Arctic Reservations

Arctic Reservations

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Twitter Too? No Way!

Yes way! Not only do we have a blog but being a true a child of the 21st century, we also have a twitter feed. 😛 And guess what? It comes right to your Dashboard.

Twitter Dashboard

What do you suppose do we do with our little blue bird? We definitely don’t use it for nefarious purposes, although, that would be fun. We use our little bird to keep you, our beloved clients, in the know about important updates, newsletter publications and major occurrences, like last year’s outtages.

Our little bird will be tweeting away for the next several weeks as we roll out lots of new updates. (Is anyone else excited about this? I am.) There are tons of new updates that will be announced via our twitter feed so make sure you don’t miss any of the excitement and stay tuned for our bird song.

Dude, Arctic has a blog?

Ok. So I was very surprised and disheartened to find out many of you had no idea that Arctic has a blog which means all of our fun, witty, irreverent and pertinent posts are not being read. How could this be? I mean, I am not vain but I seriously don’t like talking to an empty room. I like an audience and a captive one is preferred. (It means you can’t leave. 😛 )

The solution? We bring the blog to you. Thus the creation of The Fix. Don’t worry you won’t be bombarded by useless and unwanted information. We will keep the posts relevant to the things that have been asked about or updates you need to know about.

Each edition of The Fix will have the most recent post, a few references to past posts so you can catch up easily if you missed a previous edition and a place for you to send us your questions or suggestions for future posts.

Now, you are in the know. Arctic does indeed have a blog and now a newsletter to boot. 😉

Giving Back

As we approach our tenth anniversary, we want to give back to the community. We have found three amazing organizations – all in someway related to our work – that we are supporting this year. With our origin serving the whitewater rafting industry, two of the organizations work to conserve and protect wild rivers: Western River Conservancy and American Rivers. In a different realm, but similarly important to us is the open source software community. Many components of Arctic Reservations are possible because of open source software, ranging from the operating system of our servers to the databases that store customer data. In appreciation of the community of volunteers who create such software, we are also supporting the Free Software Foundation. All three organizations are doing great work, and we feel lucky to be one of many providing a small contribution to their efforts.

Happy Holidays

We want to extend our gratitude to all the outfitters that have made 2015 another great year for Arctic Reservations. This season, Arctic helped a quarter of a million guests go on amazing adventures throughout North America. And with the exceptional feedback from the outfitters who use Arctic everyday, we made over 1,000 updates, introducing new features and improving existing ones. And there is so much more to come. Over the last five months, we have been working on a substantial update that will be going live in early 2016.

We want to extend a thank you to all our outfitters, and look forward to announcing many new and exciting updates in the coming months. We wish everyone a happy holidays!

To Batch or Not to Batch? That is the Question.

Version 2 introduced a subtle, easily overlooked accounting feature – the ability to track deposits and batches. Previously, Arctic would automatically assume all transactions were settled on the day they were run. This worked well for the most part but sometimes, especially when processing online reservations or online payments, a conflict would arise between the “End of Day Balance” report and the “Batch Report” from the payment gateway. Generally, this was caused because  payment gateways close batches at slightly different times. For Arctic a day runs from midnight to midnight, while the payment gateway may use a different time depending on their business hours or timezone. Sometimes you would find that Arctic was listing additional transactions that were not batched until the following day, or vice versa. This didn’t happen often but it made reconciling batches more time consuming and created small discrepancies in accounting reports.

In Version 2, we added a feature that allows you to tell Arctic which transactions run on any given day made it into your batch from your payment gateway thus ensuring the two reports always match. In light of this new feature, Arctic is, by default, set to batch credit card transactions. However, if you are unaware of this feature, it can cause problems with your financial reports and gift certificate available balances. When set to batch credit card transactions, Arctic will exclude transactions until the batch deposit is recorded, as it does not think the transactions have settled and that you have actually received the funds.

To figure out if you have unsettled transactions, go to the “Invoices” menu and click “Record Deposits”. If you open this page and find a lot of unsettled transactions, please contact us and we will be happy to settle these old transactions for you. You can do them manually but it is generally best to let us settle them for you as this will save you a lot of time and effort.

Going forward there are a few different options available for you for batching transactions depending on your installation configuration and your preferences. If you have Authorize.Net as your payment gateway, you can enable a special API that will batch credit card transactions automatically. If you are using a different gateway you can record your batches manually, or if you prefer you can disable credit card batching entirely. In addition, you can enable batching for manual transactions as well if you want Arctic to have very accurate accounting data.  All of these options are detailed in the “Transaction Batching” guide in your support documentation.

Again, if you find that you have lots of unsettled past transactions, contact support and we will be happy to settle them for you. Also feel free to contact us with any questions regarding batching transactions on your installation. You can email us at or call us at (601) ARCTIC – 9 or (601)272-8429.

Arctic Natural Disaster Relief

At Arctic, we care about each of our clients and know that without you, we would not be the company we are today. We value the community you have helped us build and want to do all we can to promote the success of each member of that community. We understand  the challenges faced by small businesses and in particular those of  the outdoor tourism industry. The most frustrating of these challenges can be Mother Nature because she is beyond our control but can effect our businesses substantially. This is why we have decided to institute a plan to assist those of our clients who are taking a beating  from Mother Nature. No matter what the calamity may be, drought, wildfires, mudslides, flooding; we want to help those of you who have been negatively impacted by these disasters.

We offer natural disaster relief for those of our clients who have had the majority of their active season interrupted by a natural disaster. The program will give you options to help you through the aftermath of a rough weather year. If your business has been beat up by Mother Nature, please contact us for more information about our relief options to see what we can do for you.


Updates Galore!

This week we will be rolling out a rather substantial set of updates for Version 2. The updates include things like the ability to have multiple guest-facing sites, better guide scheduling tools including a combined view for scheduling all upcoming trips, the ability to create evaluations for rental items, the ability to browse evaluation responses per trip type, trip, guide or rental and the ability to create sets of rental items. There are also a lot of other little updates and fixes that will be rolled out as well but these are some of the more substantial features being added during this update.

The ability to have multiple guest-facing sites will allow you to maintain two different guest facing sites that will be governed by the business groups the sites are associated with. Each site will only have access to the trips and rental items contained in the business groups the sites are assigned to. This feature will be especially handy if you have different sites that control or sell different aspects of your business. For example, if you have summer and winter businesses that are run as two separate divisions of your company and have completely different guest facing sites, you will be able to assign those sites to the appropriate business groups making sure the summer site only lists the summer trips and rental items while your winter site only contains the trips and rental items you offer during the winter. Or if you offer horse back riding on one site and multi-day hiking trips on another then you can create guest facing sites for each of these different web sites.

The guide scheduling tools are getting quite a few new useful tools. These tools include the ability to enter “Start Dates” and “End Dates” as well as the ability to enter vacation dates for your guides. These dates will let Arctic know when your guides are available to work and when they are not. If a guide is not available, they will not appear in the list of guides when you are scheduling trips. Also there is a new “Guide” page found under the “Trips” menu that will allow you to schedule your guides on all of your upcoming trips from one page. You will no longer have to go to each and every trip and click the “Schedule Guides” button to schedule your guides. You can use the “Guide” page and schedule your guides for multiple trips all in one place. Both of these features will make managing your guides in Arctic much simpler and easier.

In this update, you will also now be able to create evaluations for rentals. This is particularly useful  for lodging rentals. To create a rental evaluation you follow the same steps for creating a trip evaluation. Once the form is completed you will assign it to your rental business groups by going to the “Settings” page and choosing the appropriate business group from the blue “Business Group” drop down menu at the top of the page. If you have only one business group or plan to use the same evaluation for all of your rentals you will leave it on the “System – Wide Settings” business group. Once the appropriate business group has been selected go to the “Rentals” section of the “Settings” page and click the “Pencil” icon next to “Evaluation”. This will open the “Configure Evaluation” page where you will select the evaluation form you created to use for this rental business group and then click “Save Setting” to save your changes.

We are also adding the ability to browse evaluation responses per trip type, trip, guide and rental. If a trip, guide or rental has an evaluation form associated with it, Arctic will display an “Evaluation Responses” button on either the “View Trip”, “View Person” (for guides) or the “View Item” page. When you click these buttons, Arctic will display the responses specifically associated with the trip, guide or rental, you were viewing when you clicked the “Evaluation Responses” button. You will also be able to see evaluation responses per trip type. To see the evaluation responses related to a particular trip type go to the “Trips” menu and choose “Types”. On the “Browse Trip Types” page, click the new “Wrench” icon as shown here:

Updates 1 - 6-23-14

Note, you will only see the “Evaluation Responses” option in the “Wrench” menu, if the trip type has an evaluation form assigned to it. As you can see there are also other handy tools in the new “Wrench” menu, such as the ability to create trips, find trips, browse the calendar or the ability to delete an existing trip type.  As with the “Evaluation Responses” button when you select the “Evaluation Responses” from the “Wrench” menu the evaluation responses will automatically be filtered for that specific trip type. This is also true of the “Find Trips” and the “Browse Calendar” options also found in the “Wrench” menu.

Finally, the last big new feature being added in this update is the sets of rental items feature. This new feature will allow you to create sets of rental gear that can be rented all together as one item. Arctic will track the inventory associated with each item included in the set to be sure you do not over extend your inventory. This works particularly well for things like camping gear packages that included a backpack, tent, sleeping bag and camp mat. With the rental item sets you will be able to make a single item called “Camping Gear” that will include all of the individual rental items and Arctic will allocate the appropriate number of each item in the set each time someone rents “Camping Gear”. If you would like to use this feature, you must turn it on by going to the “Settings” page under “Rentals” and clicking the “Pencil” icon next to “Enable Rental Item Sets”. Once the feature is turned on you will see a new tab on your “Create/Edit Rental Item” pages that will be called “Set Items”. This is where you will add the rental items that should be included in the Rental Item Set.

Updates 2 - 6-23-14

We will be adding support documentation for all of these features in the coming days but if you have any questions or encounter any issues using the new features, please feel free to contact technical support. You can email us at or call (601) ARCTIC 9 (that’s 601-272-8429).

The Inside Scoop on International Transactions

Ok, so many of you have had this come up at least once. You have an international customer who tries to either book or pay their invoice online and their cards are declined. This may have even happened when you tried to process the transaction through the back end making life really frustrating for you and your international guests, especially when you can’t figure out why and you are 90% positive you have been told that Arctic is internationally friendly, capable of handling international phone numbers and addresses. So you start thinking you were bamboozled and Arctic isn’t internationally friendly. It’s an Isolationist who only likes US citizens and is screwing up your business with your international guests. All of which is accompanied by a choice selection of expletives, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Can I get an amen?

Well, I am here to set the record straight. Arctic is not the evil villain of this story. Your payment gateway is the one who is thwarting your international transactions. Arctic is, in fact, capable of accepting international addresses and phone numbers. Arctic provides the gateway with all of the information needed to verify the card. The problem, when processing international payments, is that your gateway fraud protection settings are most likely set to reject transactions where the address and zip code cannot be verified.

“Wait a minute!” you shout with brow furrowed in frustration, “I entered the correct billing address for the card into Arctic, so what’s the deal? Why is the card still being declined?”

If all of the information was entered correctly, there is still another issue at play and that is certain international countries or regions don’t allow or support address verification. Germany and Australia tend to be common culprits. Most gateways can work with some international countries or regions without an issue, but there is just nothing to do for the countries that, either for legal reasons (consumer protection) or technological reasons (different credit card infrastructure), can not validate addresses. So, when you have address verification as a requirement for your fraud protection settings on your gateway, the unverifiable addresses will be declined every time.

To fix this issue, you should contact  your payment gateway provider and discuss changing your fraud protection settings to allow for transactions where the address doesn’t match or can’t be verified. You may be able to negotiate a little higher rate for those instances where this happens, as is the case with international transactions, and a lower rate for the instances where they are able to successfully verify the address for the card being used. Once you have your fraud protection settings adjusted with your payment gateway provider, your international transactions should start going through without a hitch and you will once again be merrily singing, “It’s a Small World After All”. :)




Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Arctic announces on-site consultation service!

That’s right folks, you heard it here first. Arctic Reservations is offering a brand new service to all of our clients: on-site consultations. Inspired by the success of our annual Arctic Summit and feedback from a handful of outfitters, we now offer the ability to work with Arctic’s team in-person and on-premises.

Having worked with several dozen outfitters across North America, we are excited to take the knowledge we have gained and apply it to new companies and new challenges. We believe that strategic use of technology can streamline office processes and help grow your business through marketing and online sales. All this enables you to focus on what you love most — providing amazing experiences for your guests. Our on-site consultations are designed to help you realize this goal.

Our new on-site consultations are beneficial for a range of needs, whether your are new outfitter setting up and configuring a new Arctic installation or a seasoned Arctic user seeking to implement new features and functionality such as online reservations. This service can also be used to help you hone your existing setup to further capitalize on Arctic’s many benefits and features with the aim of increasing efficiency and improving customer service. On-site consultations provide the opportunity for you and your staff to work one-on-one with an Arctic team member. This close collaboration allows for in-depth training, sharing of best practices and targeted feedback about the unique challenges that your business faces. We will also be able to gain a first-hand of your business and infrastructure and be able to offer our insight and guidance regarding putting Arctic to work for your needs in the most beneficial way possible.

Each on-site consultation will be built around your goals. All we need from you is an idea of your desired outcomes for the consultation (for example, staff training, setup assistance, etc.) and when you would like us to come. We will help you determine a realistic duration to achieve the goals and provide an estimate of costs for the on-site consultation. Should you accept the proposed consultation, an Arctic team member will make travel arrangements to visit your office and spend time in the area working with you and your staff to achieve the goals.

If you are interested in an on-site consultation with one of the talented and amazing Arctic techs, feel free to call us at 601-ARCTIC-9 (that’s 601-272-8429) or email us at and we will be happy to provide you with an estimate.

New Feature: Check-In View

We recently launched a new feature for tracking guest arrivals, whether they have a rental or a reservation. For outfitters with many simultaneous activities or large groups arriving, the check-in view provides a clear and concise location to see all upcoming activities, review status information and record when guests arrive.

Check-In View

The system is well suited to both tablets and computers. Each open copy of the check-in report stays synchronized, so if a group checks in with one employee, all other employees will be able to see that the group has arrived and is ready. This enables staff to establish multiple check-in “counters” within the office or at the put-in location. Each staff member can keep tabs on who has arrived and when trips are ready to launch by monitoring when all reservations have been marked as checked in.

In addition to providing a streamlined tool to track arrivals and begin trips or rentals, the check-in view highlights important notes for activities as well, such as missing waivers or any outstanding balance. This way, during the check-in process, staff members can collect any missing requirements and information from guests before the trip begins.

And the whole setup is highly customizable, as with many features in Arctic. The check-in view can include custom columns, activity notes and even be broken down by activity information, such as pickup location.

Overall, we hope this new tool will simplify guest arrival for busy day-trip outfitters and rental operations, making it easier to quickly check in guests and ensure that all information has been received and processed for each guest.

If you want to enable the check-in view on your installation, contact support.