The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) recognized the achievements of top private park operators, state associations and industry volunteers last week during its annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo in Knoxville, Tenn.
According to a press release, Park of the Year awards were given to RV parks and resorts based on several criteria, including customer service, employee training, operational excellence, national directory ratings and community service.
• Small Park of the Year: Big Meadow Family Campground, Townsend, Tenn.
• Medium Park of the Year: Shelby/Mansfield KOA, Shelby, Ohio.
• Large Park of the Year: Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve & Campground, Santee, Calif.
• Mega Park of the Year: Sun-N-Fun RV Resort, Sarasota, Fla.
Parks that made exemplary efforts to become environmentally friendly received ARVC’s Plan-It-Green award. The winners included:
• Big Creek RV Park in Annapolis, Mo., which received the award in the small / medium size park category.
• Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve & Campground, Santee, Calif.
Marketing awards were presented to state campground associations that produced the best statewide campground directories. Marketing award recipients included:
• Small State Association category: Maryland Association of Campgrounds.
• Medium State Association category: Ohio Campground Owners Association.
• Large State Association category: California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
Top-performing state campground association executives were also recognized, including:
• State Executive Director of the Year: Beverly Gruber from the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association.
• State President of the Year: Karl Littman of the Virginia Campground Association.
David L. Berg of Red Apple Campground in Kennebunkport, Maine, received the Stan Martin Memorial Award, which recognizes RV park and resort operators who serve as role models for their peers in the industry through their exceptional volunteerism. Berg also received the Chairman’s Award, which recognizes those who go beyond the call of duty to further the outdoor hospitality industry.
David Tetrault of the Northeast Campground Association received the Pioneer Award, which recognizes campground industry pioneers.
The Supplier of the Year award was given to Wade Elliott of Kingston, Wash.-based Utility Supply Group, a leading provider of electrical pedestals, meters, hand driers and other electrical supplies for campgrounds and RV parks.
During the awards ceremony, ARVC also announced the establishment of the Dick Hartford Memorial Plant a Tree Program, which was established in honor of Dick Hartford, the founder of Evergreen USA, who passed away in early October at the age of 68.
Hartford formed Evergreen in the 1980s, when campgrounds found it very difficult to obtain liability insurance. But Hartford joined forces with 25 campground owners and formed Evergreen as an insurance company owned by and for campgrounds. ARVC launched the Dick Hartford Memorial Plant a Tree Program by distributing more than 500 long leaf pines and Colorado Blue Spruce saplings to awards ceremony attendees.
The ARVC Foundation also presented its Above and Beyond Awards to Dick Hartford and to Judy LaPorta of Little Oaks Campground in Cape May Courthouse, N.J. LaPorta has spent a multitude of hours working during ARVC’s annual conferences, taking the lead in hosting the foundation information booth and supporting all of the foundation events.