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AGS Reports Record Sales Gains During 2012

April 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

AGS has recorded its strongest sales gains in the company’s 26-year history, according to Brian Schaeffer, company president, who acquired the publishing firm two years ago.

“We are very blessed to have the most productive advertising teams in AGS history,” Schaeffer stated in a news release. He added that over half of the company’s ad teams each sold over $100,000 in advertising sales — a company first.

He said AGS advertising representatives received over $40,000 in bonuses, Rolex watches, gift cards and special recognition during the company’s annual meeting, which took place March 3 to 6 at the Lake Conroe/North Houston KOA in Montgomery, Texas. AGS was purchased in July of 2011 by its current owners from Good Sam Enterprises LLC, the company formerly known as Affinity Group Inc.

AGS has recorded its strongest sales gains in the company’s 26-year history, according to Brian Schaeffer, company president, who acquired the publishing firm two years ago.

“We are very blessed to have the most productive advertising teams in AGS history,” Schaeffer stated in a news release. He added that over half of the company’s ad teams each sold over $100,000 in advertising sales — a company first.

He said AGS advertising representatives received over $40,000 in bonuses, Rolex watches, gift cards and special recognition during the company’s annual meeting, which took place March 3 to 6 at the Lake Conroe/North Houston KOA in Montgomery, Texas.

For 2013, AGS plans to provide continuing charitable support for IMAHelps, KOA Care Camps and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. AGS also plans to provide donations to Feherty’s Troops First Foundation; Joel Osteen Ministries; and Operation Kindness, the oldest and largest no-kill animal shelter in North Texas.

Based in Crowley, AGS provides guest guides and website services for more than 800 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the U.S. and Canada. Texas Advertising acquired AGS from Good Sam Enterprises LLC in June of 2011. For more information about AGS, visit its website at www.agspub.com.

 

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TACO Predicts Strong Winter Season Coming

October 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

 The upcoming winter season is shaping up to be at least as busy, if not busier, than last year for campgrounds, RV parks and resorts that cater to Winter Texans, according to the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).

“Our members are reporting strong advance bookings that are at least on par with last year’s figures, while some parks are projecting occupancy gains of 5 to 15 percent or more,” said Brian Schaeffer, TACO’executive director and CEO.

Several park operators said they were pleased with the pace of winter reservations for the 2010-2011 season.

“Last winter was the busiest winter we’ve ever had, and as of right now, we’re looking to be about even or above last year’s figures,” said TACO President Doug Shearer, who owns the 95-site Parkview Riverside RV Park in Concan.

 Don Temple, owner of Guadalupe River RV Resort in Kerrville, said he expects a busier winter, too, with occupancies up at least 10% to 15 % above last winter’s figures. “Reservations are steadily coming in and we’ve got lots of deposits, more deposits than last year. We’ve also got more rallies scheduled this fall,” he said.

Teri Blaschke, who co-owns Hidden Valley RV Park in Von Ormy, said her advance reservations were running well ahead of last year’s figures. “I would say that we’re expecting about a 25% increase (in business this winter), just looking at what we’ve got so far,” she said.

Koyote Ranch in Medina also anticipates a stronger winter season. “We’ve doubled the Winter Texan group in the past year and a half,” said Pete Cook, the park’s general manager. “I think we’ll be twice as busy this winter as we were last winter.” The six-year-old park features 50 RV sites, 31 log cabins, a 5,600-square foot home, which the park uses as a bed and breakfast inn, a bunkhouse and tent camping areas.

Meanwhile, Gwen Craig, who owns Rayford Crossing RV Resort in Spring as well as Timberline Ridge RV Village in Magnolia, said she expects her winter occupancies to be up about 5 percent, based on the latest reservation statistics. “We’re looking at 90% to 95% occupancy,” she said, adding. “We’re getting lots of new people, people who haven’t been with us before.”

Chicago-based Equity LifeStyle Properties, which owns and operates several RV resorts in the Rio Grande Valley, said its initial advance reservations for the upcoming winter were running 8% ahead of last year.

Other park operators said they expected their occupancies to be up only slightly this coming winter. “At the moment, we’re just a little bit up from last year,” said Ed Welliver, owner of Oleander Acres RV Park in Mission.

Jeni Wilson, manager of Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort in Mission, said her advance winter reservations were running about 1% ahead of last year. The park has 247 sites, including nine with 650-square foot casitas and four with park model rentals.

Tom Brooks, general manager of KOA in South Padre Island, said he expects his Winter Texan business to be about even with last year’s figures.

Some park operators said it was difficult to predict the strength of the upcoming winter season. “It’s hard for us to tell until the last minute because lots of people wait until the last minute (to make their reservations),” said Bonita Story, RV office manager for Llano Grande Lake Resort in Mercedes. Roughly half of the resort’s 1,200 sites accommodate transient RVers, she said.

The Texas Association of Campground Operators publishes and distributes the Texas RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas each year. For more information about the directory or for statistics involving the latest camping trends in Texas and New Mexico parks, please contact Brian Schaeffer at (817) 307-0129 or visit http://www.texascampgrounds.com/ and http://www.texascabinrentals.net.

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TACO Holds Fall Parks Tour at Rustic Creek

October 21, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) Sunday (Oct. 19) held its annual Fall Parks on Tour at Rustic Creek Ranch in Burleson, Texas.

Approximately 65 people attended, spending a few hours looking over every aspect of the magnificent property, according to a report to members by Executive Director Brian Schaeffer.

The recent addition of dozens of RV sites, beautifully appointed cottages and fabulous meeting halls were the highlights.

Just prior to the park tour, guests were treated to an outstanding collection of vintage Corvettes, Camaros and muscle cars at a nearby collector.

The association unveiled the look and feel of a significant rebuild of its consumer website – www.texascampgrounds.com. The new site will be very visually appealing, extremely content rich with very robust search capability. Changes to member park information can be made immediately on the new site which goes live at the end of the year. The new site, featuring 400-plus private campgrounds, will continue to garner more visitors than any other state camping site, Schaeffer predicted.

During a CPO-approved marketing round table discussion 60% of owners indicated that their business had grown steadily over the last three years. Approximately 30% indicated they were flat over the same period, while 10% have seen a slight down turn in the last two years.

Most owners indicated they employed a well-rounded marketing approach of print media, online advertising various word-of-mouth programs to promote business.

Approximately two-thirds of the group said they had expanded their facilities or upgraded amenities over the previous year and half of the parks have expansion plans for this year. All attendees confirmed significant increases in operating expenses. Leading the way were property tax increase ranging from 20% to 200% over the last two years.

An award was presented to the host park – Rustic Creek Ranch. Also, board service awards were presented to Carolyn Brown of Boone RV Park, Lampasas, Texas; and Terry Cagle of Little Creel RV Park, Chama, N.M., for six years of  TACO board service. A slate of directors was presented and approved for the 2009 – 2010 TACO board.

 Officers are President Doug Shearer, Parkview Riverside RV Park, Rio Frio; 1st Vice President Rober Kennedy, Lubbock RV Park, Lubbock; 2nd Vice President Don Temple, Guadalupe River RV Resort, Kerrville; Treasurer Allan Hughes, Grand Prairie; and Secretary Mac McLaughlin, Hatch RV Park, Corpus Christi.

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