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HappiestCamper
post Oct 16 2009, 07:43 AM
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QUOTE(summerland @ Oct 15 2009, 05:35 PM) *

No sir. The park I am at has not changed their rates since installing free wifi throuhout the park. If you don't charge, they don't come back complaining if it's a bad connection on a given day. ( well, actually they DO camplain; but no one listens) wink.gif

Then they were overcharging to begin with - they are not going to keep the park open if it is at a loss. If they are paying for it, they are not going to "give" it away.

Unless some wifi provider is giving it to the CG for free - which I doubt.
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summerland
post Oct 16 2009, 10:05 AM
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Then they were overcharging to begin with - they are not going to keep the park open if it is at a loss. If they are paying for it, they are not going to "give" it away.

Unless some wifi provider is giving it to the CG for free - which I doubt.

Of couse it's given away. It's their own system. They insalled it. No third party involved. Why would you say anything about a loss?
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Parkview
post Oct 16 2009, 11:13 AM
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Whether it's their own system or not, the equipment still costs money and there are always monthly charges for the incoming DSL or satellite signal. As I have said, there is no such thing as free wifi, someone has to pay for it; either the campground owner, the users of the service or everyone who stays, whether they use it or not.

As for what the campground charges for camping and what is included or not included, camping rates are only loosely connected to costs. Generally rates are determined by supply and demand and what the local competition is charging for similar services. During busy seasons when we we aree turning away customers, we charge higher rates than the off-season when we are trying to fill empty sites. That is why we accept all discount programs in the off-season and not in the busy season. Once we begin to fill up during the off-season, you will begin to see off-season rates rise and deep discount programs disappear.

Having wifi does not allow us to charge higher camping rates, but it does bring more campers. If our costs of doing business, including the cost of wifi, exceeds our revenue we will go out of business - we just can't raise rates beyond what the local market will bear regardless of what is included.

Doug

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summerland
post Oct 16 2009, 11:32 AM
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Whether it's their own system or not, the equipment still costs money and there are always monthly charges for the incoming DSL or satellite signal. As I have said, there is no such thing as free wifi, someone has to pay for it; either the campground owner, the users of the service or everyone who stays, whether they use it or not.
Actually, no. You are mistaken. If the campground has DSL and they choose to share it with the entire campground; there is no expense to the campground or the campers. Yes, the campground is paying for their own DSL. They have to pay for it weather they share it or not.
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HappiestCamper
post Oct 16 2009, 07:34 PM
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QUOTE(summerland @ Oct 16 2009, 01:32 PM) *

Actually, no. You are mistaken. If the campground has DSL and they choose to share it with the entire campground; there is no expense to the campground or the campers. Yes, the campground is paying for their own DSL. They have to pay for it weather they share it or not.


If they are sharing their single DSL connection that is not made for that many connections, people will not be impressed with the "free" wifi that is agonizing slow. If it was that simple, owners like Parkview could charge the same as the state park. People are willing to spend more at his place because of the extra amenities - and one of those is reliable and fast wifi.

There are plenty of discussions in other threads here where people were not impressed with CG's that just hung a router on their broadband modem instead of paying for the necessary infrastructure.. They were plenty that were willing to pay more for good wifi instead of lousy "free" wifi.
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summerland
post Oct 17 2009, 08:47 AM
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If it was that simple, owners like Parkview could charge the same as the state park. People are willing to spend more at his place because of the extra amenities - and one of those is reliable and fast wifi.
Guess I don't get what you're saying. I have ALL amenities INCLUDING free FAST wifi. If you have the proper antennas spread out at strategic areas of the park, it is as fast as the broadband in the office. Sorry I missed the previous discussions regarding this. Maybe you are not aware of the poor quality and reliability of some of the "pay" wifi services. Tengo has been nothing but problems for most parks. Linkspot has been very iffy. I have found MUCH faster and more reliable service with our own system. I have had this system in place for four years. The only occasional complaint I will get is when the park is 100% full and the signal is having difficulty getting in to their rig. They then simply move the computer a few feet inside or go out on the picnic table.
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Parkview
post Oct 21 2009, 06:03 PM
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Well, I say again, there is no such thing as free wifi. You say yours is free and that you are just beaming the free wifi out to the park. Whatever? I guarantee that nobody is sending wifi out to the parh without radio antennas, wifi routers, and probably repeaters if you want to cover the entire park. Those things are not free. I do not have either Tengo or Linkspot, but I know of many parks that are very happy with their service, and I say again their service is only as good as the equipment and/or signal that the park is willing to pay for. If you are providing wifi to your park, you must have such equipment and that equipment and the maintenance of it is not free. You may be providing wifi at no additional costs to your customers, but the equipment and incoming signal does cost money and therefore is not free. You are either paying for it yourself, charging users for it, or including it in your rates, in which case all campers are paying for it whether they use it or not.

I have been down this road for the last nine years and finally have a system that our campers are happy with, and it could not possibly be as good as it is without the third party provider unless I happened to be a full fledged tech geek, which I am not. Again, the geatest value to me of the third party provider is 24 hour tech support for our customers and 24 hour remote monitoring of all of our equipment with telephone or e-mail notification of problems first thing the next morning.

Doug
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Florida Native
post Oct 21 2009, 06:13 PM
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You are either paying for it yourself, charging users for it, or including it in your rates, in which case all campers are paying for it whether they use it or not.


This same statement can be said of any amenity from sewer to water, to TV, paved roads, ETC. WiFi is just a recent amenity and we tend to think of it as something special. It is quickly becoming a necessary part of a campground.


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Parkview
post Oct 21 2009, 06:41 PM
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True Lindasy, but less than 30% of our customers use the wifi, but all use the paved driveways, water, sewer, and electric. And none of the people from the adjoining 2 camps or the State park use any of those things, but they do use our wifi. My main interest is to make it as good as it can be, and if my customers are happy, I and my staff are happy, and we even attract a few more customers from the State Park and the adjoining camps.

Also, I have never seen an ad proclaiming free paved roads, free sewer or free electric

Doug
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summerland
post Oct 22 2009, 09:22 AM
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PARKVIEW, you are wanting to bunch us all into the situation that you have. It's great that it works for you. What works or me is having a "computer geek" who enjoys maintaining our system in his spare time at no charge to us. The entire cost (other than our own DSL service) has been less than $200 and the system has been in place for over 4 years. Our rates have NOT CHANGED. I do not understand why you find this so hard to believe. It works for me. I tried Tengo and Linkspot and the service was terrible, so was the tech support.
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Parkview
post Oct 22 2009, 09:50 AM
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Sorry Summerland,

I did not mean to offend. My only reason in entering this conversation was to point out the advantages of a third party provider for folks like me who are not computer geeks. When I need concrete work done, I contract with a concrete man; when I need major electrical work done, I call an electrician; when I needed wifi installed, I contracted with a wifi company. And I happen to be very happy with the service I get from my current provider, especially the 24 hour tech support and remote monitoring of our system.

I envy you if you have the knowledge and personnel to build your own system; but I do not. At least not a system of the quality provided by our current provider. As for camping rates, our wifi would have no impact, whether we included it at no charge or not - our rates are based on occupancy demand, competition, and return on investment yield curve. Wifi is just another line item expense.

Good luck to you and your business.

Doug
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Parkview
post Oct 22 2009, 10:05 AM
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Sorry Summerland,

I did not mean to offend. My only reason in entering this conversation was to point out the advantages of a third party provider for folks like me who are not computer geeks. When I need concrete work done, I contract with a concrete man; when I need major electrical work done, I call an electrician; when I needed wifi installed, I contracted with a wifi company. And I happen to be very happy with the service I get from my current provider, especially the 24 hour tech support and remote monitoring of our system.

I envy you if you have the knowledge and personnel to build your own system; but I do not. At least not a system of the quality provided by our current provider. As for camping rates, our wifi would have no impact, whether we included it at no charge or not - our rates are based on occupancy demand, competition, and return on investment yield curve. Wifi is just another line item expense.

Good luck to you and your business.

Doug
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Florida Native
post Oct 22 2009, 02:19 PM
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We probably average using about 30% of the amenities of a campground when we stay there several days and probably less when just overnighting. So the 30% of WiFi usage would be about average for all amenities for campers like us. We normally don't even hookup sewer or water until necessary (every 4 or 5 days). Rarely use the parkís TV, haven't been to a park pool in years. My shuffle board isn't too good anymore. I havenít been to an event in the rally building. We usually do laundry at a commercial site as itís normally cheaper. We do frequently use the book exchanges a lot, but I expect the cost there is minimal. We do enjoy the companionship of a campground. We are paying for all of these amenities even though we donít use but the 30% of them . I donít see WiFi as any different other amities except that it can take a lot of technical knowledge getting started. Strannely enough, as far a WiFi is concerned, I would rather stay at a Wal-Mart where I can get a good WiFi signal with my great antenna than a typical overnight campground where we donít really use anything but the electricity.


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jan-n-john
post Oct 22 2009, 10:25 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Oct 22 2009, 02:19 PM) *

We probably average using about 30% of the amenities of a campground when we stay there several days and probably less when just overnighting. So the 30% of WiFi usage would be about average for all amenities for campers like us. We normally don't even hookup sewer or water until necessary (every 4 or 5 days). Rarely use the park’s TV, haven't been to a park pool in years. My shuffle board isn't too good anymore. I haven’t been to an event in the rally building. We usually do laundry at a commercial site as it’s normally cheaper. We do frequently use the book exchanges a lot, but I expect the cost there is minimal. We do enjoy the companionship of a campground. We are paying for all of these amenities even though we don’t use but the 30% of them . I don’t see WiFi as any different other amities except that it can take a lot of technical knowledge getting started. Strannely enough, as far a WiFi is concerned, I would rather stay at a Wal-Mart where I can get a good WiFi signal with my great antenna than a typical overnight campground where we don’t really use anything but the electricity.

I think you're putting your finger on the key points embedded in this entire "free" wifi debate.

Let's stipulate something going in. We all know nothing is "free," in the sense that everything has to be paid for by somebody. Sunshine, and perhaps clean air, may be the only exceptions to this rule. When the word "free" is used, it means "provided at no additional charge," not that there is no cost to anyone. Thus, "free wifi" means wifi provided by the park with no additional charge above the basic rate.

RV parks all provide some things "free." Electricity, water, bathhouses, and sewerage are typical. It would be very unusual for these things to carry an additional fee at least for short stays. But other things do typically carry a fee, and what typically does and typically doesn't seems to be more a question of what everybody is accustomed to than anything else. Consider the swimming pool and the self-service laundry. There is nearly always a charge to use the laundry, but almost never to use the pool, even tho it costs much more to build and maintain a pool than a laundry or a wifi setup and is probably used by a smaller portion of the campers. Why is this? In the end, I don't believe there is a logical, economical, or financial reason--it's just accepted by everybody that that's the way it is, and the parks' daily rates have come to incorporate it.

WiFi used to be a limited thing, but it is becoming the rule, and in a few years it will be thought of as just as vital as electricity and water, at least in parks that cater to those (like me) who use their RV's as an alternate home, not as a means to go out into the woods and "rough it." That being the case, I believe that parks, at least those who cater to folks who are traveling in their alternative home, are increasingly shooting themselves in the foot by charging extra for wifi. I know I tend not to book such parks if I can avoid it. I subjectively just don't like the idea of it, and objectively I am in part using it as an indicator of management's attitudes about generosity toward its guests, which may come out in other ways. I have been known to go elsewhere even if it costs a bit more. Call me nuts, but I don't think I'm alone. If we do wind up in a park that charges and we think it's too much (like over $2 per day), we have been known to just use the iPhones for our internet surfing needs, so they get no fee revenue at all from us.

In short, for me the bottom line is smart park operators will fold the cost of the wifi into the basic rate and let it go at that, as they all do for so many other things that also have identifiable costs for them. If they must charge, keep it reasonable. They'll get more business, life will be simpler for everybody, and the general sense of friendliness will be augmented.

Just my opinion.
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Florida Native
post Oct 23 2009, 05:07 PM
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I think it would have been better to exchange the word INCLUDED for the word FREE. When something cost extra and doesn't work well for me, then I tend to get PO'ed like most other old farts. When it is included and doesn't work well, I tend to sluff it off easier. Once again, a good omnidirectional antenna will be a great addition to a frequent RV'ers kit. This will solve many of the WiFi problems discussed here.


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