort to beautify the place. The dumpster bins were a mish mosh placed haphazardly at a main intersection. Their storage compound and the owners yard next door were full of junk in plain view. I posted pictures of these imperfections with my review. Me saying the park was blaaah doesn't tell the story.

    I'm really hoping the owner of the park will take notice and then perhaps take a little action. This park could very easily be a 9 or 10 with not too much effort. I think perhaps some park owners take criticism as an insult when they should be using it as a tool to improve their business. Yes, a good portion of criticism is sour grapes but like I said, most people can read between the lines.

    Honest photos are as valuable as honest words.
     
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  10. westernrvparkowner

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    So, under your criteria for truth in advertising, the park in question should show photos of the dumpsters and specifically state their setting is "Blaahhh" in their advertising? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds? Point me to any lodging business's advertising that shows anything remotely similar. Hilton, Marriott, Four Seasons, Helmsley Palace, Trump properties, MGM, all seem to thrive without photos of the garbage dumpsters or having an informational tab on how "Blaahhh" NYC, Las Vegas, Hawaii or countless other locations can be. Why should little ole Bob's RV Park be any different?
     
    #50 westernrvparkowner, Oct 3, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  11. Rollin Ollens

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    I think I shall just leave you be. You are having a bit of a struggle grasping what most customers are looking for and what you should be striving to provide.

    Sure Hawaii and every other resort and city you mentioned have dumpsters. They are just not sitting on Waikiki beach or the corner of Park Avenue or Times Square. Have you been to Hawaii? I have been a number of times. Waikiki beach is garbage free 'cause there are people that clean it and they have machines that rake smooth it in the morning. It's A LOT about the visual effect. Can you imagine that beach with a dumpster sitting on it? How many people would buy a post card and send it to their friends? That's not being ridiculous.

    Hawaii is marketing a "South Sea Island Paradise" and doing a pretty good job. If you feel that it's unfair that Ol' Bob and his camp ground are being penalized or ridiculed for having garbage bins strewn out in the middle of his park then you are out of touch. All of the cities and resorts that you mentioned are selling an image. They are doing their best to create that pleasant view/feeling to attract their customers. Get a grip my friend. Ol' Bob needs to get his garbage bins out of sight. He needs to read the review and react. Move those bins from Park Avenue and put a good looking fence or hedge around them even if they are in Harlem. Spend a few bucks watering the grass, fill in some pot holes plant some flowers and build a high fence or plant some tall shrubs around that junky compound. Clean the dump up a bit. After all, it does have potential and he does want to attract new customers. Or just he could be Ol' Bob and say to hell with it and watch his competition take his trade when they build a park that LOOKS GOOD as well as provide the required facilities.

    You can sell a great hot dog that LOOKS AND TASTES GOOD or you can sell a piece of dog poo that may look good but doesn't taste so good. How many of your customers will come for seconds.

    How ridiculous is that?

    Darrell
     
    #51 Rollin Ollens, Oct 3, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  12. BankShot

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    Rather than taking this thread into a further pissing contest I will add my next two cents here. In any business or industry there are those that know how to run a business and those that don't. And there are a bunch in the middle that try hard and succeed in some areas and no so much in others but at least they are trying. We've been to parks where it is quite evident that the owner is simply in the business to make as much money with the least amount of effort and investment. We usually don't go back that park again unless absolutely necessary. We've also been to parks where it is quite evident that the owner has put a lot of thought, effort and investment into something he or she wants to be proud of and wants to have grow and flourish. RV parks are like motels. You have your "Sleazy Rest" types and you have your "5 Star" types. You can sleep at either one. It's just up to you as to which one suits your needs best and makes you feel like for what you spent you are getting your money's worth. One time several years ago I mentioned to a manager of a park that was starting to look a tad "shabby" around the edges, that they should seriously look into cleaning the place up a bit. He listened, didn't take offense and said they were working on that. Well, a couple of years later we were in the area and decided to drive by and see if any changes had been made. It was exactly the same if not a tad more run down so we kept on driving and stayed at another park that was more to our liking. I'm getting long winded here so will sign off and hope that as was said in another prior post, that a few of those parks who fit into the sleazy rest category will read these posts and perhaps take heed at what's being said by the RVers that probably won't be coming back to their park unless some much needed changes are made.....................

    Happy travels to everyone, BankShot.............(aka Terry)
     
  13. westernrvparkowner

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    I have been to all those cities and they all have an unsavory element. Right outside the door
    Give a poor park a bad review, I am fine with that. I am in business, I know that I have to keep ahead of the competition or I will eventually fail. I don't have any problem with people posting anything that is truthful in a review.
    What I have a big problem with is the notion that a park is somehow being deceitful if they do not post all the negatives of the park in their advertising. NO BUSINESS DOES THIS. Do you really think you can go to a Best Western Hotel's website and see them post in bold print that their breakfast buffet isn't really as good as breakfast at the IHOP next door. Should they post that Lyman, Colorado is really a pretty blase' town with nothing happening on a Wednesday evening? Does the airport Hilton post in their information that you might hear airplane noise or that their parking garage won't accommodate your Prevost?
    My parks have many things that some people might consider negative. No pools, limited children facilities, leash rules, no campfires, wifi that won't support the entire park streaming Game of Thrones, cable TV that doesn't have HBO, no clubhouse facilities, sprinklers that water nightly, grass that is mowed weekly, a store that doesn't sell alcohol, trash cans and dumpsters that are only emptied on a schedule, not each time someone puts a bag of trash in them, temperatures that can be below freezing early and late in the season, occasional smoke from forest fires, bugs that hatch out at certain times of the year and on and on. How am I guilty of false advertising if I don't point all that and more out in my ads?
     
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  14. Rollin Ollens

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    Okay, I said I was going to leave you be but.......

    You said:

    My parks have many things that some people might consider negative................................How am I guilty of false advertising if I don't point all that and more out in my ads?[/QUOTE]

    Everything you have mentioned is/was within your control. You chose the location, the environment, and every aspect of what makes your park. It matters to your customer that you have chosen either a partial rain forest or being in a Provincial/State Park or have poor highway access to any of your locations. You got to choose what you deliver and thus remain responsible for the outcome of your choices. Bugs,weather, smoke.....it doesn't matter. It was YOU that chose the location. You can't blame that on your customers.

    Yes, some customers are ignorant. Rain happens a lot in a rain forest. Forest fires happen when it's dry and hot. Freeway exits are expensive and can't be built just because an RV Park exists where there isn't one. Like the rest of the world.....you get to deal with them.

    You can overcome some drawbacks by compensating in other areas. Poor access?? Your customers might think "It doesn't matter that much because this or that is so much better than the competition that has easy access". Wow that customer. Make the pluses more than the minuses

    Some of us don't like camp fires. That could be a negative or positive but YOU are the one that makes the rule, thus you are responsible for the clientele that said rule attracts or detracts. If you deliver what you advertise your should receive "good" reviews. But that's not enough today. You need GREAT reviews to attract new clientele.

    Just as my much earlier post stated, the park that I reviewed could have received much higher marks. The basics were there but there was no ooomph. There was no effort to say "I want you to come back. This is a pleasant place to stay." C'mon Ol' Bob, cleanup your act!

    That's not the same as being an Airport Hotel and guests expecting to NOT hear take offs and landing. Most people are reasonable in their expectations. You usually stay at a hotel that is near an airport for a reason. Easy access and close proximity for your impending flight. If you choose an RV Park that is close to an amusement park and are expecting a quiet retreat instead of a bunch of loud children, it is not going to happen.

    Ya there are those that aren't easy to please, but some folks are like that. In my business, we call them them the one percent that will not be satisfied. We all get them. Not an excuse.

    What I am hoping to point out to park owners is "if short comings are defined either by "picture or by print", react. That's what a review is all about. Warn the consumer and hopefully alert the proprietor.

    You don't have to advertise your parks short comings but you had better provide compensation in other areas to overcome them.

    Pictures are sometimes more powerful that words and thus are a meaningful tool for the reviewer. That is all I'm trying to say.

    Darrell
     
  15. BankShot

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    One more time. There are two sides to this discussion and both sides make valid points. I would however ask an RV park owner this. Would you stay at your own park and would you find it inviting, comfortable, safe, and above all, clean? If you can't provide a yes response to those important areas then perhaps this could be why RVers are driving by and spending their time and money at your competition up the road........... ?

    BankShot...............(aka Terry)
     
  16. westernrvparkowner

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    I think you are missing my point. My responses are in reply to the guy saying the park was guilty of "false advertising" because they don't point out in their marketing materials the flaws with the park and the location. An expectation of any such advertising is completely unreasonable.
    As for you question, no I would never stay in one of my parks. I am there 7 months a year, If I am on vacation, the last place I want to be is home. But would I seek out an operation that does it's job at least 75% as good as mine, absolutely.
     
  17. BankShot

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    I guess I must have missed your overall point westernrvparkowner. I totally understand what you are saying about no park in their right mind wanting to advertise their negatives. And let's face it every park does have a negative or two. Some are just bigger negatives than others. Where I'm coming from on this is where a park will post pics showing it to be nothing like what it is when you get there. We've experienced this more than once and were not happy campers. In one instance we ended up leaving and forfeiting one night's deposit. All we ask is honesty in advertising. I've said it a few times before, don't try to pass yourself (not directed at you) off as a "resort" when you're just an overnight stopover with dirt roads and dirt spaces but show just the entrance which is asphalt. I believe I asked you one time in another thread where your park/s are located as if we are in your area/s we would like to stop by and spend a night or three. Our travels are mostly in the western states currently...............

    Regards, BankShot...............(aka Terry)
     
    #57 BankShot, Oct 5, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  18. ForestWalker

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    I'm most interested in this now so let me rephrase the original question, "If this were NOT your park...Would you stay there and would you find it inviting, comfortable, safe, and above all, clean?"
     
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  19. BankShot

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    Thanks ForestWalker for rephrasing what I meant to say and didn't get around to editing it before the time to do so had elapsed. Appreciate that..........

    Regards, BankShot..............(aka Terry)
     
  20. westernrvparkowner

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    Yes, my parks are all of the above with two exceptions..
    One, what works for me, and 99% of my guests, does not work for the other 1%. Some examples: We water our grass every night, 1 AM to 5 AM. To the 1% that is not inviting. They have a problem with their rig getting wet should the wind be blowing in the wrong direction. They leave out items, even though the watering schedule is prominently displayed. Then we have to mow that watered grass and mowing will inevitably conflict with someone at some point in time. Some people eat breakfast at 10:30 and lunch at 3:15 and want to take their meals outside, without the noise of lawn mowers. They don't find anything at all inviting, clean or safe about eating while we mow. Yet another example, we have gravel roads and sites. There is some dust, it is inevitable. To the 1% that makes for an unclean park. Safe? We are in the mountains, bordered on two sides by cliffs, with only a fence between you and serious injury, There is a 1% population that will not take those sites for fear of the RV falling off that cliff.
    The other exception is what I call the "Snapshot" view. Grizzlies get into the park and scatter all the trash cans. Obviously not clean, nor is it a safe time to be outside and it is pretty uncomfortable knowing an 800 lb carnivore is 30 feet from you, with only a thin RV wall between him and dinner. Or,, someone trashes the bathroom, the laundry or dumps their sewage in the site, rather than into the sewer connection. At that moment, my park meets none of your criteria. That is not the way the park operates, but it could be the only impression someone has should they drive up at that specific moment and then turn and drive away. One "snapshot" I remember was one time there was a storm and the power to the entire area went out for nearly an hour. A review was posted that stated the electrical system in the park was faulty, power was out for over an hour and the park staff did nothing to try and fix the problem. Totally true and if it happens again, I will do exactly the same thing and that guy will continue to believe I am an uncaring owner only interested in collecting the site fees and otherwise sits on his arse and lets customer's concerns and needs go unmet. Comes with the territory.
     
    #60 westernrvparkowner, Oct 6, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
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