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So, you want to manage your own caravan park? By: Willie Bromehead

Category: General Advice | Author: CaravanParks.com |  Date posted:  | Impressions: 34214   13019
So, you want to manage your own caravan park?
By: Willie Bromehead
You want to manage a Caravan ParkNo doubt most of us have been on holiday in a caravan park, having a great time, and thinking, "Wouldn’t it be great to live like this all year round." The idyllic setting makes us wish we could give up the drudgery of our normal weekday job, and move to the country or seaside to run a resort, or hotel, or even a caravan park! Yes, a caravan park sounds like fun!

If I receive one, I receive a hundred requests a year from someone somewhere who ask: “Do I know of a caravan park for sale, or for a position as a manager of a caravan park?” The usual reason behind this request is: “The wife and I want to retire, and we would like to run a caravan park!” These people are usually in their late 50’s or early to mid 60’s, and have probably already retired, or are planning to retire soon.

The good newsYou want to manage a Caravan Park is, yes, I do inevitably know of a caravan park for sale somewhere in our country, or of a park in need of a good manager, preferably, a husband and wife team.

Here is the scenario: You have booked into a caravan park  somewhere in this lovely country of ours for your two or three weeks annual holiday. You have just paid the parks ‘high season’ rates for your annual vacation for you and your family. You count the number of sites the park has. You multiply this, not by the length of your stay, but the whole of the high season month, and then by twelve months. You arrive at a whopping big Rand’s value, and say: “Wow. This guy (caravan park owner) is raking it in!”

You want to manage a Caravan Park
So, you wish you had a job like this?

The Million Dollar question is: Are you both qualified? Managing a caravan park is inevitably a husband and wife team. The wife must be admin orientated and computer literate, and the husband must be a “Jack of all trades!”

As a thumb suck, the iYou want to manage a Caravan Parknfrastructure of a caravan park only has a lifespan of some 25 years, and properties (caravan parks) that haven't been regularly refurbished along the way, or are not planning to refurbish soon, are in serious danger of becoming not only dilapidated and rundown, but all the servitudes will start falling apart.
 
In South Africa most of our caravan parks were built during the 60’s and 70’s and constructed to cater for the holiday expectations of that era.  
The challenge we have in South Africa today is to build or rebuild our caravan parks using as many features and facilities as possible that will appeal to guests in a given location - not just for now but over the next 10 to 20 years.

A caravan park owner/manager husband and wife team will have to perform the following tasks:

Undertake and or supervise housekeeping and the cleaning of on site hire caravans, chalets and self-catering facilities.

Undertake and or supervise housekeeping and the cleaning of ablution blocks, sculleries, camp kitchens and other facilities offered by the park.

Handle bookings and reservations and do or supervise the administration of the resort.

You want to manage a Caravan ParkGreet guests on arrival and receive payments at all hours of the day and night.

Maintain the grounds and gardens, swimming pools, and the sites of the park.

Conduct and or supervise the maintenance tasks such as painting, electrical repairs, plumbing and waste disposal and minor or even major repairs to the facilities.

Assist in the park’s shops, cafes and other facilities.
Provide guests with information on local tourist attractions and facilities.

Organize, assist in or run the leisure activities.

So, you wish you had a job like this?

You want to manage a Caravan ParkThe Million Dollar question is: Are you both qualified? Managing a caravan park is inevitably a husband and wife team. The wife must be admin orientated and computer literate, and the husband must be a “Jack of all trades!”

As a thumb suck, the infrastructure of a caravan park only has a lifespan of some 25 years, and properties (caravan parks) that haven't been regularly refurbished along the way, or are not planning to refurbish soon, are in serious danger of becoming not only dilapidated and rundown, but all the servitudes will start falling apart.
 
In South Africa most of our caravan parks were built during the 60’s and 70’s and constructed to cater for the holiday expectations of that era.  
The challenge we have in South Africa today is to build or rebuild our caravan parks using as many features and facilities as possible that will appeal to guests in a given location - not just for now but over the next 10 to 20 years.
A caravan park owner/manager husband and wife team will have to perform the following tasks:

# Undertake and or supervise housekeeping and the cleaning of on site hire caravans, chalets and self-catering facilities.

# Undertake and or supervise housekeeping and the cleaning of ablution blocks, sculleries, camp kitchens and other facilities offered by the park.

# Handle bookings and reservations and do or supervise the administration of the resort.

# Greet guests on arrival and receive payments at all hours of the day and night.

# Maintain the grounds and gardens, swimming pools, and the sites of the park.

# Conduct and or supervise the maintenance tasks such as painting, electrical repairs, plumbing and waste disposal and minor or even major repairs to the facilities.

# Assist in the park’s shops, cafes and other facilities.
Provide guests with information on local tourist attractions and facilities.

# Organize, assist in or run the leisure activities.

You want to manage a Caravan ParkA caravan park owner or manager is usually on call 24/7 and will be required to work weekends, public holidays and long hours during busy periods.
Most of the work is outdoors and the work must be done in all kinds of weather.

Imagine the following scenario: It is ten o’ clock on a Saturday evening; it’s pouring with rain, cold and miserable. The park is full to capacity, and the main water pipe to the only ablution facility has burst! The park is in the proverbial sticks, and the chances of getting a plumber out before Monday is zero! (If you’re lucky.) Now what?

Go to it! Grab a spade, start digging! Go get wet and miserable! You’re on your own mate, it’s your park! You wanted the job!

You want to manage a Caravan ParkHere is another one for you – this is a true story. This actually happened out of season quite recently.
There is this retired couple who are spending two to three months in a very popular caravan park. This could also have happened in holiday high season! It’s almost ten o clock at night, time for bed and mommy decides to go for a shower. Forty five minutes later and mommy has not yet returned to the caravan, and dad decides he had better go see what’s taking mommy so long. The old girl has slipped getting out of the shower into the dressing area. She had fallen fifteen to twenty minutes ago, and not only broken her ankle, but cut herself very badly, and is now very faint, extremely dazed and bleeding profusely! And – everyone else is in bed already!

Shouts for help naturally go out, and the owners/manager has been called. It’s now well past ten-thirty, and to make matters worse, the park is thirty odd kilometers away from the nearest town and hospital. A call has been sent out for an ambulance, but it will not arrive for at least a half an hour, again, if you’re lucky! First aid kits come out. Sal volatile comes out. A hunt goes out for a possible doctor in the park. People are running around feYou want to manage a Caravan Parktching blankets & pillows to make the old girl comfortable. She cannot be moved as she is in extreme agony with a broken ankle, she is bleeding profusely, and we do not know what else could be broken. Guess who must sit on the shower floor and console her. Where are you Honey?

At long last an ambulance with paramedics has arrived. The old girl has now been tended to, and rushed off to hospital. It’s now well past midnight and the drama is eventually over! Ha Ha Ha!

What about all the blood in the bathroom? Cannot leave the ablutions all bloodied up – some poor soul must now clean up! Guess who? Good guess: as all your staff do not live in the park. Where are you going to Honey?

Got into bed after midnight!

That was last night. Tonight we are going early to bed? Think again. It’s only ten o clock, and without a doubt, some camper is going to come knocking on your door yet!

You want to manage a Caravan Park
And then on the bright side! Its Friday afternoon: the sun is shining, the park is spick and span, all the light fittings, plumbing and electrical power points are in super working order, the staff are all well dressed and spotless: the week-end booking schedule shows 100% occupancy, and the first caravan has just arrived! Get out there and meet the guest as he arrives - help to get You want to manage a Caravan Parkthe braai fires lit – a fun filled week-end is in sight! Yippee!!!

Running a Resort/Caravan Park can be fun, rewarding, and downright unpleasant all rolled into one!

I’ve been there; done it, I’ve got the “T” shirt to prove it, and I have tons of both humorous and scary stories to go along with it!

I’ll tell you about them another time; there’s a camper over there looking for you right nowYou want to manage a Caravan Park – he has invited you over for a beer! You had better go and humor him – he camps here regularly!


Have Fun! Caravanning & Camping is Lekker!


Some actual photos taken in various caravan parks!
You want to manage a Caravan Park You want to manage a Caravan Park You want to manage a Caravan Park
You want to manage a Caravan Park You want to manage a Caravan Park You want to manage a Caravan Park

 

CaravanParks.com

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