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July 1st, 2013

Memo From Frank & Dave

Summer is here, and smart RV Park owners are making a list (either mental or in writing) of everything that their property can offer that is “cool”. When it’s 100 degrees out, most people are only happy when they’re wet or inside air-conditioning – so make a complete list of these local offerings. Waterparks and swimming pools are very attractive for visitors, as are museums, gaming centers, and anything that includes air that’s 30 degrees colder than outside. So make a list of all these “cool” activities, and tell those to ever potential customers who calls in, or to every customer who walks in the door. Your customers will appreciate it, and your sales will improve.

Why Signs Don’t Have To Be Rectangular (And Maybe They Should Never Be)

Rv Park Titanic Sign

No, it’s not the real Titanic, just a sign from the strip in Branson, where the competition
among signs is very competitive, and property owners are very creative

When most RV park owners think of a sign, they think of a rectangle or a square. Just look at the RV Park entry signage already out there – it must be 99% quadrangle. However, if you want to really have some attention-getting entry signage, it may be time to “think outside the box” – literally!

Why odd sizes are so effective

The very reason that everyone else is doing squares and rectangles is why you should think about a different shape. It makes complete sense that people are going to notice shapes that they are not used to seeing. It doesn’t take a lot to make your sign stand out, thanks to the lack of creative competition. Our standard sign design utilizes a curved top with cut-out, and curved bottom as a derivation of the a rectangle. This one change allows us to stand out from the pack – and to see it’s one of our properties from so far back up the road that we can’t even read the words yet.

The cost difference is negligible

It costs about the same to build a triangular sign as a square sign. It costs about the same to install a sign that is perpendicular to the ground, as it does one that is at a deliberate slant. Even a circular sign – the most expensive type of sign due to custom cutting of the shape – is not that much more that it is not worth your while. This is not a case of paying a premium for a “custom” item – this is a case where custom costs the same as the routine and mundane.

Then why are most signs square or rectangular?

That’s an easy answer – because it’s the path of lease resistance. Most sign companies want you build square or rectangular signs that are parallel to the ground for one simple reason: those are the most simple to build. If you ask any sign company “what should I build”, they are going to obviously answer with whatever is the simplest for them to do. So you’re not going to make any friends when you ask for an unusual sign, except with your bank and investors when they see higher revenues and net income.

What if you’re already stuck with a boring sign?

There are other options to making your entry signage fierce without changing your property sign. Augment it with flags, streamers or banners. Put a strobe light on it, or something that moves. Be creative. Look around you, particularly at used car lots, and see what they are doing to promote interest and attract attention. We recently put a giant flag on a pole coming off the top of a square sign in Kansas City, and it looks a million times better.

Some examples of effective signs I’ve seen recently

Some RV park signs that I have seen recently, and that have very good appeal, are a sign in the shape of an arrow, a sign in which the letter “RV” are free-standing, a sign that is shaped like a riverboat, a sign that is circular, and a sign that is in the shape of a bear (that’s on a park we just bought). What is missing from the list, as you can see, is a sign that is a boring square or rectangle.


You rely on your entry sign to bring customers in the door, and to generate excitement from existing customers who think “great, I’m back again”. Nobody likes a boring salesman, and that’s true for your sign. You don’t have to be Dr. Pepper to be original. Make your RV Park entry signage as good as it can be, by thinking “outside the box”.

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