NEW NEWSLETTER COMING SOON!!
Yes, it’s time again for a mid-season update, newsletter and review! We felt like we were thrown into 2018 abruptly with a late end to the winter season. To compound matters, we found out in late spring that two of our full-time employees were leaving us due to other job opportunities and relocation. Finding replacements at short notice seemed difficult, so we must thank Peter McKenna, and Greg Patten for stepping in to helping along with the rest of our staff. We would also like to welcome our cheery neighbour Tailia, who’s helping with cleaning and gardening.
We spent a great deal of time in 2018 on administration tasks, not very visible however very time consuming. One of those being the roll out of our first Sunnyside survey. This was our first attempt at this and we learned some valuable lessons. After taking some time to compile and analyze the data, we figured we would share some of the outcome with all of you. The intent of the survey was to ask you, the Members, how best we can service your wants and needs. The first few questions gave us a better understanding of you. Many of our members are young families that stay between 3 and 10 years and have been referred to us through word of mouth and recommendations. A high percentage of Members are here for our clean facilities, boating and social environment. It was nice to see that we are doing a good job at maintaining these facilities for you. There were several questions regarding recreation activities. The staff spends a lot of time and effort in putting together a recreation program, and appears to be a hit or miss on participation and attendance. The data here was very contradictive. Most of you who responded would like to see more recreation activities, but don’t want to be involved, in either off season or off-site activities. By far the highest result was to include live music. This year we have had 4 evenings and one afternoon of music plus live theater, with the least number of in attendances in years? Almost 97% of you tell us we are doing a good job of keeping you updated on these events. As for staff and administration 94% and 97% of respondents feel we do a good job of providing to your needs. The question on potential new facilities would lead us to conclude that Members would like us to work on hiking trails for the future. We will also be adding new grocery items and bait to our store for the 2019 season. We did put in a section in for positive, and constructive comments! My trepidation in adding this section was realized, as some respondents did not understand the meaning of positive or constructive, and used this as their forum to express their individual needs and dissatisfactions. Thank you to those who responded with their positive comments, and we have taken them into consideration and have implemented some changes already. More than a few comments were made on docks and visitors. Firstly, let us address docks. We are constantly maintaining and updating these facilities. Our docking season is determined on several factors, being time of year and regulations of in-water work, staffing, water levels and of course mother nature. This season we were a week early, after having to work in the pouring rain. Two weeks after installation was finished 70% of docks were still unoccupied. We have a very small window to do a great amount of work and we need to take every opportunity to use it to our advantage. We consider our docks to be better than most marinas. Secondly, are visitors. Visitors is one of our biggest issues and is for our entire industry. It is the number one topic of discussion at every campground association meeting. Visitors perspective is, they are coming to visit you a Member. To us, visitors only show up on the very best days and get to enjoy all the services and facilities our Members do. Visitors use the roads, produce garbage, use washrooms and water, and enjoy our beaches, waterfront and activities. Market research of other seasonal membership facilities i.e. Golf courses, Ski hills, gyms, yacht clubs, Tennis and curling clubs, as well as all Federal and Provinical Parks indicate that they all charge Member’s visitors a fee to use their facilities. Some perspective, if you go to a golf club with a member and play a round of golf you pay close to $10 an hour to walk around a golf course. In the same respect you can’t just go to a golf course and play select holes at a per hole price. At Sunnyside you pay $10 for all day. Two years ago, we revised visitor pricing. We added the value visitor card and introduced week day and weekend pricing. We also did away with double fees on long weekends. It is very difficult to administer a seasonal guest pass, ½ day or hourly rates. Staff can’t be chasing visitors around. It would be a wonderful world if all were honest, however we all know that there are those who unfortunately abuse the privilege and take advantage. We are constantly looking to refine and improve our experience for all to enjoy. Our doors are always open to constructively discuss any matters Members wish to bring forward. The future looks bright for Sunnyside and we are excited to develop some new directions and facilities that you, our Members have inputed. Thank you to all our Members that participated in this survey and we are looking forward to working with you in the future.
This newsletter is accompanied by the 2019 price list, site fees, plus Hydro charges for first part of this season. The deposits for next season and Hydro payment is due by September 7th/2018. Please note on your price lists this year that there are changes to the post-dated minimum amounts for the winter months. We also require that these price lists be initialed and returned to us! As well, on this price list are the final dates for garbage pick up, pump outs etc. I know, it’s hard to talk about so “early”, but we just want to ensure that everyone is aware of these dates so they are not missed!
Just a reminder that when you book your winterizations, it must be paid for by the end of the season, otherwise you may risk not getting done! As well as any account balances must be paid by October 8th/2018
We have been for a couple of years trying to determine what to do with the boat trailer storage area. It has over time become an increasing venue for people to store not only their boat trailers, but utility trailers, boats, canoes, watercraft, kayaks etc. We will be investing in a storage area further up the field away from the seasonal sites to minimize the visual impact. For several years there has been an extra charge for in season storage per unit. It is difficult for us to determine what items belong to which Members. This new storage lot will be fenced and graveled. Members who have a seasonal boat slips will be able to store their boats or trailer for no charge; all other items will incur storage charges yet to be determined.
This year more than others we have been faced with the reality of ageing units as Members try to sell older units and safety concerns as units age. We have maintained with our policy that the age of trailers coming into the park must not be older than 10 years. Members have done well to upgrade older units too, so thank you! In 2014 we have raised our lowest age limit to no older than 1990. This lower age limit was to increase yearly. As of 2020 we will ask that no unit in the park is older than 1995, a 25-year age limit. We will be working towards a goal of by 2025 that no unit is older than 20 years with some exceptions to 12 wide models as they are built differently.
We would like to thank our many volunteers and Staff for doing such a great job this year with activities and maintaining our facilities. Events still to come is our golf tournament and year end Shanley Shines auction. Please ask office staff for info or on how to donate items.
Let’s all wish for a late Indian summer, and to enjoy these lasting summer memories, before we forget how quickly it will all come to an end. Reality will soon thrust us all back into our life routines as the dog days of summer fade into just a memory.
Your Happy Camper Hosts
Kevin, Melanie, Kaitlyn and Bryan
We too are thinking what everyone is, “Will this winter EVER end”? It appears Mother Nature has no interest in helping us out a little, if it isn’t the extreme cold temperatures, it’s snowing or raining. Thanks to the few warm ups we have had, it has made walking around or working outside a hazard for staff and any visitors. If you are visiting your trailer, please be cautious when coming into the park. With the rain and melt we have had, we lost the end of the road and have a temporary culvert in place until we can dig past the frost line in the spring. Despite cold temperatures and poor driving conditions, Dan has been working in the shop getting a jump on some spring projects and Jane is feverishly working at getting our books closed off for the 2017 season and preparing for 2018. The good news is, as I write this letter there are only 63 days until we open. Let’s hope that Mother Nature takes some mercy on us and we have a nice warm summer with less rain than we did last year.
This year comes with some new and exciting changes to our format of invoicing and paperwork. Thanks to Kathleen Wynn and her new increase in minimum wage as of January 1st, we need to cut back costs in the business in order to maintain our amazing staff that we currently have. This year we will be sending out invoices via email! We will also be sending our Newsletter, boat agreements, and License of Occupation.
This will save greatly on costs of printing paper, envelopes, and stamps for our mailing. If you haven’t already done so, please send us an updated email to email@example.com, If you do not have an email address on file with us, then you will be receiving this information via snail mail, but we would prefer to do it all on line so please provide us with an email address.
You are receiving a new License of Occupation and Boat agreement because we have added a portion for you to provide us with proof of Insurance for both your boat and your trailer. Please ENSURE that you either email them back to us (at this email address) filled out and signed or bring it with you opening day. Boat docks will not be secured by boat owners unless we receive a signed boat agreement. Boat dock assignment will run as usual with docks being assigned once the docks are in the water! We are currently working on a recreation calendar for 2018 that will be available on the website calendar or in the office. If you wish to add to this year’s activities, please contact the office to share your ideas.
We will be trying something else new this year. We would like to have our Members input on all that is Sunnyside! We are working on a survey that will be accessible online through Facebook and the website. We feel it is important that our Members have input in some aspects of the business, like projects, policies, and activities. Stay tuned for more information on this as we implement this idea.
As we wait for winter to recede we will be busy getting winter cleanup and other work done. Should any areas be closed off due to eroding roads or general maintenance in the spring, do not cross into these sections for your own safety.
This also includes the Sandy beach area until all docks are removed. Be aware that vehicle access including golf carts will be restricted until opening day.
The 2018 invoices will be available as of April 6th. Gate cards will not be activated until your account is paid in full, or other arrangements have been made with the Office Staff, prior to opening day. The office will be open from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm on Friday May 4th, 2018. Given that opening day is May the 4th (be with you), any Star War fans that show up in costume will receive a $50.00 discount on their site fees. One discount per family only please. The office will re-open at 9:00am on Saturday May 5th and Sunday May 6th and close at 4:00 pm both days to provide assistance with payments. We would prefer that you send cheques or use email transfers in advance to ensure that your gate cards will be activated prior to opening day.
If you would like Sunnyside to open your trailer and have it ready for your arrival, please notify the office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org NO LATER than the week prior to opening day. Again, please do not assume that because we opened your trailer last spring that we will automatically open you this year! Please book your opening as soon as you can! Remember, Sunnyside offers opening services as well as many other maintenance services such as spring lot clean up, grass cutting and a full line of trailer products and services.
If you are hoping to visit Sunnyside prior to opening, please remember there are no services available until opening day. Washrooms will be closed; no water, no garbage or recycle services. Leaf bags (paper only) will be collected if they are covered so that we are not having to pick up soggy bags.
We would also like to welcome some new Members to Sunnyside. The Beal family who will be located on site 105, the Gagnon family on site 10 and the Molleson family located on site 140. If you see some new faces in the park, be sure to give them a warm Sunnyside welcome!
We still have our luxurious Northlander Escape up for sale, if you know of anyone who would like to join our Sunnyside Family please let them know they can contact the Office to set up an appointment to view this lovely lake view cottager. We will also be anticipating the arrival of a three-bedroom Reflection as well in the spring, perfect for a family looking to settle down!
Prior to the opening of the season we would like to readdress an ongoing issue in our community. We were approached several times during last season with regards to the activity and the noise level in our playgrounds and park areas. The policy is: “playgrounds, docks and beach areas are off limits at dusk” (please refer to Schedule A) This is due mainly to safety concerns during limited visibility after dark. Our night staff does routinely visit these areas reminding individuals and groups of this policy. However, we can’t be expected to stand guard to this respect and this policy must be mutually respected by all members. We realize dusk is a subjective time, but due to changing light levels throughout the summer months, dusk is a good starting point. Please remind our youthful individuals to respect others surrounding these areas during and after dusk hours. If it is getting difficult to see, please put away the basketballs and pause the games of tag etc. We like to give youth a place to gather after dark and will continue to leave the lights on in the pavilion. This is on the understanding that we will not tolerate loud abusive language and rowdy play after dark. Individuals will be asked to return to their sites if we need to become supervisor for this area after dusk.
As always if you have any requests or would like to volunteer for any Recreation activities, please let anyone of our Office Team know and we would be happy to listen to your requests. We are currently working on a Craft beer and Meat night for the May long weekend. If anyone would like to step forward to help organize, please let Melanie or Jane know in the office. Stay tuned for details!
We are happy to say that you will be seeing familiar faces back on our staff this year as we expect most of our staff to return to help us this year! We are looking forward to a warmer and hopefully dryer summer season this year!
Looking forward to seeing you all in 2018!
Kevin, Melanie, Kaitlyn and Bryan.