There is concern within the tourism and private park industry that the budget cuts and the possible closure of 70 state parks in California pose a threat to privately owned and operated campgrounds in California and across the country.
According to a press release, the issue is that thousands of campers go to California to see the extraordinary sites located within the state parks, but camp in private parks along the way, and without many state parks open, private campgrounds could be hurt by fewer visitors according to a news release.
However, Ruth Coleman, director of California State Parks, feels strongly that the challenge presented also provides opportunities to counter the situation with increased public-private park collaboration, particularly in the areas of marketing and media outreach, since both industries target the same consumer.
“We have a very strong interest in being together with the private park industry as we face these challenges,” said Coleman, who noted that California State Parks will join the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) this month.
Coleman, who will become president of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) in September, added that while 70 state parks in California are currently scheduled to close on July 1, 2012, opportunities exist for private park operators to take over management of several state park campgrounds.
Coleman said she is also open to discussing ways in which state parks can help refer campers to privately owned parks, perhaps by directing them to websites such as GoCampingAmerica.com or Camp-California.com.
“We bring the destination,” Coleman said. “State parks are the thing that people want to come see. But we don’t offer that many spots for people to stay.”
Indeed, the entire California State Park system only has about 15,000 campsites, while the private park sector has more than 90,000 camping and RV sites. But by working together, Coleman said, both public and private parks could find ways to help each other.
California is among the first of a half of dozen state park systems that have already indicated interest in joining ARVC this year following a recent push by the association to open its doors to all non-member parks throughout the country, including state parks.
Several states already have strong relationships with state parks, including Virginia, Maryland and Maine, but, more can be done, not only at the state level, but at local levels across the country.
Debbie Sipe, executive director of California ARVC, sees these efforts at pubic park-private park sector collaboration as a positive move, and noted that the state association is specifically interested in stepping up its marketing and public relations outreach efforts in collaboration with California State Parks.
Sipe said communicating with Coleman also enables her to better understand challenges facing state parks while also identifying ways in which state parks could help private park operators.
Looking down the road, Sipe said increased public-park park collaboration could also go a long way toward improving best practices in campground management across the country.
Paul Bambei, ARVC president and CEO, said ARVC Director of Membership Jeff Sims plans to attend next month’s annual NASPD Convention, where he plans to reach out to state park directors across the country and highlight the association’s efforts to seek improved collaboration with the public park sector to help both industries in these challenging economic times.
The 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo, to be held in Savannah, Ga., Nov. 29-Dec, 2, will kick off the National Association of RV Parks and Campground’s (ARVC) enhanced Outdoor Hospitality Education Program offering five tiers of recognition based upon the participant’s career goals.
According to a press release, the program has been developed by the ARVC Foundation to provide educational benchmarks to members and those considering getting involved with and working in the RV park and campground industry.
The Outdoor Hospitality Education Program is designed to move away from traditional “classroom” learning to a practical, outcome-based program focusing on hands-on experiences.
Topics addressed include: an introduction to RV park/campground operations; customer expectations; service at the interest and operational staff level; uncovering industry trends and using them to grow your business; and hard core business tools such as detailed business plans, policies and financials.
In an effort to make this year’s 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference more affordable, National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) President and CEO Paul Bambei announced the conclusion of a successful negotiation with the host hotel, the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, to reduce previously contracted room rates from $189 to $159.
“This newly reduced rate represents a nearly 40% reduction off the Westin’s $249 published rack rate, and when combined with the near 40% ARVC pre-registration discounts announced previously this year for small parks and multi-attendees from the same park, makes coming to the conference this Nov. 30-Dec. 2 more affordable than ever,” said Bambei.
“We’ve also recently added a Kayak.com link (an online search agent for the most affordable travel fares) on ARVC.org, enabling members to schedule their flight itinerary and be personally alerted for special, low-cost roundtrip airfares from your home city to Savannah as well,” said Bambei. “In essence, we’re trying to do whatever we can to remove the financial cost objection to attending this year’s conference, which will be the biggest and best ever.”
All attendees should be reminded that deeply discounted rates associated with conference pre-registration expire on Aug. 31.
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and Skyline Corp. have negotiated an agreement that gives Skyline “preferred provider” status on park model and travel trailer sales to ARVC-member parks in the U.S. and Canada.
“I am very excited to have Skyline as a preferred provider,” said David L. Berg, ARVC chairman, adding that savings from a single park model purchase could offset the cost of ARVC dues for as much as 20 years.
“This agreement does not just cover rental units,” Berg said. “It covers all products that Skyline manufactures, including park models of all widths, towable travel trailers, park model cabins which they are designing specifically for ARVC members and mobile homes. The only restriction is that the member must use the units as rentals or sell them directly to their customers for use in their park.”
According to a press release, Skyline said the preferred provider agreement with ARVC should help boost sales for the Elkhart, Ind.-based company in an increasingly competitive market. “We’re looking forward to displaying some of our units at the upcoming Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo in Savannah,” said Terry Decio, Skyline’s vice president of sales and marketing.
Skyline has manufacturing facilities in Indiana, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Florida, Oregon and California.
“With Skyline plans from New England to California, this will be a far reaching member benefit that the vast majority of our membership can enjoy,” Berg said.
ARVC is the national trade association that represents the outdoor hospitality industry. Based in Denver, Colo., membership includes over 3,300 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts throughout the United States. ARVC’s consumer website is www.GoCampingAmerica.com, while its industry website is www.ARVC.org.
The ARVC Business Forum convened June 7-8 in Alexandria, Va., to begin working on what it feels could become the basis for a five-year strategic plan for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
Chaired by Ann Emerson, vice president and publisher of Woodall Publications Corp., the Forum drew key representatives from the RV park and campground sector who serve in an advisory role to the national association.
Their assignment coming in was to begin working on the strategic plan to move ARVC forward, suggest where realistically ARVC could be down the road and to map out strategic planning goals and timetables.
Emerson and Paul Bambei, ARVC president and CEO, ran the meeting.
“The input from Business Forum members in crafting a five-year Strategic Financial Plan for ARVC was phenomenal,” Emerson told Woodall’s Campground Management (WCM). “We are fortunate to have members who are willing to share their business and industry insight and knowledge to ensure the growth and success of ARVC. Paul Bambei has shown great leadership in steering the association and the Business Forum on finding non-dues, revenue-generating opportunities. It was a great meeting and I appreciate the time the Business Forum members devoted to this important topic.”
In summary, the gist of the meeting was to identify opportunities for ARVC – increase membership, find non-dues revenue opportunities and look at partnerships. Members also talked about the need to make changes to the Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo to better meet member needs and to make it more affordable so more members can attend.
“Many of the things in the five-year plan are just extensions of business principals that have already been put in place but will now be managed and improved upon,” Bambei told WCM, who declined to discuss many Business Forum specifics until he’s had a chance to report back to the full ARVC board.
Bambei said the five-year plan should not be taken lightly. “That is a practice every company I have worked for has done religiously. There was no long-term strategic financial planning that was leading ARVC down the right path,” he said.
“We spent about a day and a half really pouring through the assumptions how our revenue, expense and capital expenditures are related to ARVC. We tried to frame it in a way where each line item was forecast over a five-year period using percentage drivers we all felt comfortable with and were realistic. It’s a great exercise because you get a variety of thoughts and opinions on a multitude of things that drive our business.”
“The other thing that I think is really well-timed for ARVC is the board has initiated strategic committees that are delving into some really important issues. Hopefully that opens the doors to allow better relations between ARVC and the states to go after business in tandem. It has to be in tandem. We’re really forcing the issue. We’re trying to build the bridge and make it rock solid so that partnership builds and thrives.”
One of the basic goals of the Business Forum was discussion on how ARVC can grow its membership from the present 3,300 park members. It’s about a third of the nearly 10,000 privately owned campgrounds in the U.S., and Forum members agree ARVC should find a way to attract new members.
“We weren’t passive about it,” Bambei said. “Everybody felt to be a thriving organization we need to grow. We’re not going to sit on our hands.”
Toward that end, Bambei says ARVC is currently doing some promotion among non-members. “Many of the 10,000 are in non-affiliated states. We want to go directly and try to attract them,” he explained. “We want to build a base in each state and help them form their own state organization that eventually becomes affiliated with ARVC.”
Jeff Sims, ARVC’s director of governmental affairs, will be the point man on that effort but all ARVC staff will join in, Bambei said.
Further, ARVC is trying to build membership in affiliated states as well.
“We’re aggressively going after it right now,” he added. “We’re involved in a non-member campaign. A direct mail piece is being mailed to thousands of campground owners throughout the U.S. We know thousands of them are out there and we’re attempting to grab them. It comes down to educating them on the benefits of ARVC, which I maintain is one of the best-kept secrets in the country.”
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) plans to extend its membership to a greater number of state parks in an effort to strengthen the campground industry’s political power and marketing potential.
“Times are changing, and we need to look to the public parks not as competitors, but as industry partners since we are typically viewed as one in the same by camping consumers and we also share many of the same marketing and government affairs objectives,” said Paul Bambei, ARVC’s president and CEO.
ARVC bylaws have permitted public park membership for many years, and while some states, such as Maine, California and Vermont, have aggressively pursued public park membership, the national association remained relatively quiet. In June, however, ARVC launched a mail campaign designed to attract non-members to the Association by hailing its multiple benefits, and many have taken notice.
“We’ve already received several inquiries from both non-member private parks as well as public parks that see the value of ARVC membership, and we plan to make ARVC membership available to them on a six month trial basis,” Bambei said, adding that the offer has been warmly received by top representatives of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD).
ARVC’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors approved the six-month trial membership offer to all non-members in early June.
“State park directors will be making independent decisions to participate in the trial over the next few weeks,” Bambei said, adding that Jeff Sims, ARVC’s director of membership and government affairs, is assisting the effort by contacting each director to answer any questions.
“There is strength in numbers, both financial and political,” Sims said. “Already, those states that have recognized the wisdom of proactively welcoming public parks to their associations over the past several years have been generally pleased with the relationship.”
Bambei added that by representing both public and private parks, ARVC can strengthen its marketing and government affairs efforts.
“Working together as an industry for the good of all is not only outwardly beneficial in our dealings with the press, government officials and consumers, but can also have far reaching benefits to our members as campground owners,” Bambei said, adding that increased public-private park collaboration could pave the way to beneficial business relationships for both segments of the campground business.
“The natural trails, rivers, lakes and woodlands that are such a huge consumer attraction on these public park lands could become more accessible to private parks as a result of this relationship, which in turn could make camping more enjoyable for all,” Bambei said. “Alternatively, state parks generally do not have the pools, stores and infrastructure of private parks, so there could be many reciprocal opportunities for guest referral as a result of this relationship.”
Having public and private parks speak with one voice will also strengthen the industry’s government affairs efforts. “Together, we will have a stronger voice in Washington and in the state legislatures,” Sims said, adding that state government cutbacks have forced many public parks to raise their fees and operate more like business entrepreneurs, which has helped to level the playing field between public and private park sectors.
“These economic pressures being felt among public parks will surely continue,” Sims said, adding that over time it will likely erode, if not erase, price differences that exist between public and private parks today.
ARVC Chairman David L. Berg, who is also president of the Maine Campground Owners Association, said the state association has welcomed state parks as members for several years and that the relationship has been mutually beneficial at all levels.
“Times have changed,” Berg said. “And while it took some time for a few of our members to realize the benefits of working together, it is now clear that we are all in the same business. We often have the same customers. And public parks receive the same benefits of membership as private parks.”
Berg added that he is happy to welcome public parks into ARVC. “Once they experience the benefits of belonging to a national as well as, in some cases, state associations, we will all be working together promoting camping for the betterment of ‘our’ members and ‘our’ customers.”
Dan Wright, president of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, said his state association believes the move to encourage increased state park membership in ARVC is a step in the right direction as well. “The board of CalARVC has really encouraged this type of collaboration,” Wright said, adding that public and private parks need to be working together to strengthen public interest and support for camping, regardless of whether it’s in public or private parks.
Wright himself manages The Springs at Borrego RV Resort in the Southern California desert, which generates most of its business from visitors who want to visit neighboring Anza Borrego Desert State Park. “In an age when we’re talking about closing state parks, instead we should be talking about ways to enhance state park revenue opportunities and how they can offer more amenities and services to their guests,” Wright said, adding that strengthening private park relationships with state park operators can be mutually beneficial.
David Gorin, executive director of the Virginia Campground Association, said it’s time for the private park sector to move beyond the days of looking at state parks as competitors. “The competitive playing field is leveling on the price side, and we in Virginia welcome state parks as partners in the growing camping market,” Gorin said.
Gorin added that public park members can also strengthen camping industry tradeshow attendance. “We don’t think it’s good for anyone to have the Virginia Campground Association in one booth at an RV show and the Virginia state parks promoting camping in their booth on the opposite side of the floor,” he said. “As the saying goes, a rising tide raises all ships.”
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds is the national
voice of the outdoor hospitality industry. For additional information or for leads on parks in your news coverage area, please visit www.arvc.org and www.gocampingamerica.com.
Now is the time for the nation’s private and public parks to put aside their differences and work together, says Joe Elton, president of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD).
Speaking with Woodall’s Campground Management (WCM) today (July 8), Elton applauded Thursday’s (July 7) announcement by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) that the NASPD board has voted to encourage each of its 51 state directors to join ARVC on a six-month trial basis.
“These state park directors will be making independent decisions to participate in the trial over the next few weeks, with the possibility of joining ARVC and the state associations at trials end,” Paul Bambei, ARVC president and CEO, stated in Thursday’s e-mail to ARVC’s 3,000 members.
“I think that the timing is absolutley right for the public and private camping providers to be collaborating and I am thrilled that we’re developing this relationship,” Elton told WCM.
Elton, whose office is in Richmond, Va., likened the historic relationship between the public and private parks to the two-party system in Congress.
“I see this (offer) as a breath of fresh air and a smart collaboration that will be mutually beneficial. People need to find common ground,” he said.
In tandem with the ARVC statement, Elton indicated that his association is working toward extending member affiliation in NASPD to ARVC.
“We hope the groundwork has made made to take a vote at our annual meeting in September in Custer, S.D.,” he said. He said he doesn’t expect it will be hotly debated. “I think people will be surprised we have come this far in such a short period of time.”
Elton, whose office is in Richmond, Va., said he has worked closely for years with campground industry veteran and fellow Virginian David Gorin to bridge the gap between the public and private campgrounds.
“We’re in the same business. By working together we can promote what is a very healthy outdoor recreation experience. We have made great strides in Virginia, which led to this being a national effort. Will it be embraced? Yes,” he predicted.
He offered this parallel between what occurs in Virginia and how the two sides’ cooperation could be mirrored on a national level.
“In Virginia, there are 1,800 campsites in 35 state parks. I think the private campground owners have close to 20,000, so they have the lion’s share of the campsites. But we have the lion’s share of the outdoor recreation draws that get people to camp here,” he said. “For 75 years we’ve been sending our overflow to private campgrounds. That will continue. By working together we can introduce a new generation of campers to this outdoor experience that is refreshing. I call this 21st century thinking: where the private sector recognizes they are owners of these state campgrounds too. By working together we can achieve a lot.”
For all his enthusiasm, Elton did not predict overnight success.
“If we only measure it by how many sign up after the 6-month trial period, that would be short-sighted,” he continued. “All the states are going through an economic challenging time with their budgets. It would be a new expenditure that would be tough for some. The six months gives us time to to mature our relationships. We’ll have to see where it goes.”
Elton said he is intrigued by the vendor discounts available to ARVC members but is uncertain whether many parks could take advantge of such offers due to limits in the bidding process. Vendors would still have to engage in the competitive bidding process before they could provide services, he noted.
“We’re going to find the state park systems and private operators have differences in how they operate. We’re held to a public standard and they are a private business. That will never change,” he said.
To learn more about the National Association of State Park Directors, visit www.naspd.org.
Editor’s Note: Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), issued the following letter to members on Thursday concerning the possibility of state parks joining the organization.
As an unexpected, but welcomed outcome of ARVC’s non-member mail campaign launched in mid-June, we have received several inquiries from state public parks that see the value of ARVC membership.
As a result of these discussions, I am pleased to announce the board of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD), which represents approximately 2,200 state parks and 7,800 recreation/natural areas in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, has voted to encourage each of its 51 state directors to join ARVC on a six-month trial basis. These state park directors will be making independent decisions to participate in the trial over the next few weeks, with the possibility of joining ARVC and the state associations at the trial’s end.
Per ARVC bylaws, public parks have been allowed to join ARVC for many years and we certainly welcome their participation. Please be advised all participating public parks will be admitted as non-voting status, again per our bylaws.
If certain states do not currently allow public parks as members of their association, we encourage them to consider doing so, as these public parks may also be desirous of joining not only ARVC, but their respective state association as well. This will be mutually beneficial to ARVC and the state associations for the following reasons:
• Growth: There is strength in numbers, both financial and political. Already, states like California, Maine, and Colorado have recognized the wisdom of welcoming public parks to their associations, as does ARVC nationally.
• Industry Unity: Working together as an industry for the good of all is not only outwardly beneficial in our dealings with the press, governmental officials, and consumers, it can also have far reaching benefits to you as a local private campground owner. The natural trails, rivers, lakes and woodlands available on these public park lands could become more accessible to private parks as a result of this relationship, expanding your own amenities, which in turn makes the camping experience more enjoyable for all. Alternatively, state parks generally do not have the pools, stores and infrastructure of our private parks, opening up the likelihood of referral business from them to you.
• Government Advocacy: Together, as a more unified industry, we will have a stronger voice in Washington and at the State Capitol level on matters that affect our common industry interests. Clearly, the “unfair competition” issue between private and public parks that existed in years past has been rapidly changing as well. Due to state government cutbacks, these parks have had to survive more as business entrepreneurs these past few years, incorporating new access fees and increasing their site rental rates in the process. This trend will surely continue, eventually erasing most, if not all, price gaps that may exist today.
Times are changing and ARVC, along with its represented and non represented States, look forward to joining hands in welcoming the NASPD into our fold.
‘Where Outdoor Hospitality Meets Southern Hospitality’ is the theme for the all new 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo (OHCE).
The event is presented by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, with pre-conference events taking place Nov. 28-29 at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa and Savannah International Trade & Convention Center.
Savannah, Ga., known for its Southern charm and history, plays host to the 3,300-member association’s annual conference, which welcomes RV park and campground owner members and non-members plus — new for 2011 — the entire outdoor hospitality industry is invited.
The newly revamped conference offers educational seminars and tracks for various experience levels and industry affiliates. Plus, new for 2011, a new rate structure for attendees makes the conference more affordable.
For those interested in breaking into the outdoor hospitality industry or for those who want to open an RV park or campground, the OHCE seminars and networking opportunities will offer an introduction on how to get started.
“We’ve completely revised the educational program and have created tracks and opportunities for all levels involved in the outdoor hospitality industry. We’re really looking forward to unveiling the new program at conference,” said Barb Youmans, ARVC’s senior director of administration and education.
The new Outdoor Hospitality Education Program has five track levels beginning with outdoor hospitality candidate, which offers start up entrepreneurs an opportunity to dive in and explore all the industry has to offer. The other levels include outdoor hospitality associate, generalist, professional and executive. Each level is specific to the experience and role involvement within the operation.
“The greatest thing about this program is that it applies to park owners, paddle sport operators or adventure tour outfitters – whatever the involvement in outdoor hospitality, there’s a learning opportunity to be had by all,” said Youmans.
In addition to the new education program, the OHCE also offers more affordable attendee rates compared to years past.
“We wanted to make the conference more affordable to our members, especially our small and medium sized parks with 250 sites or less,” said Paul Bambei, ARVC president and CEO. “If you’re a small or medium park, you can attend for as little as $379 (before the early bird rate expires Aug. 31) for the first registrant and the rate drops to $339 for each additional person you bring from your park. Plus, we also offer discounts to those large parks that bring multiple employees from their park.”
The new rate structure encourages parks to bring more employees and coincides particularly well with the new education program, which offers courses for every level of involvement in park operation, Bambei explained. However, attendees must register by Aug. 31 to take advantage of the discounted rates. The full-registration rate does not include any pre-conference events and the pre-conference events are sold as a la carte items.
The keynote address for the general session and opening luncheon will be offered by Tim Richardson Nov. 30. Author of How to Tap into the Great Wealth of Brain Power! and the Putnam published book Transformation Thinking, Richardson will show attendees how to think innovatively with their staff. He’ll provide tips and techniques to increase their personal brain power and become more reliable, responsible thinkers to benefit your park, Youmans explained.
In addition to the seminars, keynote address and fun evening activities, attendees will also be able to browse the 120,000-square-foot expo hall in search of the latest products, services and technologies to help their operation. More than 150 exhibitors will be displaying their newest additions.
“The Outdoor Hospitality Expo is a great opportunity for park operators and outdoor hospitality outfitters to find exactly what they’re looking for and make purchases for the upcoming year,” said Youmans.
The expo will open Dec. 1 from 4-8 p.m. and will re-open Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information and to register early for the Early Bird discounted pricing, visit www.arvc.org/outdoor-hospitality-conference.aspx or call 800.395.2267.
Recently, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) was requested to look into the issue of whether there could be liability associated with offering wireless access to campground guests and potential copyright infringement.
According to a press release, ARVC engaged consulting firm McDermott Will & Emery (MWE) to conduct initial research on the subject.
MWE concluded that there may be some risks associated with offering wireless Internet access on the campground’s premises, noting, “Federal law in this area is somewhat unsettled and continues to evolve. Moreover, all 50 states regulate Internet use to some degree and requirements may vary from state to state.”
On the issue of patent infringement, MWE stated, “even if ARVC members are targeted (which we think is probably not likely) it would probably be in the form of a cease and desist letter, not a lawsuit.”
MWE offered the following general guidance about potential areas of liability and steps ARVC members can undertake to mitigate these risks:
As a general matter, courts and legislatures have been loath to hold Internet service providers liable for content downloaded by users. It is unclear, however, whether business owners who provide wireless Internet qualify as “Internet service providers” under the relevant Federal Statutes:
• Potential copyright infringement liability: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act specifically immunizes Internet service providers from liability for transmitting copyright-protected material. The federal courts have not addressed whether a HotSpot operator is considered an Internet service provider under the statute.
• Potential defamation liability: The Communications Decency Act also grants most Internet service providers immunity from liability for publishing false or defamatory material as long as the information was provided by another party. Again, no court has addressed whether a HotSpot operator is considered an Internet service provider under the statute.
• Potential liability for the distribution of illegal pornography: Distribution of child pornography through the Internet is a federal crime. Moreover, the law provides for a civil cause of action for anyone harmed by the distribution of child pornography. To be guilty of these offenses, a person must knowingly engage in the prohibited conduct. An Internet service provider or HotSpot operator is likely immune from liability provided he/she is unaware of the illegal activities of their users.
• Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement (CALEA): This federal statute requires Internet providers to modify and design equipment so that law enforcement and intelligence agencies can conduct electronic surveillance. Owners that install wireless routers may be subject to CALEA obligations, and may face fines for non-compliance.
Until courts or legislatures more broadly define the legal status of HotSpot providers, perhaps like some ARVC members, we recommend the following measures out of an abundance of caution:
• Consider requiring users to enter a verifiable email address as a deterrent to illegal behavior.
• Consider requiring a username and password to increase security and protection for users.
• Consider requiring users to accept “terms and conditions of use” that prohibit illegal activity; copyright violations; pornographic content; and require all Internet users to be 18 or supervised by an adult.
The terms and conditions page could also include a disclaimer of liability for any illegal or improper use of the Internet:
• Consider filtering programs to block access to certain sites.
• Consider engaging a third-party Internet service provider who will provide Internet access and implement the above, rather than allowing individual sites to set up a wireless router.
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has alerted its members about possible confusion over a new RV promotional website.
ARVC stated in its current “Flash Report:”
“Please be aware that we have received several calls from ARVC members about a company called ‘Go RV Network’, who is billing our members for a web listing on their website.”
Their invoice reads: “GoRVNetwork”.
“Members are confused because the name is similar to the GoRVing campaign and they think that ARVC/RVIA is billing them, yet there is no affiliation. ARVC members may advertise with the GoRV Network at their own discretion.”
The new website is http://www.gorvpark.com. The contact number is (877) 520-5871.
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has released the results of two surveys it conducted at the 2010 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo held Dec. 1-4 in Las Vegas.
ARVC conducted an exhibitor survey and an attendee survey (primarily focused on educational seminars).
Overall, the results show that this past year’s conference and expo were a success, ARVC stated in a recent ARVC Flash report
Here are some quick findings:
Exhibitor Survey (survey of those companies that chose to exhibit at the expo)
- 58% thought the foot traffic in the expo hall was either ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent.’
- 93% rated the expo regarding interested buyers as ‘Average’, ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent.’
- 67% of exhibitors said they would return to Las Vegas for another ARVC Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo in the future.
- 57% of exhibitors said they would prefer to have the expo in a different location every year as opposed to 3.8% of who said they would prefer the same location or 38% who said they would prefer to have the expo in three locations in a three-year rotation.
- 65% of exhibitors said they would not like to change the time of year that the show occurs.
- 77% of exhibitors said that they were either ‘Very Likely’ or ‘Definitely’ planning to exhibit at the 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Expo in Savannah, Ga.
- 84% of the respondents signed up for full-registrations at last year’s conference.
- 79% of respondents said that attending the educational seminars at the Conference was ‘Extremely Important.’
- 74% said that attending the Conference to stay abreast of the latest industry news was also ‘Extremely Important’ and 64% said that attending the conference to get ideas from other colleagues was a main reason they attend.
- The majority of attendees, 53%, said they preferred a mix of free on-site events and paid events (on their own).
- 68% of respondents rated the ARVC conference as either ‘Valuable’ or ‘Very Valuable.’
- 63% said that they were either ‘Likely’ or ‘Very Likely’ to attend the 2011 conference in Savannah.
Editor’s Note: The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has sent out this appeal to its members to support the industrywide Go RVing campaign.
It is important to continue supporting the Go RVing national advertising campaign through ARVC’s voluntary contribution program. All contributions received from our member parks go directly to help fund this national campaign. It is an inexpensive marketing opportunity for your campground or RV park that helps you tie in with the nationally recognized campaign messages and images.
And best yet, Go RVing has developed a brand new Leads-Plus Program that qualifies the leads that you receive from GoRVing.com. To increase the value of the Go RVing consumer leads to campgrounds and RV parks, and to help users generate more sales, Go RVing has developed a new leads prioritization system.
The new Leads-Plus Program will deliver more highly qualified leads categorized by RV purchase likelihood, helping campgrounds and RV parks follow up more efficiently and effectively. Participation in this optional program also gives campgrounds and RV parks an opportunity to use materials connected to the national campaign.
Here are some highlights:
New Leads – Plus Program
NEW FOR 2011! Go RVing campgrounds and RV parks signed up for the tie–in program can access Go RVing leads via the Internet that are prioritized according to the consumer’s likelihood to purchase an RV. They will be ranked: Highly Likely, Moderately Likely,Likely or Interested in Purchasing.
Go RVing Print Ad-Builder with New Affordability Messages
Go RVing campgrounds and RV parks have unlimited access to an online ad-builder that will allow them to create and customize ads and postcards with Go RVing photos and themes. Once assembled, the ads are available for download on to a computer or disc or for e-mailing to a printer or media outlet, saving everyone time and money.
Digital RV Pictures in Image Bank on GoRVing.com
Go RVing campgrounds and RV parks signed up for the program have access to multiple high resolution images of consumers enjoying a variety of RV products to use in advertisements, yellow pages ads, websites, and other promotional materials.
Go RVing Direct mail Builder
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The National Association of RV Parks and Campground (ARVC) is overhauling the marketing and pricing of its annual convention and expo in an effort to significantly increase park operator participation in the event, according to a news release.
This year’s event, to be held Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 in Savannah, Ga., is being rebranded as the 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo in an effort to attract participation from vendors who have an active interest in the outdoor hospitality industry, but haven’t previously been involved in ARVC events, said Paul Bambei, ARVC’s newly hired president and CEO.
“We will invite interested parties to register and attend who can make our industry stronger through their alliance, and we will do this without losing the homespun, friendly spirit of the conference that has welcomed so many of our members in years past.”
Conference fees will also be restructured to attract much greater participation, particularly from owners and operators of small- and medium-size parks who haven’t previously attended ARVC conventions.
“I’ve personally learned from recent discussions with small park owners that our registration fees went far beyond the small park owner’s affordability threshold, as evidenced by the fact that only 3% of 2010 conference attendance was represented by parks with 100 sites or less,” Bambei said. “Even larger parks, those with 101 to 250 sites, accounted for only 6% of attendance.”
“As a result,” Bambei said, “I am putting the entire conference rate structure under the microscope to determine what we can reasonably do to attract every park owner who truly wants to come, as well as incent those couples and multi-generational family members who want to come together.”
A new rate structure for the conference will be announced during the second half of February.
The 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo will take place at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort & Spa.
“Regardless of the new rate structure, one thing’s for sure,” said Bambei. “Anyone even remotely thinking about coming to the conference should register before the pre-registration deadline of Aug. 31 to take advantage of the best, most deeply discounted rates. We will be marketing the new rate structure like never before, including a fun contest you’ll be hearing about shortly that encourages state associations to register as many new and renewal members as possible.”
For more information, please visit www.arvc.org.
Paul Bambei, new president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), sat down for an extensive interview with RV park and campground industry writer Evanne Schmarder during the recent InSites Convention in Las Vegas, Nev.
Bambei is an avid camper and RVer.
Click here to watch the 27-minute interview.