How do I make my glampsite stand out after lockdown?

mrs mills yurts glampsite

Glampsites have increased in popularity since their inception in the mid-noughties. The staycation boom had already started pre-Covid but this year, foreign travel options are still looking decidedly shaky. Glampsite operators say this uncertainty has led to bookings going through the roof, with some already turning down summer bookings while off-peak slots are filling fast.  However, even in the midst of a market boom, there’s no place for complacency – 2020 profits were hit hard thanks to the spring lockdown, and it’s important for glampsite managers to keep in mind the long-game to ensure they see a healthy ROI in future.  So how can you improve your glamping facilities this year, so your site remains a must-visit destination in 2022 and even beyond? Here, we take a look at two fantastic businesses – a glamping site and a pod manufacturer – that are ready to hit the 2021 season with a bang – and have no intention of slowing down thanks to some creative thinking and clever investment…  A glampsite that’s truly glamourous! Marking its 7th year in the glamping arena, Mrs Mills’ Yurts continues to add to its customer offering, with the most recent addition being a glampervan that can be taken off-site.  Mrs Mills’ Yurts is the brainchild of husband-and-wife duo, Nicola and Gary Mills, which launched in 2015 on National Trust Landmark May Hill, Gloucestershire. Wanting to escape London and the suffocation of being in a great, grey city of busyness – and having watched too many home improvement programmes – the duo fell in love with a tired farmhouse on a hill overlooking the Cotswolds. Following a period of serious restoration, which involved the couple and their children staying in a kitsch caravan themselves, Mrs Mills’ Yurts was born. While glamping was still relatively new and a novel offering, Nicola was adamant that she wanted to put her style and taste into the business. And it was her love for novels, especially those by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which inspired the flamboyant designs and the names of the yurts too: Zelda, Hildegarde, Tanaduke and Gatsby. Each yurt offers the ultimate indulgent glamping. Sleeping up to four people, each has its own private bathroom with luxury sandalwood toiletries and flowers, luxury linen and soft cotton towels and bathrobes, and extravagant sheepskin throws to keep glampers warm around the campfire. Cream teas are offered on arrival and a mouth-watering breakfast hamper is also delivered, filled to the brim with local produce. The hosts also arrange for daily tea and buns served in the “home from home” kitchen, and offer an extensive and delightful range of home-cooked meals from the campfire menu. For that added indulgence and to further relax glampers, three of the yurts also have a private wood-fired hot tub. The start of 2020 saw Amory added to the family collection; a glampervan that can be driven off-site and to any destination where the heart desires. Amory is the ultimate glampervan for wild camping; featuring a solar panel on the roof and the interior decked out just as the yurts themselves are – no corners are cut, that’s for sure. While many campervans come bare, Amory comes with everything from beautiful bedding and linen, through to champagne glasses, cloth napkins and even a cheese hamper to be enjoyed while on an adventure. Restrictions permitting, people are now booking Amory for trips abroad as well as touring the UK. It offers the full glamping experience wherever the glamper wishes to experience it. Nicola and Gary have no end of secret gems to suggest, and Amory allows you to choose a difference location every day. Nicola Mills, co-founder of Mayhill Glamping, said: “We pride ourselves on offering something totally luxurious, indulgent and extremely stylish at our rural retreat. Everything at Mrs Mills’ Yurts comes with a nod to the jazz age, from the sheepskin rugs and the garish gold beds, through to the wood-fired hot tubs. “Our Yurts are indulgent hotel rooms under the stars – they’re to my style and taste and it’s always lovely to get such positive and warm feedback when people come to stay with us. “We’re especially excited to launch our glampervan; we’ve had it just over a year now, but this year is when it’ll really get its chance to shine.” As well as being within a short distance from many great local pubs, attractions and stunning walking routes, Mrs Mills’ Yurts is also a short distance from the Cotswolds, Cheltenham and the Wye Valley, situated between Gloucester and Ross-on-Wye. Check out the glampsite at Boxing clever with Maverick glamping pods Park operators are now looking at how every inch of property can be used to its full revenue potential, especially with increased demand for 2021 bookings. With attention predominantly turning towards lucrative accommodation options, now is the time to test the viability of expanding sites before having to heavily invest in complex infrastructure and committing to a large-scale public offering. Luxury temporary accommodation provider Caboose & Co. has produced a revolutionary travel pod, The Maverick, that will be the wingman of many a park operator this summer season. Caboose & Co’s managing director Tom Critchley says: “Having managed temporary accommodation sites for over 15 years, I’ve a wealth of valuable expertise when it comes to guest hospitality and assisting pop-up hotels, resorts and festivals diversify their offering. We work with landowners seeking to transform their sites into sought-after holiday destinations – whether that be for caravans, glamping or camping.” Born from wanting to solve the challenges faced when sourcing sleeping spots, Tom and his team supply shipping containers converted to the highest of industry standards, the cosy rooms can be simply and quickly deployed anywhere.  Joining its impressive 54-strong converted container fleet, the first-of-its-kind product named The Maverick has been brought to the UK staycation and glamping markets as a direct response to increased staycations following COVID-19 international travel restrictions. With The Maverick also available with a hard deck atop the structure, it enables outdoor hospitality and event organisers the flexibility to

Using HR software to improve multi-site communication

hr software - Inform People is used by employees on an app

Multi-site communications can often pose a problem for larger holiday park operators. Whether this concerns visual merchandising or health & safety, training or operations, miscommunication can cost companies huge amounts.   We asked Chris Thomas, from HR software programmers Inform People, about how using the right software package can help to keep large organisations running smoothly and effectively… Q&A with Chris Thomas from Inform People, HR software provider What are the main issues employers face when overseeing different teams with different responsibilities?  “You know when a company grows to have multiple sites and it encounters problems with its ‘information supply chain’? “Well, what we do is deliver automated online systems for effective communications, consistent compliance and ensure best practice operating standards. “We help employers tackle this by harnassing automation of tasks, communications and issuing policies. This way managers can monitor what is and is not being done and not worry about what needs to be issued to people to be completed. “Inform People knits all the existing systems together to give a holistic solution that pulls health & safety, operations and learning & development together in a way that no other systems can match. We do this by setting cross-department rules and giving businesses a better picture of how their sites are performing.” Is Inform People suitable for any size of organisation, or is there a “sweet spot” that the HR software is most useful for? “In retail and hospitality we say the sweet spot is companies with 40+ remote sites from a centralised head office. They will probably interact with the public as their customer base and have an annual turnover of £100million+, although we do work with smaller companies and build upon the foundations from different industries.”   Who are your biggest customers and how have you helped them to manage staff? “Our biggest customers, for example, are JD Sports which employ 36,000 staff in 11 countries. We also manage online and offline learning hospitality businesses including Nandos.  “Our work with these companies includes health and safety audits, policies and risk assessments. Our learning and development software provides training, skills sharing and storage of useful documents for employees. We also offer visual merchandising and marketing via audits and communications.”    In the “gig economy” there is often a high turnover of staff – we’re likely to see that even more post-lockdown. Is Inform People suitable for employers with a high staff turnover?  “Inform People is specifically designed for this! We provide a very easy-to-use system that looks to automate, then assign key tasks to make sure they are done by the right person at the right time. “All of the tasks are set up in advance and senior managers set the rules so when new people start they just need the URl, username and password to get all the information they need to do their job.”   What have you got planned for the future to help employers? “We are continually improving systems – one development was allowing users to select the language they want and their system is then available fully translated to each employee’s requirements.”    For more information on Inform People and how it can help your business, see

Interactive smartphone app and web-based advertising portal launched by NRM Group

Interactive smartphone app from NRM group

NRM Group, whose Jigsaw brand has become the entertainment system of choice, has launched its new Interactive smartphone app and web-based advertising portal. NRM’s Sales Manager Freddie Shreeve, said: “Following Jigsaw’s launch in 2014, the team have undertaken a progressive and imaginative development of the entertainment brand which already comprises of an extensive music library, karaoke, interactive games, digital advertising, cash, prize and linked bingo and so much more” The creation of these exciting new features has been a fantastic addition to the ever-flexible Jigsaw content package.  Jigsaw Interactive is a platform which brings together cutting-edge smartphone technology with traditional pub quiz formats to create the perfect interactive platform for any venue! Quizzing shouldn’t be complicated. Simplicity is at the heart of Jigsaw Interactive, creating a gameplay experience that allows anyone to easily host or play a game, regardless of their age or technical ability. Expertly designed and developed by our in-house development team and pub quiz enthusiasts, there are plenty of categories to choose from including general knowledge, sport and entertainment.  Simplicity and customer engagement being two key ingredients for success. A simple and easy way to deliver Interactive Quiz and to compete against teams/players in other venues, Jigsaw’s software allows you to host and play quizzes using any smartphone device with your guests, whether that’s together in one venue, remotely on Zoom due to lockdown restrictions or competing against multiple teams across the world! Quizzes not your guest’s thing? Don’t worry, the Jigsaw Interactive smartphone app not only allows customers to participate in local and linked quizzes it also allows them to interact and engage with you and your venue in other ways too.                Request a Track allows your guests to browse Jigsaw’s entire music, video and karaoke libraries and request their favourite tracks. (approval from staff required)  Jukebox Mode – music tracks are sent directly to the playlist for a true Jukebox- fuelled music event Text and/or Picture Messages can be sent to the public screens which is great for party nights or family events (approval from staff required)  iVote allows your customers to vote for anything: Easter Bonnet Parade, best act in your talent show, their favourite dish from the menu, or the next guest ale  Game Face if customers submit a selfie or other image, these can be randomised on the screens (a bit like on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway) to choose an individual to win a prize, or to play a Jigsaw game for a prize, or to just sing the next karaoke track. Remote Content Manager is the new and easy way to administer, organize, and distribute digital content to your Media Displays via the Jigsaw System, this web-based software enables you to develop a library of photos, videos, graphics and templates that are easy to search and ready to deploy. The software can be controlled from your own PC/ Tablet or phone using a simple login and password. Great entertainment is one of the most quoted reasons on Trip Advisor for a guest wanting to return, and as a company we are committed to helping our customers in any way that we can. Our ethos is to ensure that all entertainments staff are fully conversant with the Jigsaw product and its capabilities. We are the only company in the sector to provide such a service which maximises ROI in what is a key contributor to a holiday parks entertainment and guest proposition.” Whether Corporate or family owned, it’s clear that Jigsaw meets the wide-ranging requirements across the full spectrum of holiday park venues in the UK.” With Jigsaw now installed in holiday parks stretching from Inverness to Dover and the Lizard Peninsula to Prestatyn, NRM provides a comprehensive national technical support function with a dedicated team on hand seven days a week. Jigsaw technical support is accessible via remote PC access, a dedicated customer service phone number, as well as via Jigsaw WhatsApp User Groups that provide instant messaging and support. Freddie continues “2020 has unfortunately impacted a plethora of our customers businesses, at NRM we have been keen to ensure our on-going support whilst maintaining investment into the Jigsaw platform. Providing our customers with the very latest developments and content that is relevant to their operational and guests needs is very important to us. I think It’s fair to say that NRM through Jigsaw has delivered some real innovation, Jigsaw Interactive and the delivery of a truly flexible and easy to use remote content management system are testimony to this.”  In concluding his thoughts for 2021, “It’s clear that 2021 will deliver us all some further challenges, at NRM we are ready to support and work with all our customers in meeting those challenges. Ensuring our customers invest wisely in a proven, reliable platform and content, have the flexibility to chose payment options that work for them whilst offering their own guests the very latest in Interactive features sits at the very heart of our approach”

Elite Dynamics partners with SIGA Solutions to take products global

Elite Dynamics

Elite Dynamics, a leading provider of software solutions to the Holiday Park industry, has partnered with renowned business software consultancy, SIGA Solutions, to help facilitate the expansion of its award-winning solutions to a worldwide audience.  SIGA Solutions will be working with Elite Dynamics to accredit and approve their market leading EliteParks solution for use on the Microsoft AppSource – the global app store for Microsoft business products.  This will mean anyone in the Holiday Park industry; from the New Forest to New Zealand, will be able to download and use the business solution – the only complete park management solution on the marketplace with a fully integrated finance solution – at the click of a button.  Elite Dynamics is able to take the next step to market its products on the Microsoft AppSource as a result of moving to a SaaS (Software as a Service) model in 2021. By having the EliteParks solution available via the SaaS model, holiday park industry customers have full access to software on demand via a cloud-based system without having to worry about any extra burden of infrastructure or hardware costs. It also means those Elite Dynamics customers on the SaaS model benefit from instant access to the very latest Microsoft updates and subscriptions available and will always be at the forefront of technical advancements and one step ahead of competitors.  Jamaine Campbell, Managing Director at Elite Dynamics, said: “This year really has the potential to be a game-changer for us. Having our software solutions available on the Microsoft AppSource is a massive global shop window but it’s not easy to achieve, which is why we need the support of SIGA Solutions to help us get there and get it right.  “Customers will be able to download a free trial of our software and, with the support of our new online blended training platform – EliteAcademy – work through our solutions training programme in 45 languages and dialects. There’s no restrictions on size of holiday parks – you can be a single park operator or a multi-park operator – everyone can benefit from the power and technological expertise of plugging into the Microsoft eco-system.”   SIGA Solutions have also been working with the entire 19-strong Elite Dynamics team to create training programmes that will further develop and enhance their technical skills to support customers, and the development of future solutions.  Wendy Glanfield, Founder of SIGA Solutions, added: “Making the transition from an on-premises to a SaaS-based business model introduces both challenges and opportunities. As a trusted advisor, SIGA Solutions will help Elite Dynamics with transforming their flagship products into a fully-fledged SaaS offering as well as reshaping their underlying business model to enable continued growth.”  Jamaine continued: “This is the biggest investment we’ve ever made as a company. Its organisational-wide investment to get both us and our customers to the cloud where we can leverage everything that’s available to us. We’ll be the first to give our customers access to the latest technology, improve functionality, customise both the user experience and customer journey, and guarantee seamless, efficient integration with the rest of the Microsoft solutions.  Ultimately, it’s going to be just as simple and easy as when you download an app on your smartphone. Why wouldn’t you?” Elite Dynamics is the only park management applications provider to have its solution officially accredited by Microsoft Dynamics and is a top tier Microsoft Gold partner. For more information on Elite Dynamics or to arrange a demo of the market leading Microsoft powered software solutions, visit Elite Dynamics SaaS solutions will be available from late spring 2021.

Will Wind Work for you?

Will Wind work diagram

Producing off grid energy from the wind can be an ideal source in a rural location for caravan camping, glamping or at an outdoor event as a power supply.   To produce a decent amount of power you need a good wind site.  The best starting point is to access a wind speed database such as   Enter the postcode of the location you wish to site a wind turbine.  The wind data base will advise you the average wind speed in metres/second (m/s) at various heights.  Ideally anything above 5.5m/s at 10 metres, otherwise a wind turbine may not be a viable option for you.  Variations can occur depending on the elevation of the land. At 5.5 m/s with a clean air site the FuturEnergy Airforce1 wind turbine could produce an estimated 1100kw per year, so if the average wind speed is more than 5.5m/s this is all the better. A good wind site location for a horizontal wind turbine needs to be in a rural location in clean air area away from trees, hedges, walls, and buildings which may cause turbulence. Therefore, do you have the correct conditions to produce the power you require?  By comparing how much power you potentially need (to run appliances) to the wind speed in your area and how much power you can potentially produce is a good indicator to see if this energy source will work for you. Example:  Average Wind Speed 5.5m/s = estimated 1100kwh = 1100kwh of electricity over 12 months or more if the wind speed is higher.  At 6.5m/s this would increase to an estimated 1800kwh and at 7.5m/s an estimated 2,500kwh increasing exponentially. Wind is best shared with solar as a hybrid system gaining the best of both worlds taking advantage of the sun in the summer and the wind in the winter.     Storing the power created by both sources in a lithium battery enables the use of the energy created when required.  The battery energy may be used off-grid or on grid with the correct equipment. Not just any wind will do. For a wind turbine to operate efficiently it needs air that moves uniformly in the same direction and is strong enough to provide sufficient energy to turn the turbine. In general, the higher the turbine is above the local environment, the stronger and more stable the wind will be.   Go fly a kite An inexpensive and visually productive way to find out at what height turbulent air ends, and smooth, laminar airflow begins, is to fly a kite at the proposed wind turbine location on a windy day, preferably when the wind is coming from the prevailing direction. To visualize airflow, use tape-streamers tied to the kite’s string every 5metres or so.   Wildly fluttering tape indicates turbulence, smoothly extended tape means smooth air. Be sure to take the angle of the kite’s string into account when calculating height.   The energy in the wind increases with the cube of the wind speed (P x V³), and wind speed increases with height.  An increase of just 26% in wind speed means twice as much power is available in the wind, and the wind turbine will produce almost twice as much. Double the wind speed and there is almost eight times as much power available. A small additional investment in tower height may therefore be well worth the cost due to the increased energy production. Multiple wind turbines can also be utilised thereby increasing the power produced but these need to be spaced so not to cause turbulence from each unit. The bottom of a hill, valley, or ravine makes for a poor place to site a wind turbine. The wind tends to drop in speed at the bottom of a smooth hill, then speed up as it goes up the hill, reaching around twice the wind speed at the top of the hill. For obstructions that are not smooth, such as a cliff (i.e., a sudden rise in the landscape), it gets much more difficult. Sharp edges create turbulence.  The airflow at the top of the cliff can be stronger than the average wind speed in the area, but close to the cliff’s edge it will also be very turbulent, making it a poor site for a turbine.  It may be possible to use a higher tower or set it far enough back from the cliff edge to get above the inevitably turbulent air. The lee side, (downwind of the prevailing winds), of a prominent object makes for a very poor wind turbine site. The object will create large turbulence on its downwind side, and the average wind speed will drop off dramatically. This leaves no energy for the wind turbine to harvest. The effect of airflow over any obstruction, including trees and shrubs, tends to create a “bubble” of turbulent air around twice the height of the obstacle that extends 20 times the height of the obstacle downwind from it. FuturEnergy has been manufacturing the Made in Britain, Airforce1 1kw micro wind turbine for over 15 years now at their premises just outside Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire.    The vision was to manufacture a robust small wind turbine that would generate enough power to make a difference.  This has culminated recently with the Airforce Controller that is supplied with a 24v or 48v wind turbine systems ready to be mounted on a standard sized scaffold pole.  The Airforce Control automatically protects the turbine in strong wind conditions, providing battery charging control, whilst monitoring wind speeds and power generation. Customers are now able to connect to their wind turbine from anywhere in the world using the free iPhone/Android app and check on the turbines power output, even allowing them to start and stop the turbine.  The kit includes:  The FuturEnergy wind turbine body AC (incorporating their 1kw permanent magnet generator), tail assembly, 3 bladed rotor set, manual AC stop switch, Airforce1 Controller and anemometer complete with 12m of anemometer cable. Price: £2,250.00 (inc.VAT)

JNC offers a wide range of amusement machines to suit all budgets

giant prize amusement machines

Celebrating their fortieth year, JNC Sales go into the season with a new-look website that continues to highlight their wide range of new and used amusement machines to suit all sites and budgets. The JNC warehouse, and now their new online catalogue, hosts thousands of machines that come site-ready following comprehensive workshop testing, supported by a dedicated aftersales team and parts warranty. 2021 sees the introduction of some exciting new lines, which have been specifically selected by JNC to align with customer feedback and a market that needs an injection of bold, vibrant pieces without breaking the bank. Rocket Launch is a spectacular rocket-themed prize redemption piece that is the perfect size and design for children looking to win smaller prizes and sweets. With the option for three players to play at the same time, Rocket Launch is a game of timing and skill, where players must pick the right moment to help move the prizes off the rotating bed and into the payout tray, whilst the game also functions as a striking centre-piece without the need for a big space on the arcade floor. JNC have also added to their strong range of cranes, supplementing the popular Crazy Toy and Telephone Box ranges with Dream Castle, a bold five player pink crane, and Mini House, a miniature two player crane that comes available in different cabinet colours. Dream Castle is a unique five player crane that features a range of different cabinet sizes and claw options to offer operators the chance to engage with the whole family, whilst also featuring an attractive topflash and a video monitor for heightened interaction. Mini House is a top-performing mini crane that stands at just 61cm wide x 41cm deep, so is a must-have item to squeeze into those smaller spaces. The crane can offer prizes up to 8cm and comes with a range of game modes, claw power and motor speeds to allow for straight-forward set-up and configuration. Recognising their customers need for low-outgoings but high-income equipment, JNC are pleased to re-launch Martian Madness, a stunning five-player round pusher that has proven its worth as a top-performing ticket or cash-only pusher. With new cabinet artwork, improved LED lighting, and more accessible glass panels to complement its unique spinning UFO-style topflash, Martian Madness boats a small footprint at just 1.5m wide without compromising on its visual appeal and customer engagement. Dino Land and Raiders are the latest models in JNC’s successful range of min ball-shooters, a collection that has allowed operators to offer children high-value shooting-style redemption games (ticket/capsule payout) at less than £1,995 for the two player models and just £1,195 for the one player games.  Giant Prize Pod Pro continues to be the top-performing redemption game available, with its success over the last 18 months built on its highly-visible giant prize in the colourful cabinet and simple gameplay. Players simply have to time the cutting of the string to release the giant prize and they win it! The latest models come with updated lighting and a desirable mercy ticket option that will keep players happy even if the big prize illudes them! In addition to their new lines, the JNC warehouse continues to house tried and trusted amusement machines, from used video games and coin pushers to sports games and kiddie rides. JNC are able to send images of all products in stock, and furthermore can send videos of the machines once they have been through the workshop process, ensuring every item is site-ready and supported with a dedicated aftersales team and individual parts warranty. To book a visit to the JNC warehouse and to see their workshop in action, or to see their full range of machines, call 0117 938 2552 or visit

Holiday Resort Daycations Will Overtake Staycations In 2021

daycaytions playing on bumper boats

World of Rides, the longest established U.K. family-owned manufacturer and distributor of Children’s Rides celebrated its 50th Anniversary during 2019, and in addition to their world-beating seventy-two model range of 12v and 24v battery rides, they are also the official UK distributors for many other award-winning themed ranges of 240v static children’s rides too! They are also UK’s leading source of ready-made themed battery ride attractions for the holiday resorts industry, such as Bumper Boat and Bumper Aqua-Ball pools, Bumper Car tracks and Bumper-Ball pitches, Go-Kart tracks and Jurassic-Adventure trails, as well as Driving Schools and many others! Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the UK’s leading holiday park and holiday resort owners and operators have already been placing their orders for 2021 ever since November 2020, for pollution free battery ride attractions, knowing that however short the season turns out to be for 2021, their attractions will almost certainly still achieve pay-back plus a profit, based upon their past-experience of World of Rides attractions! The Government has already stated that it is their intention that the current lockdown will begin to be eased as quickly as possible, and the Bank of England have predicted that the public have saved around £250 billion during lockdown to spend on their leisure pursuits… which if they enjoy them, will result in them returning for even more UK daycations and holidays in future years too! With all UK holiday hotels and holiday parks announcing being almost fully booked already, and with many millions of holidaymakers still being hesitant about taking holiday accommodation this early after the pandemic, then millions of holiday visitors with millions of pounds to spend between them are going to descend on all UK holiday resorts this year, hoping to find new attractions to entertain and amuse them… more especially since the weather is also forecast to be wonderfully hot and sunny!   All World of Rides attractions are brimming with CE, TUV, and UK HSE-BACTA-ADIPS safety features as well as all the latest digital sound effects, LED lighting and rugged GRP bodywork attract features… and they constantly remain high on the wish-lists of some of the leisure industries leading buyers and operators! You can view a small sample range of their rides at their website, which is also currently being updated:     Thank You! Please contact David Robinson on