The year 2023 has been full of big feature releases from Campspot. Our team has released highly requested new features all year with plans for more exciting additions soon. From our robust Data and Reporting tool for parks, Campspot Analytics, to time-saving features like Guest Self Service – Date Edits, as well as key marketing integrations with SimpleTexting and Mailchimp, we are prioritizing features that help campgrounds grow their revenue, foster better customer relationships, and make day-to-day operations even easier. 

We doubled down on our efforts with the more recent launches of Tiered Utility Metering, Flexible Lock Site Fees, and our upcoming mobile app launch of Customer Ratings and Reviews. Each of these features was created with the campground operator in mind, and while each has unique capabilities, they all ultimately serve the same purpose of helping campgrounds to sustainably grow their businesses. 

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the latest releases.

Flexible Lock Site Fees

In October, our existing Lock Site Fee rule received some revenue-boosting customization options. Through the new Flexible Lock Site rule, campgrounds now have greater configurability over how much they charge guests to lock sites. The configurability is based on three new criteria: date groups, lengths of stay, and advance purchase booking window. These can be used together or separately to create strategies that grow Lock Site Fee revenue. 

Campground operators can now charge more for longer stays on those most coveted sites, offer an incentive of a reduced lock site fee if the booking is made well in advance of the stay, or even increase the cost to lock a site on those peak camping weekends. 

Flexible Lock Site Fee is an out-of-the-box feature that requires no sign-up to begin using it.

Tiered Utility Metering

October was a big month for Campspot, as it was also when our existing utility metering function got an upgrade with the addition of Tiered Utility Metering, allowing even more flexibility in pricing strategy when it comes to long-term guests. The feature’s new capabilities give campgrounds the ability to customize utility pricing with unlimited tiers that can be configured to accommodate different usage scenarios. 

Previously, customizing charges for guests based on usage involved a manual process with multiple steps, but now, campgrounds can bid farewell to those previously necessary workarounds. In addition to implementing different rates based on usage, campgrounds can now more easily offer a designated amount of free electricity kilowatt hours each month before initiating charges. This process has been refined through the feature update, requiring significantly fewer steps to achieve the desired outcome.

Regardless of the reason for tiered utility rates being set up, the system will automatically calculate charges based on entered readings, simplifying utility billing.

Tiered Utility Metering is an out-of-the-box feature that requires no sign up to begin using it.

Guest Self-Service: Online Reservation Changes

In early 2023, we released our Online Reservation Changes feature which allows guests to self-service and make changes to their reservation dates online. As we looked to start working on one of our first features in what will become a suite of self-service options, our research showed that 35% of reservations get edited, and the majority of those changes are typically made to the dates of the reservation. With that in mind, we knew that a self-service option for date changes could be a real time-saver for campground operators. While not every reservation can be edited online, the significant portion that can be edited online will help save a considerable amount of time. 

We know how important it is for campgrounds to reduce time spent on the phone during peak season, and also how important it is for campers and guests to have more control over the details of their stay. The less time campgrounds need to spend on logistics, the more time they have to spend on the guest experience.

We wanted to hear from campground operators about how this feature has helped save them time and effort, so we spoke with Alicia from Holcomb Valley Ranch in Big Bear, California, about her campground’s experience with Guest Self-Service – Date Edits. 

“The Guest Self-Service – Date Edits Feature is a win-win for both the camp host and guest! The ability to give guests the control to modify their reservations and receive an instant confirmation that their changes have been made is a huge relief for guests and a big time-saver for a camp host like us.”

Like Alicia and the team at Holcomb Valley Ranch, your campground can benefit from the time saved through the Online Reservation Changes feature. As we approach the biggest booking week of the year (in March) and more campers start making their plans and bookings for 2024, it’s a great time to begin promoting the self-service capabilities to your guests. 

We’ve found that incorporating a brief message in your confirmation emails or on your campground’s website is an effective way to spread the word. Feel free to draw inspiration from our sample:

Thinking about making date changes to your existing reservation? For certain reservations, date changes can be made right from your reservation confirmation email. To get started, go to the reservation details link in your reservation confirmation email. On the Reservation Summary screen click the Change Reservation button at the top right corner. If your reservation is eligible for online date changes, follow the prompts. If you are unable to make the date changes yourself, give us a call at (phone number) and we’ll be happy to assist!

Release Roadmap for 2024 

As we look ahead to 2024 with point-of-sale and gate lock integrations on the horizon, we have no plans to slow down on our commitment to release those most coveted features and enhancements. 

“We’re extremely proud of our roadmap that is fully designed with the goals of growing revenue for a park and improving the experience for our campground owners, operators, and multi-park portfolio groups,” says VP of Product and Design Bryan Beightol. “Campspot’s latest innovations, including Tiered Utility Metering and Flexible Lock Site Fees, are designed to empower campground owners and operators, enhance the camping experience, improve revenue generation, and provide greater pricing flexibility. We look forward to delivering even more value for our customers in 2024.”