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ARC Presents Seven with ‘Legends Awards’

June 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) has presented its 2009 Legends Awards to seven federal managers in recognition of their outstanding work to improve outdoor recreation experiences and opportunities for the American people. 

The awards were presented on Tuesday (June 9) during Great Outdoors Week – ARC’s celebration of the value and importance of outdoor recreation. 

Initiated by ARC in 1991, the Legends Award program involves seven federal agencies: Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service. 

Each agency nominates an individual whose extraordinary personal efforts have made a real difference in enhancing outdoor recreation programs and resources. 

Recipients of the 2009 Legends Awards are: 

  • James Jennings, Bureau of Land Management. 
  • Jay Leasure, Bureau of Reclamation. 
  • Dan Johnson, Federal Highway Administration. 
  • Christopher K. Jarvi, National Park Service. 
  • Miles Johnson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 
  • Kelly Blackledge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 
  • Laurie A. Thorpe, U.S. Forest Service. 

To read the full story, visit www.funoutdoors.com.

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Webinar to Explain Loan Payment Program

May 18, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) has found a way to bring to the RV sector a program pioneered by the U.S. auto industry to temper the fear of a job loss by potential buyers. This program makes monthly payments on a vehicle for several months if the buyer loses his or her job.

These programs have now become widespread throughout the auto market, including all vehicles manufactured by General Motors Corp.

Derrick Crandall, ARC president,  on behalf of the RV and boating industries, announced Friday (May 15) that the the program administrator of GM’s Payment Protection program, cynoSure Financial Inc., has offered to provide RV manufacturers with a similar program covering all U.S. purchasers.

The following is a brief synopsis of how this program might work.

The program offered by cynoSure is a short-term (12 or 24 month) protection instrument which provides up to a specified number of monthly payments of an agreed upon amount. There is also a 90-day exclusionary period and a 30-day waiting period built into these programs. The policies normally make three or six payments ranging from $500 to $1,500 a month. The program is designed to act as a bridge, as the buyer finds a new job, or to give the buyer time to sell his RV.

There are important exclusions, including pre-knowledge of a layoff or loss of employment. The exclusionary period begins the same day as the coverage period, which is the purchase date of the RV. The exclusionary period is used to eliminate those people who have prior knowledge of a potential job loss. If he/she loses his/her job during this period, there are no benefits eligible to be paid. Once the 90-day exclusionary period is up, the purchaser has up to 21 months of coverage remaining. If he/she loses his/her job any time during those 21 months, he/she is eligible (after waiting 30 days) to receive up to three or six loan payments for up to the maximum payment amount.

The cynoSure proposal can be modified by the RV industry as a whole, or for manufacturers of sufficient volume, on a company-by-company basis. For example, a manufacturer offering high-end RVs could increase the monthly reimbursement of payments to eligible buyers by paying a higher cost per vehicle.

If enough companies are willing to provide the information on the RV market, the pricing for various programs can be reduced below the following “ballpark” figures:

  • 12 month coverage period, 90-day exclusionary period, 30-day waiting period, three payments up to $500 $115/vehicle.
  • 12 month coverage period, 90-day exclusionary period, 30-day waiting period, six payments up to $500 $215/vehicle.
  • 24 month coverage period, 90-day exclusionary period, 30-day waiting period, three payments up to $500 $180/vehicle.
  • 24 month coverage period, 90-day exclusionary period, 30-day waiting period, six payments up to $500 $275/vehicle.

Keep in mind that there could potentially be many, many variations to this concept. The product could be offered to those purchasing:

  • At specific shows or during a specific period – say June and July.
  • Only new non-currents, adding value without further discounting prices.
  •  Wrapped into certain financing packages, including a national credit program. 
  • Qualifying used RVs that are financed.

cynoSure is planning a webinar at 1 p.m. on Friday to further explain the mechanics of the program and to answer questions on the proposal.  To participate in the webinar,  contact  Derrick Crandall, either by e-mail at dcrandall@funoutdoors.com or call (202) 682-9530 no later than close of business on Tuesday.

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National Parks to Benefit from Stimulus Funds

May 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The National Park Service (NPS) will use $1 billion in federal stimulus funds to attack an estimated $9.6 billion maintenance backlog among the park system’s 388 properties.

national-park-service-logo

 “This is going to make a major dent in our backlog. And it will provide jobs,” Dean Reeder, NPS national tourism  director, told state campground association leaders during the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds’  (ARVC) 2009 National Issues Conference last week in Washington, D.C.

Also speaking at the conference were U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., ARVC consultant David Gorin, David M. Huether, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, Suzanne D. Cook, senior vice president of research for the U.S. Travel Association, Carvin DiGiovanni, senior director of technical and standards for the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, Derrick Crandall, president of the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), Lyle Laverty, a consultant and former assistant secretary of the Interior, Richard Coon, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and Phil Ingrassia, vice president for communications for the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA).

Reeder said that NPS plans to promote the national parks as a “brand” and establish “a dialogue with the American public” in an effort to stem declining visitation, which has dropped 10% in the last 20 years. He termed “a crisis.”

“It should be a concern to all of us,” he said.

Reeder, on the other hand, said that Americans are returning to basics and seeking “more authentic experiences” in their travel. “And that’s what we offer,” Reeder noted.

As part of the NPS’ branding effort, he reported that the park system will conduct a national survey in the fall and establish focus groups to establish the national parks as a brand.

“The fact that people are looking to take shorter trips — in both distance and duration — we see as a positive,” Reeder said. “The national parks are great and they’re doing great … except that they haven’t kept pace with other alternatives that attract people when they travel. We are getting into that to understand what motivates people and how we can hone our message to reach them at a base level.”

Reeder said branding efforts will get a boost this fall with the telecast on PBS of a 12-hour series produced by Ken Burns, whose previous projects have included the Civil War and American jazz. It’s the best branding gift we are ever going to see,” Reeder added.



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