A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to work with another new RV Park in Northern Arizona. The Springerville RV park has recently opened to the public, even though they’re still finishing the new park. Their road sign is up, so they’re official!
With over 100 sites at the park, the owners have had a lot of work to do over the past two years. Currently 40+ sites are open to the public as they complete their build out. At the moment, the park is fairly “no frills.” They have full hookups for guests, and very little else. The office isn’t completed yet, nor are public restrooms available (that’s okay, you’re in your RV), and there is no Wi-Fi available yet. So the park is offering some pretty low rates to current guests! And there’s a pretty simple reason why you might want to visit the park if you’re an Arizona resident. Springerville is a lot cooler than Phoenix, Tucson, and everywhere else in Arizona. At 7,000 feet above sea level, it’s A LOT COOLER!
A spiffy new road sign!
While on location at the Springerville RV Park I was on hand to see their new roadside sign go up. Most parks have some type of sign or other so that RV’s don’t go racing on by the entrance. In the case of Springerville’s new sign, it’s very visible for sure!
I’ve never asked RV park clients what road signs run, but I decided to inquire with the owners. It’s a sizable sign, it was designed by a graphic designer, and it lights up at night to make it easy for travelers to identify the park entrance. I personally wasn’t certain what such a sign would cost, so I asked.
The design and sign itself ran over $10,000! Quite an investment to be sure. But it will be appreciated by guests over the years I’m sure. With the price in mind, I was left to wonder a little….
Often times when we work with new clients we are asked to discount our services almost immediately. Park owners, and other business owners for that matter, have always wanted deals on their websites. They want their websites and online presence to do it all. Here’s a list of what folks usually ask us to do when building out a new online presence:
- Create custom content about their business online. Often small and medium businesses have a hard time describing themselves.
- Create custom images of the business. They want to showcase their business with compelling images.
- Create reservation systems that handle their bookings.
- Create video tours of the business.
- Get the business found online as soon as possible.
- Drive new guests to the area for vacations and getaways.
The list is longer than that, but you might get the idea. Our typical small site builds often require at least 150 hours of our staff’s time, just as an FYI. What’s often funny is that these business owners who want all of these services (which we provide) often place a higher value on their street side signs than they do on their online presence. Regularly I have business owners tell me they were hoping to get all of the above for $2,000 – $3,000 maximum.
If you’ve read the list above, I think you know the website will cost more than that. Professional photography is expensive, custom programming for reservation systems is expensive, creating custom tour videos is expensive. Pulling it all together and getting people from all over the country to find their RV Park? Think 30 hours of SEO work alone…..
Website vs Road Side Sign
Now, what can a custom website do that a road side sign can’t do?
- Reach customers across the country.
- Allow for reservations from anywhere in the country.
- Track new guests.
- Track inquiries about the park.
- Provide potential guests with a true picture of the park.
- Allow guests to communicate with the business owners.
- Allow guests to learn about the area they are visiting.
- And so much more…..
A well designed website and online strategy gives busienss owners some very powerful tools. Road signs? They let your guests know, “You have arrived.” But without an outreach program to let people know “we are here and open,” the road side sign is most likely not going to generate as many new guests as a web presence. So now comes the psychology question. Why is street signage and it’s associated costs valued higher than a site that can reach a global customer base?
That is an easy question to answer. It is tangible, it is something that a business owner can touch and see outside of a computer screen. The world visits websites everyday and think they just magically appear. They can’t quantify the cost that goes into design and implementation. Can’t you just throw something together on Microsoft Word or Publisher and call it a day? This is there mentality! A big sign requires a big truck to lift it in place. A website only needs a few key strokes and puff you have a website.