With gas prices on the rise, some Missouri RV owners are changing their travel plans.
According to the Missouri Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, park owners throughout Missouri are noticing these changes, KMOX, St. Louis, reported.
As the owner of Mari-Osa-Delta RV Park and Campground in Jefferson City, Harold Taylor sees hundreds of travelers every summer. But this year, he says, will be a little different. “We had some come in a couple weeks ago and they ended up staying another two weeks,” Harold said.
Extended stays in a campground will mean less time on the road, and less money spent on gas.
Larry Helms, president of the Missouri Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, says park owners across the state are seeing this trend in their guests’ travel plans.
“They’re looking to stay closer to home and they’re also looking to stay,” Helms said. “They’re wanting to stay an extra day or two or maybe sometimes a week.”
For travelers, saving on fuel is essential. One RV owner says he pays almost $500 per fill-up.
The Missouri Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (MOARVC) held its 43rd annual Spring Convention Feb. 15-16 at the Truman Hotel in Jefferson City, Mo., with 50 people attending and 25 parks represented, along with 10 vendors.
“Everyone was very upbeat and very optimistic about the upcoming campground season,” said Larry Helms, association president. “Pre-season reservations are up so far. Everyone is also looking forward to what the National Association for RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) is doing this year with Paul Bambei, new president and CEO.”
J. Scott Marrs, director for the Missouri Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (MRVDA), talked about the RV industry in the state. Missouri is the only state with a RV dealers franchise law that protects the dealers against unfair manufacturer’s trade practices and requires 30% markup on all warranty parts.
Other speakers included:
- Katie Danner, director of tourism for the state of Missouri, talked about the latest trends in camping in Missouri.
- David Kerr, Missouri director of economic development, talked about the economic development initiatives of Gov.Jay Nixon and how those might impact the state’s campground industry.
- James Bockman, assistant director of the state wage and labor departments, discussed new wage and labor laws in Missouri.
- Joanie Straub, Missouri Department of Conservation, Forestry Division, talked about the green beetle Emerald Ash Borer, which is killing ash trees in the state. She encouraged campground owners to ask customers not to transport firewood, but to buy locally. Straub also talked about a fungi that is killing walnut trees.
- Jeff Sims, ARVC director of membership and public affairs, shared what is going on with ARVC and its new programs.
- Hugh Duncan of Leavitt Outdoor Hospitality Insurance also gave a seminar on campground safety.
“He talked about all the issues campground owners need to be concerned about – the 10 hazards that cause litigation for campground owners,” Helms said.
On a legislative level, MOARVC members are concerned about a 1099 requirement contained in the national health bill.
“If this is not repealed by Congress, everyone agrees it would not be a good thing,” Helms said.
MOARVC also has plans to work with ARVC on the issue of water usage and sewage flow data. Helms maintains the date from the state’s Department of Natural Resources is inaccurately high.
“We want to have dialogue with the DNR and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to look at water usage and sewage flow data because we believe their numbers are too high,” Helms said. “We want to present some data to see if they will work with us on getting the numbers where they should be. Because the DNR’s numbers are too high, it creates extra expenses to maintain a park.”
MOARVC elected board officers as follows – Larry Helms, president, Boiling Spring Campground, Dixon; Anita Brooks, vice president, Ozark Outdoors Riverfront Resort, Leasburg; Eleanor Maggard, secretary, Akers Ferry Canoe Rental, Salem; and Linda Alcorn, treasurer, Countryside Adult and Senior RV Park, Sedalia.
Immediate past president Carolyn Strong was recognized for nine years of service as an Area 5 ARVC board member.
“We very much appreciate the advertising certificates that Woodall’s presented to us,” Helms added. “They gave us more than $13,000 of free advertising at our annual auction which was a huge success based on that contribution.”
The board voted to hold the next MOARVC convention again in Jefferson City with a tentative date sometime the first week of March 2012.