We know there’s always a laundry list of to-dos for campground operators when welcoming the change in seasons—no matter where you’re located. Let’s dust off the cobwebs and focus on the top tasks to get your campground ready for the summer and possibly opening day.
Do a Deep Clean
We were serious about the cobwebs, and it’s nothing personal! Dust has no doubt accumulated in your rental cabins, recreation hall, on bathhouse surfaces, and elsewhere. Developing a monthly or seasonal deep cleaning checklist—especially one ahead of the busy summer months—will help you stay sane by knowing exactly where to begin spring cleaning each new year.
Easy-to-forget tasks include:
- Scrub grill grates
- Clean leftover debris from fire pits
- Replace paper products
- Touch up faded or dirty signage
- Restock cleaning supplies
In addition to deep cleaning, be sure to revisit any neglected maintenance orders from the prior year. Having multiple family or staff members walk the grounds and do a thorough visual inspection will go a long way in catching any overlooked areas. Don’t forget to inspect your maintenance equipment as well to avoid using a faulty ladder or dull tool.
Begin Hiring Staff
Depending on your park’s capacity, amenities, and number of returning employees, your seasonal staff hiring timeline will vary. Generally, we recommend updating and posting summer positions between January and March. There are many different applicant sourcing options, from LinkedIn and Indeed to direct advertising in your area and referrals.
You might be familiar with Amazon’s CamperForce program, which gained notoriety from the 2021 Oscar’s Best Picture Nomadland. Since 2008, CamperForce has been a desirable option for full-time RVers to make extra money on the road and have their lodging compensated by the retail giant. As of December 2022, Amazon announced the end of CamperForce to streamline its seasonal hiring. This hiring void will likely cause former Amazon workers to look elsewhere for work camp postings, which is good news if you’re in the market for flexible help.
Stock Your Camp Store
Camp stores are an ideal way to generate ancillary income at your property while providing convenient shopping for campers. After all, who hasn’t forgotten sunscreen, snacks, or been tempted by a souvenir while vacationing? Prior to the bustling summer season, you want to ensure you have enough of the right inventory in stock and a plan for periodic reordering.
Industry trends and consumer appetites change from year to year, which is something to consider when deciding what consumables, necessities, and novelties to sell. We suggest discounting limited, dated, or out-of-season inventory early on to clear the shelves for relevant products. The products you sell should cater to your main audience, such as families with young children or full-time RVers. If you run a dog-friendly park, don’t forget about pet treats and accessories.
While you’re providing TLC to your camp store, this is also a great time to ensure your point-of-sale (POS) system is up to date. Thankfully, online software providers like Campspot have fully integrated POS capabilities for ease of tracking and transacting.
Focus on Landscaping
Another great way to get your campground ready for the summer is to focus on landscaping. Depending on your local climate and planned opening day, snow removal may be a persistent part of your reality even late into May. Make sure you are continuing to use salt or sand mixtures to prevent icy pavement and be prepared for late spring snowfalls. Once spring thaw has begun, however, you can take stock of necessary landscaping duties.
Common outdoor maintenance tasks include:
- Rake remaining fall leaves
- Adjust paver blocks and level walkways
- Clear dead branches and plants
- Address any trees at risk of falling
Aside from old trees, your docks, decks, and the other wooded parts of your property could be compromised. Check twice for any loose or rotten boards to avoid safety hazards.
Showcase New Campground Photos
While photos taken during the soggy winter-to-spring transition might not flatter your property, it’s possible you took great photos last year when the sun was shining and business was in full swing. If so, now is the perfect time to upload those photos across your business’s online presence: social media platforms, website, OTAs, and online booking interface if applicable.
If you’ve added a new amenity or changed your map, a brief video walking tour of the grounds would be a fantastic tool appreciated by prospective and returning guests alike.
Plus, did you know campgrounds with a complete listing on Campspot Marketplace make 20% more revenue on average? All the more reason to ensure your presence, in every place it lives, is crisp, clean, full of powerful imagery, and up to date.
We hope this list inspires you to tackle plans to get your campground ready for the summer. From staffing to cleaning and everything in between-ing, we wish you the best for another great year of camping!
Haley Dalian is a lifelong Michigander who takes advantage of recreation throughout the state’s changing seasons, such as skiing up north in the winter and scuba diving the Great Lakes in the summer. A former Campspot marketing employee, Haley is pursuing a Master of Science degree at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. She is passionate about solving the world’s sustainability challenges, enjoys performing improvisational comedy, and has never met a potato she didn’t like.