Owners: Jim and Roxanne Hanly
Location: N3201 Crazy Horse Lane, Brodhead, WI 53520
Park Layout: 90 seasonal sites, 110 overnight sites (includes assortment of cottages, deluxe cabins and camping cabins)
PCM Customer Since: 2014
Percentage of Reservations Booked Through Park’s Website in 2019: 44%
She poured some wine for us, sat down with a calculator and made the decision. She’s a smart lady – she saw the cash flow and the opportunity. My wife was right, as usual. - Jim Hanly, Owner
Jim and Roxanne Hanly believe in keeping things simple, for their guests and staff. They were able to accomplish both with Premier Campground Management.
Jim used to work in car and insurance sales, but didn’t like the way the industry was going. Plus, the couple had three young kids and he wasn’t home enough because of his job. They wanted something else that would provide more control and a steady income, and allow them to spend time together.
The Hanlys were actually in a campground one night when Roxanne announced that they were going to buy a park.
“She poured some wine for us, sat down with a calculator and made the decision. She’s a smart lady – she saw the cash flow and the opportunity. My wife was right, as usual,” recalled Jim.
Long story short, they researched campgrounds for sale; bought the Crazy Horse Campground in Brodhead, Wisconsin; and relocated from California 15 years ago.
The previous owner was old school in that the park was very basic and guests just paid to camp and relax. He didn’t require a management system to keep things running at a high rate.
The Hanlys turned Crazy Horse into an all-inclusive destination campground, as amenities now include canoeing, kayaking and tubing in a river that runs through the park; a full skate park, jumping pillow, mini golf course, petting zoo, heated swimming pool, store, snack bar and live music; as well as playgrounds, basketball courts and horseshoe pits.
As the campground became busier and busier, a management system was sorely needed.
We switched to PCM in February. Most park owners would never do that. That tells you how easy it is, changing your whole system before your season starts and in the middle of your heaviest reservation period. - Jim Hanly, Owner
Jim researched all the options. The main thing they wanted was to allow customers to book online. They also wanted a simple booking process and a system easy to learn and run for his staff. PCM became the obvious choice and the Hanlys became one of its first customers.
“The installation and initial training was totally seamless and extremely easy,” said Jim. “We switched to PCM in February. Most park owners would never do that. That tells you how easy it is, changing your whole system before your season starts and in the middle of your heaviest reservation period. That’s an endorsement right there.
“We only keep our staff for one or two seasons, so we’re constantly training new people. If the system is too complicated, they’re just going to barely figure it out when it’s time to close up for the winter. That’s why we appreciate how easy PCM is to use. When we train a new person, it doesn’t take long for him or her to have it mastered. In fact, it usually takes them longer to learn their way around the park.”
For example, Jim and his staff love the task workflow tool.
“Housekeeping gets notified when a cabin or cottage has been checked out and is ready for cleaning. It shows up on their cellphone. When they finish, they click done and the reservation staff is notified that it’s clean and ready for inspection. The process is so easy since everyone has their phones on them anyway.”
As for the online reservation system, Crazy Horse guests love it. “If we didn’t do so much group business (that requires people to book through the phone system), I’m convinced we’d have about 90% online bookings because it’s so easy for them.”
And for anyone concerned about moving to a cloud-based system, Jim reports that they’ve never had service downtime because of PCM. He even shared an advantage of the system being cloud-based.
“If our internet does go down for a little while since we’re in a rural area, we just make someone’s cellphone a Wi-Fi hotspot and the system runs great on it until the phone company restores service.”
Our payroll costs have gone down and sales volume is up. Our increases in efficiency are phenomenal. There are so many facets to the system and it’s so user friendly. We are happy customers. - Jim Hanly, Owner
PCM’s great customer service and wide array of features have always impressed Jim.
“(Company President) Billy (Chism) is so responsive to his clients, it’s unbelievable. I’ve emailed on a Sunday expecting him to see it Monday morning, but sure enough I get a quick response that day. That’s the way he works. He’s very open to suggestions and constantly upgrading the system. Every time you turn around, they’ve upgraded something to make it better. Usually, it stems from suggestions from customers. It’s nice to be able to work with someone like that.”
Here’s what Jim had to say about some of PCM’s features:
Point of Sale: “We use it like an electronic cash register. You scan the barcode and it tells the customer what the item is and we can do all sorts of discount programs with it. Plus, they just instituted a great customer reward points program that you can use in the store.”
Online chat with mobile phone relay: “The guests really like this because we get right back to them. I used to have two or three people handling reservations. We brought PCM in and now we’re down to one person in the registration office. It’s very calm in there, the staff is happier and there’s so much less stress since they’re not inundated with phone calls and voicemails. We’ve also improved our relationships with our customers.”
Credit card swipe fees: “We love the support for surcharge fees on credit card transactions. We’re full every weekend, so the credit card fees are pretty high at the end of the year. We talked to Billy and he said, ‘yeah, we can put those into the system.’”
Guest chat tool: “We use this constantly. Before they arrive, we’re able to send guests the snack bar menu, information about sightseeing in the area, the activities schedule and the release of liability form for river activities. That’s a huge time saver for our customers: they can fill it out in advance and just drop it off instead of waiting in a huge line at the office.”
“Our payroll costs have gone down and sales volume is up. Our increases in efficiency are phenomenal. There are so many facets to the system and it’s so user friendly. We are happy customers,” concluded Jim.
I owe so much to Jim and Roxanne. They were one of my first customers and have really embraced PCM as it’s evolved over the years. I always value their input and suggestions, many of which have been implemented into the system. - Billy Chism, Premier Campground Management President