August 10

Keepin’ Cool on the River – Hats Off to Emerald Cove Resort on The Park Pod

Welcome to episode two of the Park Pod. Thanks for tuning in where today we're going to have special guest Emerald Cove Resort, and we'll be excited to learn about exactly how hot the desert is in California during the summer. Spoiler alert, it's really hot. We're going to talk about some news items for August 22 in the RV park industry. And finally, we're going to wrap up today's episode with a marketing tip about business listings and how that can really help your park if you're doing that correctly.

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All right, I want to remind you that the park pod is presented by Rest & Relax ROI. Wonderful logo. Wow. And who are we? What are we doing? So here we have our website, Check it out. You can download our free ultimate RV park marketing checklist. Have it, take it, do with it what you will. Hopefully learn and better yourself in your park and your marketing.

What do we do with the M5 system? So this is where we put all these pieces together to improve parks entire marketing operations. So we start with a reputation. We move on to resell, reach, and retarget. Those are the four areas that we primarily focus on. So check that out as well. You can check out our blog. And while you're checking things out, this is like you're at the grocery store. You're going to check out the Instagram and our social media. Be sure to follow us if you haven't already. We'd love to connect with you. Now we're on to the next thing.

RV Industry News

It's the news. We're going to check out Woodall's Campground magazine, who's the source of our RV park industry news. Love those guys over there doing a great job. A few things to bring your attention to the regulatory victory. ARVC wins the essential designation for campground, so that's great. We all know camping is essential, so that's amazing. A couple of other articles here that you can take a look at, especially down here, Florida Alabama conference talking about challenges and growth in the industry.

We want to specifically take a look at the Wi-Fi providers and the demand that's rising. I think everybody is pretty aware of this. So Wi-Fi system providers continue to see demand increase as more park owners look to invest in a better Wi-Fi service. I think we all understand that the internet has been around for a couple of decades and really high level usage just continues to go up.

We can see here the article that Ben wrote references the 2022 North American Camping Report. It says that the percentage of campers who work while camping rose from 37% to 46% over the past year. Here's a quote directly from that report. In a steady increase since 2017, the percentage of campers who say that having Wi-Fi has greatly impacted their ability to camp more often has doubled. Impressively. Among those who say their Wi-Fi affects their camping, these campers spend an additional six days camping with those who say it has great deal of impact camping on an additional 8.6 days on average.

So, hey, get you some Internet, right? And this is not surprising with the way that we use the Internet. You're on the Internet right now, if you're watching this. If not your magic.

Besides the 2022 August edition of Woodall's, we'll go take a look at Modern Campground. And I pulled this article because it is actually from the area that I live in, Jamestown Yorktown National Park sites recovering from pandemic.

Good news there. Actually, I saw this article a few weeks ago because it was in our local newspaper and the Pilot and you'll see that that is referenced here on this site as well. You can see a total number of visits to Jamestown Yorktown Park sites was 3.11 million, up from 2.9 in 2020. So that's growth. We're excited about it. People are coming back. Still not pre-pandemic of 3.33. We'll see what 2022 report is when that is finalized. You have a historic Jamestown Yorktown battlefield and the 23 miles Colonial Parkway that this particular report is about.

We love that area. I'll actually be vacationing up there soon. So exciting. That covers the news that I wanted to cover. You want more news? Check out those sites.

Emerald Cove Resort

Hats Off to Emerald Cove Resort

And now it's time for Hats off to RV parks. We wear your hats, you talk about your park.

R&R ROI: Hey, there! It is. Mark. And we are happy to have a dynamic duo, Joaquin and Chelsea. We just have Joaquin's name, but guess what? Chelsea is also here. They are with Emerald Cove RV Resort. Guys, how are you doing today?

Joaquin: Good, other than it's really hot outside in this part of the United States, everything is good. 

R&R ROI: Really hot. So what are we peaking at today?

Joaquin: Probably 108, something like that, which is actually it's cooled down. We had some thunderstorms. We had a little bit of monsoon for the last two days or so. It got really humid. So that was really uncomfortable. But it was nice there because it actually got to like 79.

Chelsea: You could be outside.

Joaquin: Yeah, you can actually be outside and not have to be on the river.

R&R ROI: Wow. So, yeah, the river. Tell us a little bit about the park, the history of it, and give us a little bit of that.

Joaquin: We'll start off here. We're located right on the border of Arizona, California, on the Colorado River. So one side Arizona, the other side Southern California. And we're located basically here because that river is an attraction that everybody comes Southern California from all parts of Arizona, like Phoenix, Tucson, and even up north, like Nevada and Washington, Oregon. We've been here probably for 40 plus years now. The company has been here. I've been with the company roughly about 19 years this year. So I've been here for quite a while seeing the company grow.

R&R ROI: You started when you were one, surprisingly.

Joaquin: Exactly, because I'm only 20 something years old right now. But yeah, we've been out here for this long and the only thing that's happening is we're just growing and growing every time, every year, more and more.

R&R ROI: Awesome. Good stuff. All right, so you kind of covered where you're located, which is awesome. So we know you guys pull in from all over the place in the West Coast and you mentioned also how long you been operating. But Chelsea, what's the closest city that people would recognize?

Chelsea: Some people have heard of Parker, Arizona, which of course is right on the Arizona side of us. But most people, I think, are familiar with Lake Havasu City. We're about 40 minutes, 45 minutes south of Lake Havasu.

Joaquin: Party town.

Chelsea: Yeah, very big party town. But it brings all kinds of people I mean, most people are familiar with it because just our general area, I think, tends to bring snowbirds, obviously, in the winter season coming down from the colder states. And then we've just got in the summertime, the summer crowd, basically that comes out strictly for the river, strictly for the weekend party time.

Joaquin: Watercraft boats, skiing, wakeboarding, I mean, families coming out and just having fun on the river. Trying to keep cool in the hot sun.

R&R ROI: So here's a question for both of you. So how and why did you end up getting into the industry myself?

Joaquin: It's really weird because I always tell people because I grew up here in Parker, which is right across the river on the Arizona side, and I never knew that CRA even existed when I was younger and I was a kid. So I didn't even know what this whole RV lifestyle thing was and people that actually did it. And then almost 20 years ago, I got this job because I came back to live in Parker after I finished my schooling up in Phoenix. So when I came back here, I got this job and it just kind of threw me into everything that the RV lifestyle, RV camping, family RV camping, private RV camping and stuff was. So I was kind of like, what is this? This is crazy. People do this and it's fun and people love doing it. People will do it over and over. It's almost generational. So it was something that I never knew existed and I kind of was just thrown into it. And I've been here for almost 20 years doing it and taking it all in.

Chelsea: I got into this my second bout here at CRA. So I came into it actually just working in town. In Parker, I worked at, like what was the name of it? The Beach, the clothing shop that everyone summer crowd, big summer crowd frequented and then worked over at like, a park or Yamaha where CRA some people here and working over there with the jet skis and stuff, there was kind of a mix of people and ended up getting referred over here. So this is now gosh, I think I meant like three years back. Yeah, three years back now. This time it was two and a half years. The first time I've been out here for a little bit now, getting back into the industry. And I like the people, the members are fun. They make it exciting and interesting. So it's a fun industry to be in.

Joaquin: I think we need to explain the fact that where we're at is a very vacation type area where it attracts, like she said, during the summer, all the summer crowd, people that want to be on the beach, that want to be on the water, whether it's the river or up north a little bit by the cabins of the lake. And then during the wintertime, it brings all the snowbirds out. So Parker has always had the industry here that revolves on the river, which revolves on camping and vacation, just like Havasu does. So even though I grew up in it, I grew up here, it wasn't until my later years when I came here that I started like, whoa, vacation. This is a whole thing. This is what people love doing.

R&R ROI: Awesome. So just so everybody knows, I know you guys are both involved in a lot of things, but what's your primary, I guess, title?

Joaquin: That's kind of an ongoing joke because I don't know, honestly. But what Chelsea and I pretty much do is take care of the overall marketing departments of Colorado River Adventures, which encompasses ten different private RV campgrounds. The main one, I guess you can say, is Emerald Cove. Where we're at here is where the main offices is kind of the corporate headquarters for Colorado River Adventures, CRA and all those parts. But her and I, we mostly take care of the marketing department, and that kind of entails just about everything, whether it's SEO stuff, redoing websites, working with some cool people, or any direct mailing, anything that has to do with marketing in that sense. And at the same time, we also take care of a bunch of other stuff in the office, too. Like, I do a lot of the It work and stuff and a lot of stuff that has to do with technology. Chelsea here helps stuff with billing.

Chelsea: Stuff with the payroll and bunch of other stuff, in house printing.

Joaquin: Yeah, we do a lot of stuff in house, so it kind of encompasses a lot, I guess. It's kind of up in the air a little bit.

R&R ROI: Couple of Swiss Army knives. All right, so, Emerald Cove, what would you say is the primary thing that would make you guys stand out that experience? What's different about it?

Joaquin: The river, I think. Yeah, I think the river is the one that brings everybody out here. I mean, even in the wintertime when it's just mostly snowbirds, you'll see them on the beach just reading a novel or reading books or just kind of chilling out there, just enjoying the time on the beach because it's Arizona, so it doesn't get that cold. You can just enjoy yourself and walk around and do all the stuff that we have here at the clubhouse for them.

Chelsea: Yeah, we've got quite a few amenities here. Summertime versus even wintertime. Wintertime, they open up our clubhouse. We do dinners, they do poker games, activities in the clubhouse. Summertime, we have stuff for kids. We have the river, which is obviously unlimited amounts of any kind of water activity. You want to do.

Joaquin: Mini golf. Yeah, we have arcade that they put in a couple of years ago. So there's a lot of stuff for the different types of people that definitely come here, and there's always that draw also because of that river I think people just love to come out and be on the river and have fun.

R&R ROI: Yeah, but does your arcade have Pac-man?

Joaquin: Actually, it does not have Pac-man, but it does have an awesome Ninja Turtles arcade style game.

Chelsea: It has skeeball.

Joaquin: Yes, it does have skeeball. But I really dig that Ninja Turtles game.

R&R ROI: Of course you do. So what do you guys enjoy most about being involved in the RV park biz? 

Chelsea: It's a melting pot. I think you get a slew of old, young, kind of different walks of life, the snowbirds, the young generation of just starting having a family. They are full timer RVs, and they work on. Yeah, so I think for me, it's the members, it's the people. You get a pretty mixed group when it comes down to it.

Joaquin: It's definitely all the different challenges because just when you think you look at all the data. Whether it's all any ads that you have out there. Or any stuff that you're looking at. Let's say. Like analytics. Analytical data that you're looking at. Like Google and whatnot. Just when you think you're like. Oh, okay well, this group of people is now one of our biggest percentage of people going online doing this or looking us up in six months it's completely different. And then in one year, it completely changes. So it's kind of like trying to catch up to what happens and all the changes that happens. It kind of keeps it fun because you never know what's going to happen.

Two years ago, it was the pandemic, and then everything changed for us because we're in Southern California, so we go by Southern California, California laws or anything that gets enacted in that. But we tried our best to do as much as we can for our members and people still came out as much as they could at that time. So it's stuff like that that you have to constantly be on top of. If not you're just going to get lost somewhere in there, you know what I mean?

And also I think it's cool because it's a generational thing for our members. Most people who are now getting a little older will leave or have like an adult family pass it down to that person's family member and then that person pass it down after that when they get older. So just seeing that happen and the fact that people come out and it's just passed down, and people still having fun all the time, whether what generation it is, is just awesome to see.

R&R ROI: You mentioned the pandemic. That was everybody's challenge in the last couple of years. What's the biggest challenge outside of that on a kind of regular basis that you guys have to overcome?

Chelsea: I think it's probably keeping up with just the what would you call, I guess the demand of things that people are after or want. Obviously. We're an RV campground. We're not an MGM Grand. There are certain things that when it comes along with RV camping, our industry doesn't cater to the same thing like a hotel and that kind of deal, but it's still trying to give them the things that make camping fun, the mini golf course, the arcade, that kind of stuff. We have to try and just continuously keep up, I think with just supply and demand basically of what people are looking for rather than just having a very clean come in, park, hang out, still home.

R&R ROI: Kind of makes me think of the whole glamping. People are kind of melding, like hotel and camping. I mean there's a market there, right. But there's always going to be people that are just there for the fun of camping.

Joaquin: That family because during the summer it's majority of families coming out here bringing their kids and the grandkids and stuff for the weekend or for a week. And just having fun. It's just keeping up with different types of changing technologies, changing demands of what people actually want. Which is why we put in an arcade just so we can have kids while parents might want to go do this or something. They can go to arcade or they can all go to the arcade, a mini golf, just all kinds of stuff. And now we're getting back after post pandemic, going back to doing all types of activities, especially during the summertime for all the kids fun stuff that we haven't been able to do for the last year or so. So we're trying to get back into all that because people are like, okay, well, you know, everybody's letting loose, everybody's back out, everybody wants to have fun, so now we got to cater to that again. So it's just all the changing stuff that happens with our members and what they want and what they're looking for.

R&R ROI: We talked about the river is a highlight and the lake is not too far away. What's some other type of attractions nearby that people will frequent once they hit your park?

Joaquin: There's a big off-road crowd here and that usually happens during the wintertime. We do have a majority of snowbirds coming out, but at the same time, the last ten years or so has been changing more. So where it's snowbirds and the off road younger crowd that comes out and they want to take their side by side out or they want to go out just taking their ATVs and whatnot out there. So there's all kinds of trails out here out in the desert. Yeah, there's a Desert Bar which is in the middle of the desert. It's all solar powered and it's all those things that are in this area that just basically attract people to come out here to just have fun and vacation. I don't know what else would be out here.

R&R ROI: You guys. You are an attraction.

Chelsea: They host some big things. The big off-road thing.

Joaquin: Yeah, there's a lot of bigger like during January wintertime, there's a big used to be the Score 400, (Chelsea: Parker 420.) Parker 420. Again, the off-road crowd. There's also a big pull of attracting people out here too. So not only is it the river, it's the lake, it's also off road stuff that also includes stuff like mountain biking, a lot of hiking, because there's a lot of mountains out here that people like to hike and stuff. And a lot of trails out there. During the summer is too hot, but during the wintertime it's perfect.

R&R ROI: Awesome. All right, so 2020 through, even this year probably, but especially the last two years, a ton of people were getting into the industry because it was such a demand. So if you had some advice for someone that was just like, hey, I should buy a park and run one, what would that look like for someone just getting going?

Joaquin: It's a lot of work. Some of the stuff that we said prior, keeping up with demands and keeping up with changing technologies and making sure you're looking out for stuff that is changing in the industry that you're going to want to bring into your park or you want to start up at your park and stuff.

Chelsea: Trying to be a step ahead.

Joaquin: Yeah, trying to be a step ahead I think is one of them. And it's a lot of work and it takes a lot to get going, but once you get going, it's awesome.

R&R ROI: Good stuff. So you guys are the rock & roll marketing team for Emerald Cove and beyond. Doing a lot of different things. But is there something that you've seen that's been very effective over the long term or something that you just liked in the tool bag of marketing for you guys?

Joaquin: Well, when I first got here, we were doing a lot of direct mail, and by a lot, I mean we were probably mailing out at 80,000 pieces of mail in a week during the summertime. And of course, direct mail worked awesome for the longest time. I can remember working here. For the first ten years, that's all we did every week. Direct mail, direct mail.

And now, of course, like I said, we were talking earlier, changing technologies. The way people react to different types of marketing 20 years ago compared to now is way different. A lot of digital stuff started to become more prevalent than actual paper printing or actual direct marketing materials. So a lot of that I've noticed, and I think it's great because it lets you analyze that type of marketing better than the old style type of marketing that we used to do prior to what we're doing now. So I think the change into the digital marketing age was something that was pretty cool and awesome.

Chelsea: And social media. Yeah, social media. When you have a great marketing team that backs you. Social media, I think I've noticed in just a short time that I've been doing it.

Joaquin: It is definitely is something that has changed, because I remember ten or 15 years ago, we had no Facebook pages, we had no social media, nothing. No one cared about it. Not that we didn't care about it, but it just wasn't that effective. We didn't see what they would be able to do. We couldn't really look at the analytics for it or anything like that. And I don't think it was really understood at the time. But now we can see every single day and stuff that we're posting, stuff that our other people are posting, it helps a lot. And you can see it right away because you can see how many people click to your website, how many people click to see this video, how many people click to comment or share, and just from that sharing, people go on that and share that or comment on that next, you know, they're on the website filling out a form. So it's kind of something that happens slowly, and then all of a sudden, it just, boom, happened. Within five years, it's taken over everything. And I think that's kind of a cool thing.

R&R ROI: You guys that have watched this, you need to go and search out a throwback Thursday from the 1980s video that they had. But back then, that was like the transition. Right? Mullets were still cool.

Joaquin: Somebody found an old CRA sales video that we used to send out through direct mail, VHS of it. And I was like, that is awesome.

R&R ROI: This logo, right, is more from that time frame.

Joaquin: Yes, exactly. Probably that logo right there is from that time, and somebody hand drew that  probably in the early 90s, but we decided to put that up on our social media because I just thought, man, this is awesome.

R&R ROI: Oh, yeah, people love that.

Joaquin: Yeah, I mean, Emerald Cove just looked tiny back then. There's really not much. It's grown so much since then, but it's just a really cool little throwback we did.

R&R ROI: Yeah, it's like Stranger Things, but they went camping.

Joaquin: Exactly.

R&R ROI: All right, so we're getting close to wrapping up things for today. I know everyone is going to be super sad to hear that, but we do want to hear your personal favorite RV or camping experience.

Chelsea: Mine is easy. Before my family actually moved out here, we'd actually been camping on the Colorado River. Different area, a little bit more south, probably a little bit closer, I think Yuma, actually. But we would come out here. We actually used to come out here even during the summer or down in Yuma, even during the summer and do tent camping until I was maybe like ten or eleven.

That's when we bought her first, I don't even know what they're called, the cab over? You know the cab truck one? Yeah, the cab ones you put on the truck bed. We got one of those and used it for two years. And by the time I think I was like, maybe now 12, 13, and we spent our first time there, instead of doing tent camping, we did that and it was like 115 at one point. So that was the last time we ever did that. And my parents bought a place out here because they're like, well, why are we going to suffer and do tent camping. When we just own a spot near the Colorado River and be in air conditioning? But good times. I mean, family camping, there's not really much better than that. You get to hang out.

Joaquin: Well, unfortunately, we never really used to camp. It's odd because I just never did. When we were younger, more of I used to skateboard and listen to punk rock music. I wasn't so much of an outside guy.

R&R ROI: Punk rockers like the camp too, man.

Joaquin: They totally do. And it wasn't until I got older and started seeing what everybody was doing that this seems fun. So I've never really done any RV camping, although I see it all every single day.

Chelsea: When you lived out here so it wasn't a destination.

Joaquin: Right. It wasn't something that we did because we were here anyway. But with my kids, we've gone a couple of times to go camp. More tent camping than anything, but that's about it for me. But again, I see it every single day out my window. You can just see families coming in, coming out, bringing their RVs, and whatnot. Will I ever try? Probably. It looks fun. It's awesome. I think so.

R&R ROI: That's good stuff right there. As we are wrapping up our time together, I do want to go ahead and give a little shout out to this amazing website. Oh, my gosh. Yeah. So,, you guys can check that out. And some sweet video. This is not from 1993, I don't believe.

Joaquin: No, it's not.

R&R ROI: It actually is clear. But, yeah, you guys can go check their social media that you can check out and see what's going on, as well. And you did mention it's part of Colorado River Adventures. And if you go there, you can find out all about everything else that they're doing across is it ten altogether?

Joaquin: Ten private RV campgrounds.

R&R ROI: We are super excited that we got to do this. You guys are partners with us. We're glad that that is the case. Everybody tune in next time when you will know who's going to show up. But hopefully it'll be super exciting, just like it was today. And remember, we're taking our hats off to you guys. Thank you for this hat, guys. It is poppin'.

Joaquin: Yes. I think I need to start wearing mine. Now that I saw you're wearing it, I feel like I'm not up to par.

R&R ROI: Yeah, you're not in the cool kids club, but everyone watching sure is. Thanks for tuning in and we'll catch you all next time on the Park Pod.

R&R ROI Marketing Tip

Strap in, folks. You're about to experience the R&R ROI marketing tips.

Here it is. Accurate biz listings. And biz is short for business. You probably knew that. You may not know that GBP is Google Business Profile, so that's a primary business listing. And if you want to learn more about that, you can check out our YouTube channel for our recent webinar on that particular subject.

But there's a whole lot beyond that. You can see right here, Yellow Pages is one of those. There are many business listing sites out there. The thing that we're looking to do, though, is to make sure that they are accurate so you have a consistent business name and correct address and phone number. These things are noted as NAP in the marketing world: name, address, phone. You want to make sure those are the same across all the major business of listing websites out there. You don't want to cause confusion, first of all, amongst any of your guests that are trying to book or the search engines.

So if they're getting information that's not correct on some of those, that could be a problem. They do improve search engine results. And of course, you can see this stat here: 63% of people surveyed say that an incorrect listing would stop them from using that particular business.

So that's a good bit. Make sure they're accurate. And if you need help, we can help answer any questions you might have on this. Shout out to us and we'd love to see how we can be of assistance if you need it.

Thanks for tuning into the Park. Pod. Don't forget, subscribe to us on your favorite podcast platform. We really need your attention and validation. Seriously, we can't go on without it. For additional episodes and more, visit Join us next time. Until then, happy trails.

About the author 

Mark Rowan

Mark grew up on a campground in West Virginia. Since that time he's been guiding companies across the United States to a better online experience.

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