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Conference to Boost Membership Camping

November 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Feb. 21-23 conference is in New Orleans

Feb. 21-23 conference is in New Orleans

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.”

Bruce Hoster

Bruce Hoster

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.

Renaissance Underway

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.

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Coast Conference: February in New Orleans

September 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Bruce Hoster

Bruce Hoster

The 2011 Coast to Coast Conference, Feb. 21-23, in New Orleans, will educate registrants about that right camping-related product. And, according to Bruce Hoster, president of Denver-based Coast to Coast Resorts, an affiliate of Affinity Group Inc., the time is now and that product is membership camping.

“It’s a product whose time is right and is due for a renaissance because so many people are putting a high value on leisure time,” he says.

Building on 2010’s conference in February in Las Vegas – a first-time event that generated a good crowd and a flurry of activity – planners for the upcoming 2011 conference were challenged to add new ways to share best practices in sales and marketing.

Now, they think they’ve come up with the right solution. “We thought it would be great to take a virtual sales tour of some of our successful membership parks,” says Hoster.

Consequently, attendees — without leaving the comfort of their conference seats — will see first-hand what happens at check in, during a park tour, in the sales process. Four of Coast to Coast’s leading resorts will be featured: Outdoor Adventure Resorts in Michigan, Travel Resorts of America in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, East Coast Resorts in New York and Midwest Outdoor Resorts in South Dakota.

“That’s going to be worth the price of admission,” says Hoster.Coast to Coast Conference promo logo

Abe Libitz of Liberty County, Texas, got his money’s worth when he attended the 2010 Coast to Coast Conference. He and partner Judy Miller were pondering how to best utilize a campground property they’d purchased. “It was probably the No. 1 reason we went to the conference,” he says. “It was an eye opener of what it would take from a business standpoint for us to convert to a membership campground.”

“At a conference like this, you also get to talk to other developers and get a pretty good idea about what you’re about to bite and chew,” he adds. “If you understand that on every element, it helps you decide how to run your business better, plus you have the backing of Coast to Coast.”

Since the 2010 conference, their property, the Liberty Lakes Resort, is now a Coast to Coast Resort and the partners are already reaping the financial benefits.

“We have people coming to us who want to convert to a membership park, so we started Project Renaissance,” says Hoster. “Fabian Russell from East Coast Resorts put together a six-step process to take them from where they are today and walk them through the steps.”

For more information about creating a renaissance at one’s own park, Hoster suggests attending a session called “Resurrecting the Resort and Project Renaissance.”

Conference attendees, who are likely to draw inspiration from the can-do attitude of the people in the New Orleans region, will also rub shoulders with park owners and developers who are already working successfully within the Coast to Coast network.

“Pooling our individual efforts is a powerful force, which can be fun and informative,” says Hoster. “In another session, we’ll break into teams with a set of questions about how we can work together nationwide to promote awareness of and grow the membership camping industry.”

To register and get more information about the various sessions, visit www.coastconference.com.

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ARVC Business Forum Reports on Industry

June 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

ARVC Business Forum members gather after a tour of Keystone RV Co.'s Springdale plant in Goshen, Ind.the Keyston

ARVC Business Forum members gather after a tour of Keystone RV Co.'s Springdale plant in Goshen, Ind.

This week’s ARVC Business Forum, held on the campus of Keystone RV Co. in Goshen, Ind., featured a typically lively give-and-take among the leadership of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds and some of the nation’s key campground vendors.

Forum members met in conjunction with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Committee Week and Annual Meeting functions held not far away in downtown South Bend. The week’s agenda also included an industry party in recognition of what RVIA has designated in 2010 as the RV industry’s centennial.

The ARVC Business Forum brings together members of the ARVC Executive Committee and key players in the RV parks and campground business to discuss topical issues.

Shane Ott, director of campground relations for Thor Industries Inc., Keystone’s parent company, who helped orchestrate the meeting at Keystone, said the forum meeting at an RV company, a first for the forum, will help narrow “the huge gap” between the campground and RV industries. “There is no reason we shouldn’t do this more often,” he said.

A few forum highlights:

Mark Anderson, former ARVC chairman and owner of Camp Chautauqua Camping Resort, Chautauqua, N.Y., reported that his park and many others in the East “had almost a perfect Memorial Day weekend,” providing “a great start” to the season. The summer’s outlook for the Northeast is good as travel is up, he added. He noted that while the state of New York is “broke,” the governor found funds to reopen the state parks, which Anderson considers “an important baseline to private campgrounds.”

Vic Nolting, vice chairman of Leisure Systems Inc., franchisor of the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, Milford, Ohio, began by summarizing, “In general, things look oh so much better than last year.” He then deferred to LSI’s COO, Rob Schutter Jr., who went into greater detail. Schutter echoed Anderson’s holiday observation. He said business in the Northeast is “leveling out” after “a disaster last year,” due to weather.

Schutter, noting that Yogi operators are seeing an upturn in campers’ ancillary spending after a 2%-3% downturn in such spending last year, reported that the rental market at Jellystone Parks is “through the roof,” thanks in part to its non-dependence on good weather and the growing number of visits of campers new to the Jellystone system.

LSI’s rental business was up 8% in 2009 and he expects another rise this year. The rental business, which puts campers into lodges and cabins, is bringing a lot of non-traditional or first-time campers, added Nolting. They explained that many Jellystone Parks maintain good working relationships with area chambers of commerce and hotels, which also spurs business. Cabin rental rates were $145 a night in 2009 and have been raised by $10 a night for the 2010 season, said Schutter, adding that LSI opened its first company-owned park this year in Bloomington, Ind.

Cindy Halley, publisher of the Trailer Life RV Parks and Campgrounds Directory and vice president of Good Sam Club marketing, Ventura, Calif., reported that TL’s rep teams are well underway in their collection of data and advertising sales for the 2011 directory. Team members “are very upbeat and expect a better year overall,” she said. On the club side, membership growth is exceeding forecasts and currently totals about 950,000. Good Sam Club members average 62 years of age and are typically retired, empty nesters. However, she added, the club is always trying to recruit younger members.

Eric Stumberg, president and co-founder of Wi-Fi provider TengoInternet, Austin, Texas, reported that TengoInternet’s acquisition of Nomad ISP is complete with Nomad’s clients integrated into Tengo’s in May, bringing its market penetration to some 800 parks and between 67,000 and 100,000 guests a month, depending upon the season.

Wi-Fi remains a key criteria in RVers’ decision on where to camp, he noted. He sees mobile point of sale terminals, such as an ice cream cart that accepts credit card swipes, becoming the next popular phase in parks and campgrounds. He is targeting 25% growth for 2010.

David L. Berg, ARVC chairman and owner of the Red Apple Campground in Kennebunkport, Maine, said business appears to be “back to where we used to be.” He had sold out his 140 sites for the July 4 holiday by Memorial Day and his tent and popup trailer sites sold out first for the first time ever.

Berg, at the same time, said he remains “boggled” by the growth and popularity of the cabin business. He charges $120 a night for a cabin, even though “the motel down the street charges $29.” He can explain the willingness to pay more because customers “want it all today, the safety, the experience…” He also is getting into the RV rental market, charging about $1,000 a week to rent a unit on-site.

Al Johnson, president of Recreational Adventures Co., an 11-park chain based in Hill City, S.D., reported “an exceptional Memorial Day” and stated that nine of his 11 KOA-affilitated properties are ahead of plan so far this year. He has begun to replace aged cabins with new park models. He is putting on hold an overhaul of RV sites until he can better determine size requirements for the next RV generation. He, too, saw more guests with tents and folding camping trailers last year, but said it’s too early to tell whether that trend will continue this year.

David Gorin, who wore multiple hats to the forum as a campground consultant, ARVC lobbyist, park owner and state association director, reported that his Holiday Cove RV Resort in Bradenton, Fla., experienced a 25% increase in business last year, with his rental business up 20%-25% annually.

Gorin says he sold approximately half of the lots for sale in his park in the last 19 months. As director of the Virginia Campground Association, he said that state’s parks are looking for a good year, but that they’re concerned about whether the Gulf oil spill will make its way eventually up the East Coast. Meanwhile, Gorin says his Best Parks in America network has grown from 22 to 63 parks in the past year, has recently finished a long-term strategy session and will be publishing its first print directory. Finally, Gorin announced that he will be building a new 250-site RV park in Palmetto, Fla.

Ann Emerson, ARVC Business Forum chairwoman and vice president of Woodall Publications, publisher of the Woodall’s North American Campground Directory, Ventura, Calif., said sales consultants are reporting overall that most parks are doing well. In general, parks near metro areas are still faring better than those in remote areas. And there’s a serious concern among tourism-related business operators — parks among them — in many Southern and Southeastern locales regarding the long-term impact of the Gulf oil spill, prompting some owners to defer decisions on marketing expenses.

Emerson began a discussion on the explosion of social media in the campground business. At her parent company, Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), parent company of RV Business and Woodall’s Campground Management, almost all the websites have a Facebook page and each publication has at least one staff member assigned to increase its social media presence and AGI is developing a SmartPhone “app” for both of its campground directories. This discussion elicited comments on mobile marketing, which fueled a wider discussion on the explosion of mobile phone use in society. Some 90% of all U.S. homes have cell phones, and a significant percentage of Woodall customers have SmartPhones, she said. Stumberg noted that one study showed that almost as many people today access the Internet via their SmartPhones as from personal computers.

Bruce Hoster, president of Coast to Coast Resorts, the membership camping wing of AGI, said, “We think membership camping is due for a renaissance.” He cited a number of ways Coast to Coast is attracting new parks and members to the concept. As an aside, he observed that membership campgrounds are finding new revenue streams by developing storage facilities for their members’ RVs while they are not camping. For example, one membership park developed a 7-acre storage facility and realizes an estimated $1 million in revenue in annual storage fees. He reported that Camp Club USA, AGI’s discount camping club, “has come back strong after seeing a slight dip during the recession” with high renewal rates and is up to nearly 50,000 members. Coast to Coast, which has taken membership camping under its wing, sponsored a membership camping conference in February in Las Vegas and will sponsor another in February in New Orleans. He is working to make inroads with developers of hotel and condo complexes to consider integrating campgrounds into their projects, he said.

Pat Hittmeier, president of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), Billings, Mont., said camping was “soft” over the winter, hindered by cold weather in its Southern campgrounds. But it’s taken off since May and was up 7% through Memorial Day. KOA is projecting an 8% increase through Labor Day, said Hittmeier, adding that use of the Internet to make reservations is up 12% over last year, a reflection of more business in general and the migration of campers to the Internet.

KOA has 4,000 units in its lodging pool and that business is strong, he said. Lodges make up 13% of the total KOA sites, but the company is aiming to raise that figure to 20% at 50% of its campgrounds. KOA also is looking to increase its first-time visits, which now make up 15% to 19% of its total guests.

ARVC loyalist Ian Steyn, owner of Jellystone Castle Rock Campground, Castle Rock, Colo., noted that his business is up 38% year-over-year, and 2009 was a good year for his business. He discussed an integrated approach to promoting the outdoors with other hospitality businesses in his community seeking to make it the epicenter for outdoor recreation in his state.

Larry Weaver, park model sales manager for CrossRoads RV, Topeka, Ind., briefly outlined the preferred park model program his parent company, Thor Industries Inc., has established with ARVC. Weaver stressed that campground owners should make sure they buy “ruggedized” park models for their rental units and refrain from features such as carpeting that will not hold up well under the rigors of long-term use.

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Coast to Coast Resorts Partners with Winnebago

June 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Winnebago logoCoast to Coast Resorts, the industry leader in bringing RV enthusiasts access to some of the finest “members-only” outdoor resorts in the country, and Winnebago Industries Inc. today (June 1) announced the “3 for Free” promotion for new Winnebago Industries motorhome owners and Winnebago-Itasca Travelers (WIT) Club members.image001

The promotion entitles new owners and WIT Club members to a free three-day, two-night stay at one of more than 50 of the top Coast to Coast outdoor resorts across the U.S. and Canada, according to a news release.

The offer is available to anyone who purchases a new Winnebago Industries motorhome on or after Jan. 1, 2010, as well as new and existing WIT Club members. To be eligible, participants must attend a 90-minute presentation/tour on Coast to Coast membership at the campground.

In addition to the free three-day, two-night stay, participants qualify for exclusive credits and discounts. Guests who join Coast to Coast will receive a $500 discount on their membership, while those who decline membership will be offered a $500 camping credit at the resort where they stayed.

Participants in the promotion will experience the type of luxurious facilities offered by Coast to Coast’s resorts at locations that stretch from the wilderness of Washington’s Cascade Mountains to the Orlando, Fla. area. The resorts contain a range of high-quality amenities for vacationers of all ages, such as swimming pools, clubhouses, boating and countless fun planned activities for adults and children alike.

“Coast to Coast has a long history of providing excellent value on outstanding resorts across the country,” said Bruce Hoster, president of Coast to Coast Resorts. “By partnering with Winnebago Industries, we’re able to show the benefits of Coast to Coast membership to a whole new world of new and existing motor home owners. We look forward to welcoming Winnebago Industries motor home owners and WIT Club members at our resorts and anticipate that many of them will choose to become members of Coast to Coast following their stays.”

“Winnebago Industries offers a wide variety of motor home products with high quality expectations and the finest in luxury comfort available to RV owners,” said Chad Reece, director of marketing for Winnebago Industries Inc. “Therefore, it’s natural that we are partnering with Coast to Coast, whose resorts offer an equally high level of amenities and activities. We are sure that the combination of a Winnebago Industries motor home and a five-star outdoor resort will provide the perfect vacation getaway.”

A Coast to Coast membership makes it easy to travel safely and comfortably throughout North America, with hundreds of affiliated RV resorts in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Member benefits include a subscription to Coast to Coast Magazine and a number of travel services, with additional advantages that include cabin and condo rentals, trip routing and dining and leisure discounts. Coast to Coast offers RV Tripsetter, an online and phone reservation system, which provides a simple way to reserve a space.

Coast to Coast was established in 1972 and is owned by and affiliated with Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), the nation’s largest provider of outdoor clubs, services, media and events that service the safety, security, comfort and convenience needs of the North American recreation vehicle and outdoor enthusiast market. AGI is the parent company of RVBUSINESS.com.

Existing members of Coast to Coast are ineligible to participate in the “3 for Free” promotion. Other restrictions may apply. To participate, visit www.experiencectc.com/3forfree.

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Conference Promotes Private Membership Camping

December 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Coast to Coast Conference logoThe 2010 Coast to Coast Conference, Feb. 16-18 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, is designed to help grow the RV park and campground industry by sharing and promoting best practices for sales and marketing in the private membership camping industry.

Conference speakers, recruited from the most successful developers in the industry, will show how to shape sales and marketing strategies and tactics to drive sales, maximize revenue and generate better overall results, according to a news release.

Sponsor Coast to Coast Resorts offiers a number of reasons for attending. Among them are these:

  • Learn best practices in sales and marketing in the private membership camping industry.
  • Discover the “secrets to success” used by the leading developers in the industry.
  • Network with leaders and experts in the industry.
  • Gain insights and ideas to improve sales and marketing.
  • See how new technologies can make sales and marketing more effective.
  • Take home ideas and practices that can make an immediate and positive impact on business.

Who should attend?

  • Current owners and developers.
  • Resort sales and marketing managers and other park personnel.
  • Owners interested in converting their parks to private membership camping.
  • Consultants to the campground industry who want to learn more about membership camping as an option for their clients.
  • Private membership camping resorts who are not currently selling but want to re-start their sales program.
  • Park investors and developers.
  • RV industry executives.
  • Suppliers to the private membership camping industry.

For more information visit www.coastconference.com.

Affinity Group Inc. is the parent company of Coast to Coast Resorts and RVBUSINESS.COM.

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Membership Camping: ‘The Perfect Solution’

November 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 

Fabian Russell

Fabian Russell

Membership-driven Coast to Coast Resorts and New York-based consultant Fabian L. Russell have rolled out ”Project Renaissance,” a customizable guide for campground owners interested in becoming Coast affiliates.

Coast to Coast Resorts has 60,000 commercial members who have access to 450 resorts, 250 of which are membership-only parks plus 200 other ”good neighbor” parks that charge Coast members special rates.

”We realized that a cookie-cutter approach doesn’t necessarily work because each resort, each location, each marketplace has a unique set of goals and circumstances,” said Russell, while attending November’s National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) InSites 2009 Annual Convention and Outdoor Exposition in Orlando, Fla.

Project Renaissance assesses a number of aspects associated with a campground, including the demographics of the area it’s in, local traffic patterns and tourism and creates a membership, sales and marketing plan for each location.

”It’s designed to be flexible,” said Russell, who for 23 years has operated Bass Lake Resort, a 277-site membership park in Parish, N.Y., and also is president of East Coast Resorts and the Memory Maker Travel Network, both of which market membership RV, cruise and condo vacations.

”Project Renaissance” will be featured among the presentations during the Coast Conference Feb. 16-18 at Caesers Palace in Las Vegas, Nev., which is designed to provide a nuts-and-bolts overview of the operations and development of membership campgrounds.

Doug Woods, national sales manager of Coast to Coast Resorts, an affiliate of Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), noted that mounting an effective membership-campground marketing campaign is not inexpensive, but that resort-style campgrounds are missing out on an opportunity if they remain only available for nightly rental.

”It’s easier to rent your sites out at $40 a night than it is to get into a sales and marketing campaign,” Woods said. ” But longer term, you can make a million dollars more on your park by going to a membership camping program.”

”We’ve seen an example that it is more lucrative,” said Coast to Coast President Bruce Hoster. ”(Russell’s) park as a membership park grosses a million dollars more a year.”

Membership fees eventually pay for the operation of the park, so that sales of new memberships ”becomes an extra pool of money,” Hoster said.

”Some is profits, some is reinvested, because in membership camping, you have to have a great looking park because you are bringing people in all the time to tour them and to sell memberships to,” he said. ”It’s critical that the product look good and be good.”

Russell said that membership campgrounds tend to flourish because the member community becomes an extended family. ”There’s a club feeling, a camaraderie among members. It’s like (they are) coming home every spring when you open up.”

Russell also predicted that membership parks will become more appealing to RVers because of the trend for state parks to close or cut back their hours and for private campgrounds to be sold to developers.

”There will come a time when the RVer is going to have a hard time getting into a nice place,” Russell said. ” That’s where a membership park will give the RVer a leg up because he’s got a place to go.”

Hoster agreed.

”We feel that the competition is going to get stiffer and stiffer,” Hoster said. ” There’s going to be more demand for high-quality campsites and high-quality camping experiences with the same or fewer suppliers of those kinds of sites.

”We think that membership camping, especially for a lot of the Baby Boomers coming into RVing, is the perfect solution.”

Full conference registration is available for $299 per person through Dec. 15 — $100 off the full rate of $399 for those signing up after mid-December. The price does not include hotel room, and a la carte pricing is available for networking and breakout sessions.

For more information or to register for the 2010 Coast Conference visit www.coastconference.com.

Coast to Coast’s AGI parent company also is the parent company of  RVBusiness and Woodall’s Campground Management magazines.

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Coast Promotes Conference at ARVC Insites ’09

November 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Coast to Coast Conference logoRepresentatives of Coast to Coast Resorts were promoting their upcoming Coast Conference Feb. 16-18 at Caesers Palace in Las Vegas, Nev., during the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds’ (ARVC) InSites 2009 Convention and Outdoor Hospitality Expo that ended Thursday (Nov. 12) in Orlando, Fla.

Coast to Coast President Bruce Hoster said that while the membership resort system has sponsored conferences before, this one will have a more nuts-and-bolts focus.

“There really has not been a venue for the membership camping industry to gather and to network,” Hoster told RVBUSINESS.com during ARVC’s convention. “The Coast Conference is designed to identify and share best practices in the membership camping industry because that’s the ‘secret sauce’ of the industry.”

Speakers, Hoster said, “will be drawn from the industry,” specifically, those who have achieved success in selling and marketing membership resorts.

“Our speakers are going to be from the most successful developers in the industry talking about a whole range of topics from tour generation to what a sales room should look like to how to finance a sale, how to find leads and how to use a phone to turn a lead into a tour.”

“It will really be a kind of soup-to-nuts gathering.”

“In the past, we’ve done a number of summits for our key developer,” said Doug Woods, Coast national sales manager. “But we never really had a lot of input from the sales managers and marketing managers and tour-generation managers. This will include two or three levels below the developers who usually come to these conferences. It’s literally the how-to of membership camping.”

The conference will be geared not only toward resort developers, but also those already operating high-end campgrounds who may be interested in attracting membership campers.

“It’s designed to attract both current developers in the industry and people who are new to the industry who may be building new resort-type campgrounds that want to consider membership camping as an option for their development,” Hoster said. “And it may be upscale resorts or open-to-the-public campgrounds that want to convert to membership or think about adding membership as a component of their campground.”

Coast to Coast Resorts has 60,000 commercial members who have access to 450 resorts, 250 of which are membership-only parks plus 200 other ”good neighbor” parks that give Coast members special rates.

Registration for the entire conference is available for $299 per person through Dec. 15 — $100 off the full rate of $399 for those signing up after mid-December. The price does not include hotel room, and a la carte pricing is available for networking and breakout sessions.

For more information or to register for the 2010 Coast Conference visit www.coastconference.com.

Coast to Coast is a division of Affinity group Inc. (AGI), parent company of RVBUSINESS.com

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Coast to Coast Resorts to Host 2010 Camping Conference

November 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Coast to Coast Conference logoCoast to Coast Resorts, the industry leader in private membership camping, has announced its plans to hold the 2010 Coast to Coast Conference on Feb. 16-18 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The Coast Conference aims to help grow the industry by promoting best practices for sales and marketing initiatives to developers currently selling memberships, developers interested in restarting their membership sales activities, and new developers interested in entering the industry, according to a news release.

Several key topics will be addressed, including insights and ideas to improve sales and marketing at the resort level, secrets to success used by the leading developers in the industry and utilizing new technologies to make sales and marketing more effective. Attendees will learn ideas and practices that can make an immediate and positive impact on the bottom line.

“The Coast Conference is designed to help grow our industry by focusing on sales and marketing strategies specific to private membership camping,” said Bruce Hoster, Coast to Coast president. “We believe the private membership campground industry has the right product, at the right price, and at the right time to meet changing consumer demands for high quality campground experiences.”

Full conference registration is available for $299 through Dec. 15, $100 off the original rate of $399, and includes a welcome reception, main stage presentations, breakout sessions, two networking breakfasts and a lunch on Wednesday. Pricing is per person and does not include hotel reservation. A la carte pricing is available for networking and breakout sessions.

For more information or to register for the 2010 Coast to Coast Conference, visit www.coastconference.com.

Since 1972, Coast to Coast Resorts has been the industry leader in bringing RV enthusiasts access to some of the finest “members-only” CampResorts in the country. Coast’s primary focus is to make it possible for people who purchase memberships at private CampResorts to maximize their destination and vacation choices. To fulfill this mission, Coast to Coast has created an internationally recognized network of hundreds of affiliated private CampResorts, enhanced with hundreds of Good Neighbor Parks/Best Parks in America, forming a network of beautiful properties where nearly any vacation experience can be found.

Coast to Coast is a division of Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), parent company of RVBUSINESS.COM.

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Coast to Coast Sponsoring $15,000 Sweepstakes

July 2, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Coast to Coast Resorts is launching a new “Free Camping for One Year Sweepstakes” promotion in conjunction with Camping World Inc. 

The grand prize winner will receive up to a $15,000 valued prize featuring a year’s membership in Coast to Coast RV Club and enough Coast to Coast points for a free year of camping at the membership network’s CampResorts across the country. The promotion kicks off July 7 and ends July 27, according to a news release. 

Entries are available at all Camping World SuperCenters nationwide. Participants may also mail their entries postmarked by July 27 via a 3.5-by 5-inch card with their name, address (no post office boxes), date of birth, e-mail address and telephone number to Camping World, P.O. Box 50965, Bowling Green, KY 42102. ATTN: “FREE CAMPING FOR ONE YEAR SWEEPSTAKES” Marketing Dept. 

“We wanted to find a way to give back to the RVers and outdoor enthusiasts this year and are excited to give one lucky winner the chance to experience our network of more than 450 beautiful resorts across the country,” said Bruce Hoster, president of Coast to Coast Resorts. “We are equally as excited about working with Camping World to help promote the membership camping industry.”

A Coast to Coast membership makes it easy to travel safely and comfortably throughout North America, with hundreds of affiliated RV resorts in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Member benefits include a subscription to Coast to Coast magazine and access to a number of travel services, with additional benefits that include cabin and condo rentals, trip routing and dining and leisure discounts. Coast to Coast offers RV Tripsetter, a web and phone reservation system, which provides a simple way to reserve a space. Many membership RV resorts offer additional features and amenities like boating, fishing and golf. 

Coast to Coast was established in 1972 and is owned by and affiliated with Affinity Group Inc. (AGI), the nation’s largest provider of outdoor clubs, services, media and events that service the safety, security, comfort and convenience needs of the North American RV and outdoor enthusiast market. 

RVBusiness magazine and www.RVBUSINESS.COM are owned by AGI.

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‘The Rally’ Sponsors Aim for 3,000 RV Rigs

March 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

“RVers spend vast amounts of time in the great outdoors, so it’s only natural that they want to help preserve and improve the environment they enjoy so much,” said Sue Bray, vice president and executive director of the Good Sam Club. “These two initiatives give participants the opportunity to make a real difference for generations of RVers to come.”

More than 9 million people in the U.S. now own RVs. For thousands of RVers, The Rally is the event and vacation destination of the year. RV newbies and veterans alike will gather to share the wildly popular recreation lifestyle through seminars, exhibits, entertainment, games and meetings with industry experts from around the world.

The Rally is an annual event hosted by the Good Sam Club, the world’s largest RV owners’ group with more than 1.5 million member families nationwide, along with Camping World President’s Club, Camp Club USA, Coast to Coast Resorts, Woodall’s and Trailer Life and MotorHomemagazines. All the organizations are either owned by or affiliated with Affinity, the nation’s largest provider of outdoor recreation clubs, services, media and events, headquartered in Ventura, Calif.

RVBusiness magazine and RVBUSINESS.com are also owned by Affinity.

Going Green contest participants are asked to submit an initial outline of their projects by April 10 to Bob Difley at goinggreen@affinitygroup.com, or by mail to “Going Green” ideas contest 2009, 2575 Vista del Mar Drive, Ventura, CA 93001.

Daily admission is $10 for adults, and a second day’s free pass can be obtained at The Rally site; children 12 and under are free. Admission is also free for Albuquerque area Boy Scouts and their immediate families on Sunday, April 19, provided they wear their Boy Scout uniforms. RV sites start at $169 for two people. Additional information and registration can also be found online at www.therally.com.

For more information, visit www.therally.com. To learn more about Brawdy’s adventure, log onto www.brianbrawdy.com or www.wonderexplorebelieve.net.

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