Operational Partners: Jamie Becker
Location: 1549 Bluff Road, Hazel Green, WI 53811
Park Layout: 40+ overnight sites (includes 5 cabins and 4 glamping pods), 120+ seasonal sites
PCM Customer Since: 2018
Percentage of Reservations Booked Through Park’s Website in 2019: 60%
We want our guests to make it a vacation instead of a camping weekend. We tell them, ‘don’t lift a finger, let us take care of you.’ - Jamie Becker, Operational Partner
Work smarter, not harder. That’s both a motto that Jamie Becker lives by and advice she shares with park owners out there who aren’t customers of Premier Campground Management.
Jamie is part of an ownership group in Iowa that owns multiple recreational businesses, including the Dubuque Marina that features 230 sites for boating and the popular Yardarm Riverfront Bar & Grill.
The team ventured into the campground industry in 2017 when they purchased Whitetail Bluff Campground & Resort in Cassville, Wisconsin, a park that had been around for eight years. Soon after, they were approached to buy a riverfront property in Hazel Green, Wisconsin – just minutes from Dubuque, Iowa.
With the land overlooking the picturesque Mississippi River, the group decided to create a first-class, all-inclusive, Florida-type camping experience. They dyed the 13-acre lake turquoise blue, imported a lot of sand to make a huge beach next to it and added palm trees. And then there are the amenities: two pools, two Tiki bars, a bar & restaurant, an aqua park, rental water sports equipment, a jump pad, multiple playgrounds, and a clubhouse with a convenience store and arcade games.
“We want our guests to make it a vacation instead of a camping weekend. We tell them, ‘don’t lift a finger, let us take care of you,’” said Jamie.
Coconut Cove’s first full year in business was 2019, and it’s been a hit. Or, as they said in the movie “Field of Dreams,” “if you build it, they will come.”
You just got a sense about PCM. (Company President) Billy (Chism) always answered my questions so quickly, and still does. He’s just so fast to respond. It makes a real difference since Coconut Cove continues to evolve. - Jamie Becker, Operational Partner
The previous owner of Whitetail was trying to find the cheapest way possible to make a reservation
“They were still living in the ‘80s,” recalled Jamie. “I don’t know how reservations happened unless customers phoned in. For online bookers, it was a lengthy transaction where they were being directed to multiple pages and ended with PayPal with no confirmation email.”
So Jamie and the group sought a management system for both of their parks.
“You just got a sense about PCM. (Company President) Billy (Chism) always answered my questions so quickly, and still does. He’s just so fast to respond. It makes a real difference since Coconut Cove continues to evolve.
“Our training was fantastic. Billy always took his time to make sure we understood each component before moving on to the next part. I also thought I’d have to do so much more to get set up, but I just created a spreadsheet with park information and he populated it all into the system. I felt there was some major value in that.”
Jamie loved how quickly the front office staff learned PCM and how easy it is for customers to book online through its reservation system.
“If guests call in to book, how am I supposed to describe to them, you’ve got 20 spots to choose from, would you like to be here or there? They can’t picture it.
“Thanks to PCM, people actually get to pick which site they want. There’s a map and you can easily choose to be close to the bathroom or the pool or what have you. I wish they had this for hotels. Wouldn’t we all be saying give me the room in the back with a nice view. This user-friendly system empowers people to choose, which makes them happy customers.”
Any system can be easy to use, but can you also grow your sales using it? PCM has helped us make so much more money. - Jamie Becker, Operational Partner
Jamie is big into reporting and the ability to communicate with guests, and PCM delivers for her.
“If you don’t operate your business using reporting, you’re never going to know who you are or your growth areas. When we started, PCM already had all the reports in the world that I could have thought of. But when I did think of a couple more, Billy made them. To be able to contact the developer with an idea and have him reply back saying great idea, that report is now available, it’s awesome.
“Also, because of PCM’s amazing reporting, I was able to easily pull a spreadsheet for every person who has booked, cancelled or abandoned. I ended up with 1,200 email addresses and we sent them a message in January notifying them that online reservations are now open. It’s such a great selling opportunity.”
As a marketer, Jamie needs to communicate with customers at any given moment, and takes advantage of PCM features that are included in the system.
The biggest takeaway for Jamie is how PCM has improved operations and revenue at their parks.
“Any system can be easy to use, but can you also grow your sales using it? PCM has helped us make so much more money.
“And to the older parks out there, don’t remain stuck in 1980. It’s time to move forward and be smarter with your management system. Don’t be scared, as Billy is right there with you during that learning curve. You won’t regret it.”
Jamie and the rest of the ownership group have done an amazing job with Coconut Cove. They’ve created a unique and trending campground in a short amount of time, and it’s been a pleasure being a part of their success. - Billy Chism, Premier Campground Management President