The cash dispensing machines at the Dolphin Bar and the Seadell Bar have fallen victim to changing times. The company that was in the background (Yourcash/Hanco/Link) consider that the machines (not just ours) have become unviable following a decrease in the demand for physical cash. This seems to be industry wide and it has proved impossible to arrange an alternative service supplier. But we take card payments over the bars and in the site offices of course, as usual. I don’t think we’ll be able to do cashback at this stage.
Touring/tenting customers at Hemsby Touring Site and The Grange at Ormesby will have noticed the rather realistic sheep that have arrived. We think they are fairly robust and we are prepared for small children to be sat on them and photographed. But no large children please, and generally not pushed about.
All about the Virtual Reality kit in the Dolphin & Seadell Bars. Well, it’s all working OK and at no cost at all until after the end of this month (June). After that, it will be at the going rate – still looking into that but seems like £5 for 25 mins. This facility is going to be popular, I’m sure. We like to keep very up to date with tech as you know.
10/5/19 Just been assessing the remittance notices that incorporated the question about free wifi for next season in return for a small increase in the siterents. The result was a 55% approval for this proposal (of those who expressed a view). Although a fair number of people had no preference either way. So what this means is that this will go ahead and there will be a small increase in the siterents in capital terms for next season, as explained before). The service will cover multiple devices (up to 4 at the same time).
Then in the Dolphin & Seadell Bars we’ve gone for Virtual Reality availability. The latest stuff, just headsets that don’t need to be plugged into phones or computers. It’s being trialled for the next couple of weeks on a “free” basis. After that we’ll have to be a bit more commercial (the going rate seems to be about £5 for 15 minutes). But a useful facility I think if you want to walk the streets of far off locations, swim with dolphins, join animal migrations on the plains of Africa or whatever, all without leaving Yarmouth! Only one of these headsets on hand yet but more coming if there is a clear demand.
Then we’ve set up a more up to date system on the bar videos so that we’ll have more regular televised features. That will help on the rainy days when you can’t be in a deckchair on the beach. Nothing unsuitable. Probably on a short notice basis, depending on the weather, but will be publicised (& should be able to accommodate special requests).
That’s it for now.
At the Dolphin & Seadell Bars in Hemsby we’ve been requested to look into the availability of non/low alcohol beers. Understandable if having to drive later that day of course, or just stuck in the Bar watching the football and not wanting to go over the top. Low alcohol products have been about for a while of course. Bottled low alcohol lagers seem OK but not very popular because customer reaction has been that they don’t taste of much. Until now I don’t think there’s been a bitter that’s been worth drinking either. But things are changing and now Adnams (the Suffolk brewers who are our main suppliers) have produced a low alcohol version of their popular “Ghost Ship” on draught & in 500ml bottles (0.5%abv): we’ve done a survey and it’s hard to identify a taste difference from the standard product. There’s also a range of low alcohol wines (again 0.5%abv), and we’ll be stocking these from the end of March. Then a bit of breaking news. The Hemsby Kebab & Pizza (at the Seadell Bar) has been taken over by the new people and will now be called “Istanbul Delight”. They are a professional, but private firm – not a franchise. They’re just finishing a makeover ready to open towards the end of \February. I believe they will be introducing a delivery service as well, and I think the menu – while based around kebabs and pizza as before, will have a more Egyptian slant. So more details to follow about this as it happens.
The road between Long Beach Caravan Park and Hemsby Touring & Tent site (about 300 yards) needed some illumination, particularly for those walking between the two at night. This was a bit impractical in the past because it really needed streetlamps that required mains electricity, and would have had to be installed on the North side (which involved other problems). But now it’s become possible to have solar powered streetlamps which have got over the “powerful enough” problem due to improved specification of the solar collectors and their reduced power consumption of the lights – which are now LED. No mains electricity supply/trenching required of course. Rather more expensive initially but no electric bills going forward. Eco credibility as well, so that’s alright. I hope that this work will have been done by Easter, and if it operates as we hope then can be considered for installation elsewhere.
At The Grange Touring Park, on the back field (where the hardstanding are and the ducks live) we’ve removed the old path lighting (which was mains powered but led to problems as the lamp standards kept getting driven into) and replaced with “approach” solar powered lighting. They come on from dusk to dawn at a low level but go fully bright for a time when there is nearby movement. Sounds right in theory but a bit of feedback is always appreciated.
I need to spell out the rationale about the rule re the sale of static holiday /caravans on site. The general position is that private sales on site /are not allowed, although of course there is no objection to inter family transfers.
The historic reasons (and the rule about private sales has been in effect for many years) – without being exhaustive relate to:- The main concern where private sales were accepted (years ago) of a vendor was – understandably – the best price obtainable. This could result in an artificial value for a caravan when a purchaser had overpaid and then we (or another private purchaser) were involved in a subsequent sale at a later date. Caravans don’t go up in value: rather like cars they are a depreciating asset.
There is a proper value for them that is to be found in Glass’s Guide (or other trade Guides). Figures in excess of that therefor generally relate to the situation of the caravan. That is something to do with us as site owners, not to do with the caravan owner. Logically the same caravan being sold on site would have a different value depending on the pitch, its facilities and the conditions. One of our main influences here is that we don’t have an age rule on site, something I’ve always made clear. Many other caravan parks do: that is where owners can only retain their pitches if they upgrade their caravans when they get to a particular age – a policy to encourage sales of course. I’ve always been against this as I consider it unfair to our loyal long term customers – who in their advancing years may be less likely to afford to do it anyway. Another trouble with private sales was that there was little control over the identity of the purchaser, and there could be significant drawbacks with people who were unneighbourly (say noisy, letting to groups of unsupervised youngsters, having badly behaved dogs etc). With our system of sales “in house” we can control this (and I can say that we don’t sell to some applicants).
It’s also relevant to us that we know the purchasers are financially stable and able to afford the rent – our other customers rely on us to ensure that the business is operating in a viable way financially and that they are not subsidising difficult payers. What has brought all this up? A couple of awkward cases last year, but mainly that we are selling caravans now that are more expensive than in the past, so although nothing will change it’s important that everybody understands the logic behind this.