Automation Provides Convenience to South Dakota State Parks Staff and Visitors
Flowbird Group has announced the successful deployment of automated fee machines for its latest parks and recreation client – South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks. The agency released an RFP at the end of 2020 for the procurement of Self-Service Kiosks to aid visitors in purchasing various self-service products at South Dakota State Parks and Recreation areas. Flowbird was awarded the project and quickly delivered over 80 pay stations, which were subsequently installed across 57 parks statewide.
The deployment of pay stations comes at the right moment as South Dakota State Parks saw record visitation numbers last year. In 2020, over 8 million people visited the parks, up 31% from 2019 and 16% higher than the next highest year (2013). Many different outdoor activities are available throughout the parks including hiking, biking, camping, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, and snowmobiling, to name a few.
The pay stations are built for unattended environments, and can be installed in any climate. With solar power and wireless functionality, agencies can place them just about anywhere within their parks. The South Dakota State Parks pay stations feature a 9” full-color touch-screen display to make it easy for park visitors to purchase either a daily pass or an annual pass with a credit card. When visitors make their purchase of an annual pass, they are prompted to provide their mailing address so the agency can send an official hard copy version of the pass in the mail.
This project benefits parks visitors and agency staff. Now visitors can quickly pay for their admission passes at the Flowbird pay stations while parks staff manage other critical day-to-day activities. Additionally, when entrance stations are not staffed, parks visitors can still pay for their admissions.
Parks staff have 24/7/365 access to back-office system, providing real-time visibility on parks admissions, with the capability to view the activity at each of the 57 parks. The system hosts all of the data, and provides South Dakota State Parks with web-based access to run custom reports and monitor the status of each pay station.
“We are very pleased to work with the South Dakota State Parks team to deploy this customer friendly solution,” said Benoit Reliquet, President of Flowbird North America. “We see that more and more people are visiting parks across the country and our technology is a natural fit to provide park goers with a great experience while reducing the amount of time agency staff need to spend collecting admission fees.”
South Dakota State Parks joins several other state agencies that have deployed Flowbird solutions including Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Delaware State Parks, New Hampshire State Parks, Washington State Parks, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.