Jay Jamison, the CEO/General Manager of Pismo Coast Village RV Resort in Pismo Beach has spent over 50 years in the outdoor hospitality industry. Feeling fortunate to grow up in the industry, he proudly modeled his hospitality philosophy after his parents. They were extremely hard working, resilient, creative, and wanted to connect with all the guests that visited. His family owned and operated a guest ranch that included camping, group facilities, riding stable, and resident summer camp until it was sold in 1983. It was a lifestyle for his family as well as a livelihood. Reflection comes easily now as Jay transitions into retirement after 25 years at Pismo Coast Village.
“I’ve had the privilege of managing a number of interesting properties throughout California, and worked with some amazing people. It’s been the people; staff, guests, vendors, and peers that have kept me motivated, challenged, and enjoying the job. Many of these folks have become lifelong friends to me and my wife Debbie.”
The years Jay spent at Pismo Coast Village represent many accomplishments. The resort originally built in 1972, has seen substantial renovations. All the underground and above-ground utilities for the 400 sites were replaced and upgraded between 2004 and 2013. All restrooms were demolished and rebuilt, services such as TV, Wi-Fi, and General Store were upgraded. RV storage went from 800 to 2200 units. Annual occupancy went from 69% to a consistent 82-85%. There is still work to do and goals to be met, and the staff will continue to take care of business.
Jay says “the staff has been involved in and motivated by all the improvements over the years. Our Board of Directors has been encouraging and supportive through funding these improvements. And, we all have enjoyed the feedback from our guests as they recognize the efforts made to provide a high-quality experience.”
During Jay’s tenure at Pismo Coast Village he had the opportunity to give back through numerous organizations. He served two terms on the ARVC Board, including three years on the Executive Committee as Treasurer. He also served two years on what was then the CTPA (California Travel Parks Association) board and is now CalOHA. Jay served eight years as a California Travel and Tourism Commissioner representing the Accommodation Sector. He also served on the Visit CA Audit Committee for sixteen years. Closer to home, Jay served as a Commissioner on the Pismo Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau for twelve years, ten of those as Chairman. And until recently he served on the San Luis Obispo County Visitors Bureau since 2014, with two years as Board Chair. Other volunteer organizations that were very fulfilling was being a board member of the San Luis Obispo County Chapter of the Red Cross, and serving as a member of the Advisory Council for Cal Poly’s Experience Industry Management Department.
Jay says, “It was an honor and an education being involved with these organizations. It gave me an opportunity to meet people from around the country or state in many different businesses. I learned a lot, and it benefited the company, and me personally. Locally it gave me access to community leaders and the opportunity to share information about our business and exchange ideas. I especially found our industry associations valuable through networking, advocacy, discounts, and marketing. If you have the time, I encourage everyone to get involved with these kind of organizations.”
As retirement becomes a reality Jay says, “I am very proud of staff and our accomplishments. I will miss our daily interactions and watching them go about their activity to serve our resort guests. Words can’t express what their support has meant to me. I always looked forward to coming to work and seeing what the day would bring. Filling this void may be challenging. The friendships developed over the years have been the biggest benefit. I will miss this part the most.”
Jay thanks his wife Debbie and daughters Taryn and Danielle for their support of his career over the years. In retirement he looks forward to working on projects on his property and traveling. This includes Jay and Debbie hitting the road with their Airstream and hopefully visiting many California parks. “I hope to see you down the road”
The California Travel Parks Association, California Outdoor Hospitality Association and Camp California thank Jay for his service to not only our organization but the entire industry. As a pioneer, Jay helped create the industry we serve today. Jay will be missed immensely but his passion for outdoor hospitality will continue to be felt by all for decades to come.
On a personal note, I will one hundred percent miss our “catch up calls” that always were longer than we anticipated. I hope they can continue but with less talk about work and more about his and Debbie’s adventures on the road.
Thank you Jay!
The following press release was originally issued on November 7th, 2022 by our partners at Spot2Nite
Spot2Nite Partners with Staylist to Power Booking Engine
Emerging leader in cloud-based booking software designed for campground operators and RV travelers announces strategic partnership at 2022 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo
ORLANDO, FL, November, 7, 2022 – Spot2Nite, a cloud-based booking software designed specifically for campground operators and RV travelers, announced at the ARVC’s 2022 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo (OHCE), a strategic partnership with Staylist to bring campgrounds utilizing the Staylist Pro property management system into the Spot2Nite OTA and marketplace.
Spot2Nite’s technology leverages API connections to aggregate RV spot inventory and real-time availability in a centralized marketplace. The innovative mobile app and website allows RV travelers to discover and book the best RV spots, eliminating the time-wasting “search, load, and find no spots available” single source booking routine.
Staylist Pro is an industry leading property management system created to help operators hosting RV camping, tent camping, cabins, and glamping sites engage with guests, track availability across all lodging types with interactive maps, set parameters for dynamic pricing, send automated emails encouraging stay extensions, and keep tabs on stock with POS and barcode capabilities, including mobile ordering and delivery, RFID wristbands, and more. Staylist Pro is entirely free to operators, with a nominal convenience fee charged to the guest during the booking process. Now, through Staylist Pro’s direct integration with Spot2Nite’s centralized marketplace, comes a massive increase in exposure to an additional customer-base of over 20 million RV travelers.
"We're excited to offer our parks even more ways to drive new business without commissions and increase revenue through the Spot2Nite marketplace,” said Staylist CEO, Jeff Reed. “Our partnership will add tremendous marketing value to our growing list of campgrounds and we anticipate this solution reaching new demographics of guests that will also keep them coming back."
“Our goal at Spot2Nite is to help travelers get outdoors and camp more often,” said Sam Bruner, COO of Spot2Nite. “Integrating our booking technology with Staylist’s property management system increases the audience reach for their platform and allows users to compare destinations according to their preferences and immediately book a spot, eliminating the antiquated and inconvenient reservation process of checking availability at each individual location of interest. We are proud to partner with Jeff and his amazing team at Staylist in creating a seamless booking experience for travelers, and helping operators improve their bottom line.”
For more information about the partnership and to speak with the Spot2Nite team, visit BOOTH 300 at OHCE, from November 7-10 at the Rosen Centre Hotel & Orange County Convention Center, located at 9840 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819.
Spot2Nite is an innovative mobile app and website built by a family of avid RVers that allows RV travelers to discover and book the best RV spots instantly. Their neutral, open architecture integration with robust property management systems combines state-of-the-art technology and real-time asset visibility to provide direct booking of available campground spots for travelers. The Spot2Nite marketplace serves as a centralized OTA for the RV industry, driving campers to campgrounds, increasing reservation volume, and providing a convenient booking process for both operators and travelers. For more information, please visit Spot2Nite.com or download the app in the Apple and Google Play stores.
Launched in 2015, Staylist is a simplified reservation marketplace for the outdoor industry. The cloud-based platform allows outdoor businesses to create and manage guests, units, rates and more, and with the addition of its mobile app in 2019, Staylist connects travelers to their next adventure on-the-go. Utilized in 30 U.S. states and Canada, Staylist has assisted with more than 500,000 reservations. For more information about Staylist, please visit Staylist.com or download the app in the Apple and Google Play stores.
By Erin and Dan Thiem, Inn Town Campground
The fifth annual Glamping Show in Aurora, Colorado happened earlier this month. It was a great to opportunity to welcome professionals, vendors, dreamers, and everyone in between in as we all talked about the Glamping industry and its future. The California Outdoor Hospitality Associate was on-hand to represent California campgrounds, RV park owners and everyone else interested in Glamping in the state. This fast-growing segment of outdoor hospitality is burgeoning in California and beyond and we’re happy to welcome them to our association and all of the benefits membership provides.
What were some of the key takeaways from the show? Here are our top 8!
8 Take Aways:
-Glamping isn’t just “up-and-coming“, it’s here and it’s growing fast.
While some of our members have been in the glamping space for a while, the show highlighted that Glamping can provide some great opportunities and unique additions to your campground.
-Glamping is an evolving segment.
Ask any two campers what glamping is, and you’ll likely get two different answers. That means operators need to be clear about defining what their unique glamping experience is. It may not be like other place’s your campers have stayed, but it can still be cool and unique to your park.
-Know your audience.
Following on from the previous takeaway, knowing who your market is and how they want to experience your area and campground is very important. Many of the attendees at the show were doing unique things in the glamping space. Some are renting bell tents for parties, while others have pop-up accommodations for festivals. Some spots were very upscale, and some had only basic amenities. Whatever direction you want to go, as with all business decisions, make sure it fits your customer profile.
-Get to know the tech options.
This is a similar insight to many other shows and conferences in outdoor hospitality. There are a lot of technology solutions to make your operations easier and your customer experience better. There are custom apps, virtual tours, property management systems and a lot else to help you be a better operator.
Sometimes we all just need to meet people who do what we do. The show was a great place to do that. Not only do you get new ideas on how to run your business, but you get energized by all the creative energy that new ideas provide. The California Outdoor Hospitality Association wasn’t the only association represented; there were also other state associations present, plus the Glamping Association. These state-level organizations help people connect to others in their own backyard. The glamping industry is a friendly space, so get to know the folks who are putting their own spin on it, whether it’s across the country or one county over.
-One size doesn’t fit all.
The diversity and range of different types of glamping tents, bell tents, safari tents, covered wagons or state of the art tiny houses was astounding. It was a great reminder that the industry is unique and the experiences you create can be very curated to your particular geography, preferences and interests. Maybe your customers would love a dome, or maybe a yurt is a better fit for your terrain?
-Pay attention to the details.
It’s important to consistently recognize that the details mater. It can come down to the outdoor furniture, the pedestal engraving, the personalized mugs, but all of these small details make a difference to stand out in the market. A little extra time, thought, (and yes, money) will pay dividends later as customers appreciate the uniqueness of their experience at your property.
-Marketing, marketing, marketing.
The conference really conveyed the need for a commitment to the long view of marketing and public relations. Investing the time to build and maintain your social media presence will pay dividends over time, not just immediately. Remember, consistency is king in your marketing. Set clear, attainable goals for yourself and follow through on meeting them. Ask for help when you need it and admit (even if reluctantly) that sometimes we’re not experts at everything.
Keep an eye out for more content from this years Glamping Show in the next issue of the Spotlight Newsletter!
During the final stretch of days leading up to the September 30 deadline, CA Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several labor and employment bills into law. Two of those were concerning the expansion of Leave of Absence regulations in businesses with five or more employees.
AB 1041 expands the definition of who an employee can take a leave of absence to care for to include a “designated person”. The term “designated person” is defined though the bills as “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship”. The change pertains to both the California Family Rights Act, and California’s paid sick leave law. The bill allows employers to identify the designated person at the time of the request and limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period.
AB 1949 also amends the California Family Rights Act to include bereavement leave as a protected leave of absence. Under the bill, employees may take up to five days of bereavement leave following the death of a family members. Family members that are covered by AB 1949 include a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild. The leave of absence must take place within three months of the family members passing and employers may require documentation of the death to support the leave approval. Bereavement leave may be unpaid, but employees can elect to use their available existing leave such as PTO, vacation, or sick leave accruals.
Both of these newly signed bills go into effect January 1, 2023.
Check out more blog posts!