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Cameron County Parks - Launches Hamer Enterprises' Online Reservation System

Source: "Valley Morning Star" - October 3, 2018
By Nadia Tamez-Robledo Staff writer

Winter visitors to Isla Blanca, Adolph Thomae and Andy Bowie parks will be the first to try Cameron County’s online reservation system. Parks Director Joe Vega said Tuesday the service will be available for November and December reservations starting Nov. 1, and summer reservations will begin Jan. 15.

Vega gave the update during a regular Cameron County Commissioners Court meeting, where Tony Worley of Hamer Enterprises gave an overview of how the reservation system on the parks website will work. Worley said during the meeting that the company manages the county’s credit card payment services and is creating the reservation system at no additional cost.

“ This is a system that was built basically from the ground up,” Vega said. “We were able to build it to serve the needs of the parks and also of the customers.”

He added the parks department is holding off offering summer reservations right away to “iron out the kinks.” Employees will be trained on how to use the reservation system during October.

Worley, national sales executive for Hamer Enterprises, said the company is open to making changes that will improve users’ experience. Visitors will be able to view a map that shows RV sites, cabañas and tent sites available to rent. They can pay online or print out the reservation contract and turn it in at the Parks Department South Padre Island office.

“ It’s a super easy-to-use product,” Worley said. “It’s been tested probably 100 times by the parks department, and they’ve been awesome to give us feedback. It has been enhanced quite a bit.”

He added that the website is mobile-friendly and can be used on smart phones and tablets.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Gus Ruiz asked about the possibility of creating a mobile app for the reservation system, and Worley said while it would take time, it’s a possibility.

Using maps of the parks, the website’s current design uses blue pins to indicate that a campsite is available for reservation. Precinct 2 Commissioner Alex Dominguez said the blue pins make the campsite numbers difficult to see, and that may cause problems for visitors trying to coordinate their reservations with friends.

“ We’re going to have Winter Texans who want a certain spot, especially if they have friends they’ve always been neighbors with,” he said.

After some discussion, Worley said the website could be changed to use colors to indicate which slots were open.

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