What's in a Sign?

A few years ago, when Five Flags RV Park was a still just a dream on paper, we were spending time discussing many aspects of the park.  One question that we had to answer was, what to do for a sign?

We started really noticing the signs for RV parks around the nation. We also spent a lot of time looking at RV parks online.  There was a wide variety of choices out there.  Then, one day, my wife and I went into the butcher shop in a trendy part of Washington, DC.  The butcher shop had this really cool sign that looked like old marquee letters from a drive in movie theater.  We really liked the look, so I snapped this picture of it. We were still a year away from opening the park, but that sign was just too cool!  

Doodling In The Pentagon

Things continued marching along and before we knew it, the purchase of the property became immanent. We really sat down and put pencil to paper, quite literally.    I was sitting at work daydreaming of the park during a meeting and I thought about how amazing all those old drive-in movie signs were and how sad it was that they really don't exist anymore.  I still remember sitting in a conference room in the Pentagon and deep discussions were going on about the big impending budget cuts and I just started doodling.  I put the piece of paper in my pocket and showed my wife when I got home.  She liked it, but she recommended we send it to some friends in Pensacola so that they could splash some creativity on the drawing.

The response only took a few minutes. They said that they loved the idea, but would tie in a sign board with the marquee by wrapping the arrow down. They gave a fun example of a sign they saw on Pinterest.  

If You Build It, They Will Come

There we had it. We needed to go find a sign maker.  We made some phone calls to local business owners who had large signs and everyone pointed to one company in Pensacola that had been around for many years.  We sat down with Harold, their salesman and he was very excited.  We worked out the particulars and commissioned the sign The build went very quickly. They had it knocked out in just a couple months.  But before the sign was finished, we needed to have temporary signage in hopes that we would be able to garner a few guests our first few weeks.  A friend has a sign printing business and he made us a temporary vinyl banner and some small roadside signs.

                             

  The sign company took care of everything including installation, permitting, and they even installed every single one of the 132 LED light bulbs. 

Our sign immediately became a local landmark. Since our park is a bit secluded (you'd never know it was there unless you saw our sign) having that wonderful sign has really helped our business.  When I was in the very early stages of planning the park, one of my mentors asked me what I was going to do for signage.  I initially told him that I'd look to do a small wooden sign in order to save money.  He quickly said that having a distinct, noticeable sign is so important that it should be the most central part of our budget.  He said, whatever you do, don't skimp on the sign. It is the first impression. He was 110% right.  This sign has been the reason that so many of our great guests have stopped to spend the night.  It is the reason that we have such an amazing family of people that have come through this park.  I am very thankful for mentors, and I am very thankful that our guests keep stopping by.

Thank you for spending some time catching up with us. We hope you'll come back to read more of our blogs. Until then, "Safe travels happy camper!"

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