David Gorin, founder of Best Parks in America, announced on Monday (Sept. 16) that Best Parks “has decided to overhaul its current operating platform as a prelude to growing the brand” and that in the interim it would suspend its branding operations.
A relaunch of the network is anticipated after at least 12 months.
Click here to read a copy of Gorin’s letter to Best Parks’ affiliates as published on the Woodall’s Campground Management website.
Best Parks in America announced the addition of four new affiliated resorts situated in “strategic locations” across the U.S., according to a press release.
The new affiliates are Elite Resorts at Citrus Valley, Orlando, Fla.; Strawberry Park, Preston, Conn.; Far Horizons 49er Village in Plymouth, Calif., and Far Horizons Tucson Village RV Resort in Tucson, Ariz.
“Four parks in four corners of the U.S. are terrific,” said David Gorin, Best Parks founder and president. “Best Parks in America is thrilled to add a park in one of the nation’s leading tourist towns, Orlando, Fla. Adding first Best Park affiliates in Connecticut and northern California and a new park in Tucson is a giant step forward for the Best Parks network.”
He added, “We hope these new Best Parks will catch the attention of park owners in other key markets and that this is the vanguard of a wave of new network affiliates in key destination areas.”
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.”
David Gorin, president and founder of Best Parks in America (BPA), today (Oct. 10) announced several major changes for the national brand.
These changes will help BPA grow from its present 82 members to “a group of 150 over the coming years,” Gorin predicted, according to a report by Woodall’s Campground Management.
In a news release and during a press conference held today, Gorin announced that Deb Kohls has been named vice president, effective Nov. 1. She joins BPA after 10 years as the senior vice president of Friend Communications and its successor company, Leisure Interactive.
“Deb is deeply immersed in all aspects of business and outdoor consumer marketing, is an expert in the marketing of RV parks and campgrounds to consumers and has a deep technology background in the park industry as well as in the overall larger world of travel and tourism marketing and development,” Gorin stated. “I am excited that Deb will be joining us and her presence will enable us to significantly step up our brand and network development.”
Kohls will operate from her office in Huntington Beach, Calif.
In addition, Joe Opp, recently retired senior vice president of membership services of Leading Hotels of the World, will also be joining the BPA Team as a senior adviser for brand development.
Opp has a long track record of success in the travel business having served as reservation manager for National Airlines, director of reservations for Avis Rent a Car, director of reservations for Pacific Southwest Airlines and vice president of marketing automation for TrustHouse Forte Hotels.
Opp, based in San Diego, will not be a full-time staff person, but will serve in an advisory role.
Meanwhile, BPA is undergoing a business restructuring that will enable the company to move forward unimpeded by unnecessary and unwarranted legal harassment.
“BPA is re-organizing into a non-shareholder corporation meaning that it is evolving into an association format. This reorganization is being done to protect your right to join your independent and unique business together with other like-minded businesses to work cooperatively to build your business without interference from the federal or state governments,” Gorin stated.
“BPA has no intention or interest in competing with any existing association on any level. Our objective is to work with the highly rated parks that voluntarily become members or affiliates of Best Parks in America to help them improve their business operations, provide unique and high quality guest experiences and to grow their revenues and profits.
As part of the restructuring, David Gorin Associates LLC retains ownership of the intellectual property rights that provide the foundation for Best Parks in America. DGA LLC is licensing the IT rights exclusively to Best Parks in America. In addition to her role as BPA Vice President, Kohls is also becoming a member of DGA LLC.
Gorin also announced the composition of the BPA board of directors. Mike Gurevich, owner of Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Md., will join Gorin and Kohls on the board.
To view the entire story from Woodall’s Campground Management click here.
David Gorin has decided to make the ultimate commitment to the Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo II by becoming its first Platinum Sponsor, according to a news release from Art Lieberman, show producer.
Gorin, whose experience encompasses 24 years in the industry, is the owner of David Gorin & Associates and the creator of Best Parks In America, both of which will be represented in the most prominent booths in the virtual exhibit hall.
The 2011 Expo has been renamed “David Gorin & Associates Presents – The Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo II.”
From 1987 to 2001, Gorin served as the president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC). He created the National School of RV Park and Campground Management and served on its Board of Regents from 2001-2007, formalized the Certified Park Owner Program (CPO), created the website www.GoCampingAmerica.com, has managed and built the Virginia Campground Association for nine years and has received many awards and laurels from inside and outside the industry. There are few individuals in the campground industry that have the knowledge that Gorin has, and none with the vast experience.
Founded in 2002 (after Gorin stepped down from ARVC), David Gorin & Associates is considered a leading consulting firm on RV parks and campgrounds.
Gorin has teamed with strategic partner Donald O. Westphal, an experienced site planner, zoning, landscaping and design expert; Tom Zuidema, senior consulting associate, who has owned and operated parks in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Arizona; Douglas Campbell, senior consulting architect; and Jack May, CFP, who provides DGA with financial planning for their clients.
From 2002 until April, Gorin and his partner, Aubrey King, provided government relations consulting and representation to ARVC through their King & Gorin government relations firm. ARVC has just announced that it is terminating that relationship at the end of April and moving ARVC’s government relations business to an international law firm based in Washington, D.C. This change by ARVC will end Gorin’s 24 years of continuous service to ARVC. His service and work in the park industry will continue through David Gorin & Associates, Best Parks In American and the Virginia association.
DGA can be contacted at email@example.com, by phone at (703) 448-6863 or by fax at (703) 991-4065. In addition to his main office in McLean, Va., DGA also has a satellite office in Sarasota, Fla., that serves clients throughout the Southeastern U.S.
Gorin is still “hands on,” however, when it comes to campground operations. He was a developer and co-owner of Holiday Cove RV Resort in Florida from 2007-2010 and is actively seeking partnership opportunities.
David was one of the first to sign on to the virtual concept last year and was one of the earliest members of the Virtual show’s advisory board. Many of his ideas were incorporated into the marketing and development of the first Expo.
The Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo II is scheduled to take place for two days starting Nov. 11 days and another 60 days in an on-demand status. The producers may be contacted by calling (877) 901-EXPO (3976) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website (currently being updated) is www.outdoorhospitalityexpo.com. Pelland Advertising maintains the Expo’s Webpage.
Editor’s Note: The following story was provided by Evanne Schmarder, veteran campground writer.
Over 10,000 members representing every sector of the RV industry have a presence on LinkedIn, the powerful professional social network, extending their reach and influence. As opposed to the inter-personal chit-chat of Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn functions as a best practices roundtable and prides itself on a B2B model “connecting” users representing over 150 industries, including executives from all of the Fortune 500 companies.
A number of individuals in the RV park and campground business are among those exchanging views through LinkedIn in what amounts to an ongoing virtual, Internet-age “crackerbarrel” session for industry professionals.
LinkedIn’s premise is that relationships matter and users are encouraged to connect with “trusted contacts.” Once connected to an individual, you may invite a connection within their network, thus growing your circle of influence. For instance, David Gorin, a consultant, park operator and president of Best Parks in America, finds his LinkedIn connections a substantive resource. On occasion, as a client question arises, Gorin seeks out experts in his network for answers and insight. “My support network is greatly enhanced with LinkedIn,” he reports. “I’m also fascinated by how the system works – suggesting connections – similar to the ‘six degrees of separation’ concept, but in reality it’s much less than six,” he added.
One of LinkedIn’s most commanding tools is the wide-reaching collection of “groups.” By starting or joining a group you can follow industry or topic leaders, share your professional news, partake in discussions – even connect to your college’s alumni association. A search of the keyword “RV” under the group directory returned 75 search results including RV Park Biz, RV Dealers International Convention/Expo and RV Rental Dealers Group. Industry players may be interested in joining Outdoor Recreation and Travel Industry Marketing Network or other groups focusing on branding, social media marketing, customer satisfaction or even green business practices.
RVDA’s active RV Dealers International Convention/Expo <http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1941545&trk=anetsrch_name&goback=%2Egdr_1282506991533_2> group provides a venue for engaging back and forth exchanges. In addition to the Convention/Expo, the group is a touch point for the RV Learning Center and RVDA legislative issues. Phil Ingrassia, RVDA communications vice president, noted that the group is yet another tool — not a replacement — to reach out to industry members via social networking. “The entry cost is low, simply a matter of the personnel cost of posting and maintaining the network, and the participants are highly motivated to contribute and exchange ideas,” said Ingrassia. “We use Facebook for the same purpose and have had success there. However, LinkedIn has a greater long form functionality allowing for in-depth dialogue as opposed to ‘sound bites’ via our Facebook page.”
Randall Hendrickson, president of Horizon RV Resorts, started the RV park business group in 2009. “The wonderful thing about LinkedIn is the diverse groups of people from various backgrounds, each with his/her own take on a particular topic,” he remarked. “I really don’t know of another venue that allows for such an exchange of expertise; I always come away with a perspective I didn’t have previously. Discussions posted by group members introduce me to several great views of a subject from colleagues that have analyzed the issue from well-informed perspectives.” This group, like most, boasts an extensive membership of business consultants, technology leaders, management gurus, financial experts – thought leaders in an assortment of fields.
Today’s social networking possibilities offer a smorgasbord of opportunities. With a limited amount of available time in each day the decision on where to place attention can be a challenging one. Deb Kohls, a vice president of Leisure Interactive Inc. and owner of the Outdoor Recreation and Travel Industry Marketing Network, advises that it’s important to have clear goals in social networking, and LinkedIn participation offers an incredibly high payoff. “I often observe our industry striving to connect with consumers, and that’s valid,” Kohls noted. “But there’s so much to be gained by connecting to others with similar marketing needs and business experiences in the B2B realm. I recommend setting aside one hour a week to network with peers, support and learn from one another.”
“It requires a commitment to regularly log in and view the running dialogue in the various groups,” Hendrickson added. “But, once done, there is inevitably a great conversation about topics that matter to my business.”
While you may belong to an unlimited number of groups, choose your groups judiciously or you could be inundated by too much information to process, rendering the benefits of shared knowledge null and void at the click of the delete button. Instead, seek out LinkedIn groups that will provide specific wisdom to help you and your company thrive and you will be on your way to building your own circle of experts and developing a strong personal brand.
Learn more about LinkedIn and join the network of global professionals by visiting www.LinkedIn.com <http://www.LinkedIn.com> . Connect with author Evanne Schmarder at http://www.linkedin.com/in/evanneschmarder <http://www.linkedin.com/in/evanneschmarder> .
Best Parks in America, McLean, Va., announced today (May 12) its affiliate-park network had grown significantly during the first five months of 2010 and now numbers 61 locations in 24 states and Quebec.
“We are thrilled to see so much interest in the ‘Best Parks in America’ brand as a high-end RV resort and campground marketing group,” said David Gorin, president of Best Parks, in a release. “With this phenomenal growth we are able to offer discriminating camping consumers an exclusive resource to locate the very best RV and camping options in some of the most desired resort locations in the U.S.”
In addition to each affiliated park’s comprehensive online listing, Best Parks in America will offer a complimentary Best Parks in America directory available at each Best Park resort location, at major RVing and camping shows and by camper request. The first edition of the new RVing & Camping @ the Best Parks in America directory will be released in late May.
The newest Best Parks in America affiliates include:
• Desert Valley RV Resort, Eloy
• Hidden Shores Village, Yuma
• Anaheim Resort RV Park, Anaheim
• Cross Creek RV Resort, Arcadia
• Belle Parc RV Resort, Brooksville
• Emerald Beach RV Park, Navarre
• Vacation Inn Resort of the Palm Beaches, W. Palm Beach
• High Plains Camping, Oakley
• Red Apple Campground, Kennebunkport
• Pine Acres Family Camping Resort, Oakham
• Asheville Bear Creek RV Park, Asheville
• Cross Creek Camping Resort, Delaware
• Lock 30 Woodlands RV Resort Campground, Lisbon
• Portland-Woodburn RV Park, Woodburn
• Mountain Creek Campground, Gardners
• Keen Lake Camping & Cottage Resort, Waymart
• Great Smoky Jellystone Park Camp-Resort, Cosby
• Misty River Cabins & RV Resort, Walland
• Mill Creek Ranch RV & Cottage, Canton
• Stoney Creek RV Resort, Osseo
• Camping Du village Bromont, Bromont
Best Parks in America provides a national branding presence and marketing home for independent highly rated RV parks and campgrounds. For more information, go to www.BestParksinAmerica.com. To learn more about becoming a Best Parks in America affiliate, go to www.BestParks.net or call (703) 448-6863.
Two of the park industry’s most experienced and respected expert consulting firms, David Gorin & Associates and DC Westphal Associates, are forming a new alliance that will offer a wide range of consulting services.
This partnership will present a seamless source of expertise covering the vast array of campground and RV park consulting needs of owners, developers, investors, providers of goods and services and professionals serving the RV park and campground industry, according to a news release.
Individually, each firm will draw upon its unique and considerable expertise in the RV park and campground industry to provide integrated consulting services for their clients. Combined, they now stand ready to assist at any stage in park project development, from feasibility studies and site plans to marketing to staff training and more.
“With the volatile state of the industry, now is an ideal time to provide a consulting service that is more comprehensive and streamlined than in the past,” remarked Donald C. Westphal.
“By offering straightforward, accommodating, and inclusive consulting services we will better enable current or prospective RV park owners to plan for a successful business future,” added Gorin.
The team brings a combined total of over 65 years of experience to the camping industry. Together, Gorin and Westphal will provide a one-stop-shop for planning, imaging, marketing and investing.
For more information about this new alliance and the products and services available contact David Gorin at email@example.com or Donald C. Westphal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information is also available at www.campgroundbusiness.com and www.dcwestphal.com.
About David Gorin & Associates
David Gorin & Associates (DGA) was founded in 2002 by David Gorin and specializes in assisting owners, buyers, developers and investors in assessing project feasibility, creating business plans and financial planning for the park business. He is one of the leading experts in the conversion/development of RV resorts for condominium ownership, is an active investor and partner in parks and is also is president and CEO of Best Parks in America, a niche marketing program for highly rated RV parks and campgrounds. Gorin was the president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) from 1987 to 2001. DGA serves a nationwide client base from offices in McLean, Va., and Bradenton, Fla.
About DC Westphal Associates
In 1969 Don Westphal established a landscape architecture and land planning firm dedicated to providing unparalleled design services for the RV, campground, and manufactured housing industries. Over the past 40 years his team has led projects that range in their scope and focus from rustic and green design to resorts and “man-camps.” His many years of service on the various boards in the Michigan association are indicative of his commitment to the industry. Westphal is an active writer and lecturer on subjects of interest to the RV developer. In 2006 he was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind. Westphal Associates is headquartered in Rochester Hills, Mich.
Federal tax issues are taking the forefront for small businesses, including campgrounds and RV resorts, according to consultant David Gorin, former CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
“The last few years, you can imagine most of the activity here in Washington has been centered around defense, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terrorism,” Gorin told state campground leaders attending ARVC’s 2009 National Issues Conference last week in Washington, D.C. “While all that continues … tax issues are becoming more and more important, and they affect small business in a lot of ways.”
Gorin said the IRS, in particular, is attempting to close what is known as the “tax gap” — the amount of taxes the IRS expects to receive each year versus what is taxpayers actually send to the government.
“(The IRS) claims a good part of that gap is directly related to small businessmen … who under-report income and over-report their expenses,” said Gorin, who operates David Gorin and Associates and oversees the Best Parks in America marketing group.
“As you deal with large deficits and the need to generate more and more revenue to cover all the initiatives that are on the table now being paid by stimulus money going forward, how do we raise tax revenue? One of the ways, of course, is to increase taxes. The other way is to reduce the tax gap, and make sure there is increased compliance with tax laws.”
Besides increasing the tax burden, IRS efforts to close the tax gap will result in more paperwork, he said.
“There are some very scary discussions about what they are planning on doing to track down the tax-gap individuals, Gorin said. “It has to do with huge amounts of paperwork for small businesses, particularly.
“Instead of giving (IRS form) 1099s just for people who work for you, you will have to give 1099s to everyone that you make payments to, no matter who it is. Having, for example, FedEx send to you a 1099 for every nickel you spend with them, they are then going to report that to the government so there are ways to match expenses to reports.
“There are a lot of things going on in that area. We really have to be careful.”
“Get ready for likely issues to arise in various localities and states in response to RVIA’s recent change to allow fifth-wheel trailers to be up to 430 square feet in the set-up mode,” writes campground consultant David Gorin in a forthcoming column for Woodall’s Campground Management, a sister publication to RVBusiness.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) board acted on March 27 and issued a Standard News Bulletin on April 3.
The RVIA board action, Gorin writes, stated, “Effective immediately, in order for a fifth-wheel trailer to be recognized as a recreation vehicle for RVIA membership purposes, it may not exceed 430 square feet in the setup mode.”
The bulletin goes on to caution, Gorin notes, that the U.S. Dept of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) may consider fifth-wheel trailers larger than 400 square feet to be manufactured housing. ”The bulletin also notes that there may be as many as 16 states that by statute may limit the maximum size of fifth- wheels to 400 square feet,” he stated.
“Finally and most importantly for RV park and campground owners,” Gorin stated, “the bulletin notes that ‘state and local code enforcement officials may take the position that recreation vehicles over 400 square feet in the set-up mode are manufactured homes as defined by HUD. (RVIA) Members are encouraged to work with the states to determine if fifth-wheels over 400 square feet will be considered recreation vehicles and permitted.”
Gorin, who is a consultant to the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), said ARVC had opposed the change in the allowable size of fifth-wheel ”for just the reasons cited in the RVIA bulletin – the likelihood of confusion and new regulations on the state and local levels. This move by RV manufacturers could create considerable havoc for many existing RV parks and campgrounds and especially for those needing various approvals for expansion or for the construction of new parks.”