A blog from our Operations Manager
This week’s blog comes from the WDLH Operations Manager, Paul George
A little bit of trivia to start with…..
A question I have been asked many times over many years is “when you have a power cut at a holiday park, why don’t you have a generator back up”. Well I now know the answer as in July we had a major upgrade of our power supply at Highlands End and we ran the park on a generator for a day. Here it is, next to a caravan which you can only just see in the background. Yes – its big and it came on a big lorry, so not something you can keep in storage just in case we have a power cut !
All went to plan and we have now nearly doubled the power supply into Highlands which should be sufficient for at least the next 15 years. Staying with electric, we are looking at the feasibility of installing an electric car charging points on all of our parks in the next 12 months. We will start with a trial one at Highlands and then roll the programme out to the other parks. We are also looking at ways in which a car charging point can be a part of new caravans and lodge holiday homes in the future. Keep an eye on future blogs and our social media for updates on this topic.
What does the WDLH Operations Manager do in a typical day?
As Operations Manager for all of our parks, I get to visit our stunning locations every week, and think how lucky I am to live and work along the Jurassic Coastline. Normally I would start off at Sandyholme Holiday Park, which is set in a great countryside setting and not far from the great Durdle Door and the towns of Weymouth & Dorchester.
We constantly review what the different caravan manufacturers are producing and this caught our eye recently, which we thought would be perfect for Sandyholme Holiday Park. It’s a Europa Maple 2 Bedroom Caravan and it’s the first one at WDLH. Its available now to move into and can be yours for £29,995 which includes the remainder of the 2018 Pitch Fee. It’s only been at the park for two weeks and is already attracting a lot of interest. For more information contact the Sales Team on 01308 426917. We like this caravan so much, we have also ordered one for the hire fleet at Golden Cap Holiday Park for 2019!
We have been busy drawing up plans for Sandyholme for 2019 and have just ordered a brand-new purpose-built reception building which will be ready and open by 1st March 2019, so when you drive into the park next year it will have a very different appearance.
Leaving Sandyholme my favourite drive is the coast road from Weymouth to Burton Bradstock, which has views you can look at all day long – even during winter (as long as it’s not foggy!). At the end of the drive I arrive at Larkfield Holiday Park and Jurassic Retreat, which is our new lodge holiday home ownership development, just a few minutes walk from Burton Bradstock Beach.
Jurassic Retreat is only a few months old and already our holiday lodge owners are loving it and at the end of September we are getting more stunning lodges. Keep on eye on our Holiday Homes in Dorset Facebook Page or the Jurassic Retreat website for more info. Not only do we look after our two-legged customers – we are just starting on a new area for our 4-legged customers. A new dog walking area will be open on the park by the end of the summer.
Then a couple of miles across country, if you know the short cuts, or you may drive through the great little village of Burton Bradstock you get to Graston Copse Holiday Park. From April until September the touring and camping area is open and a few weeks ago I was asked to cover a couple of days at the park whilst our normal team were away. It was a pleasure chatting to the holidaymakers who enjoy the peace and quiet, the riverside and woodland walks and also being to walk to the village pubs alongside the River Bride!
Bypassing Highlands End, the next stop is Golden Cap, which has just celebrated it’s 40th birthday. Last winter we introduced more Glamping at Golden Cap with two Classic Camping Pods and two Premier Camping Pods. The plan for 2019 is to have even more Glamping with another two Safari Tents as this is proving a popular choice with holidaymakers who want that little bit extra and don’t have to bring their own tents. During the winter on our closed areas of the park we will be doing more work on our park roads for our Holiday Home Owners, but at the front of the park, with the addition of two extra lodges in March this year, we now have 9 lodges available to book all year round. So, if you fancy a winter break, next to the sea, call us to check availability.
Then arriving at Highlands and looking at the great views we have towards West Bay and Eype I will have a walk around the touring area which is also the location of our new Premier Camping Pod village. Walking back up the park through our holiday home owners caravan we reach our holiday hire caravans and lodges. Last week I stayed in one of our new one-bedroom lodges and was very impressed. They are a great size for a couple, with an ample sized bedroom and a massive bathroom. If you are a regular customer staying in our bungalows, why not ask next time how much it is to upgrade to a lodge. You may be surprised how little it costs.
Martin’s Bar & Restaurant is now just over a year old and its proving very popular with not only customers using WDLH but also gets a lot of local visitors. It’s now open all day, with the outside play area, our new ‘Little Fire Station’ soft play area and all day menu. After a sneaky Costa Coffee, making sure the kitchen areas are all OK and “testing” the Orange Cheesecake with ginger and walnut, which is on our Christmas Party Menu (and yes we are taking bookings already and some dates are already full !), there is only the Leisure Club and Park Reception left to visit. We are just looking at refurbishment plans for both of these areas in 2019 and can’t wait to see the presentation that our designer is bringing to us in two weeks’ time – it’s all very exciting and may be a project that takes a couple of years to action fully.
Back in the office, although its only August, we have been working hard on all of our Winter & Development Plans and everything is now nearly all in place. Some of our works start on 1st September so as to finish fully by 1st March – we can’t wait until November to start some of the projects. With parks now open longer there are more ongoing plans rather than projects just taking place in the winter but we do try to minimize disruption for the holidaymakers and holiday home owners on the parks.
Next on the list it’s time to agree all of the details for 2019 Touring & Camping Bookings, and as of now you can book any 2019 holiday either by phone (01308 426947) or online. Or if you are staying at one of our parks, why not call into Reception and we can do it there and then. Coming in 2019 we will have some great ‘Book Before you Leave’ Offers for 2020 – yes 2020 !
And at the end of a busy day, there is just time to post a job advert for a new receptionist at Highlands to add to our existing team. WDLH employs over 100 people across our five parks, in a number of different full time, part time, seasonal and all year-round positions. We have job roles ranging from Reception Assistant and Retail Assistant & Chefs, to Lodge Cleaners & Venue Cleaners, to Park Warden Positions. If ever you fancy a change, or would like more information, drop us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the team will get back to you with any current vacancies we may have.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and we hope to welcome you to WDLH very soon, or “HELLO” if you are already here!