The Good Sam Club, world’s largest organization of RV owners, is throwing the biggest RV celebration in its history this week with a nationwide celebration in appreciation of its U.S. and Canadian members, including a new high-profile celebrity spokesman, a new racing affiliation, new club benefits and the opportunity for great savings on RV accessories at Camping World.
The celebration kicks off with the announcement of country music superstar Tim McGraw as a spokesperson for the Good Sam Club and the club’s support of McGraw’s 2011 “Emotional Traffic Tour,” according to a news release.
As part of the new partnership, McGraw will lend his image and voice to Camping World Retail SuperCenters through store signage and messaging. He will also be featured on the cover of the upcoming edition of the Camping World and Good Sam Club magazine, Highways. Camping World and Good Sam will offer their members and customers VIP ticket giveaways to McGraw’s “Emotional Traffic” tour and the chance to enter and win an exclusive meet-and-greet opportunity in an upcoming sweepstakes.
And in another announcement, Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne and his Wood Brothers Race Team will carry the colors of the Good Sam Club in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday (April 17) and in the NASCAR Sprint All Star Race on May 21. For the sport of NASCAR and for the legions of fans of Bayne and the Wood Brothers, the sponsorship from the Good Sam Club fits right in with the spirit of the camping club, whose members join together for outdoor excursions.
“I’m thrilled to have Tim McGraw, Trevor Bayne and the Wood Brothers on board for the national celebration weekend,” said Marcus Lemonis, CEO of the Good Sam Club and its sister company, Camping World.
Founded in 1966, the Good Sam Club is based loosely on the biblical Good Samaritan who offered to help a traveler in need. Good Sam’s now-iconic halo and wide grin still signify camaraderie among members and their willingness to offer aid to fellow RVers. Today, the Good Sam Club offers benefits including a 10% discount at thousands of Good Sam Parks nationwide. The Good Sam Parks are inspected and rated annually according to an exclusive Triple Rating System to ensure each park is clean, safe and comfortable plus meeting quality standards.
Good Sam Club is currently working to offer additional savings at Good Sam Parks as well as increase the number of quality parks in the network. The Good Sam Club is adding some great new benefits in the coming months in addition to members’ exclusive savings on RV insurance, road service, accessories, repairs, RV publications and more. Visit www.GoodSamClub.com for details.
“These additional benefits are designed to give our members even more ways to enjoy their travels and RV living,” said Sue Bray, Good Sam Club Member Benefits director. “We looked at ways the RV lifestyle has changed in the last few years, at how RVers are finding new ways to use and enjoy their motorhome or travel trailer. We wanted to find new ways that the Good Sam Club could help our members enjoy their RVs even more by making RVing more affordable, as well as to help new RV owners get into the lifestyle.”
Good Sam Club members will also enjoy special savings from Thursday (April 14) through Sunday during National Good Sam Club Days at Camping World, America’s largest retailer of RV and outdoor accessories and services plus new and used RVs. This year, the annual Good Sam Club Days has been extended for an extra day so RV, camping and outdoor enthusiasts have more time to take advantage of all the great savings!
National Good Sam Club Days will be celebrated at all Camping World locations nationwide and will include 4-Day-Only Coupon Specials, FREE daily seminars, FREE snacks and FREE lunch on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Good Sam Club members can also take advantage of additional money-saving offers on the purchase of a new or used motorhome, Emergency Road Service, installation fees and more. Plus, attendees can register to win a free year of Camping at the 1,700 Good Sam Club RV Parks nationwide. Coupons and additional information for the 4-Day Only Specials on products and services can be found in all Camping World retail stores and online at CampingWorld.com/goodsamdays.
“This week is a chance for Good Sam Club members to celebrate their lifestyle, for us to show our appreciation and for America to learn about how RVing with the Good Sam Club is second to none,” said Lemonis.
With a much stronger focus on and commitment to Good Sam members and their experiences, Good Sam, the nation’s largest RV community, announced today (March 30) a ramp up going forward on their rally activities.
The colossal Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona is gearing up for The Rally March 22-25, 2012, followed by charming Louisville, Ky., June 21 – 24. Historic Daytona International Speedway in Florida will fly the green flag for RVers Oct. 25 – 28 and round out the RV rally circuit for next year, according to a news release.
The Good Sam Rally sponsored by DISH Network is the largest RV gathering in the nation. Thousands of people from all over the country will gather to sing and dance to big name entertainment and legendary country music performers like Vince Gill, who headlines The Rally 2011 in Redmond, Ore., July 14 – 17.
“I really enjoy seeing Good Sam guests compare and contrast RV makes and models they’ve always dreamed of and talk to experts from top RV manufacturers” stated Marcus Lemonis, Good Sam’s CEO. “We want them to learn everything they need to know at dozens of lifestyle seminars, shop till they drop at hundreds of indoor exhibits selling all kinds of gadgets and gear and even bring the family dog along for fun!”
A great time is guaranteed for all who make plans to attend one or all of the three big RV rallies scheduled in 2012 at spectacular venues around the country.
Visit www.therally.com for breaking news on these events.
The Good Sam Rally is a product of Good Sam Enterprises and is powered by the Good Sam Club, Good Sam Ventures, Trailer Life, Woodall’s, Camping World and Coast to Coast.
About Camping World & Good Sam Club
Camping World, www.campingworld.com, is America’s No. 1 source for RVs, camping accessories, RV maintenance and repair, and the Good Sam Club, www.goodsamclub.com, is the world’s largest RV owners association, offering helpful technical tips, vacation planning, extended warranties, magazine subscriptions, roadside assistance and more, to serve the outdoor enthusiast.
Both Camping World and Good Sam Club were founded in 1966 and are partnered together today to offer more to those who love the RV lifestyle, with one-stop shopping and resources for everything RV and outdoor.
Camping World features over 8,000 quality products located at over 75 SuperCenters nationwide, easy online and catalog shopping as well as a wide selection of new and used trailers and motorhomes from top RV manufacturers. Good Sam Club members receive cost-saving benefits and services, plus loads of valuable RV information and travel tips to get them ready for their next adventure. The Good Sam Club also represents more than 2,000 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together from similar geographic regions for group camping excursions.
Camping World is the title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in addition to the Official RV and Outdoor Retailer of NASCAR.
Camping World Chairman Marcus Lemonis has a plan that he believes will help ease both the short-term and long-term pain for the financially strapped RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind.
And Lemonis, following his Sunday night “Celebrity Apprentice” appearance on national TV, is preparing to present that plan to a handful of industry players in a Tuesday (March 22) conference call.
In an effort to help the Hall meet its current financial obligations while also guaranteeing the facility’s long-term viability, the Chicago-based executive is essentially pledging a combined total of up to $325,000 — an amount that, in the final analysis, would make Camping World and the Good Sam Club one of the hall’s larger supporters.
“For starters, I propose a $100,000 grant from the Good Sam Club for naming rights for something at the hall that we would determine at a future date,” he said. “Additionally, we would contribute one-half percent of the Good Sam Club membership revenue going forward as an annual contribution from Good Sam members.”
As Lemonis noted, this contribution — driven by the Good Sam Club’s membership base — would fluctuate. But he also placed a minimum on the dollar amount. “It would be no less than $75,000 annually,” he added, noting that the Good Sam Club currently has a roster of approximately 880,000 members.
Lemonis also proposes the addition of a Camping World accessory store as a tenant of the hall, with its annual rent equal to the facility’s projected 2011 operating budget deficit, “not to exceed $150,000.” As envisioned by Lemonis, the Camping World retail outlet would be housed inside the hall’s existing infrastructure, not in a separate building, and would encompass only the company’s accessory items. “It would not include any portion of the RV sales business,” he said.
In order to ensure other revenue streams for the hall in addition to the Camping World and Good Sam Club contributions, Lemonis noted that his proposals are not without a few caveats.
“First, I would like the annual pledge by the Go RVing Coalition (to the Hall of Fame) to be paid on time, as promised,” Lemonis noted. “Also, I would like to see $2 from every Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) seal to go towards the operating budget of the hall. I believe that RV dealers across the country see the value in the Hall of Fame, and it’s the dealers who actually pay for those seals.”
The cost of the seals, lowered as of the first of the year to $20 per RV regardless of type, help to finance the Go RVing Coalition’s media and promotional buys for the year.
Lemonis also suggests adding more members to the Hall of Fame’s board of directors. “I’m not dictating who they should be,” he said, “but I think the board needs some fresh, new members who would provide business oversight and direction.”
Lastly, he pointed out the need for a show of support from the rest of the RV industry. “I’d like to see the Hall be able to raise on its own — from other manufacturers and suppliers — $250,000,” he continued. “I’ll do everything I proposed. But others also have to bring something to the table to help ensure that the Hall becomes and remains viable.”
Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI) has named the top RV dealers for 2010 based on unit sales, and the 55-store Camping World chain was again the market leader by a long shot.
Here’s the bottom line from Statistical Surveys, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based counter of national retail registrations:
- Top Multi-lot towable dealer: Camping World, 7,874 sales, up 39.59% from 2009.
- Top Multi-lot motorized dealer: Camping World, 1,866 sales, up 6.45% from 2009.
- Top single-lot towable dealer: RV Wholesalers, 1,332 sales up 53.63% from 2009.
- Top single-lot motorized dealer: Lazy Days, 1,113 sales, up 25.90% from 2009.
These top dealers last year outperformed the market. According to SSI, 184,681 new RVs were retailed in 2010, a 7.67% increase over 2009.
“No doubt about that,” said Scott Stropkai, national RV sales manager for SSI. “I don’t know all the facets behind their success. A lot of mom and pop stores went out of business the past few years. Are these (top) stores picking up a greater share of sales than others? It would appear so.”
Stropkai said seven out of the top 20 dealers posted 20% gains or better in 2010 over 2009.
Four of the top 20 reported sales declines this past year.
SSI will be awarding certificates of achievement to these and other top-performing RV dealerships across the U.S. Awards are based on retail registrations in the dealer reporting states.
The 37th Northeast RV Show this Presidents’ Day Weekend at the Rockland Community College in Suffern, N.Y., includes more than 20 dealers and related vendors guiding visitors through the RVs and campers that are decked out with luxuries such as flat screen TVs and mini fireplaces to an attached outdoor wet-bar and kitchenette, the New City Patch reported.
“The RV industry has taken a hit in the past few years, but we have a good feeling about the upcoming years,” said Tom Threlfall of Garick RV, a 25-year-old family run business in Oak Ridge, N.J. “There’s a lot of positive attitude going into the show and there’s a lot of traffic today. A lot of people are getting that cabin fever and the weathers warming up. We have high hopes this year.”
There are informational booths with pamphlets and representatives to talk about camping, RV and vacation spots at the show. Food is also on hand with the concession stand and a man selling all things good: fudge, candy, chocolate.
“We currently own a RV,” said Alejandro Azuajes, who came out with his wife for the show on Saturday. “We’re looking into possibly upgrading and updating. We have seen models of floorplans that look attractive. They have new things this year.”
He and his wife came out last year to check out the massive RV showroom.
“So far (the RV show) it’s been going very well,” said Fred Blozen of Camping World. “A lot of new people are getting ready to retire soon and they’re coming out because this is something they’ve always wanted to do. There’s also been a lot of people who’ve bought in the past and have come out to see what’s new.”
Bob Schappach and his wife own a large travel trailer that’s on a set location next to a lake and they braved the windy day to come out to the RV show.
“We came to see the new products, see what they’ve got out there,” he said. “The RVs are changing every year. I’m looking to upgrade if the right one comes along.”
The show concludes today (Feb. 21).
Camping World, a leading retailer of recreational vehicles and aftermarket parts and accessories, today (Jan. 13) announced their selection in the 11th installment of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” featuring American business mogul Donald Trump.
Camping World was chosen among several Fortune 500 companies to be featured as a task sponsor on a 2011 outdoor recreation segment, according to a news release. Donald Trump commented, “Camping World is the largest recreational vehicle retailer in the country and we were very pleased to have them on the show. I think the episode is like nothing we’ve ever done.”
“We are pleased to be a part of a pop culture phenomenon such as ‘The Apprentice’ Celebrity Edition,” remarked Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World. “In the spring 2011 stay tuned to see the RV and camping enthusiast merge into city life.”
“RVIA and Go RVing work diligently to promote RV travel and camping, but the efforts of our industry’s companies are critical to this effort too,” said Recreation Vehicle Industry Association President Richard Coon. “Having RV travel featured on such a popular program as ‘The Apprentice’ will generate great exposure for the RV market and help boost consumer awareness.”
The 11th season premiere of “The Celebrity Apprentice” is scheduled to debut Sunday, March 6, on NBC at 9/8 Central. Camping World will be featured in the third episode. Air date is subject to change.
In planning for the 2011 Coast to Coast Membership Camping Conference to be held in New Orleans, organizer Bruce Hoster, Coast to Coast Resorts president, wanted to give attendees some new angles to ponder during the three-day convention.
So, when conferees gather Feb. 21-23 at Harrah’s Hotel & Casino, they’ll find not only some familiar themes in marketing membership camping but also some new wrinkles, such as a virtual sales tour, a trade show and a presentation on off-site sales centers. A half-day has been added to the conference, giving attendees two full days of presentations, on top of the opening night reception.
The theme for the conference is “Driving Profits in Private Membership Camping.”
“We’re still working against our objective we outlined last year: to share best practices in sales and marketing in the membership campground business. That’s the secret sauce that makes our industry tick,” said Hoster.
There will be some of the same topics, such as “Turning Tours into Sales,” “Successful Marketing Strategies” and “Developing A Winning Sales Team,” he said “But there are some new things we’re introducing. I don’t want to have the same meeting every year.”
“We are pulling our speakers from our most successful resorts and the most successful sales and marketing folks,” Hoster said. “Most of our sessions are panels with two to three industry experts and time for questions and answers. All sessions are back to back. No concurrent sessions. If somebody wants to attend all the sessions, they will be able to do that.”
The private membership camping business faces many of the same operational issues faced by other privately owned campgrounds, so there is great value for owners to attend regional or national association meetings and join 20 Groups, Hoster said.
But there are some unique sales and marketing challenges and opportunities facing private membership campground operators that aren’t being addressed by conventional means, thus the need for the Coast conference, he said.
Virtual Park Tour
That being said, Hoster has taken a page out of the playbook of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and created a Virtual Campground Tour for the Coast conference.
“We would love to take all the conferees to four or five resorts and walk them through a sales presentation, but we physically can’t do that,” Hoster said. “So, we’re doing the next best thing, taking everyone on Virtual Sales Tours. We visited our top sellers with Outdoor Adventures, Travel Resorts of America, Midwest Outdoor Resorts and East Coast Resorts this year, took photos and, working with the sales people there, followed them on a typical sales tour. We’ll take the audience from the start when a couple walks in to the front desk, to a tour of the park, and back to the office to try to close the sale. We examine what people see and say during each step. We think it will be a tremendous value to people attending the conference.”
Another new wrinkle at next year’s conference will be what Hoster calls a “What’s New in the Industry” discussion.
“One of the new and exciting things in the industry is off-site sales centers. We’ll look at how they do it,” he said. “It’s done well in the time share business and some of our developers have done it right in our industry.”
Instead of expecting potential clients to visit their parks, some developers are taking their programs to major population centers and pitching their sales presentation via videos, brochures and posters, he said.
For example, one park owner is successfully promoting park model rentals for non-RVers (the other 90% of the population) via a display in the parking lot at a nearby Camping World store, he said.
The first-time trade show will be a small but highly visible part of the conference, said Hoster, who is soliciting vendors to participate. The show will be held in the same room and concurrent with breakfast and breaks both days.
Another new twist to the upcoming conference will be a presentation by Woodall Publications on its unique rating system used in Woodall’s North American Campground Directory. To be eligible for Coast to Coast affiliation, campgrounds must maintain at least a 3W rating.
“We will have a session to talk about Woodall’s rating, how to go from a 3 to a 4 or a 4 to a 5. We’re lucky to have several resorts with perfect 5/5 ratings,” he said.
As at the first conference, conferees will have plenty of time to network with their colleagues over meals, between sessions and after hours, Hoster noted.
The membership campground part of the industry was a lot bigger in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but it has shrunk,” Hoster acknowledged. “However, we see a lot of renewed interest in it. We see a product that is very right for the times. It’s affordable, a product that is easy to use, especially if the resort is located within a couple of hours of your house. I think membership camping in particular is due for a renaissance.
“For Coast to grow, we have to invest in this industry and have to do what we can to help this industry grow. It will pay back many times over for us. Membership camping has suffered due to a lack of awareness and lack of enough people promoting and selling it. We see a lot of good things on the horizon for the industry. Even this year, there are a lot of new parks. From where I sit, I believe we will see this industry grow in the next year or two. I think it will be a lot of long-term growth. There are a lot of underlying factors in travel and tourism that favor this industry.”
Not to be overlooked is the conference’s setting: New Orleans. “It’s always a great venue, great food and great music,” he said.
Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) is parent company of Coast to Coast, Woodall Publications and RVBUSINESS.com.
For more information on the Coast conference, visit www.coastconference.com or call (800) 833-9183, ext. 429.
Camping World, America’s leader in satisfying the retail needs of the RV enthusiast and the most recognized brand in the RV lifestyle, announced Thursday (Sept. 16) a robust rebound in RV sales, service, rentals and a welcome return of the RV enthusiast, according to a news release.
This positive news comes during the year the RV industry celebrates its 100-year anniversary.
While Camping World continues to see increased customer traffic at its retail stores and through its online business, it attributes this strong rebound and return of the RVer to the company’s increased focus on new product offerings, an intense focus on the company’s service and repair business and the continued growth, strength and recognition of the Camping World brand as the one stop solution for the RV enthusiast.
“Our mission is for the Camping World brand to satisfy all the needs of the RVer and to be the clear leader in the RV lifestyle,” according to Marcus Lemonis, Camping World’s chairman and CEO.
Camping World carries the largest selection of RV related products in America and maintains an intense focus on providing new and cutting edge products and services for its customers. Additionally, the Camping World brand is the clear market leader in the sale of new and used RVs, with over 35,000 units sold annually. The Camping World brand has been the leader in market share for the sale of new and used RVs for the past five years and continues this leading position in 2010.
In recent years, the Camping World brand has entered the RV rental arena seeing double-digit year-over-year increases in the prior two years. “All in all, we feel we are accomplishing our mission as the Camping World brand continues to gain momentum both in market share and the number of RV enthusiast it serves annually,” according to Lemonis, “and as a market leader we take great pride in being a strong advocate of the RV lifestyle as the preferred pastime and leisure activity of the American public.”
About FreedomRoads/Camping World RV Sales
FreedomRoads/Camping World RV Sales operates a network of well-established local and regional RV dealerships, RV maintenance/ repair centers and RV rental stations that united to benefit customers, employees, suppliers and the RV industry. The FreedomRoads/Camping World RV Sales operating entity, which does business under the Camping World brand, engages in the retail sale, finance, service and rental of recreational vehicles, representing the nation’s leading manufacturers and Industry suppliers.
Today FreedomRoads/Camping World RV Sales serves over 4 million RV enthusiasts. Visit www.CampingWorld.com for more details.
To watch the broadcast of the following story by WDBJ-TV, Roanoke, Va., click here.
Puma, Sprinter, Mountaineer.
If these names sound familiar, you just might be one of the 8.3 million American families who own an RV.
“We turned to RVing ’cause we like to travel,” explains Marylanders Hampton and Sharon Conway.
According to a national RV association, Hampton and Sharon Conway are part of a movement.
The Conways explain, “Baby Boomers, retired, the kids are grown up and gone. What are we going to do with all this money now? We can actually spend it on us!”
Tracy Williford of Camping World agrees. He says buyers come in all shapes and sizes.
“When I first started in this industry, I thought I’d just be dealing with retired folks. (It’s) not the case at all; 45-year-old guys are coming in here (and) buying this stuff all the time,” explains Williford.
The industry was hard-hit in 2009 when the economy took a dive.
“It was really devastating to the RV industry period. A lot of manufacturers went out of business and the strong survived,” he says.
But, Williford says things are on an upswing. Already this year the store has sold more than 300 RVs, compared to 205 for all of 2009.
With state of the art appliances, big screen TVs and high-end fixtures, “roughing it” has evolved and creature comforts are offering something for everyone..
“They take ‘em to the lake and camping at the lake with the kids and have a blast and come home and put it away for the weekend and the next weekend they’re out again,” Williford said.
WDBJ also contacted Snyder’s RVs in Salem which deals in a lot of used vehicles.
Scott Synder tells us business was booming heading into the summer season and most buyers were paying in cash.
Camping World, America’s largest retailer of recreational vehicle supplies, accessories, new and used RVs and related services, has selected ExxonMobil as its exclusive lubricants supplier.
Under the agreement, ExxonMobil will supply Mobil Delvac 1300 Super and Mobil Delvac 1 ESP for diesel engines, as well as Mobil 1 and Mobil Clean products for gasoline engines, to Camping World’s more than 75 locations nationwide, according to a news release. The company will also supply Camping World with Mobil-branded coolants, greases and automatic transmission fluids for both gasoline and diesel engines, which will also be available at all the retailer’s locations.
“As the leading industry supplier of RVs and RV supplies, we are committed to bringing our customers new and efficient ways to enhance their RV and outdoor experience by offering products and services that best fit their needs at the best value,” said Marcus Lemonis, Camping World chairman and CEO. “We’ve chosen to exclusively offer Mobil products because of their reputation for exceptional quality, performance and reliability.”
Whether on the road or on the job site, the proven performance of Mobil Delvac is beneficial because it is designed for use in all types of diesel powered trucks and equipment — from big Class 8 trucks and heavy farming equipment, to powerful diesel pickups and recreational vehicles. At the same time, Mobil 1, the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, and Mobil Clean are ideal for all gasoline powered engines, including light duty pickup trucks and smaller recreational vehicles.
“As the popularity of our Mobil products continues to grow in all service channels, we are excited to have Mobil Delvac, Mobil 1 and Mobil Clean products now available at Camping World,” said Marci Crigger, commercial vehicle lubricants marketing advisor for ExxonMobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialties Company, a division of Exxon Mobil Corp. “We pride ourselves on offering a range of products that meets the needs of all of our customers, and we’re confident that our partnership with Camping World will help RV owners around the country achieve long engine life, not only for their RVs, but also for the cars and pickup trucks used to pull towable trailers.”
RV owners and enthusiasts have always had a strong association to the racing community and a passion for attending races anywhere their RV can take them around the country. This new partnership brings together two well known brands among the racing community. Mobil 1 is the official motor oil of NASCAR and Camping World is the title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Camping World is affiliated with Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), parent company of RVBUSINESS.com.