Hello! We’re glad you’re researching this great opportunity to franchise what has become America’s premiere LGBTQ camping resort. Since 2002, we have worked hard to research, plan, and develop The Woods and we’re far from done! As owners, we relied on our professional working backgrounds (see our bios below) as well as a lot of lessons learned along the way to build a successful resort. These days, we repeatedly say “If only we knew then, what we know now!” That’s where we can help you. Whether you’re an existing campground looking for a boost or a brand new property just ripe for development, we’re willing and able to help. It doesn’t matter if you’re not LGBTQ themed now - we converted our current property from a drab, minimally maintained hunting camp to what it is today.
- Two decades of resort development experience: During this period, we have upgraded our infrastructure, expanded our camping areas, built new bathrooms, cabins and a maintenance barn. We enlarged our clubhouse, dance club and pool/sunbathing area. All this involved working with engineers, contractors, utilities and local and state government agencies. We have always been our own general contractor and maintained control of every project. We own or lease our own construction and maintenance equipment. All this requires quite a bit of legal and financial involvement which now has become second nature.
- Hands on experience: We maintain and operate our own machinery. We install and maintain our own electric, plumbing and HVAC systems. We edit and maintain our website. We host our own WiFi network. We operate our own food service facilities. We conduct our own accounting. We manage our marketing. We plan and coordinate our activities. The list goes on, but the point is, we have passion in our business and choose to be involved in every way.
- Reservation System: Most campgrounds need the help of an outside software company to manage their reservations. That comes with hefty fees or a percentage of your online sales. Our reservation system comes with the franchise! If you’re currently paying someone else for this service, the cost of a Woods Camping Resort franchise is now substantially lower. From day one, we have developed and customized a reservation and customer management system that will can be transformed for any Woods Camping Resort franchisee. This cloud based system can be used anywhere for easy management on the go. It maintains many databases for your entire reservation data for the current plus past camping seasons, a reservation waiting list, daily pass registration, guest membership accounts, perm campers, customer accounting journals, camper storage, golf cart registration, and more. There are tools which allow easy campsite price changes, promotions, plus attendance and income reporting. We have and will continue to customize this system based on needs and requests from guests, team members and franchisees.
The Woods Leadership
- John Adam Parr John Adam’s role at The Woods focuses on Finance and Infrastructure. When it comes to “How can we get this done?”, JA finds the way. He’s a self-made business man with success in many different business categories. From owning apartment buildings, laundromats, and a janitorial supply distributor to limousine and an industrial level mechanical HVAC service company, JA’s business experience has been vital for the success of The Woods. His talents also extend into the kitchen and he’s capitalized on his love of cuisine to the benefit of the food services team at The Woods.
- Patrick Gremling Pat’s role at The Woods focuses on Guest Services and Relations, Marketing, Media Relations, plus Events and Activities. Pat has spent the last 30+ years working in the radio industry. His marketing experience put him side by side with hundreds of business owners and agencies planning for their success. The majority of his career has been in management which contributes well to his roles at The Woods - especially when working with the varied personalities of employees and guests. Pat loves anything outdoors and was camping regularly well before the thought to open The Woods entered his mind. Besides The Woods, Pat and his husband Scott own a few small businesses in food service and commercial leasing.
- Scott Heffelfinger Scott’s role at The Woods focuses on Guest Relations, Promotion and Food Service. Professionally, Scott is a Registered Nurse specializing in geriatrics, so he obviously has the biggest heart. He’s fantastic with camp guests and puts his outgoing personality to good use at our pool cabana where he’s mastered the perfect up-sell. Scott’s passion for pop culture, music and the LGBTQ community keeps the vibe at The Woods current. Besides all this, Scott also is a master Barista!
- Dan DeRicco Dan’s role at The Woods focuses on Guest Services, Employee Management and Facility Management. Dan also coordinates and manages all large groups camping together. In real life, Dan is an educator, quickly rising to his current role as a public school Vice-Principal. It goes without saying how related this is to wrangling a few thousand campers each weekend! Dan’s high energy and attention to detail is contagious. He’s takes leading by example very seriously. Dan also leads all camp athletic events, his favorites being volleyball and yoga.
- On a personal level, John Adam & Dan are married and Pat & Scott are married. We are all in!