The new chairman and CEO of Best Parks in America may have operated “under the radar” in the RV park and campground sector but that era has come to an end, according to a report by Woodall’s Campground Management.
Best Parks Founder David Gorin used the “radar” analogy to refer to Reza Paydar, whom he introduced on Monday (Feb. 4) as the new lead investor in Best Parks, a 10-year-old marketing group that encompasses 70 quality parks across the nation, mostly located in the East.
Paydar is no stranger to the industry, but he “has not had a high level of visibility,” said Gorin, who will remain as Best Parks president and chief spokesman.
Yet, over the past 30 years, Paydar has garnered extensive experience in building successful RV resorts, hotel and commercial property developments as well as other types of companies.
He is known in the RV park and campground circle as a good businessman who runs a tight ship but one who maintains a low profile within the industry. His parks are members of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC) but he does not take an active role in association activities.
However, just as he stepped up to create Sunland RV Resorts, a chain of resorts in Southern California and Florida, Paydar expects to lead Best Parks’ branding network to another level.
“I am completely excited about the opportunity to be of service and invest in the great platform David has created over the years,” Paydar said during Monday’s news conference announcing the changing of the guard.
Paydar said he wants to use the synergy that is created through the Best Parks network, whose members he termed “the best of the breed,” to enhance not only the members but the entire RV park and campground industry.
“Through this process we are hoping Best Parks in America will become a platform of opportunities for independent operators to benefit from it. Cross promotions will benefit all independent RV park owners,” he said, without fear of losing their own identity or brand.
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Best Parks in America is not only under new leadership but its new capital investor, Reza Paydar, plans to make the network of 70 parks across the U.S. into a worldwide known product.
David Gorin, Best Parks founder and president, announced Paydar’s investment during a news conference today (Feb. 4).
Gorin, based in Virginia, will remain the Best Parks spokesman and president, but Paydar takes on the new role of chairman and majority owner. Paydar, a Californian, has extensive experience in building successful RV resorts, hotel and commercial property developments as well as other types of companies, Gorin noted. Deb Kohls will continue as vice president of Best Parks.
Gorin reported that the changeover occurred about three weeks ago.
“For the last year or so we have been working hard to identify new sources of capital for Best Parks in America to develop the program and brand, and to secure high-level executive leadership to move the network forward. I am excited to say we accomplished both elements,” Gorin said.
Paydar’s investment in Best Parks ties in with several of the major points raised during Best Parks’ first membership conference held last November in Orlando, Fla., Gorin noted. The landmark conference drew Best Parks affiliates as well as representatives from international campground associations.
At that time, Best Parks in America affiliates agreed progress was needed in five areas:
• Building a state-of-the-art website that will exceed consumer expectations and will serve as the welcoming face of Best Parks In America.
• Introducing on-line reservation capability that will allow consumers to make 24/7/365 reservations directly from the Best Parks website.
• The creation of a consumer loyalty, recognition and reward program beginning with the Best Guests in America Advantages program being launched in the next two months, and moving rapidly towards a total system on par with those in other industries,
• Renewed focus on promotion and advertising to expand the visibility and awareness of Best Parks among consumers.
• Development and implementation of a brand compliance program including an inspection program to assure that all of the Best Parks are complying with brand standards and meeting the highest standards of facilities, amenities, staffing and guest services expected of Best Parks affiliates and expected by our guests.
Progress is being made on accomplishing all five points, Gorin said.
For example, starting this year Paydar said all Best Parks affiliates will undergo an inspection to guarantee that they meet the standards expected of all members.
Gorin said Best Parks, heretofore a brand with a decided “Eastern” composition, has identified many “target markets” west of the Mississippi River to expand its footprint in the coming years. The idea, Paydar said, is that the Best Parks brand will become so compelling that its ranks will grow well beyond the present membership of 70.
Improving the technological aspects of Best Parks affiliates is at the heart of the new alliance.
Paydar is a 30-year veteran of the RV park industry and owner of the upscale Sunland RV Resorts chain based in Southern California, including Best Parks affiliate Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert, Calif., and Silver Palms RV Village in Okeechobee, Fla. He said he plans to promote the software available through his RMS North America holding as a software platform not only for Best Parks members’ reservations systems in the U.S. but also, at present, to promote the brand internationally, primarily in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Paydar’s investment in Best Parks ties in directly with his RMS North America venture.
Paydar said he recognized more than four years ago that the outdoor hospitality industry needed the computer software and technology that connected the indoor hospitality industry. Providing that connectivity was essential to serve national as well as international travelers, he said.
Now, with the strategic alliance between RMS North America and Best Parks in America, the two will create a synergy that will serve them both in a competitive marketplace, Paydar said.
Best Parks affiliates that choose to adopt RMS software will benefit from this alliance, not only through improved software, but also through connectivity to domestic travelers and international travelers who will become familiar with the high standards set by Best Parks, Paydar said.
Best Parks in America already has a strategic partnership with the Leading Campings of Europe, an organization similar to Best Parks in America, and the two are laying the groundwork for an organization that would have worldwide representation, from areas such as Australia, New England and South Africa.
Best Parks in America, a national network of RV parks and campgrounds, added four new affiliated parks in Florida, Missouri, South Carolina and Arizona.
“The addition of these new parks come in popular markets where RVers enjoy visiting and we’re delighted to have new affiliates in the Tampa, Fla., metropolitan area, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Branson, Mo., and Yuma, Ariz.,” Best Parks President David Gorin stated in a news release. “As we expand we are looking towards building a network of parks in the most popular markets for RVing, camping and all kinds of outdoor recreation and hospitality.”
• America’s Best Campground, Branson, Mo., gives Best Parks in America its first property in this very popular country music city. Owned by Jim and Sue Alkire, America’s Best Campground (ABC for short) has a long history of being the top-rated park in the Branson area.
• Shangri-La RV Resort in Yuma, Ariz., situated in southern Arizona paradise, caters to wintering RVers. Owned by John and Tami Heidrich, Shangri-La has been named one of the Top 100 Parks in the Good Sam network nationwide for the last three years.
• Morningside RV Estates, Dade City, Fla., is an extended stay luxury RV Park with a 400-site 5-star 55-plus gated RV park with full amenities, including wo clubhouses, an enclosed heated pool, shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits, two laundries, billiards, a library and a golf cart path to the Walmart.
• Cypress Camping Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is a boutique property in an resort area known for its large and exciting beach front RV resorts. Owned by Kenneth Hucks, the resort features year-round premium intracoastal waterway campsites and a 100 pull thru campsites with full hook ups.
Best Parks in America affiliates earned two Park of the Year Honors, nine “A” ratings in a GuestReviews.com survey and a State Association President of the Year award during the recently completed National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo.
According to a press release, the Vineyards Campground & Cabins/Best Parks in America, located outside Dallas in Grapevine, Texas, was recognized as the ARVC Small Park of the Year while Bethpage Camp Resort/Best Parks in America, Urbanna, Va., won Park of the Year honors among the largest parks in the country. The resort, owned by Walt Hurley and his family, won the award for the second time.
“Best Parks extends a warm congratulations to both Joe and Walt on this outstanding recognition. We’re proud to have two Best Parks win Park of the Year honors this year and I doubt there are any more deserving parks than these,” said BPA President David Gorin.
BPA affiliates won 9 of the 42 “A” grade awards from Guest Reviews, more than any other park group or brand.
Best Parks in America park owner Jimmy Felton of Misty River Campground & Cabins, Walland, Tenn., received the State Association President of the Year Award. Felton was recognized by his peers for his leadership and volunteer efforts on behalf of the park industry in Tennessee.
“In addition to being outstanding business owners and executives, BPA owners are industry leaders in many respects,” Gorin said. “Jimmy’s a great example of providing excellent leadership to his own business, but also taking time to give back to the industry as a volunteer leader.”
Best Parks in America (BPA) celebrated several accomplishments of its affiliates in its first Network Conference held recently in Orlando, Fla.
Among those receiving awards for outstanding performance were Mitch Parker, owner, Frontier Town Campground, Berlin, Md., winner of the large park category in the 2012 Best of Summer promotion; and Vern Mangels, Anaheim Resort RV Park, Anaheim, Calif., winner of the medium size park category. Both recipients were on hand to accept their rewards.
The Best of Summer promotion kicked off the summer inviting consumers and guests to vote for their favorite RV park or campground. With thousands of votes received, these two parks were winners in their categories because of their outstanding service and commitment to excellence.
Also recognized with a special award was Pine Acres Family Camping Resort, Oakham, Mass. Pine Acres was recognized as being the No. 1 “referrer” of consumers from their website to the Best Parks website. Park owners Randy and Denise Packard were on hand to receive their award, together with daughter Tessa and son-in-law Ben Wisnewski.
Best Parks affiliates gathered for the conference remarked that this was one of the best forums to network and learn together, according to a news release. Bill Harvey, owner of Cross Creek Country Club and RV Park, Arcadia, Fla., remarked, “I thought the BPA conference was very worthwhile for me. Really good group of folks who were all open to sharing with their practices and ideas.”
The conference brought together key leaders and owners of affiliates around the country and focused on the importance of setting standards and promoting the brand integrity through consumer referrals and best practices.
Greg Sidoroff, vice president of Emerald Desert, Palm Desert, Calif., said, “As the newest property of Best Parks in America, it was exciting to find that the organization is growing to represent the Best of the Best, and is striving to put in place high standards so that guests will know the difference and value of staying at a Best Park.”
Best Parks in America has announced the addition of two new affiliated resorts, The Great Outdoors RV Resort in Franklin, N.C., and Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert, Calif. Heading into 2013, there are currently 68 affiliated properties in the Best Parks in America network, according to a news release.
“Best Parks in America is thrilled to add two new affiliates in these two outstanding vacation destinations,” said David Gorin, president of Best Parks. “The Great Outdoors RV Resort is the first Best Park affiliate in North Carolina and the addition of Emerald Desert brings the number of California parks to four including facilities in Anaheim, Palm Springs/Palm Desert and the northern California wine country around Plymouth.
“Adding Best Park affiliates in both of these markets is another step forward for the Best Parks network. Coming on the addition of four new parks in Connecticut, Florida, California and Arizona announced in late September, we hope these latest new Best Parks will catch the attention of park owners in other key markets.”
Owned by Ron and Mary Blake, The Great Outdoors RV Resort is their first RV park venture. Not new to hospitality, the Blakes have a long history in the industry having owned country inns in Australia and Vermont, winning accolades and awards for excellence.
Located in the western North Carolina mountains in popular Franklin, the resort earned recognition in the top 300 RV parks of over 12,000 inspected by Trailer Life in the U.S. The resort is known for its friendly staff and panoramic vistas of the beautiful Smoky Mountains and is big-rig, motorcycle and rally group friendly.
McLean, Va.-based Best Parks of America recently confirmed the core values of its foundation and its mission to connect consumers to RV resorts and campgrounds, according to a press release.
Looking forward to 2013, a continued emphasis will be on promoting the RV and camping lifestyle, highlighting experience and the unique differences each property in the network brings to the consumer.
Goals for Best Parks include:
• Best Parks affiliates deliver the best facilities, amenities, services and hospitality experiences in the outdoor industry.
• Best Parks promotes an “on your own but not alone” business philosophy which provides affiliates with the advantages of a franchised brand identity without the cost of franchise fees, royalties and lengthy contracts.
• Best Parks is a brand which allows independent properties to effectively compete in the markets they serve while benefitting from the collaboration of resources.
• Best Parks is the source for the highest quality professional business services, marketing, and technology for affiliates that increase revenues, decrease costs and expand consumer access.
• Best Parks promotes an enriched and unique consumer outdoor experience and does not promote discounts.
• Best Parks rewards and encourages loyalty to Best Parks in America affiliates through the Best Guests in America membership program.
• Best Parks affiliates “Exceed guest expectations . . . every time . . . every location”.
Best Parks in America (BPA) has announced the kickoff of its fall affiliation campaign and its 2013 marketing initiatives.
According to a news release, new marketing activities for 2013 include:
- Expanded Internet outreach programs to raise the visibility of Best Parks and connect RVers, campers and outdoor recreation consumers to the brand.
- A new Best Guests in America newsletter with promotional opportunities for affiliates to target their messages.
- An expanded Best Guest loyalty and rewards membership program.
“With over 70 affiliated parks now in the network, we expect to grow to 100 affiliates as we target expansion into key markets that are not now served by Best Parks affiliates,” David Gorin, Best Parks president and CEO. “As we gear up for 2013, Best Parks is inviting highly rated RV parks and campgrounds interested in standing out in their markets through hospitality and service excellence rather than promoting discounts to join this national network. Best Parks in America is the only group segmenting highly rated parks and targeting high value RVers and campers of all ages.”
He continued, “The Best Parks network has grown to include a diverse set of properties in highly targeted vacation destination areas. We have plans to continue to expand the number of affiliated parks and to rapidly grow consumer brand awareness of Best Parks in America and the unique and complimentary Best Guests in America camping club during 2013.”
“There’s nothing more important to Best Parks in 2013 then to expand consumer awareness and membership in Best Guests in America, “ said Deb Kohls, BPA vice president. “Best Parks offer the finest RVing and camping and once RVers and campers get a taste of the Best Parks experience, they’ll be hooked.”
About Best Parks in America
Best Parks in America is the leading national network of premium-level outdoor hospitality properties representing the finest RV resorts and campgrounds in the US. Its mission is to organize and promote an exclusive group of independent outdoor resorts, including destination campgrounds, luxury RV parks, romantic cabins and expansive self-contained RV resorts.
Established in 2003 by forward-thinking leaders in the outdoor hospitality industry, it started with 21 initial members. Today, the current affiliated Best Parks in America are independent and unique and all are committed to delivering rich, authentic experiences their guests have come to expect in their vacation experience. To be welcomed into the Best Parks family of outdoor destination resorts, each property must adhere to strict quality standards and be committed to offering the best in hospitality services.
Best Parks in America (BPA) has announced the introduction of a new rating system that will be used to evaluate RV parks and campgrounds that wish to join the national Best Parks network of highly-rated, premium RV parks and campgrounds. According to a press release, the Best Parks board endorsed the new system at a meeting on June 6 and agreed to implement the measuring system immediately.
“As Best Parks continues to build a new market segment and create a niche audience that seeks higher end, premium parks to enjoy, every effort must be made to assure consumers that parks affiliated with BPA stand out and truly are the best. Continued reliance on the Trailer Life and now Good Sam ratings is no longer appropriate and doesn’t provide a valid measuring tool on which to judge parks for inclusion in Best Parks,” said BPA board member Mike Gurevich, owner of Cherry Hill Park, College Park, Md.
“It’s imperative that Best Parks continue to raise the bar as it creates a new industry segment. Every park in the network reflects on every other park and the goal is to come as close as possible to universal agreement among consumers that each park in the network has earned and deserves the recognition and brand as one of the Best Parks in America. This new rating system is an important development in this direction,” said board member Randy Packard, owner of Pine Acres Family Camping Resort in Oakham, Mass.
The new system scores 110 elements on a scale of 1 to 4. Initially, parks that attain a score of 225 or higher can be considered for Best Parks affiliation. The system takes into account the diversity that exists among parks in different geographic areas, among those serving various demographic groups, and the value of the overall consumer experience at the park.
“Just as KOA, Leisure Systems and other companies have their way of evaluating the properties in their group, Best Parks will now have in place a way to assure that each park in the system will meet the high standards expected by its target consumers and is of the highest quality in terms of guest experience, facilities, amenities, hospitality and service,” said BPA President David Gorin.
Established in 2003, Best Parks in America currently consists of 66 affiliated facilities nationwide.
Best Parks in America (BPA), a national network of 65 premium RV parks and campgrounds, announced the appointment of four people to its board.
According to a news release, the four new directors, whose terms officially begin July 1 and continue for three years, are: Michael Gurevich, owner of Cherry Hill Park, College Park, Md.; Tripp Keber, COO of Bella Terra Realty Holdings, developers of Bella Terra RV Resort, Foley, Ala.; Vern Mangels, owner of Anaheim Resort RV Park, Anaheim, Calif.; and Randy Packard, owner of Pine Acres Family Camping Resort, Oakham, Mass.
Best Parks President and CEO David Gorin and Vice President Deb Kohls also serve as board members.
During 2011, Best Parks was restructured into a non-shareholder corporation and now operates as an association of member parks. The board will be meeting quarterly with the next meeting scheduled to take place on June 6.
“These four new BPA board members represent the diversity of the park industry – the board is geographically diverse, their parks serve varying demographic segments, and the board members represent destination vacation resorts, destination tourist or travel parks and the ownership park business model,” said Gorin. “ This is a highly experienced group of sharp businesspeople and there’s no doubt that all the Best Parks affiliates will be very well served by this outstanding group of industry experts.”