After reporting a very good year as far as short-term occupancy is concerned, Arizona parks are very optimistic about the summer, despite rising fuel costs. As in the past, they find more local traffic from within the state.
“The same thing that keeps those from other states away keeps our locals from traveling to other states,” Morris Farnsworth, executive director of the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (AZARVC), told Woodall’s Campground Management following the association’s 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo at the Rincon Country West Resort in Tucson April 27-28.
Forty campground attendees and 14 vendors enjoyed networking and sharing a positive outlook during the event, he said.
“Everyone in attendance was pleased to have the conferences and annual meeting move back to Arizona after a couple of years doing a regional meeting with the western region,” said Farnsworth. “Rincon Country West RV Resort was an excellent host and provided exceptional facilities for our meeting.”
“One emphasis of our meeting was to get a grasp on the future of our organization,” Farnsworth said. “We have made a great deal of progress, launching a new consumer website and an industry website (www.gocampinginarizona.com and www.azarvc.org). We produce a full-color, quarterly newsletter which is mailed to every campground in Arizona at least once a year.”
Like many associations, AZARVC finds funding to be an issue because membership is down.
“We have found that when there is a corporate buyout of a park, they usually cease to be members of AZARVC,” Farnsworth said. “We wanted input from our members regarding their feelings of the importance of the association and our need to proceed onward. We felt the consensus was that AZARVC is important to our industry and we should do everything possible to preserve its future.”
AZARVC hopes to be able to provide better services and benefits for its members during the upcoming year, but the biggest emphasis will be on membership.
“We have changed the membership category for those suppliers and now call them ‘Partner Members,’” Farnsworth explained.
During the conference Jeff Sims, director of membership and public affairs for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), gave an overview of his experiences and some insights to what might need to be improved upon.
Conference courses included: Ten Biggest RV Park Marketing Mistakes, Employment Law, Facebook: It’s Worth the Time and Effort, and Reducing Resource Usage.
Executive committee new officers are: President Robert Rolle, Rolle’s Lynda Vista RV Park, Yuma; Vice President Barbara Stafford, Apache Palms RV Park, Tempe; Secretary Wendy Bykofsky, Rincon Country RV Resorts, Tucson; and Treasurer JoAnn Mickelson, J&H RV Park, Flagstaff.
The 2012 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo will be April 25-26 at Rincon Country West RV Resort in Tucson.
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