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Ashdown Keynotes Northeast Park Conference

March 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Blake Ashdown

Blake Ashdown

Best Parks in America (BPA) is sponsoring a seminar and the keynote address at the upcoming Northeast Campground Association (NCA) Conference on Camping in Sturbridge, Mass.

Blake Ashdown, a key BPA strategic partner, will present his seminar on March 27 at 1 p.m. on the topic “Marketing in the NEW Experience Economy.”NCA logo

Ashdown will also present the keynote address that evening starting at 8 on March 28. Ashdown will also be joining Best Parks for the Monday morning meeting of Best Parks in America affiliates and invited New England park owners who qualify for affiliation, according to a news release.

The conference, the RV park and campground industry’s largest regional event, runs March 27-29 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center and will draw campground owners and operators from throughout the Northeast. It also features a trade show.

On Monday morning, the NCA buffet breakfast will take place in the hotel courtyard. The meeting room is right off the courtyard and very convenient to where breakfast will be. Guests are encouraged to pick up their breakfast and bring it to the Dudley Room where the meeting will be held. Park staff attending the NCA conference are cordially invited to join in.

“If you have a campground owner colleague who you feel would qualify and be a good addition to the Best Parks in America family, please invite them to attend the meeting with you,” David Gorin, BPA president, stated. “If you can assist us in enrolling a new BPA affiliate, we will gladly send you a $100 Visa Gift Card to thank you for your assistance.”

Ashdown is a successful entrepreneur who has started 15 businesses over the past 30 years, including 10 RV resorts and campgrounds. His last venture in the park industry was the acquisition, redevelopment and eventual sale of Tropical Palms Fun Resort in Orlando. For the last four years, he has been a professor at the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University where he teaches marketing and business strategy. Ashdown is the president of SureVista Solutions, a marketing research firm that provides marketing tools designed to increase income.

For more information contact Gorin at (703) 448-6863.

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Best Parks in America Sets Conference Plan

November 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Blake Ashdown

Blake Ashdown

Best Parks in America (BPA) will hold its upcoming annual conference Dec. 1-2 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel in Las Vegas at the same time that the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) will be holding its annual InSites national convention.

The meeting opens at 8 a.m. on Dec. 1 with the Best Parks in America annual meeting. This session is for BPA affiliates only and will provide an opportunity for affiliates to get acquainted and to hear a report on BPA marketing progress from David Gorin, president and founder of BPA, according to a news release.Best Parks in America logo

Blake Ashdown, BPA’s Entrepreneur in Residence for the conference, will present three seminars during the two-day meeting. Ashdown’s presentations include a 10 a.m. session on Dec. 1 on “Marketing in the New Experience Economy” and a 2:30 seminar that afternoon on “Making Better Decisions with Today’s and Tomorrow’s Technology.” A third seminar on Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. will cover “2011 & Beyond: Where BPA is Headed & How You Can Benefit.”

The two seminars on Dec. 1 are open to all attendees at the ARVC convention as well as BPA affiliates and both seminars are approved for credit in ARVC’s Certified Park Operators program. The seminar on the afternoon of Dec. 2 is open to all park owners attending either the BPA or the ARVC meeting.

Ashdown is a successful entrepreneur who has started 15 businesses over the past 30 years including 10 RV resorts and campgrounds. His last venture in the park industry was the acquisition, redevelopment and eventual sale of Tropical Palms Fun Resort in Orlando. For the last four years, he has been a professor at the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University where he teaches marketing and business strategy. Ashdown is the president of SureVista Solutions, a marketing research firm that provided marketing tools designed to increase income.

On the morning of Dec. 2, Best Parks affiliates will attend an Affiliate Roundtable on “Best Practices: Implementing the Best Parks Brand” from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. This session is followed by a Strategic Partner Showcase featuring a series of cameo presentations by five of BPA’s strategic partners.

  • Wade Elliott, Utility Supply Group – “National Electrical Code 2011 Changes.”
  • Jay Zandman, Manning & Nozick – “Reducing Insurance Premiums Without Reducing Coverages.”
  • Bruce Hoster, Coast to Coast – Increasing Revenue with Wholesale Programs.
  • Deb Kohls, Leisure Interactive – “Taking On-Line Reservations. Why Should I Care?”
  • Steve Zimmerman, Beach House Logos – “What’s Pet Friendly? Products for Pets.”

“Best Parks is pleased to be able to offer Blake’s seminars as part of the ARVC convention and we look forward to sharing his expertise with the entire industry,” Gorin stated. “By opening the Best Parks meetings to all, we hope to contribute to the success of the ARVC meeting as well as introduce Best Parks in America to a wider range of park owners.”

“Best Parks in America is excited to be introducing a new program to enable parks that may not currently meet BPA qualifications but are working towards improving park operations, facilities and amenities to raise their ratings to the Best Parks in America level. This meeting is a great way to introduce park owners to Best Parks and to show how the brand can assist them in improving revenue and profitability,” said Gorin.

Best Parks in America is a national marketing group and brand exclusively for highly rated RV parks and campgrounds across the United States. With 69 affiliated parks, the brand is rapidly expanding its reach and gaining consumer recognition as the brand to select when seeking the best RVing and camping experiences in America.

For information on the Best Parks meetings and for affiliation information, Best Parks can be reached at info@bestparksinamerica.com or by phone at (703) 448-6863.

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Conference to Address 21st Century RV Park

September 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Blake Ashdown

Blake Ashdown

The Virginia Campground Marketing Conference, sponsored by the Virginia Campground Association (VCA), will be held Oct. 18-20 at American Heritage RV Resort in Willliamsburg, Va.

The 2 1/2-day meeting will be entirely devoted to discussing marketing tools and techniques for the 21st century, according to a news release. As the park industry continues to enjoy significant growth and public interest, the industry is becoming increasingly competitive and marketing is considered the key to success for individual parks.Virginia Campground Association logo

The major speaker at the conference will Blake Ashdown, one of the park industry’s most successful entrepreneurs.

Blake has started 15 businesses over the past 30 years, including 10 RV resorts and campgrounds. He received the “Professional of the Year Award” from the American Resort and Development Association and is a registered resort professional. Ashdown was one of the creators of the Encore brand of RV parks and was the architect of its successful marketing and branding program. His most well-known RV park project is Tropical Palms Fun Resort in Orlando.

For the past four years Ashdown has been a professor at the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University where he taught marketing and business strategy. He is a frequent speaker at industry conventions, conferences and business meetings.

He is the president of SureVista Solutions, a marketing research firm that provides new marketing tools designed to increase revenues.

“Blake has an incredible appreciation for what it takes to market an RV park in today’s rapidly changing world,” said David Gorin, VCA executive. “We’re thrilled to have him as the featured speaker at this first-ever VCA marketing conference. VCA parks have had a good 2010 camping season and parks are improving their game significantly. Staying in the game with great competitors in the Virginia market, requires a real understanding of marketing to today’s consumers. Blake will be a great inspiration and help to park owners who are ready to step up for success.”

In addition to Ashdown, special guests and speakers will include Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), who will share the lessons she’s learned about the park industry in her 40 years in the business. VCA will honor and recognize Profaizer’s long industry career as she prepares to retire at the end of the year.

Mary Arlington, owner of High Plains Camping in Kansas, will also be a special guest. Arlington has fine-tuned the use of social media to build her small campground into a powerhouse small business with national recognition. Affiliated with Best Parks in America, High Plains Camping has received a Guest Review A rating for two years running and is gaining RVer attention throughout Kansas and Middle America. She will discuss her successful social media campaign and how she’s used the cost effective outreach to grow her business.

John Rust and daughter Carol Rust, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, Luray, Va., will also speak, addressing two marketing programs they created during 2010. One program offered a camping discount through Groupon, an Internet marketing program that is sweeping the country in some metropolitan areas. In addition, the Rusts launched a weekly e-mail newsletter to potential and past guests offering specials and most importantly advising on availability for the coming weekend and future weekends. Both of these programs, Groupon and e-mailing, will be part of a panel discussion on new marketing techniques and tools.

The conference is open to park owners throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. For information on program details and registration, please email tovca@aol.com or call David Gorin at (703) 448 6863. Camping is available at American Heritage RV Resort and hotel accommodations are available nearby.

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