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Bud in Florida
In reading the reviews, I get a sense that price plays a role in evaluations. I have not done a scientific study of this, but it does seem to me that state and county parks get higher ratings than private parks, even though the state and county parks may not have near the amenities that many private parks have. They do seem to have bigger sites and certainly seem to be more rustic. I know different things appeal to different people, but I was just wondering if we don't hold private parks to a higher standard because we are paying more to stay there. What say you?
QUOTE(Bud in Florida @ Apr 26 2008, 09:38 AM) *

In reading the reviews, I get a sense that price plays a role in evaluations. I have not done a scientific study of this, but it does seem to me that state and county parks get higher ratings than private parks, even though the state and county parks may not have near the amenities that many private parks have. They do seem to have bigger sites and certainly seem to be more rustic. I know different things appeal to different people, but I was just wondering if we don't hold private parks to a higher standard because we are paying more to stay there. What say you?

I would have to agree with your analogy, as human nature will overlook deficiencies when the price is low and are satisfied, but on the other hand, when a premium price is paid, one should expect something above the basic for the monies spent.
Many reviews talk about a place being or not being a good value for the price. I think that is what makes the difference in the rating. If we stay at a bare bones park (E and W only, no pool, cable TV, Wi-Fi or other amenities) but only pay $10, that is a good value (as long as the place is clean and safe and reasonably quiet). I would give this place a descent rating (but not a 9 or 10). If that place charged $40 I would not think that was a good deal. I would try to be fair in talking about the place, but I would definitely mention that I thought it was overpriced and that would probably affect my rating.

Should cost affect a rating? In my opinion yes as long as the reviewer doesn't over react and give a good place a 1 just because of the cost. That would be unfair. The really hard part is defining "a good value." We all have different ideas of what that is. Some of us may pay the $40 and think the cost was reasonable for what we received. Others may think that $40 was way overpriced. Some of us are happy parking in a field while others want high end luxury resorts to be happy. I mean this as no offence to either end. It just means different strokes for different folks--different kinds of experiences make different people happy. However, we will all write a review based (or perhaps biased) on how we felt about our stay. If we were happy and felt like we got a good deal--whether it was a $10 field or a $40 resort--we will probably give the place a higher rating.

That's just my $40 on the subject.
I may have a complicated and somewhat convaluted way of doing reviews. I look at "what did I expect" versus "what did I get."

If the park is rustic and just the basics, I adjust my expectations, and if the expectations are met, the park gets a good rating (but generally 7 or 8 in that case). If the park has lots of ameneties AND charges a lot, I check out the general cost of living in that particular area (a lot of googling....), and then I adjust my expectations and whether or not they are met. A park with lots of stuff AND high priced, well, I've ony been to ONE park that way, it's a park in Bend, OR, where they are $50 a night, and they have a "concierge" to make you "din-nah res-ah-va-tions" and if your RV cost less than $500,000, you are outclassed..... (not to mention, it must be a "recent" model.....). Crown Villa RV Resort. Read the reviews.

Ok, reading back on what I wrote, I guess price does play a LITTLE bit in my reviews.....

John Blue

You could be right. We all look at everything in different ways. We like the COE parks better than numbers on other parks. The state parks are also great, thousands of acres of land, no noise, tons of trees, large sites, 50 amps with water and in some cases sewer, on lakes or rivers. On downside no cable TV, no Wi-Fi, and may not have have cell service. We can live OK with missing items.

On the private parks you have more stuff we do not use in any case like pools, game rooms, fishing pools, and so on. You will end up in a very small parking lot with hookup's with very close sites. This is OK, we are out all day in most cases on tour and only use the motorhome for a place to sleep and eat.

Now if we slay in a COE park or Outdoors Resorts in Vegas I rate the park not the cost per night. The COE park may cost $10 and Outdoors Resorts $65 per night. I look at the big picture and rate park from this. In some cases COE park could be a 10 to me same as Outdoors Resorts.

I hope this makes good sense.

Price doesn't really play a role in my evaluations. Even though I stay 99 percent of the time at state, county or national parks which are relatively cheap, that's not the reason why I stay there and wouldn't be a reason for me to tell someone else to stay there just because of the price. I stay there because of what they offer (serenity, space, natural setting, nature programs)...they fit the type of camping I desire.
Judging from typical comments, I think the "stars" awarded by reviewers are heavily influenced by price (ie. review comments are often 'bellyaches' about the price they paid when they expected to pay less, etc., etc., and that's attended by a scathing score). In my case, pricing doesn't enter into the scoring at _all_. I certainly don't want other people deciding what price _I_ should pay so why should I corrupt my point score with pricing ???

On the other hand... If the situation warrants it, I _definately_ make concluding comments in my remarks that address whether or not I think a campground is a good or bad _value_. I also break down the price I paid, in a general way, so as to leave no doubt of the discounts or special rates I might have received. There is nothing like reading a review with a ridiculous "Price Paid" and then there being no comment as to why the "Price Paid" was $-0- or maybe some unusually low amount. I realize that some people belong to half-price clubs and whatnot but I like to see some generalized explanation.

I've thought for a long time that it would help to create a "scoring framework" for RVPARK WOODALL's doesn't let each set of reviewers decide what criteria they are going to use -- the result would be chaos! The scoring criteria is the same for _all_ reviewers.

On the downside, the WOODALL's scoring is so objective that all the soul is taken out of the review. People tend to avoid low scored campgrounds -- I know better but _I_ do it too!!! It is hard to accept that a low-scored campground (based on objective measures like site width) is adequate or even that it might be wonderful wonderful {shrug}.

By the same token, my review framework for includes criteria that don't necessarily reflect my likes and dislikes (it is weighted toward the needs of big-rigs owners, for example). But if I had to give a low score to a campground that I absolutely loved, I have no problem commenting that I absolutely loved it and that people with a small 4WD rig like mine might also love it.
I too don't let the price of a park influence my rating. I will however let it influnence whether I stay there. I let what the park offers be my guide. If I were to give lower ratings for parks that charge what I feel would be to much then most of the southern california parks and some central coast parks would get real low scores. From what I read here most people freak when they have to pay $45, I'm used to it. That wouldn't get you on the southern california coast anywhere I think. I just read a review about a place for $99 a night. I think a park's bang for the buck is going to be different for most people so I just rate how clean, safe, is everything they advertise working, friendly staff that kind of thing and let the reader judge if the price is worth it for them.

As always just my opinion,
How about if we do this analogy in reverse – from the campground’s perspective.
The main difference in price would be the cost of doing business. Metropolitan or tourist area vs rural; more amenities equal more cost to operate and maintain; cost of living effects wages for employees; more or less tax and utilities expenses, etc. Anyone who has stayed in a chain hotel will know that they will pay twice the cost in a metro/tourist area for the same facility that might be located in the middle of Kansas. It is perhaps unfair to compare commercial campground costs to government-sponsored campgrounds because they are supplemented by our tax dollars. Camping in a COE park really does cost more than $10. And some of my fellow RVers paid full price to supplement that 50% discount for my Golden Access status.

Contrary to popular thought, the campground industry is not a service. We are renting a space for the rig, not unlike renting a tool for a specific purpose. It either works as and for what it was intended or it doesn’t. That should be the basis of the review. Comments in a review about good value are helpful sometimes, but I’d suggest that using it to apply a number is truly a biased individual opinion. As is our differing choice to RV with the squirrels or in a concrete subdivision.

Lee and Fran
When I am traveling I have no idea what a place is charging since I usually just find one when I am ready to quit for the day. Thus price means nothing. And thus far on average the biggest share of places I have stayed in have been under 30 a night with 15 to 17 dollars an average.
Price does play an important role in campground selections, but so do other considerations. Walmart camping is free, but not very "nice". and often noisy and fraught with some hazards too.

Often by going to "free campsites" one can find some decent city and county campgrounds with nice grounds that are quiet and have electrical. For us electrical is most important, water and sewer is not at all important. That is what the tanks are for.

Closeness of neighbors has a high priority in scoring as does the surface away from the parking spot. Shade is important in that it adds to the beauty of the site and creates some privacy too.

We prefer the COE, State Parks, some county and city parks to privately owned ones, after all we are taxpayers and and why not use the tax provided spots.

The most we have paid is $45 and that because of the attractions in the area, not because of the parks beauty or rating," Motels in the area were $150+ per night"
I agree with others in that the price should not play a role in a review, but I know I have factored the value for the dollar in my review. Last summer on our big trip to Montana, one of the parks that I gave a high review for was a stopover park with little ammenities, but was clean and the owner were very friendly and helpful. The park was exactly as advertised, a clean stopover park near the interstate.
I just found this site this week, and have submitted some reviews. I think I try to take everything into consideration. I just try to cosider if I feel I am getting a good value for my money. We do not normally stay in fancy parks, but do want ones that are clean, and have nice people running the place. If we have a good time it doesn't matter to us if it is dirt, gravel or blacktop or concrete. I do think though if we pay more I do expect more ammenities. So if I paid 25.00 for a site, I will expect a better place than those I pay 15.00 for.

We might be the only ones who feel this way, but we do not pay over 25.00 a night for any campground site. And, the only time we have done so is a one night stay when we have to. Usually we will do the weekly or monthly rates.

We usually stay at a lot of Corp of Engineer places, and I give a lot of them good ratings, but they don't always have the bells and whistles of many campgrounds, but we still enjoy them.

I would never give a bad rating because a place doesn't have wifi, or cable tv. I think those things are nice, but not necessary to staying. And, if the price has to go to 99.00 to include all these extras, they can forget me. LOL

Lee and Fran
To me it doesnt matter what I pay. I am going to give a review on every park I go to. Some parks get a review here or there and some of them are older comments. Parks change and with change comes better or worse. So review them all is what I say. And Im sticking to it. LOL
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