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ARVC CEO Paul Bambei Discusses Marketing

May 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), discusses his first three months on the job and the importance of marketing in a video provided by ARVC. Click here to watch the entire 25-minute interview with industry writer and publicist Evanne Schmarder.

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ARVC Touts Great Outdoors Month Camping

April 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

ARVC logoJune is National Great Outdoors Month, which is a wonderful time to enjoy fun outdoor activities with family and friends.

And this year, private campgrounds, RV parks and resorts that are affiliated withGoCampingAmerica.com will celebrate the occasion by offering a 20% discount on camping during the first three weeks of June, according to a news release.

“We think National Great Outdoors Month is a perfect opportunity for America’s campground industry to encourage everyone to get outdoors, explore nature and have fun with their friends and families,” said Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).

The Denver, Colo.-based association represents more than 3,300 private campgrounds, RV parks and resorts, which it promotes through the GoCampingAmerica.com website.

In addition to providing discounts on camping, GoCampingAmerica.com will also provide e-coupons that consumers can use to obtain discounts at Camping World stores and RV rentals booked through El Monte RV, which has agreed to provide 500 free miles plus 50 free miles a day to GoCampingAmerica visitors who rent an RV for at least one week during the June 1-25 period.

GoCampingAmerica.com will feature e-coupons for use at campgrounds, Camping World stores and El Monte RV beginning May 15. However, the discounts will be available June 1-25. Campground discounts will be available only at participating parks and on a space-available basis.

“We encourage campers to use GoCampingAmerica.com to locate the campgrounds, RV parks and resorts that are of interest to them and to call at least 24 hours ahead to book their reservations,” Bambei said.

GoCampingAmerica.com is the largest searchable database of privately owned and operated campgrounds, RV parks and resorts in the country, which offer fun family activities as well as rental accommodations ranging from safari tents and teepees to cabins, luxury park model cottages, yurts and RVs.

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds is the national voice of the outdoor hospitality industry. For additional information, visit www.gocampingamerica.com.

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ARVC Mounts Major June Camping Promotion

April 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Adtopromoteonweb The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) is bringing new  camping customers and new business to the nation’s RV parks and campgrounds with its  June campaign, “Get Outdoors & Go Camping America…It’s Easy!” promotion set for June  1 – 25.

The purpose of the campaign is to encourage young families to go camping during the month of June, Great Outdoors Month, using GoCampingAmerica.com (GCA) coupons for discounts on all things camping and to document their camping experience on video for a chance to win a grand prize, according to a news release.

The web promotion page on GoCampingAmerica.com is not active until May 15.

For more information on the campaign and for a peak at the 20% off GCA park stay coupon, visit: www.arvc.org/june.aspx.

ARVC will be using social media, viral video, marketing efforts and media outreach to drive traffic to GoCampingAmerica.com where consumers can download various offers for discounts on camping. ARVC will be offering a 20% off coupon for all GCA/ARVC member parks. In addition, companies like Camping World, Coleman, El Monte RV, etc. are participating by offering discounts as well. Consumers will be able to download these coupons and try out camping, hopefully becoming repeat customers at your park.

The coupon states that it is only valid June 1 – June 25. It also states that it’s only accepted at participating parks and that the consumer must call the park at least 24 hours in advance to make a reservation. The guest may use the coupon for up to a seven-night stay at your park during that time frame, but they can not use the coupon on an existing reservation.

More information will be available on the video contest portion as the campaign gets closer.

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ARVC Promotion Will Benefit the RV Industry

April 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Paul Bambei

Paul Bambei

Editor’s Note: The following column by Paul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), appears in the April issue of the ARVC Report. It concerns a program for ARVC’s more than 3,000 members but has the potential to have a far-reaching impact on all campgrounds, both public and private, across North America, as well as the nation’s RV manufacturers and dealers.GoCampingAmerica logo

Members will soon be seeing ARVC’s first national campaign aimed at young American families come to life as several promotional components are beginning to fall into place.

Kera Tomlin, ARVC director of marketing, has done a terrific job writing the campaign’s marketing plan – which we are sharing in presentations at the spring state association meetings and conferences where ARVC staff has been invited to speak.

Our general strategy is to use two forms of video media to reach a vast audience:

  • The Outdoor Channel, which has a potential U.S. audience-reach of 35 million outdoor enthusiasts (referred to as “narrowcast audience.”
  • YouTube, the video medium of choice by the younger generation.

The message being delivered to the mass audience by these two media outlets will be consistent – “family camping is easy” (and a cost-effective way to vacation). Industry research has shown that less than 11% of the significant, under-40 age segment of the population owns their own RV and of these, only 1% of those under age 26 are RV owners.

Hence, the creative television and internet video marketing we’ll be deploying will invite viewers to try the convenience of rental RVs, hassle-free cabins or other types of park rental lodging or just pure and simple tent camping. Most importantly, we want families to get outdoors and experience one of the many alternate forms of camping available at our member parks.

The viewing audience will be directed to GoCampingAmerica.com. This consumer site is currently undergoing some major renovations, making it more consumerinteractive and also improving the search methodology to direct visitors to your park. To ensure your listing is as updated and current as possible, over the next two months we are proactively calling every ARVC member in our database as part of this website enhancement. Please allow us the required 15-20 minutes of your time when your call comes.

Once on the GCA website, visitors will be directed to a new GoCampingAmerica “promotion area” which will incent them to take advantage of special pricing, again, designed to make the camping experience easy and cost-effective. We have specifically chosen the campaign period of June 1-25 – typically considered a slower, just-getting-warmed-up, early summer shoulder season for most campgrounds – when site nights need to be filled.

The campaign avoids the last week of June leading up to the busy July 4th weekend.

The online campaign e-coupon available during the promotion offers our target market a 20% multiple stay discount for up to seven nights during the campaign. We particularly hope to drive business during the often-difficult to fill Monday-Thursday period via this offer. To make the deal even more compelling, we are partnering with several nationally recognized RV rental companies to offer fantastic rental discount coupons on our website promotion page.

While this campaign includes many variables that apply to the majority of campgrounds, we realize some park owners may not want or need the business during early June and for this reason, you can simply opt-out of the consumer offer being made from the website.

Finally, there is a huge public relations component to this campaign that will drive awareness and create some great local publicity for ARVC members. Under the guidance of CAMP state executives Rick Abare, CPO (Maine) and Don Bennett, CPO (New York), and working closely with sister associations like Derrick Crandall’s American Recreation Coalition (ARC) as well as ARVC’s own PR consultant, Jeff Crider, there are now 22 states/state executives that are committed to participating in the Great Outdoors publicity initiative.

Coinciding with the June 1-25 promotion and especially during the Obama Administration’s proclaimed “Great Outdoors Day” June 11-12 weekend, participating states will be involved in their own flavor of publicity-attracting events, including several who plan to demonstrate the wonderful world of camping on the grounds of their state capitals.

So now for the big question…will it all work? To me, that depends on several things. For instance, if a majority of ARVC member parks/associations get behind this project, that’s success in itself. There’s always a feeling of accomplishment whenever our associations and mutual members work together for the common good. Getting families outdoors, experiencing all our special brand of outdoor hospitality has to offer is certainly a win as well.

What about the good that could come in the form of new business? I look at site rentals as “perishable” commodities. If folks aren’t renting sites in your park, those rental opportunities are lost and can never be recouped. As a result, one of our main goals at ARVC is to help you seize this business opportunity by bringing customers to your doorstep that might normally never experience your business. In other words, we want to help you reach 100% capacity as often as possible, with you standing at the cash register adjusting for when and when not to take advantage.

The beauty of promotional marketing is that it builds on itself. The more our message is pushed into the marketplace, the more it gets seen and heard, and eventually, the more often it gets acted upon. Our marketing strategy is to develop four of these campaigns throughout the year, all with the goal of shoring up soft, shoulder periods when most parks need help.

Clearly, marketing isn’t the only value behind ARVC membership. There are many others in the form of government advocacy and industry education, however, in the months and years ahead, our promise is to make ARVC marketing value so obvious, you’ll see ARVC membership as the best investment you can make in your business.

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McDermott Will & Emery Next ARVC Lobbyist

March 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

ARVC logoThe National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) plans to retain one of the most reputable law firms in the country to handle its government relations work.mcdermott_logo

ARVC’s Public Affairs Committee, which reviewed the proposals, gave unanimous support of the recommendation on Wednesday (March 23) to retain the Washington, D.C., law firm of McDermott Will & Emery after concluding an extensive two-month RFP process that generated several proposals from government affairs firms across the country, according to a news release.

“The committee was impressed with both the depth and caliber of the proposals we received. But after reviewing each of the proposals, McDermott Will & Emery clearly stood out as the firm that would best meet ARVC’s needs,” said Paul Bambei, ARVC’s president and CEO.

McDermott Will & Emery will replace McLean, Va.-based King & Gorin, which has worked as ARVC’s government affairs lobbyist for the past decade. “On behalf of ARVC, I want to thank Aubrey King and David Gorin for their dedication and many years of service. They will be missed on many levels, “ said Bambei.

Bambei said McDermott Will & Emery, which is both an established lobby and legal concern with deep research and analytical resources, will begin working for ARVC on May 1. Its initial assignments will include assessment of key national issues affecting ARVC and the outdoor hospitality industry, as well as strategically re-establishing a National Issues Conference involving key face-to-face meetings between ARVC members and their elected officials on the Hill.

Additionally, because of its six-office reach throughout the U.S., the firm will be asked to closely monitor and assist ARVC in assessing the many state issues that affect the association.

Initially founded as a tax practice in Chicago in 1934, McDermott Will & Emery has grown to become the 33rd largest law firm in the world, with more than 1,000 lawyers in the United States and Europe. Its client base includes more than 82% of Fortune 100 firms and 33% of the Forbes 100 Largest Private Companies. The firm has been recognized as a leader in 25 practice areas. Its specialties include environmental law, government strategies, labor and employment, employee benefits and pensions, corporate law, antitrust and competition, safety and health, as well as state and local tax issues. More information about the firm is available at www.mwe.com.

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ARVC Closes on New South Denver, Colo., Office

March 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) closed escrow today (March 9) on a new South Denver office that it will use as the association’s headquarters beginning April 8.

ARVC purchased the Panorama Falls office suite for an undisclosed price. The transaction was unanimously approved on Monday by 22 of ARVC’s 24 board members, with two board members being absent for the meeting, according to a news release.

“It has been a long and arduous process, but I am confident after viewing this office that this is the right property for our new ARVC headquarters,” said ARVC Chairman David L. Berg. “ARVC President and CEO Paul Bambei is to be commended for his efforts in this process. The entire board was pleased with the final purchase price, which was less than half of other properties ARVC considered purchasing in recent years.”

Bambei, a Denver native, said ARVC’s new office is located in an attractive commercial area of South Denver with a full array of hotels and restaurants nearby, and is walking distance from the Dry Creek station of the light rail. The office is also 25 miles closer to Denver International Airport than the office building ARVC currently occupies.

“As an investment, I think we got a really good deal,” Bambei said. “We took advantage of the downturn in the commercial real estate market, which is just now starting to show signs of improvement.”

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ARVC Board OK’s Move to New Denver Office

March 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

At a special board meeting — with all but two board members present — unanimous approval was reached Monday (March 7) for the purchase of a new  headquarters office for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) in South Denver, Colo., according to ARVC Chairman David L. Berg.

The office space in the Panorama Falls building, is located along the busy I-25 corridor just inside the C-470 beltway, easily accessible to the new RTD Light Rail system and close to Colorado’s largest shopping mall and a variety of hotels and businesses within the Denver Technological Center.

The closing is scheduled for Wednesday and follows over two months of due diligence that included a full inspection and value appraisal, an ARVC press release states. After some minor upgrades, ARVC’s staff is expected to move from its current Larkspur office facility on April 8.

“It has been a long and arduous process, but I am confident after viewing the office this is the right property for our new ARVC headquarters,” said Berg. “(New ARVC President) Paul Bambei is to be commended for his efforts in this process and the entire board was pleased with the final purchase price of $367,160, being half of other properties that were under consideration in the past few years.”

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ARVC Cutting Conference Fees for Many Parks

March 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

ARVC logoThe National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has reduced the price of attending its annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo by nearly a third for parks with 250 or fewer sites.

The conference is scheduled for Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort & Spa and Savannah International Trade and Convention Center in Savannah, Ga.

“I want small and medium-size park operators and their staffs to come and see what they’ve been missing,” Paul Bambei, ARVC president and CEO, stated in a news release. He said the price reduction was developed in direct response to members who said the high cost of conference registration prevented them from attending ARVC conferences in the past.

Less than 10% of ARVC’s more than 3,000 member campgrounds attended the 2010 conference.

Bambei said ARVC has also reduced conference registration rates for parks that send more than one representative in an effort to recognize and encourage attendance by multiple generations of campground family owners from the same park who have been loyal to ARVC and its state affiliates over the years.

Under the new fee schedule, representatives from parks with 250 or fewer sites that sign up for a full registration to attend the event before Aug. 31 will pay $379 for the first person, a 31% discount from the $550 standard registration rate.

ARVC is also offering to discount registrations by an additional $40 discount for each additional small or medium size park representative who registers for the full registration at the conference before Aug. 31st. This means that parks with multiple representatives would pay only $339 each for their additional representatives.

Bambei said the new fee structure should have widespread appeal across the outdoor hospitality industry, since more than 80% of ARVC members parks have 250 sites or less.

The large park registration fee remains at $449 if registering before Aug. 31 for the first registrant from each large park. However, large parks with multiple registrants will also receive a $45 discount for each additional registrant. That means large parks with multiple representatives would pay only $404 for each of their additional representatives.

“We think our new pricing structure will be very attractive to park operators across the country,” Bambei said, adding that registration fees have been reduced as much as possible, while still ensuring that ARVC takes in just enough revenue to cover its costs in producing the conference.

Bambei said it behooves park operators to sign up for the conference before Aug. 31 because registration fees for all park representatives will revert to $550 per person after that date.

For more information about this year’s Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo, please visit www.arvc.org.

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ARVC Samples Park Members on ‘Drive Market’

March 4, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

ARVC logoThe National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and other major travel industry related partners have teamed up with Mandala Research to learn more about the “Drive Market.”

Mandala Research first surveyed the consumer market to learn more about their vacation drive habits and now they are focused on learning more about this particular market from the “Operator” point of view.

In an e-mail, ARVC is asking members to take a few moments to participate in the survey.

“The results will truly help us learn more about this market and in turn will help ARVC in upcoming marketing efforts to bring more business to your park,” ARVC concluded.

Click here to see a copy of the survey.

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ARVC Deems 2010 Convention/Expo a Success

February 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

ARVC logoThe National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has released the results of two surveys it conducted at the 2010 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo held Dec. 1-4 in Las Vegas.

ARVC conducted an exhibitor survey and an attendee survey (primarily focused on educational seminars).

Overall, the results show that this past year’s conference and expo were a success, ARVC stated in a recent ARVC Flash report

Here are some quick findings:

Exhibitor Survey (survey of those companies that chose to exhibit at the expo)

  • 58% thought the foot traffic in the expo hall was either ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent.’
  • 93% rated the expo regarding interested buyers as ‘Average’, ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent.’
  • 67% of exhibitors said they would return to Las Vegas for another ARVC Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo in the future.
  • 57% of exhibitors said they would prefer to have the expo in a different location every year as opposed to 3.8% of who said they would prefer the same location or 38% who said they would prefer to have the expo in three locations in a three-year rotation.
  • 65% of exhibitors said they would not like to change the time of year that the show occurs.
  • 77% of exhibitors said that they were either ‘Very Likely’ or ‘Definitely’ planning to exhibit at the 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Expo in Savannah, Ga.

Attendee Survey

  • 84% of the respondents signed up for full-registrations at last year’s conference.
  • 79% of respondents said that attending the educational seminars at the Conference was ‘Extremely Important.’
  • 74% said that attending the Conference to stay abreast of the latest industry news was also ‘Extremely Important’ and 64% said that attending the conference to get ideas from other colleagues was a main reason they attend.
  • The majority of attendees, 53%, said they preferred a mix of free on-site events and paid events (on their own).
  • 68% of respondents rated the ARVC conference as either ‘Valuable’ or ‘Very Valuable.’
  • 63% said that they were either ‘Likely’ or ‘Very Likely’ to attend the 2011 conference in Savannah.
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