National Issues Conference Kicks Off Tuesday

April 26, 2010 by · Comments Off on National Issues Conference Kicks Off Tuesday 

The 2010 National Issues Conference, hosted by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), gets underway tomorrow morning (April 27) at Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Md. The 1 1/2-day issues conference, combining both federal government issues with national/state association business and state-level matters, principally involves national and state ARVC leaders who deal with a wide variety of state, national and association matters.

The National Issues Conference, sponsored by Evergreen USA is preceded by Monday’s CAMP meetings of state association executives at the same location.

Tuesday’s agenda shifts to the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center in Washington D.C., and to a series of Capital Hill visits. Here, at a glance, is the conference agenda:

Tuesday, Mar. 27: Cherry Hill Park, College Park, Md.

Noon: Lunch at Cherry Hill Park

1:30-5:30 p.m.: Review of ARVC Government Affairs Priorities and Program by consultants Aubrey King & David Gorin

1:30 p.m.: Review of Key Issues of Interest to ARVC on the National Scene

2:30 p.m.: State Issues of Interest to Affiliated Associations

3:30– 4:30 p.m.: “State Parks: What’s Going On?” The speaker, Joe Elton, the Virginia State Park director and president of the National Association of State Park Directors, will address the most important trends in state park camping and recreation. Also on the radar is a look at America’s State Parks Alliance with a focus on the direction of public and private campground relations.

4:30 p.m.: Review of National Recreation Issues (including National Park Promotion Council) by Derrick Crandall or Aubrey King, including a presentation on the link between outdoor recreation and better health

5-6:00 p.m.: Special Guest Speaker sponsored by Best Parks in America, KOA, Yogi Bear/Leisure Systems: Dr. Paul Herrnson, author of “Party Campaigning in the 1980s” and several other books, who will participate in a Q&A session regarding the current political scene.

6:15 p.m.: Dinner at Cherry Hill

Wednesday, Mar. 28: U.S. Capitol Visitors Center

8 a.m.: Breakfast with presentation of National Public Service Award.

8:30 a.m.: Small Business Tax and Regulatory Issues with Paula Calimafde, chairman of the SBLC and president of the Small Business Council.

9:30 a.m.: Economic Review for Nation and Tourism and Recreation with David Huether, NAM, and Suzanne Cook, U.S. Travel Association

10:30 a.m.: Highway Reauthorization, including a speaker from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials or American Highway Users Alliance.

11 a.m.: Implementation of the Travel Promotion Act

11:30 a.m.: Open Forum before Capitol Hill Visits

Lunch on your own

Afternoon Capital Hill Visits

4:30 p.m.: Happy Hour recap and debriefing at Capitol Hill Club

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Coon: New ‘Stars’ Will Surface in RV Industry

May 7, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Despite the RV industry’s current setbacks, new companies have been surfacing to replace some of those lost to the recession over the past two years, Richard Coon, president of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), told state campground association leaders during the recent National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds’ (ARVC) 2009 National Issues  Conference in Washington, D.C.

“As bad as it looks for some of the traditional names (manufacturers),” Coon said, “there will be other stars two years from now. It’s hard to predict who, but this is how this country operates. Existing companies are not sitting still. Some of the guys are adding new product, and they are moving forward.”

Coon, in reviewing the industry’s current status with a Power Point presentation, said that in addition to tight retail and wholesale credit, shaky consumer confidence has rocked the industry.

“The consumer used to be rich and now he wonders if he’s going to have enough to survive,” Coon said. “People are worried about whether thy are going to have a job.”

Although the association still has 91 manufacturer members, he added, the entire RV industry is going through a shakeup with 17 RV companies dropped from the association in recent months.

Coon told the assembled state campground association leaders that they need to consider wider sites because of RVIA’s decision to allow members to build fifth-wheels up to 430 square feet in the setup mode, along with the advent of telescoping slideouts.

“Manufacturers are going to build what the consumers want,” he said. “I’m sure it’s become a pain for a lot of the older campgrounds, especially where you put your utilities. But that part’s not going to get better; it’s going to get worse.”

The industry’s Go RVing marketing expansion campaign’s media budget has been cut to $3.5 million this year — down from a high of about $15.5 million in 2007 — because of declining RVIA seal sales which finance the program, Coon reported.

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ARVC Conference Focuses on ‘Gateway Communities’

May 7, 2009 by · Comments Off on ARVC Conference Focuses on ‘Gateway Communities’ 

Consultant Lyle Laverty, a former assistant secretary of the Interior, has founded the National Association of Gateway Communities (NAGC) to expand the relationship that cities and towns have with nearby federal public land agencies.

First base in this initiative is improved communications.

“Communities don’t even know how to get involved in agencies’ planning processes,” Laverty told state campground association leaders attending the National Association of RV Parks And Campground’s (ARVC) 2009 National Issues Conference April 28-29 in Washington, D.C. “I’ve had a number of folks come to me from park service communities saying that they don’t even know when the agency is going to do anything until they come and announce a decision.”

Laverty, president and CEO of Denver, Colo.- based The Laverty Group, said there are two reasons for the lack of communities– public lands managers who don’t participate in the various community and the high turnover of community officials.

He told the group that NAGC incorporation papers were filed April 26. Efforts failed in the early part of the decade to create a Gateway Communities Act to give public lands managers authority to better involve themselves in local government planning.
Laverty said the new association goal will be to openly advocate and “broker” relationships “so that communities can be engaged in planning.”

“It’s not to pit one against the other but to find issues that will help Congress understand,” he said.

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