RV Park vs. Viral Video: The Loser is Obvious
You’ve most likely seen the news, “RV Park Evicts Family for Receiving Package.” From the title, it sounds pretty crazy.
Yes, there are two sides to every story. But, beyond who’s right or wrong, what effect does a viral video have on an RV park?
Today we’re going to look into the impact of the internet on the slow-to-evolve RV park industry.
Let’s dive in.
What’s The Story
The story we’re focusing on today revolves around the YouTube channel RV Miles and Montrose-San Juan RV Resort.
In a YouTube video that has been viewed over 130,000 times, RV Miles explains why the RV park was kicking them out.
The reason, a computer was shipped to their campsite via FedEx.
On a long list of RV park rules, the rule about “no packages” was hidden on page 4 (according to RV Miles).
Pro Tip: This is why we wrote an article about the most common RV park rules that will catch you off guard.
The RV park called the sheriffs office, and the sheriff monitored the family as they were evicted from the park.
Montrose-San Juan RV Resort replied to the issue on their website. Here’s a piece on their response:
“This park is widely recognized as one of the safest RV Park on the Western Slope of Colorado. There are times that it may also be known as having too many rules. Two things about that. Rules are necessary to achieve this kind of safety record, and, secondly, rules without enforcement are merely suggestions.
Who Wins & Who Loses?
Let’s start with the RV park. After the incident hit last week’s news cycle, their Yelp rating dropped to one-star.
A plethora of new reviews came in and drastically lowered the overall rating.
While this may seem like a vanity metric, it has real-world repercussions.
According to Womply, a customer relationship management resource, businesses with one-star ratings on Yelp received almost 20% less business than the average business.
Here’s a quick “actual dollar breakdown” of the loss of business: If an “average” RV park hosts ten paid sites at $40/night for 365 days, that equals $146,000.
The one-star rated competitor would make 19% less, which is $118,260.
That’s a loss of at least $27,740.
A steep price to pay for kicking someone out due to a FedEx delivery!
The impact goes far beyond Yelp reviews. The popular RV research tool, Campground Reviews, also saw an influx of negative feedback for the park. Google, Trip Advisor, and Campendium showed an uptick of negative reviews for the RV park over the last week as well.
Talk about losing money! Additionally, to clean up this PR nightmare will cost thousands of dollars (and hours of employee training).
What About the YouTube Creator?
RV Miles has almost doubled its YouTube subscriber count since it occurred (around 4,000 new subs).
Furthermore, the video has probably earned well over $700 for the creators (this number is based on my personal YouTube experience and analytics).
I think it’s evident who won this PR battle.
Is It Fair?
The answer is, it doesn’t matter. We’re living in the internet age, and events like this happen every day!
The microscope can be put onto any single business interaction, and it can be spread to the masses.
The RV industry, in general, is slow to adapt to online marketing. RV parks that fail to see the validity in digital marketing (and social media presence) will be left in the dust and much more susceptible to this awful press.
Airlines, hotels, and restaurants all experience the same issues. The brands that embrace their online community tend to perform better with revenue and brand image.
With all that said, this is one of the many reasons we prefer free camping!
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