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Thor Exec’s Speech Concludes RV Park Event

April 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Shane ott, Thor Industries Inc.

Shane Ott, Thor Industries Inc.

Shane Ott, director of campground relations for Thor Industries Inc., delivers the closing address today (April 21) on the topic of “RV Industry Trends” at the ReV up In Reno RV Park and Campground Western Convention and Trade Show at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nev.

The three-day conference drew more than 100 campground owners and operators from California and nearby Western states. It is being sponsored by the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC) and associations from Arizona, Idaho and Oregon.ReV up in Reno 2010 logo

In a keynote address on Monday, Caroline Beteta of the California Commission on Travel & Tourism shared statistics for tourism for the last 18 months on the national and state level.

“There was a slight uptick in tourism activity in January,” relayed Debbie Sipe, CalARVC executive director, in summarizing Beteta’s presentation “but the bad news is — there’s still a long way to go for the general tourism industry to recover all the jobs lost in this economy. But, perceived as afffordable vacation options, RV parks and campgrounds are poised to have a great summer. Caroline’s enthusiasm is contagious and as you know RV parks and campgrounds are uniquely positioned to help families stay connected and vacationing even in a down economy.”

Delegates have been attending engaging seminars, evidenced by the discussions in the hallway about the topics they’ve just heard, Sipe said.

Also this week, attendees took part in a trade show, received a “State of the Industry” from Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and acquired treasures in the Silent Auction.

Today brings more seminars and conclusion of the trade show.

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Thor’s Shane Ott to Keynote Campground Event

January 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Shane Ott

Shane Ott

Shane Ott, director of campground relations for Thor Industries Inc., has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for the ReV Up in Reno Western Region Convention and Trade Show April 19-21 in Reno, Nev. The event will be held in John Ascuaga’s Nugget Resort and Casino.

The second annual event is sponsored by the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC) and other western state campground associations.

ReV up in Reno 2010 logoPrior to joining Thor this past year, Ott was the president and COO of Kampgrounds of America Inc.

Ott’s wide breath of experience in both the campground and RV industries affords him a unique perspective on the past, present and future of RV Parks and campgrounds in the West.

He will address current trends in the RV industry and how these will drive business to – or away from – RV parks and campgrounds.

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ARVC & Thor Launch Rental-Lodging Partnership

October 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and Thor Industries Inc. have launched a strategic partnership to provide rental-lodging products at special prices in an exclusive promotion for ARVC members, according to a joint release this morning (Oct. 13).
 
“Three of Thor’s companies, including Airstream, Breckenridge, and Keystone, now offer unique lines of park model cabin and travel trailer units that have been specially designed to meet the durability needs of private park operators who are anxious to expand their offering of rental accommodations,” said Shane Ott, Thor’s new director of campground relations.
 
Ott, former president and COO of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), joined Thor during the summer and developed the company’s rental accommodations initiative with ARVC.
 
Units from all three manufacturers will be on display Nov. 11-12 at ARVC’s InSites 2009 Convention & Outdoor Hospitality Expo in Orlando, Fla.
 
“We welcome this partnership and feel that the favorable pricing and unique designs of these units will be very enticing for campgrounds, RV parks and resorts as they continue to diversify their business base with rental accommodations,” said Linda Profaizer, ARVC’s president and CEO.
 
About one-third of the nation’s commercially owned campgrounds, RV parks and RV resorts offer rental units to accommodate families and other travelers who don’t have an RV, but want to enjoy the Great Outdoors – and the numbers are growing, according to the release.
 
“Private parks have long seen the merits of investing in park model cabins for use as rental accommodations, and now they have a chance to invest in both park models and travel trailers for on-site rental use at special prices that are exclusive to ARVC members,” Profaizer said. “Many travel trailer owners already leave their units at campgrounds and RV parks and use them as getaway cottages.” 
 
Ott said this unusual new partnership, the first of its kind involving ARVC and RV manufacturers, has enabled Thor to develop unique units using the input and experience of campground owners across North America. The “ruggedized features,” along with a variety of floorplans and cozy design elements, offer campground owners durable units built to withstand the rigors of high occupancy usage, Ott states in the release.
 
The lodging units featured in the promotion include four Breckenridge recreational park trailers ranging from 22- to 36-feet; two Keystone travel trailers, including one 29- and one 37-foot model; and one 25-foot Airstream travel trailer.
 
Ott added that while the initial promotion involves Airstream, Breckenridge, and Keystone, additional Thor companies could become involved in the promotion in the future, depending on the level of private park interest.
 
The world’s largest RV manufacturer, Thor has a long history of financial stability and annual growth. The Jackson Center, Ohio, company and its subsidiaries currently produce 30% of the RVs and park models produced in the United States, which Ott said should assure ARVC members of a mutually beneficial and stable business relationship.
 
ARVC, for its part, is the largest association of private parks in the world, representing more than 3,600 commercially owned campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the country. The association is based in Larkspur, Col.
 
For more information on the Thor-ARVC accommodations partnership, contact Ott at (406) 670-7181 or sott@thorindustries.com or Profaizer at (303) 681-0401 or lprofaizer@arvc.org.
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Pat Hittmeier Succeeds Ott at KOA Inc.

April 27, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 

 

Pat Hittmeier

Pat Hittmeier

 

Pat Hittmeier, a 28-year veteran of Kampgrounds of America Inc.’s (KOA) home office in Billings, Mont., and most recently the vice president of its Sales and Campground Development Division, has been promoted to the position of COO for the 47-year-old company.

Hittmeier replaces Shane Ott, who has resigned from the positions of president and COO of KOA Inc. The position of president will remain vacant, according to Jim Rogers, KOA’s CEO and chairman, and the duties will be split between Hittmeier and Rogers, according to a news release.

“Pat Hittmeier has done nearly everything there is to do at KOA, so he brings a depth of knowledge to this position that just can’t be matched,” Rogers said. “Early in his career, he worked in our Company Operated Properties Division, learning the nuts and bolts of campground management. He later was in the field, building new KOAs like the beautiful park we have in Polson, Mont. He’s also been at the helm of our Franchisee Services Department, a very complex operation that is at the very heart of the value KOA brings to its franchisee partners. He intimately understands the needs of both our staff and our campground owners, most recently as vice president of sales and development, where he has achieved the remarkable result of adding 50 new campgrounds to KOA in just two years.”

Ott, who is ending a 23-year career at Kampgrounds of America, is planning to create his own consulting business, to be based in Billings. He served as KOA’s president and COO for the past 2 1/2 years. He had previously been the senior vice president of KOA’s company operated properties.

Hittmeier, a native of Litchfield, Ill., is a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He moved to Texas after graduation and worked with youth outdoor education programs in Houston and Waco. In 1977 he moved to Montana and became a forester for the state of Montana. In 1979, he came to Billings to be sales coordinator for the Mossmain Industrial Park before joining KOA in June 1981.

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