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Overhaul of reservation system

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff
As of last week people planning outings and vacations at Washington state parks have a new online tool to help them. The state agency launched an updated central reservations system on January 16.
 
The enhanced system offers 90 additional campsites and 38 cabins at two parks that were not previously reservable. The system also adds seven day use facilities statewide and six group camps on the San Juan Islands. The site shows the availability of retreat centers and environmental learning centers in state parks. While not reservable online, the centers and their open dates are viewable, saving event planners inquiry calls.
 
Other new features:
 
The new system is smartphone and tablet-friendly.
 
Specials and promotions will now be visible near the bottom of the page.
 
When a specific campsite is only available for part of a customer’s stay, the customer can enter a different, available campsite on the same reservation for the remainder of the stay.
 
Reservations can be made for multiple parks in one online session, though fees and confirmation letters will be different for each park.
 
In addition to increased inventory and more intuitive web navigation, state park users will experience expedited check-ins at the park via a bar code on their confirmation letter, printed or on their phones, and they can pre-purchase extra vehicle permits online. The system will also save pertinent information in park users’ profiles, such as trailer lengths or discount pass numbers, allowing for greater efficiency when planning travel.
 
The new system promotes staff efficiency by reducing paper use. It streamlines processes via an online dashboard that allows park staff to find reservations and quickly provide updated information. Staff at some parks will be able to sell Discover passes and merchandise at parks. More than 100 park staffers received training in the new system in fall of 2018.
 
In January of 2017, State Parks put out a request for proposals (RFP) for the project. After an extensive review process, the agency selected CAMIS to design, implement and train staff in the new system. CAMIS had designed State Parks’ previous reservation system in the mid-2000s. The current project, which had a budget of $1.3 million, took 13 months to complete. State Parks’ operating budget funded the project.
 
The new site can be accessed via www.parks.state.wa.us

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