Donald Bennett Jr., president and CEO of Campground Owners of New York (CONY), reports the association held a successful and informative 49th annual Exposition for the Outdoor Hospitality Industry. The event was held Nov. 1-3 at the Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark in Queensbury, N.Y.
According to a press release, attendees represented 65 campgrounds from across New York State, with several being first-time attendees as new park operators or representing parks in development.
According to Bennett in a CONY news release, the exposition, which also featured a trade show, was jammed with many timely educational seminars and presentations. “We really covered a lot of ground in terms of topics of interest to CONY park owners, managers and staff, ranging from CPR certification to campground accounting, to tips on influencing legislators,” notes Bennett. “Some sessions were so engaging for our members, they ran over time with questions from attendees.”
One of the most highly anticipated and informative events was a general session given by Bill Botten of the U.S. Access Board, regarding the Architectural Barriers Act and Accessibilities Guidelines, as advocated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
CONY also unveiled a new session entitled, “CONY 101.” Bennett and CONY board chairman Mike Papp introduced to new, prospective and long-term members to everything they need to know about interacting with CONY and getting the most out of their membership. Topics included organization history, structure and mission, as well as CONY’s services and benefits programs and marketing opportunities.
In addition, the slate of officers and directors for the 2012-2013 year were elected and sworn in during the annual membership meeting on Nov. 3. Gregg Nicholls of Lake Bluff Campground moves up from third vice chairman to second vice chairman. Rob Kaiser of Medina/Wildwood Lake KOA moves up from Region 2 director to third vice chairman. Nina Latello of Sleepy Hollow Lake Campground takes over as Region 2 director.
Laurie Bulluck of Rainbow Shows Campsites & Motel steps down from her position as second vice chairwoman on the CONY board of directors.
Honored during the awards banquet were:
- Janine Paddock, Deer River Campsites: Janine was the 15th member inducted into the CONY Hall of Fame.
- Laurie Bulluck, Rainbow Shores Campsites & Motel: Recipient of the Chairman’s Award for dedicated service to CONY and its mission.
- Matt Anderson, Camp Chautauqua: Honored for his leadership in organizing the Camp Good Days fundraiser, and for his campground’s efforts to raise $11,400 for the charity.
- Copake KOA: CONY marketing award winner for best website design.
- Lake George RV Park: CONY marketing award for best simple brochure.
- Rainbow Shows Campsites & Motel: CONY marketing award for best mailer piece.
- New York State Senator Elizabeth “Betty” Little: Recognized with a plaque for her friendship and championship of the outdoor hospitality industry in her role as a legislator. Senator Little is chairperson of the Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation committee for the NYS Senate.