This year Virginia State Parks celebrates 15 years of Partnership with ReserveAmerica, the leader in park reservation services.
It’s been a long partnership. The partnership actually predates my arrival at Virginia State Parks (I started in 1996). It actually predates the corporate name “ReserveAmerica”(we started doing business with a company called Info2000).
Prior to our partnership, Virginia had been working with first Ticketron and then Ticketmaster to take seasonal camping and cabin reservations. We had some trouble with a third party making our reservations. In the first place, Ticketron and Ticketmaster were event ticketers. Staff used to selling tickets to a Barry Manilow concert or a sporting event did not know a lot about Virginia, state parks or camping.
So, at a time when a lot of state government was being outsourced, for the sake of our customers we actually in sourced. We created our own central reservation center in Richmond and partnered with then Info 2000 to provide the software for the endeavor. In 1994 it became a reality.
I came on board in 1996 as Reservation Center, promoted to Operations Director (the Center is still in my portfolio of responsibilities) in 2000.
I have done business with a lot of vendors over the years both in my state career and before in private industry. I don’t use the term “partner” liberally. I call ReserveAmerica Virginia State Parks’ partner because Ihave always believed they really cared about our business and have worked hard to support our needs and improve their product. I won’t sugar coat it. Anyone who has dealt with a technology company or software provider knows that things go wrong. There are bugs, problems, headaches with upgrades, …. But, through thick and thin, ReserveAmerica has been there with us.
In 1998 we started taking on line reservations in addition to our call center. I think our greatest accomplishment was in November 2006 when we upgraded to their ORMS system which provided real time management of reservations in the call center, on line and at our park locations.
Last month our partner reached a milestone of its own when it was acquired by Active Network.Click here for the press release on the aquisition.