No matter where you’re located, there’s always a laundry list of to-dos for campground operators when welcoming the change in seasons. From the physical tasks to the technical—and even planning ahead for the next year of camping—it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or accidentally overlook something among your diverse opening day responsibilities. That’s why we’re here to help you get sorted and prepared.

Perhaps you’ve been following the same process year after year but need to document and delegate it to new hires. Maybe you’re planning to rethink your checklist and are wondering about any missed opportunities as your business evolves. In any case, let’s dust off the cobwebs and help you focus on the top tasks to ready your campground for a summer season of not only maximizing revenue, but fun!

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. 

Develop a monthly or seasonal deep-cleaning checklist—especially one ahead of the busy summer months—to help you stay sane and know exactly where to begin spring cleaning each new year.

Don’t forget tasks like these:

  • Scrub grill grates
  • Vacuum ceiling corners
  • Restock cleaning supplies
  • Grease squeaky door hinges
  • Clean out leftover firepit debris

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 to conduct a thorough visual inspection will go a long way in catching any overlooked areas. Carefully inspect your maintenance equipment as well to avoid using a faulty ladder or dull tool.

Revisit and Revamp Signage 

The changing seasons can fade and add grime to the various signage around your property. From trailhead and site markers to your “welcome” plaque, make sure to inspect all signs and take stock of which need a touch-up. 

For signs that are weathered beyond repair and ready for retirement, consider upgrading them to incorporate your own creativity and brand of camping. Add your logo, choose a consistent color scheme, or shape them in a unique way. It’s the little things in life, and campers will be sure to notice these cohesive details as part of their experience

Stock Your Camp Store

Camp stores are an ideal way for park operators to generate ancillary income while providing convenient, on-site shopping for their campers. After all, what traveler hasn’t forgotten sunscreen, snacks, or been tempted by a souvenir while vacationing? Prior to the bustling summer season, 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 more relevant products. Furthermore, 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, too.

While you’re providing some TLC for your camp store, this is also a great time to ensure your point-of-sale (POS) system is up to date. Thankfully, some online software providers, like Campspot, have fully-integrated POS capabilities for ease of tracking and transacting. 

Read Next: The Best Camp Store Merchandise to Sell

Focus on Landscaping

Another great way to prepare your campground for 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 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 the necessary landscaping duties.

Common outdoor maintenance tasks include:

  • Rake remaining autumn leaves
  • Clear dead branches and plants
  • Address any trees at risk of falling
  • Adjust paver blocks and level walkways
  • Skim surface of and prepare outdoor pools

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.

Give Your Technology TLC, Too

So far, we’ve highlighted many of the physical aspects of prepping for warmer weather. However, the last thing you want heading into your high-revenue months is a technological fiasco. Between hardware and software, there are many details worth reviewing. 

If you use a POS terminal with physical receipt options, check that it’s loaded with paper and ready to print. Same goes for a document printer, copier, or fax in your office. Double-check that you have no frayed or broken wires connected to devices. Finally, check your computers, cash register, front gate, and any other hardware onsite.   

Beyond hardware, reservation and management software is one of the most important ingredients to a property’s success. As such, we recommend taking the time to review and update the following before busyness strikes. 

Open Up Inventory in Advance

You may have to continuously open up future reservation dates within your online system. If this is the case, set reminders to do so following major holidays or busy event weekends at your park. Odds are your campers will be excited to reserve their same spot for next year’s holiday weekend or annual family reunion. Make sure they have the option.

Update OTA Listing Pages

Any changes you’ve made to your property over the last quarter should be incorporated into the OTA pages where you advertise your property and sites. These changes may include altered site types, more recent photos, and added amenities. 

Read Next: Anatomy of a Campground Listing Page – OTA Tips & Tricks 

Gather Data and Analytics

It’s important to learn about trends and opportunities before you’re in the thick of it. Campspot customers can turn to Campspot Analytics to understand your campground’s historical performance, anonymous market positioning (through Signals), and more. Based on these insights, review and set your rates competitively.  

Optimize Existing Revenue Streams

Adjusting your rates periodically is one way to optimize your main existing revenue stream. Revisiting your available add-ons is another key way you can recalibrate your rates as needed. Don’t overlook the value of ancillary revenue. Beyond rentable add-ons, this revenue source can include add-ons with quantity, gift cards, RV retailing services, and much more. 

Set Up Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

If you haven’t already, you should set up GA4, Google’s next generation of analytics, prior to opening day. In addition to Campspot Analytics, this platform will help you better understand your target audience, make adjustments to your strategy, and stay one step ahead of your competitors.

Enable Smart Features

If you are a Campspot user, we highly recommend you enable Dynamic Pricing and leverage our Lock Site feature. Dynamic Pricing is a strategic yet passive way to generate extra revenue, in line with customers’ expectations and industry norms. Additionally, the ability to lock one’s site during the reservation workflow is highly desired by campers and an easy revenue-driver for you. Flip the “on” switch for these features and you won’t be disappointed.

Read Next: How to Earn More 5-Star Campground Reviews

Identify Environmentally-Friendly Opportunities

The success of the outdoor hospitality industry relies on the health of the outdoors and all its natural wonder. Where possible at the start of each new year, identify the areas in your supply chain and overall operations that could move towards zero waste or lower environmental impact. You will be happily surprised where you can save both on waste and cost. 

If you serve food onsite, consider investing in reusable cutlery and plates for an elevated camping experience. While compostable products may appear more environmentally-friendly than plastic, they are still single-use and, in many cases, only compostable by intensive industrial means. Similarly, composting your organic waste may seem daunting, but it’s less time-intensive than you might think and a great way to generate nutrient-rich soil for landscaping. Even if you don’t serve food, you can still successfully compost your leaves, yard trimmings, cardboard, and other “browns.” 

Selling reusable bags in your camp store makes for a practical and easily-packable souvenir. Alternatively, use recycled paper bags, or simply ask shoppers if they need a bag before automatically placing their purchases in a plastic bag. In your bathhouses, motion-activated hand dryers could offset your future supply and disposal costs for thousands of paper towels each year.

Saving on your electric bill is a win-win-win—for you, your campers, and the planet. Upgrade to energy-efficient light bulbs and install motion-sensing lights to reduce your utility bill for years to come. Finally, local or state incentives and reduced-cost options may exist for your property to install solar panels. 

Eco-conscious travelers today are less the niche and more the norm. Campers will notice and appreciate the steps you take to be a conscious steward of our great outdoors. 

Begin Hiring Staff

Depending on your number of sites, amenities, and 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 that gained notoriety from Nomadland, the 2021 Oscars Best Picture winner. Since 2008, CamperForce has been a popular option for full-time RVers to make extra money on the road and have their lodging compensated by the retail giant. In December 2022, however, Amazon announced the end of CamperForce to streamline its seasonal hiring. This hiring void has caused former Amazon workers to look elsewhere for work camp postings, which is good news if you’re in the market for flexible help.

Here are a few websites where you can advertise help wanted and find work campers: 

Showcase New Photos and Videos

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 for 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 brand presence—in every place it lives—is crisp, clean, full of powerful imagery, and up to date.

Get Your Campground Ready for the Summer

We hope you feel empowered to head into the summer with new inspiration, software suggestions, and more. From staffing to cleaning and everything in between-ing, we wish you the best as you embark on 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.

Image credit: Adobe Stock user – Leonid Tit

This post was originally published in Feburary 2023 and has been updated with the latest and greatest information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.