Last week was our 12 month anniversary of our park becoming pet friendly in our River Reserve area. We had a dog bath installed in that area which is very popular. We also installed doggy poles for owners to keep their dogs safe while our guests used the amenities or in seeing our staff at Reception. As well as numerous dog bag stations for not only our guests, but also for the public people to use while spending the day in the public Reserve area.
A few months after we became pet friendly we decided to open up our slab area in the main area of the park in between the cabins and the Bowling Club as we were running out of larger sites in the reserve. Becoming pet friendly in the Reserve made that area even more sort after and there were some weeks there that we couldn't accommodate larger vans (22ft+) because all our larger sites were fully booked. Being told we had nothing available in the reserve area didn't go down too well with some people that expected us to have availability all the time as we are such a big park. But times have changed since we first took over 5 years ago and the Reserve area is our most popular by far. And who can blame them wanting to stay there with such wonderful views and close proximity to the beach and river.
We are still only pet friendly in our off peak and shoulder periods. During the Easter long weekend, Dec/Jan school holidays and other long weekend periods we are just too busy with too many guests to be contending with pets as well. There have been times, due to guest feedback, where we have considered going back to just the off peak periods as during the shoulder periods (April & September school holidays). We find that families that aren't used to travelling with their dogs leave them unattended on site so they can go to the beach or out for dinner. Also, dogs that aren't used to travelling bark a lot more than those that are used to seeing people walking past their site and are used to more interaction with others. This is something that we're going to keep an eye on during the September holidays this year and we'll see if we get any negative feedback during those 2 weeks.
Another major problem is people, guests and public people alike, not taking advantage of the free dog bags we have placed around the park and River Reserve area. Please, if your dog does their business anywhere in a public area then please pick it up. I'm sure if they left you a little present in your awning area or right outside your tent you'd clean it up! So please consider others and remember what it feels like to step in doggy doo! No one wants to clean it out of their shoes...or toes! while on holidays!
This blog post provided by: Evans Head