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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Bill giving residents priority at booking FL state parks

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valhalla360

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Posted: 01/24/23 10:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dutch_12078 wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

Dutch_12078 wrote:


You do understand that you're telling the snowbird crowd you don't want our money coming into your state don't you. What we spend for state park sites is only a small part of what we spend at area businesses and attractions.


Not at all. State parks are typically heavily subsidized in terms of operation and facilities and hold prime land that most private parks could never afford.

The snowbird folks who use them heavily are taking advantage of that subsidy. On a modest scale, that's fine but if it's keeping out the folks who pay for the bulk of that subsidy (residents), it's certainly reasonable to tilt the table in favor of the locals a bit more.

Plenty of private parks available for those who want to visit florida.


We don't prefer the state and national parks in Florida for the price as much as we prefer them for the more spacious and often more private sites. Since we're limited to only two week stays at a time, it seems to me the locals have every bit as good a chance of getting sites as we do coming from out of state. We don't do anything any different to reserve sites than Floridians can do. But if you don't think the money we spend at area businesses and attractions has any value, then maybe you're really telling us to go elsewhere and let you guys fight among yourselves for sites. And BTW, the most common license plate I see during our winter stay in Florida state parks is Florida.


The fair market price for those spacious prime locations would be much higher...aka: the price is cheap due to it being subsidized.

Yes, they want tourism dollars but expecting heavy subsidization at the expense of citizens isn't a good way to generate it.


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bucky

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Posted: 01/25/23 05:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The bill will probably get passed or modified in some way. Knowing how these thing work the bill will be so loaded down with pork by the time it gets voted on who knows.
Maybe they can charge for the orange juice at the welcome center to make up the deficit.
I do see Floridians flooding our beautiful NC in the warmer season and we're happy to see them and their money.


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JaxDad

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Posted: 01/25/23 05:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From a business finance point of view I think the “subsidy“ idea is being misused, or possibly misunderstood.

If 2 different land owners are looking to calculate their “costs” of operating an RV park, in one case though the land has been in the family for several generations, the other just bought the land (at current market value) and has to carry financing on it, the “costs” will be VERY different. Ditto a park, public or private, that built decades ago and the servicing costs are now paid for.

That is NOT to say the long term owners are “subsidized” in any way, their costs are just lower.

valhalla360

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Posted: 01/25/23 06:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JaxDad wrote:

From a business finance point of view I think the “subsidy“ idea is being misused, or possibly misunderstood.

If 2 different land owners are looking to calculate their “costs” of operating an RV park, in one case though the land has been in the family for several generations, the other just bought the land (at current market value) and has to carry financing on it, the “costs” will be VERY different. Ditto a park, public or private, that built decades ago and the servicing costs are now paid for.

That is NOT to say the long term owners are “subsidized” in any way, their costs are just lower.


Nope, when you calculate return on investment, it's the same.

If you have a $50million dollar park that's been in the family for generations, if you are only covering your operating costs plus say a $100k/yr profit, your ROI is absolutely horrible because you are effectively subsidizing your customers.

From a financial perspective, you would be far better off to sell and invest the money. Even at a measly 2% return, you would be able to take $1mil/yr profit with a lot less headaches.

Only difference if you are in debt to your eyeballs, the bank effectively owns the park and they have no interest in subsidizing your customers. Unless you have some external source of money (...like the taxpayer), you lose your option of subsidizing or the bank will take it away from you when you fail to make your payments.

plasticmaster

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Posted: 01/25/23 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

way2roll wrote:

What happened to first come first serve? If you're a Floridian that didn't get a site, you didn't book early enough. It's same with every other CG in the US. Why do I get ads for other state's tourism and state parks if they don't want me there?


It's kind of like when the kids ask to borrow the car. I paid for the car, so if I want to use it, I use it even if they want to borrow it.

No one is suggesting you can't use the state parks just that locals get first chance at the sites. Particularly for working class residents, it may be more of a challenge to hang out on line trying to work the reservations compared to a retired snowbird who has tons of time on their hands and lots of flexibility to switch parks if one is full.
I live in South Carolina and vacation at Bahia Honda State Park for 1 or 2 weeks each summer. If Floridians are given even a five second head start at booking reservations then I'll never be able to camp at Bahia Honda again. These sites are always booked the instant they become available. As it is now I've observed 80 to 90% campers there in the summer being from Florida. If this bill passes, it will be 100%.

johnhicks

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Posted: 01/25/23 04:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So what is going to be done about state parks being mostly empty five nights out of seven because weekends are booked instantly, blocking out anyone who wants to stay longer? Force one-week or two-week reservations only, all others first-come first-served? It's part of the same tangled mess.


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Posted: 01/25/23 04:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:


No one is suggesting you can't use the state parks just that locals get first chance at the sites. Particularly for working class residents, it may be more of a challenge to hang out on line trying to work the reservations compared to a retired snowbird who has tons of time on their hands and lots of flexibility to switch parks if one is full.

If Im a working non resident, can I have priority as well? I too have a challenge hanging out on line trying to make reservations. In fact, I think Im at more of a disadvantage because Im further away, and my "ones and zero's", have a longer travel time on the internet (grin).

I struggle to see how this could be enforced. If the site asks for a copy of Florida drivers license, all I have to do is use my sister, and her info, and make reservation. I take her with me when we check in. She spends the night. Done.

If sites are truly gone within seconds, as plasticmaster says, then I would say Florida residents still wouldn't have much of a better chance to get a reservation. Everyone is still hammering at the website trying to reserve a site. Maybe a small percentage of FL residents get a site that they might not have, but the majority will still miss out.

I still say this is nothing but a feel good bill. Everyone will feel better because something has passed that gives a perception of favoring the residents but in reality, you will still have basically the same chance to get a spot as you do now.

But if Florida wants to do this to feel good, at the expense and risk of impacting their billions of dollars in tourism, not much we on RV.net will be able to do about it.

Mike


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JaxDad

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Posted: 01/25/23 05:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

JaxDad wrote:

From a business finance point of view I think the “subsidy“ idea is being misused, or possibly misunderstood.

If 2 different land owners are looking to calculate their “costs” of operating an RV park, in one case though the land has been in the family for several generations, the other just bought the land (at current market value) and has to carry financing on it, the “costs” will be VERY different. Ditto a park, public or private, that built decades ago and the servicing costs are now paid for.

That is NOT to say the long term owners are “subsidized” in any way, their costs are just lower.


Nope, when you calculate return on investment, it's the same.

If you have a $50million dollar park that's been in the family for generations, if you are only covering your operating costs plus say a $100k/yr profit, your ROI is absolutely horrible because you are effectively subsidizing your customers.

From a financial perspective, you would be far better off to sell and invest the money. Even at a measly 2% return, you would be able to take $1mil/yr profit with a lot less headaches.

Only difference if you are in debt to your eyeballs, the bank effectively owns the park and they have no interest in subsidizing your customers. Unless you have some external source of money (...like the taxpayer), you lose your option of subsidizing or the bank will take it away from you when you fail to make your payments.


Now you’re talking about a whole other kettle of (really stinky) fish, PROFIT.

I was talking about “costs” and more particularly “subsidies”.

Further still, there’s a whole other topic which I won’t go into, other than to mention it, not discuss it, that is can you even use the word “profit” when you’re talking about a public service?

Obviously there will be a few how would like the sale of public lands to pay down debt and have “State Parks” become “private” for-profit parks, but that’s not the subject here.

monkey44

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Posted: 01/26/23 04:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We love our state parks ... we don't even attempt to make reservations because it's become so difficult ... party because of winter weather and snowbirds, but partly because prople cheat the system.

We don't care much about the reservation system because we don't plan far enough ahead to reserve. When we camp, we just call around a few state parks and ask if they have a single day or two or three mid-week available, and if so, we take it.

For those that need set vacation time, we believe Florida residents should have a early window and a specific number of sites in each park that can be reserved for Florida residents ... then, after a week / month whatever, they become open to all. We do need a way to take care of our residents as a priority ... other states do it - higher rates for tourists and no discounts that residents receive. But, if residents own the land, pay the taxes that maintain it, and can't use it - that becomes unfair to the residents. We've been in plenty of states that cost more, no discount, and no special perks unless you are a resident. SO, what's fair is fair. We always manage, but we are retired and pretty flexible with our time, if not our bodies so much anymore [emoticon] ...

SOme folks / families need more regimented times for camping - days off, and vacations, etc. Should be a way to make everyone happy.

If we made a specific number of state sites available for early reservations - Florida residents only - maybe a week or so, that might make the eliviate some of the reservation problems in state parks. Private parks are on their own, and do whatever they want - they are private [emoticon] ...


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padredw

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Posted: 01/26/23 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I dare to quote from an earlier post I made (now hopelessly lost back about three pages and now completely overlooked).

Quote:

The principle of reciprocity is important to "travelers" such as we still are more than it is to full timers. We travel from state to state with the feeling that we are guests, but we know that for people traveling to Texas we are the hosts. I suggest that should be the norm. I can just imagine if we get state after state making such distinctions and passing laws. I look back over 25 years of RV traveling (and 60 years of state park camping) with great appreciation of the hospitality of almost every state in the nation. **Especially Florida... added to this quote and fully true.**

This law is not likely to affect the few years I have left to travel, but I think it would be a tragic decision and a terrible precedent for other states. Think carefully and remember to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."






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