The 50th Annual Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) Convention, held at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Nov. 11,-13, represented “the best convention in the organization’s history,” according to a press release.
PCOA reported that the convention drew over 200 attendees from 86 Pennsylvania member campgrounds and one non-member campground. Also attending were three prospective campground owners and two associates. Highlights included a special salute to veterans on Monday evening; musical entertainment and a slide show presentation of PCOA history on Tuesday night; and a grand prize giveaway of a brand new Club Car golf cart on Wednesday.
Twelve seminars were presented during the convention along with 12 roundtable discussions and a crackerbarrel conducted by Bruce Heasley, Holiday Pines Campground. Also featured were an “Airing and Sharing’ session led by Kampgrounds of America Inc.’s (KOA) Judy Deegans, KOA Kampgrounds and a trade show that featured 68 exhibitors.
In addition, PCOA held an auction that raised funds for educational scholarshipsand the National School of RV Park and Campground Management. PCOA said a total of $28,378 was raised.
PCOA also conducted its annual meeting and the election of new officers that included: President Jason Vaughan, Mountain Vista Campground, East Stroudsburg; Vice President Bruce Heasley, Holiday Pines Campground, Loganton; Treasurer Shane Adam, Mountain Springs Camping Resort, Shartlesville; Secretary Barbara Repetski, Hemlock Campground, Tobyhanna.
Region appointments included:
• Regions I & II vice president: Debby Yeager, Rose Point Park Cabins & Camping, New Castle.
• Regions III & IV vice president: Kathy Stetler, Pioneer Campground, Laporte.
• Regions V & VI vice president: Tim Cartmell, Honesdale/Pocono KOA, Honesdale.
• Region I director: Matt May, Presque Isle Passage Campground, Fairview.
• Region II director: Deene Yenchochic, River’s Edge Camping & Cabins, Connellsville.
Region III director: David Mull, Shady Brook Campground, Beavertown.
Region IV director: Ryan McFarland, Buttonwood Campground, Mexico.
Region V director: James Kesterke, Otter Lake Campground, East Stroudsburg.
Region VI director: Jed Wood, Blue Rocks Family Campground, Lenhartsville.
The Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) will be attending a variety of consumer camping and outdoor shows around the state and beyond, distributing the “PA Camping Directory.”
According to a press release, the directory contains information about 236 campgrounds throughout Pennsylvania and the many amenities they have to offer. PCOA also owns and operates the Campers World RV Show in York, Pa., which will mark its 35th anniversary in 2013.
This year, 35 shows will be attended and PCOA will have its own booth at 13 shows. Anderson’s Brochure Distribution will carry the directory in their program for 13 additional shows and United Brochure Distribution will distribute at nine shows.
“The Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association is pleased to be able to interact with our camping families at three more shows this season than last year,” says Beverly Gruber, PCOA executive director.
PCOA Vice President and Marketing Chairperson Jason Vaughan added, “We are very pleased to also incorporate lead generation this season and look forward to growing our Campin’ PA Style E-Newsletter which currently is delivered to over 8,000 families.”
The 2012 Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association Convention (PCOA) was well attended and rates as “one of the best ever,” according to a press release.
“There was an excitement in the air. The facility was perfect, the seminars were awesome, everyone had a great time and the networking was phenomenal,” said Bev Gruber, PCOA executive director.
The 49th annual convention was held Dec. 3-5 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, Pa.
Over 170 people from 73 Pennsylvania campgrounds and one out-of-state campground attended. Also attending were two prospective campground owners and three associates.
The keynote speaker, Paul Bambei president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), focused on “building bridges” while also citing the benefits of belonging to ARVC, Gruber stated.
In addition, PCOA sponsored 12 educational seminars and 71 exhibitors were present for the trade show.
During the gathering PCOA held its annual meeting and elected new officers, including:
• Director Region I – Matt May, Presque Isle Passage Campground.
• Director Region II – Deene Yehchochic, River’s Edge Camping & Cabins (second term).
• Director Region III – David Mull, Shady Brook Campground.
• Director Region IV – Ryan McFarland, Buttonwood Campground.
• Director Region V – Tim Cartmell, Honesdale/Pocono KOA (second term).
• Director Region VI – Shane Adam, Mountain Springs Campground.
• Appointed: Director at Large – Debby Yeager, Rose Point Park Cabins & Camping, New Castle, Pa.
The Pennsylvania Auction raised $11,691.50 for scholarships to fund educational scholarships and the National School of RV Park and Campground Management.
The Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) has launched a contest to mark the 2 millionth visitor to its website at http://pacamping.com/.
According to a press release, the winner will receive over 50 free camping certificates good for the entire 2013 camping season. The certificates are valid for one night of camping at participating Pennsylvania campgrounds and have a value of $2,500.
“We are delighted to offer an opportunity like this to the camping public,” said Jason Vaughan, vice-president and chairman of the PCOA marketing committee. “ As we are nearing the two millionth visitor mark to www.pacamping.com it seemed like a great way to celebrate this benchmark and to thank those camping families who have visited our website.
To enter, visit the website and enter your information. All entries to the contest will automatically be entered into a drawing for one of 10 consolation prices with a value of $100 each.
The Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) is teaming up with national outdoors retailer Cabela’s in Hamburg, Pa., to promote the camping lifestyle on April 28-29. According to a press release, “Get Outdoors and Go Camping…It’s Easy” will serve as the theme for the promotion.
Members of PCOA will be on hand to greet the guests and give them a 2012 Campground Directory of privately owned parks. RVs supplied by Family Camping, Pottstown, Pa., will be on display while expert outfitters from Cabela’s will be demonstrating the newest camping products available and helping campers gear up for their next trip.
“Camping is not only the most affordable vacation around, it also is fun and memorable. In Pennsylvania you have over 235 campgrounds to choose from to make that memory,” said Beverly Gruber, PCOA executive director. “Camping is a great family activity. At the Cabela’s event, young families will be encouraged to take their children camping this year.”
She added, “Time spent camping or RVing allows you to slow down and gives you the flexibility to pursue what you want and where you want to be. It gives you a chance to rediscover your family and lets you choose the activities your family enjoys. So stop in at Cabela’s and get acquainted with camping and RVing.”
For more information on Pennsylvania campgrounds, visit www.pacamping.com.
The Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) has launched a new “mobi” website, http://pacamping.mobi, allowing users to view the most essential content of the full PCOA website on their SmartPhones.
According to a press release, studies have shown that most SmartPhone users are much further along in their decision-making process, typically looking for a place to camp this weekend rather than two months from now. With those usage patterns in mind, the new PCOA mobile site provides basic search capabilities (by campground name, town name, or region) and presents special camping deals from participating campgrounds.
Search results include basic information, one photo, and links to the campground’s website, along with online reservations page, e-mail, telephone, and integration with the device’s native mapping application, which takes advantage of the navigational features offered by those apps. Members with enhanced listings will also have links to their Facebook page.
Users may also obtain more information about the six regions in Pennsylvania, order a printed directory, or even download the full directory. They also have access to essential information about PCOA and camping in Pennsylvania. Of course, the site provides direct access to the main website for those who would like to access the full range of content. Additional features may be added to the mobile site as users express their interests.
PCOA’s new mobile content was developed by Pelland Advertising, PCOA’s website development and hosting services partner since 2002.
In support of “Great Outdoors Month,” the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) is teaming up with Cabela’s in Hamburg, Pa., to promote the camping lifestyle on June 10-11. “Get Outdoors and Go Camping…It’s Easy” is the theme that the association has chosen to use for its two-day promotion.
According to a press release, members of the association will be on hand to greet the guests and give them a 2011 Campground Directory of privately owned parks. The guests will be encouraged to check out the RVs and tents supplied by Maiden Creek Marine and RV in Berks County. They will experience what camping is really like by making mini-s’more around the campfire and singing a few campfire songs. Coloring books will be given to the children and there will be photo opportunities. Expert outfitters from Cabela’s will be demonstrating the newest camping products available and helping campers gear up for their next trip.
“Camping is not only the most affordable vacation around, it also is fun and memorable. In Pennsylvania you have over 230 campgrounds to choose from to make that memory,” said Beverly Gruber, PCOA executive director. “Time spent camping or RVing allows you to slow down and gives you the flexibility to pursue what you want and where you want to be. It gives you a chance to rediscover your family and lets you choose the activities your family enjoys. So stop in at Cabela’s and get acquainted with camping and RVing.”
This promotion ties in with the “Great Outdoors Month” in June, being promoted by the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) and proclaimed nationwide by President Obama and nearly every state governor in the United States.
At the Cabela’s event, young families will be encouraged to go camping during the month of June. A coupon is being issued from the Go Camping America website, www.gocampingamerica.com, that gives a 20% discount on campground stays. The downloadable coupons are valid only between June 1-25 at participating parks.
For more information on Pennsylvania Campgrounds, please contact Beverly Gruber at 610-767-5026 and visit www.pacamping.com.
The winner of the 2010 Very Special Camper Contest drawing was Michael Wolbert of Leeper, Pa.
Wolbert and his wife, Janet, received $500 in gift certificates on Saturday (Jan. 22) at the Original Pittsburgh RV Show.
Campgrounds and RV dealers from Western Pennsylvania partnered to provide potential new RV owners over $500 of free camping when they bought a new RV from one of the participating dealers in 2010, according to a news release.
Each purchase of a new RV from one of the participating RV dealers entitled the new RV owner to one free night of camping for their family of four at all of the 17 participating Western Pennsylvania campgrounds and RV parks.
In 2011, any camper who stays at eight or more of the 19 participating campgrounds and RV parks and submitted their entry will be entered in a drawing to receive an additional $500 in Pennsylvania Campground Owner’s Association (PCOA) gift certificates, which can be used at any PCOA campground across the state.
The program, according to organizer Dennis Quigley of Kozy Rest Kampground, was designed to provide a huge selling point with select RV dealers in Western Pennsylvania.
Quigley stated, “We (campground owners in Western Pennsylvania) are the first in the industry to partner with RV dealers to provide this kind of joint marketing program. This program, as far as we know, is the first of its kind to promote RV sales and introduce RVers to all the participating campgrounds in the region in a contest format. The number of RV dealerships and campgrounds participating has grown since the program’s inception in 2009.”
He went on to add, “The RV dealers pay for the certificate and poster printing costs. They hand the certificates out with the purchase of each new RV they sell. Each campground then stamps and dates the certificate when the customer redeems it at their campground to receive their free night of camping. And finally, the campgrounds then purchase the $500 of PCOA gift certificates, which we award at the end of the program in the drawing. For the lucky camper who camps at eight or more of the participating campgrounds and submits their stamped certificate as their entry will win $500 in PCOA Camping Gift Certificates.”
“This program,” according to Brookdale Family Campground owner Tim Chilson, “has been very successful in bringing new campers to our campground. The number of new campers that this program brings us is as good as many other higher priced marketing efforts that we’ve tried. It introduces new campers to our park, and free camping offers bring new, happy campers to your park! And if it’s an existing camper that buys a new RV, that’s a great thing too! It’s a wonderful way to say thanks to existing customers for bringing their new RV to your park!”
The program for 2011 is already in full swing and is being used at RV shows to market RVs for participating dealerships.
A suspect national economy had little tangible effect on the Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners’ (WACO) Spring Convention March 18-22 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Stevens Point, Wis.
The event drew 650 campground owners, staff members and trades people. The campground count was 127, up from 106 last year. And the trade show featured 178 vendor booths, up from 150 a year ago. Furniture was removed from the convention center lobby to make room for the additional booths, WACO staffer Ruth Jaszewski reported to RVBusiness. The meeting is routinely the largest gathering of campground owners from a single state in the year.
She called it “a very positive convention,” both in terms of attendance and campground owner morale. “They (campground owners) feel the camping industry will not be that affected (this year). People won’t travel as far but will still come to the campgrounds that are closer. And reservations are up from last year,” Jaszewski said.
Among the guest speakers were Mark Anderson, chairman of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), and Beverly Gruber, executive director of the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA).
Kathi Kilgore, WACO’s lobbyist, outlined key legislative matters affecting the campground industry this year. The two major issues facing campgrounds deal with the mandatory start of public school and with raising the minimum wage, she told RVB.
WACO helped draft the existing Uniform School Start Date legislation, passed in 2001, which mandated public schools could not start before Sept. 1.
“This year, we are seeing an effort to repeal that law,” Kilgore said. “That is a big threat I am very nervous about. We are seeing organizations that were dormant or neutral before becoming more active.
“The other challenge is there is a majority of legislators who have not dealt with this issue before. We will now have to educate the new legislators and re-educate the folks that were here before,” she said.
The start date will be a bargaining issue, she said. “As a tourism industry, we would like to see Labor Day but a compromise (in the present law) was Sept. 1,” she said. Some schools formerly started as early as Aug. 18.
Such an early start date last year would have been harmful to the state’s campgrounds last summer, she noted, as the weather the last two weeks of August was “fabulous” and owners made up for a lot of business they lost earlier in the season due to the extensive flooding across the state.
The minimum wage hike would be to $7.60 an hour and indexed to the Consumer Price Index, she explained. She fears the legislation will “open the door to other HR issues like mandatory sick leave and to bigger precedents,” she said.
She encouraged WACO members to lobby their state legislators on the two issues.
WACO will hold its 2010 convention the third week in March and most likely return to the Stevens Point site, Jaszewski said.