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CONY Hosts 48th Annual Confab in Niagara Falls

Campground Owners of New York (CONY), the trade association for privately owned campgrounds in New York state, hosted its 48th Annual Exposition for the Outdoor Hospitality Industry, Nov. 3-5 at the Sheraton on the Falls, Niagara Falls.

Woodalls Campground Management reported that the event drew nearly 200 people representing 70 campgrounds, the largest number of campgrounds represented in at least five years according to Donald G. Bennett Jr., CONY president. In addition, 36 vendors displayed their products and services at the trade show.

CONY reported that the three-day event featured educational seminars and networking opportunities for campground owners, as well as the annual meeting of the association.

“The fact we were in Niagara Falls was a big step up for us,” said Bennett. “We have never had a facility like this for the conference. It was a dynamic facility.”

On Nov. 4, keynote speaker Ruby Newell-Legner, founder of RubySpeaks, presented, “Seven Star Customer Service: Starting at the Top to Impact the Bottom Line.”

During the business meeting, CONY elected Mike Papp of West Canada Creek Campsites in Poland, N.Y., as its new chairman. William Perry of Chautauqua Lake KOA, was chosen first vice chairman. Other officers chosen were Laurie Bulluck, Rainbow Shores Campsites, Pulaski, second vice chairman; Gregg Nichols, Lake Bluff Campground, Wolcott, third vice chairman; Rachel Kaiser, Medina Wildwood Lake KOA, Medina, secretary; and Ed Marden, Camp Bell Campground, Campbell, treasurer. Scott Sherwood, Spruce Row Campground, Ithaca, is serving as past chairman.

On Nov. 5, attendees honored Randy S. Lehman, owner of Hickory Hill Family Camping Resort in Bath, N.Y., as he was inducted in the CONY Hall of Fame. Lehman, who is also a Certified Public Accountant, is a longtime member of CONY, and was honored for his volunteer work as the CONY accountant, his service as a campground owner and his many other contributions to his community and the CONY association.

Lehman and his wife, Janet, have developed and managed Hickory Hill Family Camping Resort for 33 years. He was introduced to the camping industry at an early age, as his parents owned Distelfink Campground in Manheim, Pa. There he acted as a general “go-to” guy for the daily maintenance tasks of emptying the garbage cans and holding tanks, cleaning bathrooms and working in the store.

CONY also presented awards to three campgrounds. Recipients were:

• Best Brochure: Jones Pond Campground, Angelica.

• Best Mailer Piece: Chautauqua Lake KOA, Dewittville.

• Best Website: Lake George RV Park, Lake George.

The Chairman’s Award was given to Bennett for service to the organization.

The association will hold its 2012 convention Nov. 1-3 at the Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Water Park in Lake George, N.Y.


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