Client: Puketoi Mountain Club
Developing a new website and booking system for a ski lodge
Puketoi Mountain Club is a Wairarapa based club, which was formed in 1951. The club’s hut is in Tennant’s Valley, Whakapapa Ski Area, Mt Ruapehu.
A website was needed to make it easier to provide information to members. Managing bookings by phone and email made the booking officer’s job very time-consuming during the ski season. Moving online would reduce the workload and would make it easier to find people to do the booking officer role in the future. Members also wanted to be able to see availability online rather than having to email the booking officer every time they had a question.
Michael Birch (a member of the club) was elected on to the committee with the role of web designer and developer. It was decided to spread the development workload by introducing features in stages rather than all at once. This also meant that it was an easier transition for both members and the booking officer.
A sub-committee worked together to plan the structure of the website and the content. After a consultation period with fellow committee members, the website was developed to provide a range of information about the club, the hut, news and events. A booking system was developed which included:
- Booking form
- Availability calendar
- Administration section for managing bookings (accessed by logged-in users only)
The availability calendar made it easier for members to plan their bookings and had the added benefit of improving hut occupancy. The first stage went live in early July 2017, in time for the ski season. The website remained the same for the 2018 season, giving time for members to get used to the new system.
The second stage went live in mid-May 2019. The membership database was integrated into the website and used to create website accounts. This meant that bookings could be restricted to members who were logged-in to their account. All the members were notified by email so that they could login and make bookings. The new system made it easier to book — members no longer had to enter all their own details every time they booked.
Some new content was added to the website that could only be viewed by logged-in users. This included a logbook — an online version of the physical hut logbook.
A Samsung tablet was installed at the hut to display the names of people booked in for each day. This also includes the names of the hut officer and fire warden and any messages that the booking officer had added.