You know how proud we are of our park, how we relish all the comments/compliments that I'd say 95% of our guests bestow on us. And the other 5% that are negative is usually something that they don't understand the "why" behind a rule or they just plain don't respect other people's property.
Dan and I bust our butts to keep our place clean, inviting and a safe place to camp or stay in our lodging. And again, thankfully, most everyone stops by during their visit to compliment us or to thank us for providing such a beautiful place for them to stay (their words, not mine).
We bust our butts to comply with every request from our insurance agent (hence campground rules for many things, hopefully common sense for others). We are totally committed to enforcing the State of Michigan Campground Rules and Regulations for Private Parks (most of those are a safety thing meant to protect the public). And we are committed to our place staying beautiful and green.
The other day, I had a camper who was upset about the FIREWOOD ALERT and that he had to leave his firewood at the bridge. When I tried to explain to him about the emerald ash borer he said that they have those bugs in his state as well and they are all over, so what is the big difference. He asked why WE don't allow any campfire wood to be brought into our park, even if he purchased it down the road. My first question to him was "Why would you purchase it down the road when you get a very generous amount here for the same cost?" He didn't have an answer. He wanted to know if it "counted" if he went into our woods and found dead wood, could he bring THAT into the park and use. I explained that as long as he wasn't just dragging in brush or didn't have wood that too large to fit in the fire pit, not a problem. He didn't like that either but he did finally purchase wood from us for $3.00. Sometimes it gets hard to keep being polite, ya know? Cripes sake, firewood has been the same price for YEARS!
Or you occasionally get a person that complains about the prices of things. They will agree that our rates are very reasonable but they don't like it that we charge $2.00 extra for cable TV hook up, or $2.00 extra if they use their a/c. Some of our sites have CATV hook up; some do not, so we're not going to build that extra charge into our rates and basically ask someone to pay for something they may not even use or want. Same thing with the air conditioning for campers. Many places already have that cost built into their rates, but as we tell people when they check in "We leave you on your honor as far as using your air conditioner. If you use it, please keep track of it and pay us on the way out." I feel most people DO this with no problem but again, we don't build it into our prices because not everyone even HAS an a/c on their camper or if they do, they might not need it anyway.
Dan and I would rather be able to keep our rates low enough so everyone can have a good time and not have to break the bank to have a vacation vs adding all those things into our price and thereby possibly penalizing someone who does NOT use the CATV or a/c. It has worked for us for almost 19 years.
But, for the first time in 4 years, we will have a rate increase next year (and NO, we're not adding in those extras to the price). Rustic will remain the same at $18.00 per night (currently it costs you $16.00 per night to camp in a PRIMITIVE state forest campground, meaning pit toilets and no showers), our electric will be $22.00 per night, water and electric at $24.00 per night and full hook up at $26.00 per night. Our weekly rates will still be $3.00 less per night and our monthly rates will remain the same at $10 per night for electric, $12 per night for w & e and $13 per night for full hook up.
These changes won't be reflected on our website until the end of this season. Anyone making reservations for next season though will be charged next year's rates.
Our New Normal
4 weeks ago