Twenty-seven campgrounds, RV parks and resorts earned all-around “A” grades in the sixth annual consumer satisfaction survey of campgrounds, RV parks and resorts.
According to a press release, the top parks were announced last week during the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds’ (ARVC) annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo, which took place at the Knoxville Convention Center.
More than 30,000 camping and RV enthusiasts participated in the online survey, which evaluated guest experiences at more than 3,000 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts that are affiliated with ARVC campgrounds.
“Consistently earning an overall ‘A’ grade from guests is difficult, and our 27 winners this year represent less than 2% of all of the nation’s campgrounds. But what is even more impressive is that four of this year’s winners have also received this award for six years in a row,” said Bob MacKinnon, president and CEO of GuestReviews.com, the Murrieta, Calif.-based company that conducted the online survey on behalf of ARVC.
“Consumers should take the time to check out the ratings that are posted for each campground on GoCampingAmerica.com because it is the quickest way to tell which parks are best meeting – and exceeding – guest expectations,” said Paul Bambei, ARVC’s president and CEO.
The 27 parks earning “A” grades this year are listed below. They include:
• Anaheim Resort RV Park, Anaheim, Calif., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.anaheimresortrvpark.com.
• Ashland Resort, Northfork, W. Va., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.atvresort.com.
• AtRivers Edge RV Resort, Brookings, Ore., a first-time “A” grade winner, http://www.atriversedge.com.
• Beaver Dam Campground, Berwick, Maine., a second-time “A” grade winner, www.beaverdamcampground.com.
• Camp A Way, Lincoln, Neb., a third-time “A” grade winner, www.campaway.com.
• Cherry Hill Park, College Park, Md., a five-time “A” grade winner, www.cherryhillpark.com.
• D & W Lake Camping and RV Park, Champaign, Ill., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.dwlake.com.
• Far Horizons 49er Village RV Resort, Plymouth, Calif., a second-time “A” grade winner, www.49ervillage.com.
• Kalyumet Camping & Cabins, Lucinda, Pa., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.kalyumet.com.
• Lake George RV Park, Lake George, N.Y., a six-time “A” grade winner, www.lakegeorgervpark.com.
• Las Vegas RV Resort, Las Vegas, Nev., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.lasvegasrvresort.com.
• Leaf Verde RV Resort, Buckeye, Ariz., a first-time “A” grade winner, www.leafverde.com.
• Meadowcliff Lodge & RV Resort, Coleville, Calif., a five-time “A” grade winner, www.meadowcliff.com.
• Mill Creek Ranch RV Resort, Canton, Texas, a five-time “A” grade winner, www.millcreekranchresort.com.
• Misty River Cabins & RV Resort, Walland, Tenn., a six-time “A” grade winner, www.mistyriverrv.com.
• Moose River Campground, Saint Johnsbury, Vt., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.mooserivercampground.com.
• Mountain Vista Campground, East Stroudsburg, Pa., a five-time “A” grade winner, www.mtnvistacampground.com.
• Pioneer Campground, Laporte, Pa., a six-time “A” grade winner, www.pioneercampground.com.
• Pismo Coast Village RV Resort, Pismo Beach, Calif., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.pismocoastvillage.com.
• Red Apple Campground, Kennebunkport, Me., a five-time “A” grade winner, www.redapplecampground.com.
• Rivers Edge Campground, Connellsville, Pa., a second-time “A” grade winner, www.campriversedge.com.
• Shadow Hills RV Resort, Indio, Calif., a second-time “A” grade winner, www.shadowhillsrvresort.com.
• The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course, Borrego Springs, Calif., a four-time “A” grade winner, www.springsatborrego.com.
• The Vineyards Campground & Cabins, Grapevine, Texas, a six-time “A” grade winner, www.vineyardscampground.com.
• Wine Country RV Resort, Paso Robles, Calif., a second-time “A” grade winner, www.winecountryrvresort.com.
• Wishon Village RV Park, Shaver Lake, Calif., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.wishonvillage.com.
• Yellowstone Holiday Campground, West Yellowstone, Mont., a three-time “A” grade winner, www.yellowstoneholiday.com.
The National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) has promoted Jennifer Schwartz to the newly created position of vice president of marketing.
“Jennifer is a tremendous asset to our team and this promotion will put her in a better position to continue to develop partner relationships that can deliver valuable money-saving programs that private park operators cannot find anywhere else,” said Paul Bambei, ARVC’s president and CEO, noting that the association’s exclusive music licensing program is attracting new members from across the country. “This promotion will also enable Jennifer to continue to develop and implement a fully integrated marketing communication strategy that will help support efforts to promote program participation, encourage member engagement and increase the value of ARVC membership to private park operators.”
Schwartz, a marketing expert with over 20 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies and national trade associations, joined ARVC two years ago as the association’s senior director of marketing communications and partnerships.
She said she is looking forward to developing additional member benefit programs while helping the association communicate the value of ARVC’s national pricing programs, exclusive opportunities for networking, professional development and educational enrichment, legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts, as well as marketing support through GoCampingAmerica.com, the association’s popular travel planning website.
“We want our members to get the most out of their membership,” Schwartz said. “We also want to continue to grow our membership base by consistently providing enhanced the value and benefit of.”
Schwartz has held high-level marketing positions throughout her career, including vice president of marketing communications for Adelphia Communications; vice president of acquisition and upgrade marketing for AT&T Broadband; and vice president of marketing promotions and sales for AT&T Broadband. Schwartz holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration and marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder. A Colorado native with a passion for camping, fishing, hunting, hiking and skiing, she typically camps 20 to 30 days a year with her family.
The National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) has announced that Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, will be the opening day keynote speaker at this year’s ARVC Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo.
According to a press release, the conference runs from Nov. 5-8 at the Knoxville Convention Center in Knoxville, Tenn. Dow’s presentation will be at the noon luncheon on Nov. 6.
As head of the national umbrella organization dedicated to increasing travel to and within the United States, Dow was instrumental in leading an industrywide movement to create the Travel Promotion Act which was signed into law in 2010. This led to the development of the nation’s first-ever communications and promotion program, known as Brand USA, which is designed to increase international travel to the United States.
Prior to joining USTA in 2005, Dow had a successful 34-year career with Marriott International. He frequently speaks on the topics of leadership, sales, marketing and management, and has co-authored two books: Turned On – Eight Vital Insights to Energize your People, Customers and Profits and The Trust Imperative – The Competitive Advantage of Trust-Based Business Relationships.
Click here to learn more about the ARVC convention.
The National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) has alerted members of Congress that cash-strapped cities, counties and states are increasingly attempting to impose property taxes on recreational park trailers or “park models” in violation of federal law.
“This is probably the biggest single state and national issue facing our industry today,” said Jeff Sims, ARVC’s director of state relations & program advocacy, in a press release.
Sims joined 27 private campground operators and industry officials in personally alerting 123 members of Congress and their staffs about illegal state and local efforts to tax park trailers during their May 8-9 visits to legislators on Capitol Hill. The meetings were arranged in conjunction with ARVC’s annual National Issues Conference.
The ARVC delegation also personally briefed members of Congress on ARVC positions regarding a variety of other issues ranging from onerous rules and requirements involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to de-funding of national parks, highways and tourism promotion.
“We had two days worth of very productive meetings,” Sims said, adding that private park operators and industry officials prefaced their congressional meetings by reviewing their talking points with David Ransom of McDermott, Will & Emery, ARVC’s government relations counsel.
Sims said it was important to brief legislators on state and local attempts to circumvent congressional mandates and impose property taxes on recreational park trailers because they are increasingly being used by consumers as vacation cottages and by private park operators as rental accommodations.
“The intent is to educate legislators so they know what’s going on,” Sims said. “Recreational park trailers are for recreational purposes only. They are not meant to be affixed to the property in any way. They do not improve property values in any way, and they are neither designed nor intended by their manufacturers to be used as permanent residences. In fact, recreational park trailers are titled and licensed as motor vehicles by the various states.”
And unlike real property, which can appreciate over time, park trailers depreciate over time, Sims said. “A recreational park trailer is like a pickup,” he said. “It’s a vehicle that’s licensed. It’s not meant to enhance the value of a property.”
In fact, Sims said, recreational park trailers are built in accordance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A119.5 Recreational Park Trailer Standard, not the HUD requirements that manufactured homes are mandated to comply with. “Recreational park trailers are not manufactured housing,” Sims said. “There is no practical difference between the use of recreational park trailers and travel trailers or fifth-wheels.”
In addition to briefing legislators on illegal efforts to tax recreational park trailers, private campground operators outlined ARVC’s positions on several other issues, including:
• Fair implementation of ADA guidance on swimming pools and spas: ARVC believes that public accommodations should be permitted to store portable pool lifts and deploy them when they are requested by disabled people. ARVC also supports H.R. 203, introduced by Rep. Mike Mulvaney, R-S.C., which would explicitly state that portable pool lifts are ADA compliant.
• Support for the national parks: The national parks could face a reduction in visitor services, hours of operation and a shortening of seasons as a result of federal budget sequestration. ARVC supports funding that allows national parks to be properly staffed and maintained.
• Promotion of travel and tourism: ARVC supports legislation and policies intended to increase travel and tourism in the U.S., including visa waiver programs that allow foreign visitors to experience America’s national treasures. The U.S. travel and tourism industry is a major component of the nation’s GDP and employment, representing 2.7% of GDP and 7.4 million jobs directly connected to the travel and tourism industry.
• Support for America’s roads and highways: ARVC supports funding for federal highways and urges Congress to maintain support for the Scenic Byways Program.
In a bid to increase attendance at its upcoming 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo, the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) recently launched “The Battle for Savannah” — a contest to determine which states can draw the greatest percentage of full registrations to the expo compared to last year’s program.
The 2011 event will be held Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, Savannah, Geo.
To be eligible, a state’s registration growth of 20% year-over-year must be achieved. Four association categories — large, medium, small and non-affiliated — will be tracked based on the current number of member parks within each state. The winning state in each category will be awarded a check rebating 50% of all the registration fees collected for that state by ARVC.
Additionally, a grand prize of $5,000 will be awarded among the three affiliated categories — large, medium and small — to the state with the greatest overall growth percentage.
The promotion is being held in conjunction with newly adjusted pre-registration fees providing a discount of up to 40% for those parks registering for the expo no later than Aug. 31st. The new fee structure offers newly reduced rates based upon park size plus an additional 10% off for recurring attendees from the same park.