Tourism industry officials expressed concern Friday (June 21) that publicity surrounding recent Colorado wildfires is prompting some out-of-state residents to cancel their reservations unnecessarily.
“Several of our members have told us that publicity surrounding the wildfires is leading people to cancel their travel plans to areas unaffected by summer wildfires,” Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the Denver-based National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC), told Woodall’s Campground Management.
Bambei added, “This is not only unfortunate for the family owned and operated campgrounds involved, but it hurts all of Colorado’s tourism businesses, from restaurants and gift shops to tour operators who take travelers river rafting, horseback riding, hiking and biking through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Rocky Mountains.”
Bambei urged reporters to use caution when describing the location of wildfires this summer and to make a better effort to highlight the vast areas of Colorado that have not been affected in any way by recent wildfires.
“Unfortunately,” he said, “national news reports do not often state the precise location of wildfires nor do they state when such fires have been contained.”
Bambei also urged travelers concerned about recent wildfires to contact campground operators first for the latest information about visitor access to scenic attractions. He added that many travelers who come to Colorado have not been affected by the recent fires.
“We did everything we wanted to do while we were there,” said east Texas retiree Avalon Stewart, who stayed at Royal View Campground this past Sunday through Tuesday with her husband, Bobby. “We went up to Cripple Creek and Victor. We rode the train. Did the museums, the typical tourist things. We went up to Florence and did some shopping in Cañon City. Everything is fine. We were there with two other couples. We had a wonderful time.”
The Stewarts, who have stayed in the Royal Gorge Region each of the past five years, have since moved on to Salida before they’ll head north and east toward Estes Park. “If I had a trip planned and it included going to Cañon City, I don’t think I would be canceling,” Stewart said.
When the federal government’s sequestration went into effect on March 1, Jimmy Felton was fit to be tied.
As reported by Woodall’s Campground Management, the owner of the Misty River Campground in Townsend, Tenn., a 72-site campground on the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, wasn’t certain of his park’s immediate future, thanks to the sequestration (or sequester) which brought forth several campground closings in the nearby national park and numerous other cutbacks across all federally owned lands.
Felton, who also is president of the Tennessee Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, stated, “The campgrounds in Tennessee will be happy to accommodate everybody looking for a camping spot. We still want you to enjoy your vacation. If Uncle Sam doesn’t want you in their campgrounds, we would love for you to come to ours.”
Felton was undoubtedly speaking for all private campground owners in the U.S., both those located near national parks as well as those located on popular routes leading to the national lands who stood to lose business if fewer travelers make their ways to the federal lands this spring and summer.
“In two weeks this will probably be over with,” he said with a tone of optimism. “The lucky part for us in Tennessee, we’re in the off-season. Until springtime, this (cutbacks) won’t affect us much. If this is still going on Memorial Day weekend, that may be different.”
“The main problem is none of the politicians on either side (party) are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. They’re behaving like spoiled little kids. If private industry worked like the government, we’d all be in trouble,” he said.
Across the outdoor hospitality industry, others may not have been as upset as Felton as they saw sequestration join the list of factors, such as a tepid economic recovery and unseasonably high gas prices, that could bite into the coming camping season. But there was still concern.
- ARVC Issues Statement
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) issued a statement on March 6, stating that it was working alongside the U.S. Travel Association and others on several fronts to develop a strategy to help end this man-made crisis. The coalition is:
- Engaging media to voice the travel industry’s concerns.
- Communicating directly with Congressional offices to inform them of the deep impact the sequester will have on travelers and its ripple in the economy.
- Activating a grassroots mobile messaging campaign that easily bridges frustrated travelers with lawmakers.
- Developing economic research to paint a picture of the realities stemming from these reductions.
ARVC further stated that it was aggressively engaging with media outlets aimed at both policymakers and the public. Statements from the Travel Association on the sequester have already received widespread media coverage. The association is also considering select advertisements to highlight the impact of the sequester on travelers and to ask Congress to “Draw the Line” – travelers have waited long enough.
ARVC also stated that it was communicating directly with Congressional offices, particularly those in districts where travel has a particularly strong economic effect, informing them of the deep impact the sequester will have on American travelers and its broader effect across the economy.
ARVC members were also invited to the National Issues Conference for an opportunity to meet face-to-face with Congress.
Plenty of Camping Options In California
Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), said she anticipates the sequester could help CalARVC parks located near national lands.
“We suspect those parks will see an increase in reservations more because of the uncertainty the consumer sees rather than what reality might be,” she said, meaning that campers may gravitate toward private parks out of the assumption that campgrounds on federal lands are closed.
“One of our biggest fears is just the bad publicity. The public hears ‘Campgrounds Closed at National Parks’ and to be honest, the average person doesn’t know the difference between a national park, a state park and a private park. We were concerned about that last year when the California state parks were going to close. That’s just negative press the consumer sees and concludes, ‘We’ll go to Disneyland this year instead.’”
The reality Sipe and CalARVC are stressing as the sequester begins is that there are “plenty of camping options” at the 800 commercial campgrounds in California.
Impact Around Yellowstone Could be Huge
RV parks and campgrounds located at or near the gateways to Yellowstone National Park were still closed for the season when WCM tried to reach them and thus unavailable for comment, but the impact could be considerable there.
Yellowstone Park managers have to trim $1.75 million from Yellowstone’s $35 million annual budget, which will delay the opening of most entrances to America’s first national park by two weeks.
Local tourism industry leaders are not happy with the decision, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. A delay in the park’s traditional early May opening and other service reductions could mean millions of dollars in lost tourism and tax revenues for small, rural towns in Montana and Wyoming.
“I think it’s counterproductive, and I expect a lot of people to be raising hell,” said Mike Darby, whose family owns the Irma Hotel in downtown Cody, Wyoming, at the east gate of Yellowstone.
A two-week delay in Yellowstone’s opening means Cody will miss out on more than 150,000 visitors spending an estimated $2.3 million, according to figures released by the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce. Similar shortfalls in four other gateway towns around the park could put total losses from a two-week delayed opening at more than $10 million.
To read the entire article click here.
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) is making affordable medical, dental and vision plans available to its members, which can be purchased as packages or on a la carte basis.
“The ARVC Health care Program offers significant discounts,” said Jennifer Schwartz, ARVC’s senior director of marketing communications and partnerships.
According to a press release, the ARVC Health Insurance Program is being administered by Warrenville, Ill.-based JBLG Health, the nation’s largest health insurance provider for business and trade associations. Key coverages and benefits include:
• Premium savings.
• A wide variety of choices for coverage from HSAs to PPOs for members, their employees or family.
• A shrinking deductible – a 20% deductible credit each year you do not meet your deductible.
• 10% healthy member discount and preferred rates.
• Optional free Health Savings Account.
• Optional PPO or traditional health plan with extensive networks.
• Plans with a $20, $25, $30 or $40 co-pay for doctor visits.
• Wellness benefits and Prescription Drug Card.
• Worldwide coverage, 24-hours a day.
• Enhanced wellness benefits based on PPACA Guidelines effective Sept. 23, 2010.
• Tele-Express, phone application – no paper applications to complete.
• Dental Insurance available with or without medical.
• Vision Insurance available with or without medical.
• Critical Illness coverage available that pays a cash benefit directly to you.
• Disability coverage available up to with a benefit of up to $15,000 per month.
Some insurance plan features are subject to state availability and may not be available to all ARVC members. To learn more about the options available to lower your health insurance costs and maintain comprehensive coverage, visit www.arvchealthplans.com for an instant online rate or call (888) 624-5891.
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has finalized a new employee benefit program with AT&T to provide a 15% discount on qualifying personal wireless accounts. According to a press release, the discount program is available to ARVC members and their employees.
“These discounts apply only to personal wireless plans and not business accounts,” said Derek Dick, ARVC’s membership manager.
The discount plan includes simultaneous use of voice and data services on AT&T’s mobile broadband network as well as unlimited usage of AT&T’s Wi-Fi network at no additional charge.
To find out more information about the AT&T discount program, visit www.arvc.org, sign in, and go to the “Supplier Marketplace” section and click on the “Member Benefit Providers” tab. There, members will have access to detailed information about the AT&T program as well as other ARVC member benefit programs.
Bentsen Palm Village in Mission, Texas, has received the campground industry’s highest honor, the “Park of the Year Award” from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
The 250-site campground won the award in the medium size park category, which is based on several criteria, including customer service, employee training, operational excellence, national directory ratings and community service, according to a news release.
Bentsen Palm Village General Managers Guy and Juanita Carvajal received the award during a Nov. 30 ceremony at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, which was hosted by ARVC.
Built 10 years ago by developer/builder Mike Rhodes and his wife, Lori, Bentsen Palm Village is located next to Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and has a lot of visitors who come to enjoy the resort’s native plants, which host butterflies and birds.
“Our guests love to come bird watching and butterfly watching,” Juanita Carvajal said, adding that the park also has two miles of frontage along the Rio Grande River.
“We have pontoon boats that take people on the river for bird watching and nature tours,” she said.
Although Bentsen Palm Village was built from scratch, the owners planted native trees and shrubs, which are becoming more beautiful each year as they mature, Carvajal said. The park was designated by Texas Parks & Wildlife as a certified wildscape and is the largest of its kind in Texas.
Texas Wildscapes is a habitat conservation plan for rural and urban area. It enables Texans to contribute to wildlife conservation by developing wildlife habitats where they live, work and play.
But while Bentsen Palms has a scenic setting, Carvajal said it’s the park’s exemplary customer service that results in high ratings.
“The majority of our business comes from referrals,” she said. “I get a lot of calls from people and the first thing they say is, ‘We have some friends and they recommended your park.’”
Forty-two campgrounds, RV parks and resorts earned all around “A” grades in the fourth annual consumer satisfaction survey of campgrounds, RV parks and resorts.
According to a press release, the top parks were announced during the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds’ (ARVC) annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo, which took place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
More than 30,000 camping and RV enthusiasts participated in the online survey, which evaluated guest experiences at 3,200 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts that are affiliated with ARVC.
“Consistently earning an overall ‘A’ grade from guests is difficult, and our 42 winners this year represent less than 2% of all of the nation’s campgrounds. But what is even more impressive is that 9 of this year’s winners have also received this award for five years in a row,” said Bob MacKinnon, president and CEO of GuestReviews.com, the Murrieta, Calif.-based company that conducted the online survey on behalf of ARVC.
“Consumers should take the time to check out the ratings that are posted for each campground on GoCampingAmerica.com because it is the quickest way to tell which parks are best meeting – and exceeding – guest expectations,” said Paul Bambei, ARVC’s president and CEO.
The 42 parks earning “A” grades this year are listed below. They include:
• Acres of Wildlife Campground in Steep Falls, Maine, a four-time “A” grade winner, www.acresofwildlife.com
• Anaheim Resort RV Park, Anaheim, Calif., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.anaheimresortrvpark.com
• Ashland Resort, Northfork, W.V., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.atvresort.com
• Beaver Dam Campground, Berwick, Me., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.beaverdamcampground.com
• Buffalo Lake Camping Resort, Montello, Wis., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.buffalolakecamping.com
• Buttonwood Campground, Mexico, Penn., a five-time “A” grade winner, www.buttonwoodcamp.com
• Camp A Way, Lincoln, Neb., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.campaway.com
• Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park, Nathrop, Colo. a four-time “A” grade winner, www.chalkcreek-campground.com
• Cherry Hill Park, College Park, Md., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.cherryhillpark.com
• Cross Creek Camping Resort, Delaware, Ohio, a two-time “A” grade winner, www.alumcreek.com
• Custer State Park, Custer, S.D., a first-time “A” grade winner, http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/custer/
• D & W Lake Camping and RV Park, Champaign, Ill., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.dwlake.com
• Dogwood Acres Campground, Newville, Penn., a five-time “A” grade winner, www.dogwoodcamping.com
• Far Horizons 49er Village RV Resort, Plymouth, Calif., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.49ervillage.com
• Gettysburg Campground, Gettysburg, Penn., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.gettysburgcampground.com
• Kalyumet Camping & Cabins, Lucinda, Penn., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.kalyumet.com
• Lake George RV Park, Lake George, N.Y., a five-time “A” grade winner, www.lakegeorgervpark.com
• Las Vegas RV Resort, Las Vegas, Nev., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.lasvegasrvresort.com
• Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, Yankton, S.D., a first-time “A” grade winner, http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/lewis-and-clark/
• Magnolia RV Park & Campground, Kinards, S.C., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.magnoliarvparksc.com
• Meadowcliff Lodge & RV Resort, Coleville, Calif., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.meadowcliff.com
• Misty River Cabins & RV Resort, Walland, Tenn., a five-time “A” grade winner, www.mistyriverrv.com
• Moose River Campground, Saint Johnsbury, Vt., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.mooserivercampground.com
• Mountain Vista Campground, East Stroudsburg, Penn., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.mtnvistacampground.com
• Myrtle Beach Travel Park, Myrtle Beach, S.C., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.myrtlebeachtravelpark.com
• Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Myrtle Beach, S.C., a five-time “A” grade winner, www.oceanlakes.com
• Pioneer Campground, Laporte, Penn., a five-time “A” grade winner, www.pioneercampground.com
• Pismo Coast Village RV Resort, Pismo Beach, Calif., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.pismocoastvillage.com
• Pontchartrain Landing, New Orleans, La., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.pontchartrainlanding.com
• Red Apple Campground, Kennebunkport, Me., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.redapplecampground.com
• Rivers Edge Campground, Connellsville, Penn., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.campriversedge.com
• Shadow Hills RV Resort, Indio, Calif., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.shadowhillsrvresort.com
• Snowy Peaks RV Park, Buena Vista, Colo., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.southhavenfamilycg.com
• South Haven Family Campground, South Haven, Mich., a five-time “A” grade winner, www.southhavenfamilycg.com
• Sunny Brook RV Resort, South Haven, Mich., a five-time “A” grade winner, www.sunnybrookrvresort.com
• The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course, Borrego Springs, Calif., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.springsatborrego.com
• The Vineyards Campground & Cabins, Grapevine, Texas, a five-time “A” grade winner, www.vineyardscampground.com
• West Canada Creek Campsites, Poland, N.Y., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.westcanadacreekcampsites.com
• Willow Tree Resort, Longs, S.C., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.willowtreerv.com
• Wine Country RV Resort, Paso Robles, Calif., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.winecountryrvresort.com
• Wishon Village RV Park, Shaver Lake, Calif., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.wishonvillage.com
• Yellowstone Holiday Campground, West Yellowstone, Mont., a two-time “A” grade winner, www.yellowstoneholiday.com
The GuestReviews online survey program was launched early in 2008 and has become the most widely utilized benefit program for ARVC members.
Consumers are invited to submit their own reviews for any ARVC member campground or RV resort that they have recently visited by finding the park’s page on www.GoCampingAmerica.com and clicking on the “Reviews” tab. Previous guests’ comments and ratings are posted on this park’s page along with a review submission form.
For more information about the online survey program, please contact Bob MacKinnon of GuestReviews.com at (877) 707-7080 as well as Jake Poterbin of ARVC at (303) 681-0401. Also visit www.GuestReviews.com and www.GoCampingAmerica.com.
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) recognized the achievements of top private park operators, state associations and industry volunteers during its annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo last week in Las Vegas.
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. Winners included:
• Small Park of the Year: The Vineyards Campground & Cabins in Grapevine, Texas.
• Medium Park of the Year: Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort in Mission, Texas.
• Large Park of the Year: Holly Shores Camping Resort in Cape May, N.J.
• Mega Park of the Year: Bethpage Camp-Resort in Urbanna, Va.
Parks that made exemplary efforts to become environmentally friendly received ARVC’s “Plan-It-Green” award. The winners included:
• A tie in the small/medium park category between River’s End Campground & RV Park in Tybee Island, Ga. and Cypress Camping Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
• Sun N Fun RV Resort in Sarasota, Fla. received the award in the mega-park category.
Marketing awards were presented to state campground associations that produced the best statewide campground directories. Marketing award recipients included:
• Medium State Association category: Missouri Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds.
• Large State Association category: Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
Top-performing state campground association executives were also recognized, including:
• State Executive Director of the Year: Bobby Cornwell from the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
• State President of the Year: Jimmy Felton from the Tennessee Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
Mark Anderson of Camp Chautauqua Camping Resort in Stow, N.Y., 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.
Herb Strauss of Papoose Pond Resort & Campground in Waterford, Maine received the Pioneer Award, which recognizes campground industry pioneers.
The Supplier of the Year award was given to Lucas Hartford of Lewiston, Maine-based Evergreen USA, a leading provider of campground insurance since 1989.
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) celebrated its annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo in Las Vegas last week, drawing more than 550 park operators and industry officials from across the country, according to a press release.
The Nov. 28-30 conference, held at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, included nearly 50 educational seminars, networking and crackerbarrel sessions, a trade show with nearly 100 vendors as well as the industry’s annual membership meeting, in which top ARVC officials highlighted the continuing strength of the campground industry, the turnaround in ARVC membership as well as the association’s latest accomplishments and new initiatives.
ARVC Chairman Rob Schutter commended ARVC President and CEO Paul Bambei for his efforts and leadership in establishing a new headquarters in Denver, hiring new staff and launching nearly a dozen new member benefits, including an unprecedented music licensing program, which provides 60% to 70% off the normal rate for BMI and ASCAP. This program alone will save small parks $700 a year, while large parks could save $1,200 or more.
“I don’t know where we would be at this time if it wasn’t for Paul Bambei,” Schutter said, adding that Bambei has also managed to increase membership above 3,000 parks and reduce ARVC’s operating budget by half a million dollars since he became president and CEO three years ago.
Bambei, for his part, announced several new member benefits, including discount programs with AT&T Wireless, RVBackground Checks.com, Ecolab, Moen Kitchen & Bathroom Equipment and The American Society for Asset Protection. These are in addition to significant discount programs with Ford Motor Co., Club Car and Alliance Laundry Systems, which ARVC negotiated earlier this year.
Bambei noted that savings from many of these programs easily exceeds the cost of ARVC membership, making membership in the association essential for park operators who are interested in increasing their bottom line.
Bambei also reviewed previously announced improvements to GoCampingAmerica.com and announced a major overhaul of the association’s website at ARVC.org, the latter of which would go live during the first quarter of 2013. He said ARVC also plans to publish three print versions of the ARVC Voice on a seasonal basis.
The conference included nearly 50 educational seminars, the largest of its kind in the campground industry, including multiple sessions dealing with employee management, marketing and the latest social media tools.
ARVC’s Expo also featured nearly 100 vendors, who reported brisk sales, reflecting a growing sense of confidence about the campground industry’s prospects for 2013.
Schutter, who also serves as chief operating officer of Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc., said most campground operators have maintained at least modest growth during the past year, with revenues climbing up to 4% while their occupancies have remained flat or grown slightly. Schutter said the strongest growth involves parks that are investing in rental accommodations.
In other business, ARVC members elected several new officers for the association, who will work with Schutter during the coming year. They include 2nd Vice Chairman Terry Munoz of Thousand Trails in Lake Conroe, Texas, who replaced Michael Gelfand of Terra Vista Management Inc. in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; Treasurer Tim Deputy of Sun N Fun RV Resort in Sarasota, Fla., who replaced Pat O’Neill of Camp Gulf in Destin, Fla.; and Secretary Truman Hartshorn of Lebanon Reservoir Campground in Lebanon, N.Y., who replaced Terry Munoz in that position.
New ARVC board members include Bobby Cornwell, executive director of Florida ARVC, who replaced Deb Carter of the Maryland Campground Owners Association; Lynda Phelps of Upriver RV Resort in Fort Myers, Fla., who replaced Tim Deputy of Sun N Fun RV Resort in Sarasota, Fla.; Tim Wilcox of Gateway Park Campground in Hillsdale, Mich., who replaced Garry Cole of the Shelby / Mansfield KOA in Shelby, Ohio; Dan Wright of The Springs at Borrego RV Resort in Borrego Springs, Calif., who replaced Michael Gelfand of Terra Vista Management, Inc. in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; Eric Stumberg of TengoInternet, who replaced Ann Emerson of Good Sam Enterprises in Ventura, Calif.; Karl Littman of Candy Hill Campground in Winchester, Va., who replaced Vicki Cole of the Shelby / Mansfield KOA in Shelby, Ohio; and Wade Elliott of Utility Supply Group in Kingston, Wash., who replaced Norman Boucher of LCN Outdoors, LLC in Windsor, Conn. Also elected to the board was Al Johnson of Recreational Adventure Company, a Hill City, S.D. company that owns and operates KOA campgrounds.
Based in Denver, Colo., the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds provides private park operators with marketing support services; public affairs advocacy; educational enrichment and networking opportunities as well as major discounts on products and services needed by campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the United States. Visit www.arvc.org for more information.
A good crowd has assembled this week in Las Vegas to attend the Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo sponsored by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
Attendance so far is near 750, well above the 600 or so who attended the 2011 conference, reported Barb Youmans, director of membership.
The formal conference began Wednesday, though some meetings began as early as Monday, as did a two-day tour of area campgrounds.
“The conference is going extremely well. A lot of people are highly engaged. Everything is going as planned and as smoothly as possible. There have been no ‘hiccups,'” Youmans said.
The ARVC expo began today and features vendors from across the industry showing their goods and services.
Today’s activities included the Annual Meeting Breakfast this morning, the ARVC board of directors meeting and educational seminars.
The annual ARVC Foundation auction is tonight.
On Friday, the Expo and educational seminars resume.
The conference concludes with the gala awards banquet Friday night.
The 2012 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (OHCE) sponsored by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) formally kicks off today (Nov. 28) at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
Billed as the premier event for the RV park and campground industry, the conference and expo will bring together owners and operators as well as suppliers and vendors from across the U.S. for three days packed with 40 educational seminars, cracker barrel discussions, various state and national association meetings and more than 100 vendors demonstrating the latest products and services that can assist in park operations.
Among the groups meeting are the ARVC board, ARVC Council of Delegates, state association presidents, Campground Association Management Professionals (CAMP), the Joint 20 Groups, the ARVC Business Forum, the ARVC Foundation and several state associations.
Becky Winkler, principal of Green Peak Partners, is this year’s keynote speaker. Her address at the Opening Luncheon today will focus on how to add value to your business through the people you hire and the sense of community you build. Winkler is recognized as “a leading expert at helping companies pick the right people” and has coached numerous leaders to achieve peak performance.
One of the conference’s pre-events was the annual Successful Park Operators Tour of area campgrounds held on Monday and Tuesday. Led by Bob MacKinnon, MacKinnon Campground Consulting, in partnership with ARVC’s education department, participants were scheduled to visit:
- Arizona Charlie’s RV Park, Las Vegas, Nev.
- Silver View RV Resort, Bullhead City, Ariz.
- Islander RV Resort, Lake Havasu, Ariz.
- Havasu Falls RV Resort, Lake Havasu, Ariz.
- Pirate Cove Resort, Needles, Calif.
- The Palms River Resort, Needles, Calif.
ARVC Board Elections
This election cycle, seats are available in Voting Areas 2, 3, 4 and 6 and voting caucuses will take place today. There is one contested race, in Voting Area 3, at this year’s conference.
Nominees for all voting areas are as follows:
- Voting Area 2: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia; Truman Hartshorn, Lebanon Reservoir Campground, Hamilton, N.Y.
- Voting Area 3: Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin; Gilbert “Chip” Hanawalt, Autumn Lakes Family Campground, Sunbury, Ohio, and Tim Wilcox, Gateway Park Campground, Hillsdale, Mich.
- Voting Area 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee; Tim Deputy, Sun-N-Fun RV Resort, Sarasota, Fla.
- Voting Area 6: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming; Daniel Wright, The Springs at Borrego RV Resort, Borrego Springs, Calif.
The event concludes with the annual ARVC Awards of Excellence Gala on Friday evening.
Paul Bambei made some persuasive arguments during his presentation at the Twin States Campground Conference on why campground owners in Vermont and New Hampshire should join the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
But, according to a Woodall’s Campground Management report, how many owners decide to join the national association after the ARVC CEO spoke to about three dozen of them on Nov. 10 at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vt., remains to be seen.
“He gave a very strong sales pitch for the benefits of ARVC membership,” said Peter Daniels, executive director of the Vermont Campground Association (VCA). “He gave a lot of examples of large discounts for ARVC members. The music licensing was the biggest.”
As he has done at various state and industry meetings this fall, Bambei told his audience that ARVC is creating unprecedented exclusive value for its members. For example, its new music-licensing program that covers the three major licensors (BMI, ASCAP and SESAC) provides enough savings to offset the cost of ARVC dues next year, Bambei noted.
For parks with less than 50 sites, the annual license savings will total $686. For parks with 50 to 200 sites, the annual savings will total $871. For parks with 201 to 400 sites, the savings will total $973 and for parks with 401 or more sites, the savings will be $1,165.
The deadline to realize these savings for the 2013 season is Nov. 30.
“Several of the newer members indicated that is something they should look into,” Daniels continued, while not offering hard numbers on how many might join the national association.
To read the entire article click here.
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has negotiated deals with American Society of Asset Protection (ASAP), Ecolab Inc., Moen Inc. and RVBackgroundChecks.com. Each offers substantial product and service discounts to ARVC members and is available immediately.
“We continue to add value for our members and these past few months have really shown it, especially with our selection of member benefit providers,” said Barb Youmans, ARVC membership director, adding that 2012 has been one of the most successful years for member benefit provider growth.
The substantial savings include 20% off a flat fee from ASAP, approximately 41% average savings on Ecolab products and similar savings with Moen products. RVBackgroundchecks.com will offer members special prices on a variety of services and offers a complimentary background check to all ARVC members.
ASAP can help ARVC members structure their businesses for lawsuit protection and prevention, while also reducing liability insurance costs, minimizing taxes and creating estate and business succession plans.
Ecolab is a global provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services to an array of markets, including the hospitality industry. It will offer ARVC members special prices on 30-plus products.
A leading manufacturer of faucets, Moen becomes the first ARVC member benefit provider in the plumbing services and supplies category and offers its discount on all Moen faucets.
Finally, RVBackgroundChecks.com becomes the second member benefit provider in the staffing, recruiting and training category. Services offered for special prices include access to a national criminal database, statewide databases, county court criminal searches, credit reports, employee verifications and drug screens.
To find out more information about each member benefit provider, visit www.arvc.org, sign in, and go to the Member Benefit Providers section. There, visitors will have access to the company’s contact information and a listing of the specific products that qualify for the special ARVC member discounts.
Three of the four new member benefit providers will be present at the upcoming 2012 ARVC Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (OHCE), including Moen, ASAP and Ecolab. This year’s conference will be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The way Rob Schutter Jr. sees it, the transition period for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) from the prior administration of Linda Profaizer to CEO Paul Bambei’s tenure two years ago is officially over, and it’s now full speed ahead on a number of initiatives that are already building value for the Centennial, Colo.-based national trade association’s 3,000 members.
Schutter, president and COO of Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI), the Cincinnati, Ohio-based franchisor of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, made this and other points during a recent interview with Woodall’s Campground Management (WCM) Editor Steve Bibler as he wrapped up his first year as ARVC chairman on the eve of the association’s annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo, Nov. 26-30 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Schutter will speak to members as part of the chairman’s annual address at a Nov. 29 breakfast meeting and during the “Awards of Excellence Gala” on Nov. 30. Schutter’s message will likely focus on the association’s efforts to concentrate on its core mission and solidify its member base to bridge the gap with non-members and unaffiliated states after experiencing some “growing pains and a learning process” over the past couple years.
“After a period of upheaval, I’m sure some members were curious if bringing in a person from outside (the industry) to run ARVC was right,” he said. “There was the transition from the Washington, D.C., area to two different locales in the Denver area. A lot of things were unsettled. You are now seeing some permanency in place. Members are very pleased things have settled down and the focus is once again on offering value to members.
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The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has just completed a major overhaul of GoCampingAmerica.com to “help consumers easily find campgrounds and RV parks around their destinations,” according to a press release.
With its newly enhanced search function, consumers can now choose from over 90-plus campground features along with a location-based search. GoCampingAmerica.com also features photos, videos and online campground reviews by other consumers, allowing travelers to get a feel for campgrounds of interest before making reservations.
“Privately owned and operated campgrounds are more likely to offer park model cabins, yurts and other rental units to accommodate people who don’t have an RV and don’t want to sleep in a tent,” said Paul Bambei, president and CEO of ARVC. “We want people to know that there are other options out there and we’re making it easier to find them.”
Bambei added that while state and national parks are popular locations for camping, privately owned and operated campgrounds, RV parks and resorts usually offer more amenities and services, such as Wi-Fi and cable television service, as well as bigger campsites, swimming pools, game rooms and other recreation facilities. Many privately owned campgrounds also offer organized family activities and special events.
ARVC recently launched an Internet marketing campaign to promote GoCampingAmerica.com through the Frommer’s travel website as well as Travora, which operates travel information websites across the U.S. and overseas.
“We’re trying to raise the profile of GoCampingAmerica.com and let people know that there are literally thousands of campgrounds across the country that are eager for their business,” Bambei said.
The first Spring Seminar Series scheduled for May 16-17 in Denver and sponsored by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has been postponed and will be rescheduled.
ARVC announced the postponement in the April issue of the ARVC Voice.
Prospective attendees were unable to commit to the mid-May date, the association noted.
“Our goal is to provide you with business-building tools, enhancing your knowledge base,growing your operation and, ultimately, boosting your bottom line. We would love your feedback on optimum dates as well as topics for future Seminar Series,” ARVC stated.
Members should send their input to firstname.lastname@example.org.