Enhancing Parks and Recreation Experiences and Empowering Staff

Devin Meister

October 31, 2022

A Vermont Systems customer since 2005, the City of Asheville Parks and Recreation have found that continued advancements and developments from the company have enabled them to keep pace with their community, offering dramatic time savings and an enhanced patron experience.

As the Recreation Software Specialist, Max Cherry’s role is to make sure they are taking full advantage of everything Vermont Systems has to offer. The results have been empowering for both the community and staff. The most recent additions of a WebTrac online portal, Vermont Systems Cloud, and PayTrac have helped enable an exceptional patron experience while saving the city time and money. Hear what Mr. Cherry has to say in his own words about each.

WebTrac – From Hours to Seconds, Streamlining the Experience for Patrons and Staff

Cherry: “A lot of our registrations were in-house through paper. We started using the online portal as well as credit cards. We were doing a lot of cash and check. Now we have the ability to not only reduce our time away from the office having to go to the bank to do deposits, but we can streamline the transaction speed tenfold with credit cards.

We had so many of our participants just saying, Hey, do I really have to drive into town to register? The online portal has eliminated our staff having to be behind a desk, which parts rec staff don’t want to do admin work. They want to be out in the field and engaged with the public. We’ve also been able to expand our reach by opening our online portion and really honing down and using some of the key features that Vermont Systems has to offer.

I can speak from experience that we’re talking about easily saving hours. Before, parents would have to come in, sit down, and we would take the cash and document it. Our summer camp registration is probably our best example. In years past, we would have lines through our door. This year we had not a single person. Everyone went online. We were full within a matter of 30 seconds.”

Vermont Systems Cloud Hosting – Ready for the Community

Cherry: “There was a night and day improvement when we went to hosted (Vermont Systems Cloud). Our online popularity rose so much that when we did in-house, it crashed our server. Those who were first in line ended up being last in line. Now we went to fully hosted, not a single peep. The only phone call received was, is this true? You guys already have a waitlist? And the answer was yes!”

PayTrac – Simplifying Payments and Reconciliation

Cherry: “As the pandemic hit, one of our colleagues mentioned to me that we really need to figure out how we could do contactless payments. Our vendor at the time didn’t offer that – they didn’t have the hardware that was compatible with Vermont Systems. We also realized at the time we weren’t PCI compliant. So that was kind of a huge red flag to our finance department. When we did our research it just seemed that it would be a good fit to use a vendor that was already embedded and working well with the current registration software. Once it was up and running, the process of implementation was pretty flawless and the system it’s been working well for us.

What I love the most is that I can see all the transactions. I can see it all in the same software and when we do have issues, I can actually resolve them. I don’t have to spend hours. That has been a huge breadth of fresh air. It saved our department, the city, lots of money. Before I would be spending four hours it’s now more like four minutes. I actually just reached out to a colleague who does all the reconciliation, because he said, ‘I can handle that.’ The process is easy and he says ‘me and PayTrac we’re in sync we’re we’re not having any issues.’ So I say, great (laugh).”

Service – Exceeding Expectations

Cherry: “I don’t say this lightly, but the customer service has been fabulous for PayTrac. The response time has been fabulous. For what we’re doing, we want a quick response and they’ve delivered. I love that aspect.”

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