The Northeast Campground Association (NCA) reported a strong turnout for its 49th Annual Camping & Trade Show held March 21-23 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center in Sturbridge, Mass.
Independent park operators representing almost 100 parks in 10 states attended the event, which featured seminars, a charity auction and a trade show consisting of some 80 exhibitors, according to Woodall’s Campground Management.
“It was a lot of fun – a good three days,” reported Cyndy Zbierski, executive assistant to Executive Director David Tetrault for the Stafford, Conn.-based organization, adding that NCA strived to inject a business atmosphere in addition to the conference’s traditional offerings.
True to the title theme of the conference, “Invigorate 2013 – Inform, Influence & Inspire,” the seminars kicked off with a social media session led by Corissa St. Laurent, director of development in New England for Constant Contact. “Everyone who was in there definitely wants us to make sure she’s in the program again next year,” said Zbierski, adding that another popular session covered data security and awareness as it relates to identity protection.
A first-day board meeting resulted in the election of the following new officers: President Judy LaPorta, Little Oaks Campground, New Jersey; 1st Vice President Michelle Ackerman, Sodom Mountain Campground, Massachusetts; 2nd Vice-President Mary Lunderville, Moose River Campground, Vermont; Treasurer Michael Irons, Ole Mink Farm Recreation Resort, Maryland, who also serves as immediate past president.
Appointed state representatives for 2013 were Connecticut’s Brian Korten of Water’s Edge Family Campground, Maine’s Pat Kosalka of Sagadahoc Bay Campground, New Hampshire’s Gregg Goldberg of Sandy Beach RV Resort, New York’s Gregg Nicholls of Lake Bluff Campground, Pennsylvania’s Bruce Heasley of Holiday Pines Campground, and Rhode Island’s John Tillinghast of Bowdish Lake Camping Area.
A Friday presentation by Jim Rogers, chairman and CEO of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) based in Billings, Mont., was a real highlight of the conference, according to Zbierski. A talented speaker, Rogers, who recently appeared on CBS’s hit series “Undercover Boss,” led a session entitled “Invigorate Your Campground’s Value” in which he backed up his remarks with data and statistics, specifically keying in on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic area.
At Friday’s NCA Awards Luncheon, the Curtis Fuller Service Award was presented to David L. Berg, immediate past president of NCA, the Maine Campground Owners Association (MECOA) and the Colorado-based National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). He’s also co-owner with his wife Jayne of Red Apple Campground in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Next year’s conference is slated for Mar. 20-22 in Sturbridge on the Northeast Conference’s 50th anniversary.