Sunday, May 19, 2024

Bridgeport notified it is now an official Good Sam Club destination

City applied last October


BRIDGEPORT – “We are up and running with Good Sam,” announced Mayor Janet Conklin at last month’s Bridgeport City Council meeting on Jan. 18.

Good Sam Club is the world’s largest organization of RV owners with more than 2.5 million members and 2,000 member parks. Last October Bridgeport’s RV parks managers, Sue and Randy Stanley, appeared before the council with a recommendation that the city join Good Sam to increase reservations and exposure at Conklin Landing and Marina Park and to streamline the software the city used.

The Stanleys, RV owners themselves, are seasonal park managers from April through October at Bridgeport before heading south for the winter months. Their lifestyle has exposed them to the benefits of the Good Sam network both as users and hosts.

Sue Stanley advised the council that the city’s park facilities would more than meet the standards required by Good Sam evaluators for facilities, background, and appeal. Good Sam’s minimum scoring on all three is 5-7-5 respectively. Marina Park comes in at 6.5 for facilities, 9 for background, and 7 for appeal and Conklin Landing at 6.5, 10, and 8.

Stanley said Good Sam’s $895 per park annual fee includes its reservation software system that is both a bargain and superior to the multi-step process required to book and assign reservations with the city’s existing one.

“Over the past four years our current reservation software has cost the city $7,674,” said Stanley. “That’s an average of $1,918.50 a year without any marketing or advertising. If you do the math, Good Sam is the only way to go.”

Stanley noted that during the peak months of July-August Bridgeport’s parks are 96 percent full and 90-95 percent full for Memorial Day (May 29), Father’s Day (June 18), and Labor Day (Sept. 4) weekends.

“We need to fill those shoulder months of May-June and September-October,” Stanley said.

One way she suggested to do that is to allow campers to bring their dogs. Chelan recently passed a city code banning dogs from city RV parks from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, Stanley said.

“Everybody wants to bring their dog in their RV,” said Stanley. “that’s why they’re not staying in a motel, because they want to bring their dog. We’re getting that business.”

With the Canadian border now open Stanley said the parks are seeing an increase in travelers stopping in on their way south and expects more business next April when they return north.

Last May the Douglas PUD completed the one-way half-mile ADA accessible Prickly Pear Trail that follows the river between Conklin RV and the Marina. Stanley said that is well-used.

Following the presentation, the city voted to join the Good Sam network and last month it became official.

“They are now taking reservations,” said Conklin. “So, the next people who call will be speaking to Good Sam.”


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