August 5th, 2023
- If you hate campers –
- If you hate dogs –
- If you don’t want to do the minimum work it takes to run a nice campground –
- If you dream up unreasonable rules –
Maybe you should NOT own a campground.
By the time we get back to Florida in November, we will have visited over 100 campgrounds. We will have spent over 600 nights living in our Alliance 5th wheel in a campground of some sort.
We have met so many wonderful camp hosts, camp employees and camp owners and the vast majority of them seem to love the lifestyle and love or at least like their customers.
One campground even had a rules board up that said: Rule #1 – Have Fun. Rule #2 – Stay Safe
I get it, you need to have reasonable rules. Those rules should be clearly posted when you register and enforced for the safety and enjoyment of everyone.
But here’s one I’ll bet you have not seen in a campground before – especially in a KOA. You can’t walk your dog around the campground on a leash because in the past some bad dog owner didn’t pick up their dog’s poop.
Don’t get me wrong. I know there are bad dog owners out there. I have seen many, many of them. But the vast majority of us do pick up after our dogs. I can’t understand why you would make a rule that punishes customers of your business because of a few people who don’t get it.
When confronted with this rule taped onto their check in counter (not on their website or in any of the E Mails “welcoming” us to their park), I did say to the clerk, “this rule feels unreasonable.”
She immediately started attacking me. She claimed loudly that it was not her rule, it was made by the park manager and that some people didn’t pickup, so that was the rule. You can take your dog to the dog park and let them go there. What was my problem?
Well, we had just driven 4 hours and wanted to take a walk around the park to get a little exercise for both of us. Active dogs need more room to walk than just a small fenced area. And, by the way, I found out later, their dog park does not even have a working gate.
I said, fine, we will deal with it. We are only here one night. We simply will not be back and will be leaving a review about this. It will not be good.
She snapped back, “do you think I should have to pick up poop?” “Well,” I responded calmly, “if bad dog owners DO leave some poop behind and you want to keep your campground clean, then I guess, yes.”
If you run a grocery store and there is a spill on aisle 6, we clean it up. It’s what good managers and employees do when they are charged with keeping a business clean and safe.
You are working in a campground. If a bad owner leaves poop on the road, of course someone working here should clean it up.
She was appalled that a campground worker might be asked to pick up the occasional poop. This young lady should not be working in a campground.
As a responsible dog owner, I often pick up “bonus poops” when I see them. I’m certain that at some point in my life I have missed one my dog made.
We got set up and I took Reba to the dog park where I met a delightful person staying here long term. They mentioned that we should hold the gate closed with one of our leashes, because they told the owner two weeks ago that the gate needed to be repaired, but it has not been fixed yet.
They also mentioned that they were reprimanded for leaving two chairs, a fire pit and their grill outside their rig. They are staying there for MONTHS. They were told that they should be able to pack up and be out of the park within 20 minutes. Another unreasonable “rule.”
My guess is that this KOA owner was a previous condo HOA board member.
Once I got back to the rig, the “manager” came over to berate us more about saying that we thought the rule was unreasonable. She yelled at Tim that it was not HER rule, it was the rule of the park manager. We basically told her to leave us alone. We will abide by their stupid rule. We simply will not be back and will be leaving a review based on our experience.
And here is a very ironic note from their website: “The Douglas KOA Team will help you enjoy every moment of your visit.”
If I had not had dozens of wonderful experiences at KOAs across the country this would left a terrible taste in my mouth about the brand. But I do know that the vast majority of the KOA owners (and the corporate parks) are amazing – and have wonderful staff.
Just don’t go to the one in Douglas, Wyoming.