Page 1

Financial Help When Disaster Strikes

chicken soup

for Campground Owner’s Soul

marketplace for Spring Buying

managing a campground

store navigate your way through customers and products


PLUS All Play and No Work or

All Work and no play?

Make it e a s i e r

for campers to find your park on Photo gallery

upg ra d e

priority search reSULTS

Strengthen your park profile by showing prospective campers more of what you have to offer — add up to 9 additional photos of your park.

Just $95 per year.


When you sign up for this upgrade, your park will appear as a featured listing at the top of search results. PLUS, you can include a promotional message with your featured listing, highlighting your best special offer to grab the attention of campers looking for a good value.

Just $49.95 per month.


(3 month minimum commitment required)


Make it even easier for prospective campers to visualize themselves camping at your park. Just imagine how much simpler their decision will be when they can view an expanded gallery of photos showcasing your park’s amenities along with a video that shows them exactly what it’s like to camp there! With this multimedia package, you can add up to 21 additional photos of your park and a link to your park video.

Just $195 per year.


upg ra d e

Make sure visitors to see your park first! With this powerful upgrade, your park profile will be featured prominently on the home page in our “Park Showcase” on a rotating basis. This will give you up to six times the parks listed in your state! PLUS, you can take advantage of the PHOTO GALLERY PLUS and PRIORITY SEARCH RESULTS PLUS packages at no extra charge! But hurry . . . only a limited number of these powerful Park Showcase listings are available to maximize their impact on the home page.

Just $995 per year.

Make your park s t a n d o u t on Contact Jake Poterbin at (303) 681-0401 ext. 101 or today to learn more and to upgrade your listing.




Jake Poterbin

contributing writers Jeff Crider; Kelly Jones, Denny Quigley, Vicki Cole and Wade Elliot chairman

Rob Schutter, CPO, OHC

first vice chairman


Marcia Galvin, CPO, OHC

second vice chairman

Terry Muñoz, CPO, OHC


Tim Deputy, CPO, OHC


Truman Hartshorn, CPO, OHC

immediate past chairman president/ceo


22 managing

a campground store:

navigating through products and customers are you selling your outdoor inventory?

departments 6

arvc perspective

Margaret Abbate

PJ Chmiel, Catherine Thompson, Vicki Cole and Maurice Leblanc contributing photographers

advertising coordinator

Jake Poterbin

Mail to:

arvc VOICE

what’s happening

The National Conference in Washington, D.C., launches new features, call for individual nominations to Board of Directors, discount pharmacy cards available, and mark the date for the 2013 OHCE.


art director

& partnerships Jennifer Schwartz

The arvc VOICE is published three times a year by the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds.

New member benefits on the horizon and OHEP kicks into full gear.


Paul Bambei

senior director of marketing


26 how

David L. Berg, CPO

member news

Q&A with supplier Nature-Zyme, Nelson Gustine, of Nelson’s Family Campground, captures campground owner experience in new book.

9085 E. Mineral Circle, Suite 200 Centennial, CO 80112 Call us: (303) 681-0401 Fax to: (303) 681-0426 Email to: Jake Poterbin:


member programs



best practices

Readers: We’d love your feedback. Send us comments, questions, letters to the editors or any suggestions for the next issue.

Louisiana hurricane experiences, and a decade with arvc 20 Groups. The benefits of recreation, what is your style of leadership, 5 ways to improve your online presence, and composting to save money.


campground owner spotlight

New arvc members Bob and Marla Cummings, owners of Mountain Lake Campground and RV Park in Lancaster, N.H., talk about what keeps them motivated and their lessons learned throughout the 11 years of park ownership.

marketplace 30

arvc member buyer’s guide


the official sponsor of the

arvc VOICE.

© 2013 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.

A comprehensive marketplace featuring products and services from arvc Member Benefit Providers and Supplier Council members.


arvc thanks Evergreen USA,

| SPRING 2013 |




Dear arvc Members: welcome to the spring

Paul Bambei

arvc President/CEO


2013 edition

of the newly redesigned arvc VOICE magazine. This is the first of three seasonal editions we will publish each year to provide you with a valuable resource you can refer back to frequently and share with your employees. Each issue of the arvc VOICE will focus on park operational issues such as marketing, staffing, safety and regulatory requirements. We’ll also inspire you with stories of the best practices and operational excellence that some of your fellow park owners have achieved. They’ll be sure to give you some great ideas you can apply at your own park. In addition, we’ll spotlight current trends in the RV and campground industry and share innovative ideas you can use to manage your business. We’ll also cover opportunities that are available to you for professional development. Our main goal for the arvc VOICE magazine is to provide valued members like you with resources you can’t get anywhere else. For instance, this spring edition is dedicated to that great time of year when many campgrounds really start to gear up and prepare for the coming season. Our late summer issue will offer tips on how to boost your business in the fall as well as strategies for gearing down for the winter or preparing for the arrival of winter visitors. Finally, our fall issue will focus on strategies for the winter season and offer full coverage of how you can take advantage of all of the resources available at our annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo. The newly redesigned arvc VOICE magazine is just one of many ways we’ll be providing you with added value this year. We’re also excited about the website, which has undergone a major overhaul this past year to make it a more intuitive, useful


| SPRING 2013 |


member site. We will be launching the new site soon and we’ll be using it as our key channel of communication with our members going forward. I invite you to go to the site and check out the first series of video interviews we recently conducted with several arvc past chairmen at a special gathering in Tampa, Florida. You’ll enjoy hearing these friends and tireless arvc volunteers comment about their years at the helm and the challenges they faced. They serve as a shining example of just how much arvc members can accomplish when they get involved in their industry association. There are also great things happening on the arvc education front, as the new Outdoor Hospitality Education Program (OHEP) kicks into full gear this year. Already, over 125 members have registered to take advantage of our new, flexible, self-paced learning program. It will help them become more skilled at operating and managing their campgrounds by applying the real-life learning experiences they acquire from the OHEP. Again, welcome to the spring issue of the arvc VOICE magazine. I encourage you to use the wealth of resources you’ll find inside to start building a resource library you can turn to again and again for valuable insights on successful park operations. As always, arvc stands ready to help make this your most successful year ever. My staff and I are always available to answer any question you have, and stand at your service to help you in any way. Please call us any time and we look forward to supporting your success in 2013.

what’s happening

national issues conference

National Issues Conference is Industry Voice on Capitol Hill the arvc national issues conference is May 7-8, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The conference is held annually for our association to meet face-to-face with members of Congress and other key policy makers to provide valuable input and express concerns about pending legislation affecting our industry.

Once again we are working closely with our partner and arvc National Issues Conference leading Washington, D.C. law ƒƒ May 7-8, 2013 firm McDermott, Will & Emery to set the agenda for this year’s ƒƒ Washington, D.C. conference. Some of the issues we will focus on include ADA compliance and rule change considerations, federal funding cuts affecting travel and tourism, and guidance on meeting the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Last year, the conference successfully pushed the ADA pool lifts requirement to Jan. 31, 2013.

New Launches with New Features our association website,, now features an allnew redesign along with new capabilities to sign up for events, manage payments online, a forum for members to communicate, a consolidated document center for easy reference and monthly content for you to stay current on trends and best practices. A mobile site will also be available to allow members to search for events, suppliers and read the latest arvc news. Sign in with your arvc ID or email today.



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individual nominations must be mailed by:

Call for Individual Nominations to Board of Directors we’d like to invite all members to nominate new board members for this year’s open positions. Voting areas 1 and 5, located in northern New England and the Midwest*, have openings for the arvc Board of Directors with 3-year terms beginning on Nov. 29, 2013. Areas 2, 3, 4 and 6 do not currently have any openings. If you are interested in serving on the Board of Directors and would like to nominate yourself or someone else you must submit the appropriate nomination documentation to David L. Berg, Chairperson of the Nominations and Elections Committee no later than Tuesday, July 9, 2013. All nominations must be accompanied with the signatures of fifteen (15) Voting Members from the nominee’s voting area. It is the responsibility of the nominee to ensure that all fifteen (15) signatories hold current and valid Voting Member status with arvc, as defined in Article IV, Section 1 in the bylaws. The Nominations and Elections Committee will verify this upon submission. Petition signatures from non-voting members shall not be considered as valid and will not be

counted, and may therefore render a petition invalid. In such cases, nominees will be notified by the Nominations and Elections Committee within fourteen (14) days of submission, and will have an opportunity to rectify the shortfall, subject to the submission deadline of July 9, 2013.

ƒƒ Tuesday, July 9, 2013

ƒƒ Possess the ability and willingness to represent arvc at state meetings ƒƒ Particular expertise Nomination Documentation Required

Director Qualification Summary

ƒƒ A biography stipulating the candidate’s abilities and outlining involvement as described above

ƒƒ Have at least two (2) years experience as an RV park or campground owner/operator

ƒƒ A form with 15 certifiable voting member signatures nominating candidate

ƒƒ Is the designated representative of a voting member campground/ RV park

ƒƒ A letter from the candidate certifying his/her willingness and reasons he or she wishes to serve

ƒƒ Is associated with a voting member park in good standing with arvc

Individual Nominations must be mailed to the following address to be received no later than Tuesday, July 9, 2013.

ƒƒ Is able to give priority to the arvc meeting schedule for Board meetings and the Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo ƒƒ Have their CPO/OHEP certificate or be actively enrolled in the OHEP Also recommended but not required: ƒƒ Participation in local, regional or state tourism councils

National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (arvc) Attn: David L. Berg, Chairperson, Nominations and Elections Committee 9085 E. Mineral Circle, Suite 200 Centennial, CO 80112 For a full copy of the arvc bylaws, please visit

ƒƒ Have experience in fundraising

* Voting Area 1 includes Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Voting Area 5 includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.

2013 OHCE

Discount Pharmacy Cards Now Available All arvc members can now sign up for a free discount pharmacy card through our supplier council member, Mass Marketing Insurance Consultants, Inc. The card is accepted at 56,000 participating locations. Card holders simply present the card to a participating pharmacist to receive the discount at the time of purchase. The card, which can be used by you and your entire family, can be accessed at

ƒƒ Knoxville, TN

Mark the Date: 2013 Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo

ƒƒ Nov. 5-8

Join us in Tennessee for a great gathering of friendly people, innovative ideas and the best products and services our industry has to offer. November 5-8, 2013, at the Knoxville Convention Center. The trade show and expo will be held November 6-8. For more detailed information visit


| SPRING 2013 |



member news

member spotlight

Q&A with Supplier Nature-Zyme David Kozy had developed several IT systems development consulting companies before he joined Chicago-based Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) eight years ago. Initially overseeing ELS’s marketing and advertising efforts, Kozy subsequently moved into the operations side of ELS’s business, overseeing the management of RV resorts and manufactured home communities throughout the Midwest and Northeast. In July of 2012, ELS appointed Kozy to a new position of vice president of customer relations, a job he handles while also overseeing RV Home & Marine Solutions, an ELS subsidiary that specializes in the sale of environmentally friendly cleaning and waste treatment products for homes, boats and RVs, which it sells using the Nature-Zyme brand name. The arvc VOICE visited with Kozy recently as he geared up for a major sales push in advance of Earth Day.

Why are you selling Nature-Zyme and how can it help private park operators and consumers? RV holding tank products often contain formaldehyde and other chemicals, which can disrupt the natural biological processes that break down human waste in septic and other wastewater treatment systems. Park operators increasingly do not want these harsh chemicals to infiltrate their septic systems because they know they can be harmful to their infrastructure and to the environment. At the end of the day, nobody wants to have to pay to replace a leach field that has gone bad because of a poor process, because of chemicals, because the products they are using are stopping these natural processes from happening. So how can Nature-Zyme help? Our Nature-Zyme holding tank treatments are incredibly powerful enzyme based products. By nature, these enzymes quickly break down waste and airborne odors before their molecules form, so they deodorize the waste without masking chemicals. Nature-Zyme’s roots are in the commercial remediation of septic tanks and leach fields where we have actually developed a maintenance program that can help parks extend the life of their waste treatment systems. Park operators are realizing that they can save a lot of money if they are more vigilant about what goes into their septic systems and leach fields. We understand that Nature-Zyme was initially developed as a holding tank treatment product for RVs and boats. But now you have expanded your product lineup? Yes, our go green initiatives have driven the demand. We now have a complete line of Consumer and Commercial line of environmentally friendly bio-based products for the



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RVer/boater or the campground/marina owner that insist on performance efficacy and environmental safety. For consumers, awning, roof, carpet and bug cleaners, multipurpose cleaners and wash which won’t harm plant life around your home or RV. On the commercial side of the business, we also provide commercial grade cleaners for carpet, floor, restrooms and kitchens, all of which are sold using the Nature-Zyme brand name. Who developed Nature-Zyme? The holding tank product is developed by an Australian company called BiOWish Technologies. RV Home & Marine Solutions has obtained an exclusive license to market the product as Nature-Zyme in North America. How are you selling Nature-Zyme? Over 200 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across North America are now selling Nature-Zyme in their stores. These include quite a few ELS parks as well as several KOAs, Jellystone Parks and Carefree RV Resort properties and independent parks. We are also selling it through several online distribution channels, including, and How much motivation do consumers have to buy these kinds of products? There is a lot of pent up demand for effective environmentally-friendly products as more and more people develop an environmentally conscious lifestyle. Consumers are trying to use more environmentally friendly cleaning products throughout their homes and businesses and we are obviously trying to tap into that desire. We will continue to promote clean and green RVing with environmentally safe products.

Chicken Soup for the Campground Owner’s Soul

Every so often a book comes along which sums up an experience almost perfectly.


158-page “nelson’s family


A Collection of memories from Nelson’s Campground” by Nelson Gustine captures the nostalgic feelings that all campers and campground owners can relate to, making it the perfect book for campground owners to reflect, revitalize and reminisce. In the Nelson’s Family Campground’s description, the last sentence reads, “Visit us today to experience the results over 40 years in the camping industry.” It’s the perfect example of who Nelson is and what the New Hampton, Conn.-based campground represents to the many people who’ve become loyal customers: a modest campground that has provided cherished memories every year since the early 1960s. Take for instance one story from a Nelson’s camper: “I could share many more memories — a first crush, a first heartbreak, my first dance, and many others. All of these are from Nelson’s, and all define the woman I have grown to be. All are reasons I felt compelled to bring my son here, to this wonderful place where children can forget the dangers of society.” A long-time camper and former employee of Nelson during her college years, Cora Sciarra said, “I doubt anyone would ever think an experience at a campground could be so life altering. It continues today. Although I’m not at the campground now, I feel a closeness to the campground, several past campers, and especially the Gustine Family, that lacks words.” Cora added, “I will be forever grateful for the blessings that came through Nelson’s Family Campground.”

The book’s chapters give the reader a good overview of what’s covered. Everything from “Asking Mildred to Marry Me,” “Buying the Farm,” “Local Kid Trouble,” to “Shady Guests,” “Boys Will Be Boys,” “Don’t Fool with Nature” and “Campers’ Favorite Stories.” Those are just a few of the 48 chapters. Immediately from the beginning the reader gets a sense of what kind of person Nelson is and how his ambitions and aspirations drove him to become such a special person. The sentences are simple and straightforward, explaining events with such smoothness and calmness that the reader knows why Nelson carried the nickname “Mr. Calm.” Asked when he knew he should write a book, Mr. Gustine said, “There was never a particular moment in time but people would always tell me I should write a story about this or that. You’re really living your life over again.” He went on to add, “Every campground owner has experiences and interesting stories to tell.” The most compelling theme of the book though is every person can be great. Nelson is every bit a normal person — he sleeps, eats, and everything else we humans have to do on a daily basis. His secret to life is apparent in the book: be happy, be compassionate and take the opportunities life gives you. “Nelson’s Family Campground: A Collection of Memories from Nelson’s Campground” by Nelson Gustine can be ordered online at


| SPRING 2013 |



member programs

arvc foundation disaster relief fund

Louisiana Park Owner Financial Help for Hurricane Experience(s)



| SPRING 2013 |


Photo by Maurice LeBlanc

Photo by Maurice LeBlanc


aurice LeBlanc has owned and operated Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Robert, La. for many years and has served on the boards of state and national campground industry associations. What’s not as well known is the fact that LeBlanc has lost four of the past eight Labor Day weekends because of hurricanes. First there was Katrina. Then Gustav. Then Lee. “Hurricane Isaac came through last year about a week before Labor Day,” Le Blanc said. “We had three days of rain with 25 inches of rain. It shut us down. We had water flowing into our campground.” Labor Day is a critical weekend for every campground owner. For LeBlanc, Labor Day weekend can generate $40,000 in sales. So when Hurricane Isaac hit last year, he not only lost his Labor Day weekend business, but he faced the cost of cleanup and getting his park back into business. The financial stress prompted LeBlanc to turn to the arvc Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund for help. He received a $1,000 grant as well as $5,000 loan. And while the loan was for a relatively small amount, it made a big


difference for LeBlanc at a time when he wasn’t able to generate income from his park. “Even though we were closed for a while, I still had a mortgage to pay. I still have payroll,” he said, adding that the foundation approved his loan very quickly. “I had a check within a week after I called,” he said, which was a big difference from Small Business Administration’s disaster relief loan, which took 90 days to be approved. While most park operators do not like to publicize the help they have received from the arvc Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund, LeBlanc said he wanted to share his story, not only to educate park operators about the fund’s existence, but to generate continued park operator support for it. The arvc Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund is solely dependent on donations from park operators. “This is really a case where campground operators of the United States are contributing to help other campground owners,” LeBlanc said. And the need for such a fund is apparent, given the financial difficulties many park operators have faced as a result of wildfires, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes in recent years. arvc is challenging park operators to raise $3,250 in donations for the disaster relief fund this year.

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member programs

arvc 20 groups

arvc 20 groups

My Decade Experience By Denny Quigley, CPO Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest arvc “Park of the Year” 2011/2012

i was first exposed to twenty

in the late 1980s, when I worked for a Honda auto dealership. The owner of the dealership would come back from a twenty group meeting and meet with the department heads and share how the other dealers were excelling in various areas such as gross profits or cutting expenses. He would then insist that the managers meet or exceed what the others were doing. It must have worked, as we had one of the top dealerships in the country and the service manager and I won an all expense paid trip by American Honda to Marbella, Spain. That was BC (Before Campground). When we bought Kozy Rest Kampground in 2000, I found out that arvc had twenty groups (arvc 20 Groups). I liked the idea, but didn’t feel I had a nice enough park to get involved. After attending all three groups

years of the Campground Management School in Oglebay, West Virginia and getting more information on the arvc 20 Groups, many of us in the graduate class decided to come back and start a new 20 Group. It was one of the best decisions we could have made. I wish I had gotten involved sooner. I had the impression that you either needed to have a big park or a very nice park. It’s not about either. We have small parks and we have some very large parks. We have family-owned parks, corporate parks and corp. of engineer parks. Some of the parks are very nice and there are others that have room for improvement. It’s that wide diversity that makes the 20 Groups so worthwhile. It’s like having your very own consulting firm made up of peers in the industry. I really enjoy visiting other parks and spending a few days sharing ideas and seeing what works in their

situations and seeing if there is a way to incorporate it into our park. At a visit to a park in British Columbia, I saw some beautiful restrooms that influenced my new restrooms two years ago. I’m finishing up a store remodel now that was influenced by a park in Wisconsin. When you spend a few days at a park, you have the opportunity to pick the brains of other park owners, share ideas from maintenance to customer service, and to see how other parks operate. It’s a chance to share problems and get input from others who really understand the outdoor hospitality business and what we all go through. It’s a small investment of time and money, but the return on both is better than you could imagine. My park has grown in leaps and bounds since we’ve gotten involved. Some of that growth has come from things that I’ve seen, or ideas that were

20 Groups are financial groups limited to 20 non-competing businesses. arvc has several groups and any member can

get involved. The more members, the more groups arvc will create. Find more information on



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Photo by Denny Quigley

Photo by Denny Quigley

The arvc 20 Groups are organized by the group, allowing everyone to lend a hand in planning social activities.

shared, or suggestions from the group and the park critiques. The park critique is something we all look forward to, both from the receiving end and to doing the critiquing. The critique is a chance to have many new sets of eyes looking at your park, as if it was their own, and telling you how well you’re doing, what needs attention, or what might work better.

It’s that wide diversity that makes the 20 groups so worthwhile. It’s amazing how a fresh set of eyes can have a totally different prospective on something that we see every day. We’ve had parks say, “But we’ve always done it that way and it seems to work.” Then another park owner will suggest another method of doing a procedure that will save considerable time and money and then they say, “I never thought about it that way.” It’s the little things like this that make it worth the investment. We also share names of vendors where we can get the best deals. Another nice aspect of the 20 Groups is that we share financials, since we are non-competing parks scattered around the country. It’s a way to compare numbers that are broken down into categories that make sense — no matter what size or kind of park you have. One example is if a park is excelling in clothing sales. We ask them: how you are achieving those kinds of numbers? What are you offering? arvc.ORG

Where are you buying your inventory? What colors, what styles, purchase price? How are you merchandising it? From the sharing of financials, I saw the real value of rental units. Last year, I ordered two cabins and this year we are adding four more. The best part is the social network of a 20 Group. Meeting twice a year for several days with the same group of people creates quality relationships. We generally meet for three days. The itinerary looks something like this: Monday: Arrive at park, welcome dinner. Tuesday: Meeting held to update park progress, share best ideas or problems. A few seminars are often thrown into the mix. In the evening we enjoy food and friends. Wednesday: A few more meetings, seminars or touring local attractions. Another evening of food and friends while sharing and gathering ideas. Thursday: Critique day. We spend a few hours walking the park and writing down our thoughts, comments and suggestions. Then get together and share thoughts. Have business meeting. Some members might leave Thursday afternoon, others may stay extra days to fish or sightsee. What can I say to someone thinking about joining a 20 Group? Don’t wait. It will help you grow, become more profitable and successful, all the while making some great new friendships.

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all play and no work or

All Work and No Play? By Vicki Cole, Lifetime CPO, OHC Shelby/Mansfield KOA, Shelby, Ohio

“All work and no play makes you a dull girl or boy.” This saying has lasted in time for quite a while and for good reasons. If you work all the time and don’t have time for some occasional recreation, you will simply burn yourself out.

Photo by Vicki Cole

recreation is beneficial for both physical and psychological well being. With Mrs. Obama stepping up the “Let’s Move” program to encourage more daily physical activity — as campground owners, we can incorporate this in our activity programs and have some “fun.” Over the past 20 years, I’ve found many activities that can draw a crowd — and others not so much! Some were very labor intensive, some were downright wacky, while others were simply good-old-family fun. You can look at most campgrounds and find a common theme in their activities: ice cream socials, hayrides, themed weekends, pancakes — you know what they are. These basic standard activities have seemed to become the staple at our campgrounds over the years because everyone loves them. Just because these work though, don’t stop there. Keep looking for an activity that is unique and will set your campground apart from others. Find your feature activity and do it really well.



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What I Found To Be Popular Hits at our campground are Flashlight Candy Hunt, Shaving Cream Whiffle Ball, Candy Bar Bingo, Chocolate Slip n’ Slide, and Tie Dye Craft. All are easy to implement and always a crowd pleaser. There is a lot to be said for the good old campfire, Dutch oven cooking, and scavenger hunts … oh, if I could pick them all! Also, while it’s important to do age-specific activities, the base for your recreation program should be bringing the family together for some multi-generational fun — what the hospitality industry now calls “family time.” Today’s parents are actively involved in their children’s playtime or extracurricular activities. Anything that they can learn or experience with their children is paramount in today’s recreational offerings. So, start here. Take the basic activities to the next level. Add a twist, add a theme and most of all, add a big smile and “Make it Great!” Once your campground becomes a part of

your camper’s family memories, like so many other campgrounds, you will enjoy the benefits of higher camper satisfaction, extended camper nights, repeat business and added value in your overnight rate. Family Time This year’s recreation trends in all hospitality arenas point to a term called “Family Time,” which describes the type of fun that the entire family can enjoy “together.” Adventure recreation continues to be on the hot list also — providing families with exciting opportunities to explore unique places and push the limits on nature-based fun. Through recreation, children meet lifetime friends, and mom and dad get some much needed recuperation, while many cherished generation-spanning memories are made.

for children, but comments from our campers soon told us that the adults wanted scheduled activities, too. Adults like water aerobics, Zumba, crafts, wine and cheese socials, and baking pies, to name a few.

Today’s parents are actively involved in their children’s playtime or extracurricular activities. Anything that they can learn or experience with their children is paramount in today’s recreational offerings.

Plan Recreational Activities for Different Age Groups Different age groups have different coordination abilities and attention spans. Do not forget the adult — some want scheduled activities too. I used to think that we only had to plan activities

Self-serving Amenities Besides the planned activities, think about amenities that do not need to have staff involved: frisbee

golf, miniature golf, horseshoes, shuffle board, volleyball, basketball, tennis, pool and playgrounds. After taking our granddaughter’s to Disney World, we asked them what they enjoyed the most, thinking they would say eating with the princesses and Disney characters. Think again. They said, “playing on the playground and swimming in the pool!” Let’s not forget what we perceive as high value in the minds of kids. It’s still the basic recreation and spending quality time with parents, grandparents and friends. Recreation is a leisure activity done for enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure and often a great way to improve health by refreshing the mind and body. With everyone having less time for enjoyment, customers included, let's seize our special opportunity and make their camping experience a lifetime of memories! This education article is brought to you by the Outdoor Hospitality Education Program which covers 16 competencies including recreation programming. Learn more at www.arvc.or/education.

Facts & figures 3% of campgrounds/parks with premium sites offer delivered newspapers, according to participants of the 2013 national operations survey, while 62% offer free WiFi.


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Leadership styles are not something to be tried on to see which fits. Rather, they should be modified to the specific demands of the circumstances.

Personal and Organizational Leadership:

What is Your Style? By Kelly Jones, Director of Franchisee Development at Leisure Systems, Inc.

the encarta dictionary defines leadership as the ability to lead, guide, direct or influence people. I like to add that even if given a choice not to, people will still choose to follow you. If you lost your title today, would people still follow you? Have you defined your leadership style? Why is it important to do so? I recently read a book, Helping People Win at Work by Ken Blanchard and Garry Ridge, and it challenged me to define my leadership style. I have to say, easier said than done. Research completed by Noel Tichy, a management consultant and author, shows that, “Effective leaders have a clear, teachable leadership point of view and are willing to share it with others and teach it to others.” There are many other types of leadership styles that can be defined, and we’ve probably encountered times in our careers or lives where we assumed all of the styles. Have you ever thought you didn’t have enough time to focus on how your leadership style is affecting your colleagues’ experience (positively or negatively)? We all know how that goes — running a campground is hard! There are so many things to do and so little time to do them. When I googled “leadership styles” to do some additional research for this article, I found a perfect summary of what leadership means. In the article, “The Wall Street Journal Guide to Management,” Journalist and President of Pew Research Alan Murray explains, “However, leadership is less about your needs, and more about the needs of the people and the



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organization you are leading. Leadership styles are not something to be tried on to see which fits. Rather, they should be modified to the specific demands of the circumstances, the particular requirements of the people involved and the specific challenges facing the organization.”

The Six Styles of Leadership In the book “Primal Leadership” by Daniel Goleman, who popularized the notion of “Emotional Intelligence,” describes six different styles of leadership. The most effective leaders can move among these styles — taking on the style that meets the moment’s needs. These can all become part of your leadership repertoire. Visionary. This style is most appropriate when an organization needs a new direction. Its goal is to move people toward a new set of shared dreams. “Visionary leaders articulate where a group is going, but not how it will get there — setting people free to innovate, experiment, take calculated risks,” writes Mr. Goleman and his coauthors. Coaching. This one-on-one style focuses on developing individuals, showing them how to improve their performance, and helping to connect their own goals with the goals of the organization. Coaching works best, Mr. Goleman writes, “with employees who show initiative and want more professional development.” However, it can backfire if it’s perceived as “micromanaging” an employee, and undermines his or her self-confidence.

Affiliative. This style emphasizes the importance of team work, and creates harmony in a group by connecting people to each other. Mr. Goleman argues this approach is particularly valuable “when trying to heighten team harmony, increase morale, improve communication or repair broken trust in an organization.” He does warn against using it alone, since its emphasis on group praise can allow poor performance to go uncorrected. “Employees may perceive,” he writes, “that mediocrity is tolerated.”

facts & figures 72% of 0-100 site park owners who participated in the 2013 national operations survey said the owner is the one who manages the campground/park on a day-to-day basis.

Democratic. This style draws on people’s knowledge and skills, and creates a group commitment to the resulting goals. It works best when the direction the organization should take is unclear, and the leader needs to tap the collective wisdom of the group. Mr. Goleman warns that this consensus-building approach can be disastrous in times of crisis, when urgent events demand quick decisions. Pacesetting. In this style, the leader sets high standards for performance. He or she is “obsessive about doing things better and faster and asks the same of everyone.” But Mr. Goleman warns this style should be used sparingly, because it can undercut morale and make people feel as if they are failing. “Our data shows that, more often than not, pacesetting poisons the climate,” he writes. Commanding. This is classic model of “military” style leadership — probably the most often used, but the least often effective. Since it rarely involves praise and frequently employs criticism, it undercuts morale and job satisfaction. Mr. Goleman argues it is only effective in a crisis, when an urgent turnaround is needed. Even the modern military has come to recognize its limited usefulness. I challenge you as you’re gearing up for another busy summer to take notice of your leadership style. Are you enhancing your business and your employees? This education article is brought to you by the Outdoor Hospitality Education Program which covers 16 competencies including personal and organizational leadership. Learn more at

A wonderful show of hospitality. Knoxville Convention Center Knoxville, TN November 5-8, 2013 Trade Show and Expo: November 6-8

For more detailed information visit


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Plan-it Green Tip:

Reduce Waste by Composting

Composting is an easy way to improve soil and reduce garbage by spending little to no money. According to, composting can divert as much as 30 percent of waste away from the garbage. Essentially, compost piles produce “humus,” a nutrient rich organic matter, from things like fruits and veggies, paper, yard trimmings and coffee grounds. The goal is to get the correct balance of “green” and “brown” materials. To learn how to create a compost pile, go to


to Improve Your Online Presence Immediately By Jake Poterbin, arvc Marketing Communications Coordinator

Conduct an online audit. Check

facts & figures $9,000 — The amount saved per year by Todd Southwick, MECOA President, when he switched his propane to the arvc propane program.

any online review website like Yelp, Google Places, Yahoo! Local, TripAdvisor and check-in social websites like FourSquare and Facebook. These websites usually let consumers create an unclaimed business if it doesn’t exist on the website, giving consumers a way to review your business and post content like photos and videos. Take control. Take care of all the low-hanging fruit by targeting the high-traffic websites like the ones listed above and claim your business. Add descriptions, amenities, contact information and photos when possible. Control your own message. Reply back. These websites

usually give business owners the ability reply directly to a comment, including GuestReviews on This gives you the ability to improve your business and answer to the negative review. Not every negative review necessarily needs to be answered though. Try privately messaging the negative reviewer and offering something special to show them you’ve taken care of the problem and you 20


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value their appreciation. They may consider posting a positive review and taking down the negative one. Stay alert. There are web services that

you can use to monitor the Internet for you by entering in key words. The service will email you when the given words or phrases appear in search results or on social media sites. Google Alerts and are free services to use, which arvc uses on a regular basis. There are also more sophisticated, paid services available like and Update your GoCampingAmerica. com profile. Make sure your profile is

up-to-date on your complimentary profile page. Learn more at GoCampingAmerica. com/help. New this year: park owners now have the ability to upgrade to a priority listing on a monthly price. This is an affordable way to get more consumers visiting your profile page. Once consumers land on your page, increase reservations by adding up to 24 photos and a video for consumers to visualize themselves camping at your park. Learn more at

facts & figures 57% of all park owners who participated in the 2013 national operations survey said their campground/park offers a military discount — the highest percentage of any offered discount.


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Photo by Catherine Thompson

Photo by PJ Chmiel

Photo by Catherine Thompson

Managing a Campground Store: Navigating through Products and Customers By Jeff Crider,


ark operators are stocking their stores in anticipation of a busier summer camping season than we’ve had in recent years. “The economy has changed,” said Norman Boucher, co-owner of LCN Outdoors in Windsor, Conn., which has a client base of more than 900 campgrounds across the country. “The beginning orders I’m seeing this year are much larger than last year’s beginning orders.” Properly stocked stores can be a significant profit center for private park operators. And companies like LCN Outdoors and Frankfort, N.Y.-based Wilcor International have a vested interest in making sure they sell as many products as possible because that’s how suppliers make their money. “We produce lists for our customers on what’s being reordered the most,” said Dennis Corrigan, co-owner of Wilcor International, adding, “If we don’t give them the right information, they don’t sell the right products. We have a vested interest in making sure parks are selling the right things. We want them to sell out.” But while it’s helpful to know which items are most popular across the country, park operators have to figure out which products will sell best in their own campgrounds. “Every area is different, but if people come into our showrooms and explain the kind of facility they run, I can help them,” Boucher said. “There is no one (product) sheet that works for everybody,” said Corrigan, who works with about 2,600 campground stores. “The first thing to establish is what kind of customer they have coming into the store. Are they mostly RVers? Tenters? A mix of both? Are people coming to you because of the area? Are they staying at the campground and going out for the day or are you a destination park and they stay right there? If you are in an area with families coming in

arvc Publicist

on vacations with kids, you’d want to carry impulse items to keep the kids happy: ice cream, snacks and souvenir items. If you are a destination park and people are there all day, your product mix will be different.” Wilcor operates a 25,000-square foot showroom in Utica, N.Y. from Jan. 15 to March 15 each year to help park operators map out their product mix and also gather tips on how to set up their store displays. “Some people are here two days planning their store,” Corrigan said, adding, “It’s the most important thing you can do at the beginning of the year.” But once the season is underway, park operators need to pay attention to items that are selling and move quickly to restock those items that are selling the most. “You can lose on volume if you are too conservative,” Boucher said, adding, “If you don’t have what your guests are looking for, they will take their entire shopping list down the road.” Corrigan offers similar counsel. “Anything that is sold you should reorder immediately because the profits made in stores are made in reorders,” he said. “Unfortunately, some people get overly cautious as the season goes on and they decide not to reorder this or that. It hurts the business in two ways. If you have a good selling item, you can’t change the impulse or change what people want to buy. So if you don’t have what people want to buy, they will go somewhere else for it.” This is particularly true for souvenir items. “The souvenir items may be all about you if you are a destination park,” Corrigan said. “But if you’re in the White Mountains or the Great Smoky Mountains, maybe 30 or 40 percent of your souvenirs are about your park and the rest highlight sites in your area. Otherwise, you will lose that business to other stores in your area.” >> arvc.ORG

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managing a campgRound store

But if you have people coming back to your park every year, it’s also important to refresh your store with new products so that they have new things to buy. Consumer tastes and needs also change over time, along with the needs of their children. Video games, for example, used to be a big profit center for campground stores. But nowadays, most children can watch videos on their iPhones or computers and they aren’t spending as much money on video games. But while store suppliers can offer critical guidance on how to stock and display the products they sell, park operators are often surprised by the lessons they learn on their own. You don’t necessarily have to surrender your sales to Walmart

Most campgrounds will never have the volume of merchandise to compete with discount retailers on price. But campers do value convenience, and they’ll often patronize your store rather than drive into town if you have what they need. “We get a lot of special requests for different items from our campers even though there is a Walmart seven miles away from us,” said Bill Sujansky of Pioneer Park Campground in Somerset, Penn. “Our campers would rather not do the drive.” In fact, demand for convenience items has been so strong that Sujansky nearly doubled the size of his store to about 900 square feet two years ago. “The expansion enabled us to carry more items and have more space for our product displays,” he said, adding that the way you display your products can significantly affect product sales. Sujansky has also learned to stock his store so that it meets the needs of his guests, who include a mix of nightly, monthly and seasonal campers. “Our nightly customers account for 90 percent of our store sales,” he said, while monthly and seasonal campers tend to limit their purchases to ice and propane. Sujansky uses Wilcor for many of his items, but he also taps local vendors for food and clothing items. Listen to your customers

Minnie Makey manages a small campground store for Old Forge Camping Resort in Old Forge, N.Y., which is located in the scenic Adirondack Mountains. “We carry a combination of RV products, souvenirs and gifts,” Makey said. “We also have basics like marshmallows and we try to carry milk, bread and eggs.” But when it comes to figuring out what to sell, Makey said her customers also provide some guidance. “I like to listen to what the campers want and what they need,” Makey said. “I think if you pay attention to what they want and what they need that will lead to better sales. If something is not selling, I have a feel for that, too.” One category that sells well is things people forget, like the grills that fit over a campfire. “Sometimes they need a sweatshirt if it gets a little chilly,” she said. “I don’t think there is a camper around that doesn’t forget something on their trip,” she said. 24


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Another category: Things that break or malfunction, like tail lights, water and sewer hoses. People also like convenience. “Maybe they’ve been fishing for the day or been out on a boat ride. They get back and they don’t want to get dressed up and go back out again. So they will definitely buy in the campground rather than go back out into town.” And even if a product isn’t selling, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to sell it. Sometimes, the solution is simply to move the product into another area of the store or into a more attractive display. Makey once had trouble selling t-shirts, which were located on a shelf. So she moved them to another area of the store and displayed them with a pair of sweat pants. All of a sudden, people started buying the t-shirts. Look at campground activities as a way to increase store sales

Like many parks across the country, Flat Rock Bridge Family Camping in Lebanon, Me. has fun family activities throughout summer, including Christmas in July, Wild West and pirate themed weeks and weekends. But while these activities create great memories for Flat Rock campers, they also generate significant sales opportunities for the campground store. “It goes both ways,” said park co-owner John Hastings. “The store can support your activities, but the activities can also help the store. During Wild West Week, we sell a lot of cap guns and during Pirate Week we bring out the eye patches and makeup kits. These are great revenue generators for the park.” Sometimes, the solution is simply to move the product into another area of the store or into a more attractive display.

Costume and novelty items are also great sellers for Halloween themed weekends. Hastings has also found that park operators can influence the demographics of their campers by changing the items they carry in their stores. When Hastings and his wife acquired their park several years ago, they had some rough campers that they didn’t want camping there. “So we eliminated the alcohol and cigarettes in our store and it actually helped us improve the clientele that we have,” he said. Eliminate the alcohol and cigarettes also helped put a stop to the late night rowdiness, since campers were no longer able to go to the camp store late at night to purchase more alcohol and cigarettes. Now focusing on families with children, Hastings sells a lot of toys and joke items, such as whoopee cushions and hand buzzers. Inner tubes are also popular, since his campground is next to a river where people like to go tubing. “We probably sell 1,500 inner tubes every summer,” he said. Ice cream is also a particularly popular item with families. “Sometimes we’ll do an ice cream sundae special and we’ll get a line out the door,” he said.


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outdoor inventory

How are you selling your

Outdoor Inventory? By Wade Elliott, President and Founder of Utility Supply Group

these resort managers and

wince when the conversation turns to privately owned parks versus state and national parks. Setting aside the site fee discussion, let’s talk about the assets that the public parks have that you can sell to your customers. These assets are all part of your outdoor inventory. owners

What is Outdoor Inventory?

“Marketing the sizzle of your outdoor inventory is the way to compete with public parks.”



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What physical attributes about your resort, or its location in relation to local landmarks, or the ambiance of the area of the corner of God’s Country you are in do you count as outdoor inventory? Do you list the fact that, for example, the Pacific North West is the greenest area in the USA and the vistas so unusual as to be unavailable to anyone else anywhere? Marketing the sizzle of your outdoor inventory is the way to compete with public parks. If a customer can have all the amenities of the state park, plus private park amenities, such as a water feature, jumping pillow, or wide spacious sites, the competitive advantage goes to the private park. National Parks can sell their hundreds of miles of trails, but they can’t list the fact that the resort down the road has a swimming pool and game room. But your resort can list the national park’s trails as your own outdoor inventory. Go ahead and start a list of the outdoor inventory that you won’t need to list on anyone’s tax return, but that arvc.ORG

you still can sell as an amenity for your resort. Another Look at Outdoor Inventory (or what assets you should own)

In a stereotypical RV park, the sites are set close to each other in order to maximize the number of revenue producing sites. Space and feasibility (money) dictate that every square foot of this property has an RV site drawn on top of it. Another reason that RV sites are close together is that no one thought that anyone would mind ’living in an RV suburb’. What should you do when you are constrained by space, feasibility or an existing site layout? Many resorts have used tremendous creativity to add a sense of uniqueness to their rows of RV sites. Items such as hot tubs, site identification novelties, varied landscaping, among other ideas. For resorts not restrained in space, the sky is literally the limit. The imagination of many resort owners is testament to their ability to prevent rows upon rows of ’cookie cutter’ RV sites. These resorts are taking advantage of their outdoor inventory and preventing the “suburban effect”. Writing your Outdoor Inventory list

In addition to writing down everything in the state or national park as your outdoor inventory, what else is available in your outdoor inventory?

Don’t feel constrained by natural resources, even though they may be plentiful. When all elements force you to suburbanize your resort, what can you do? Think of some inexpensive themes for various areas of the resort. ƒƒ Place a gazebo in a corner of the property and call it the “Square Dancing” corner of the park. Invite customers looking for other square dancers with whom to mingle to choose your park and meet new square dancers. ƒƒ Emphasis family fitness and install the fitness stations and the “start” of the National or State Park trails in this fitness corner. Now you’re thinking of the outdoor inventory you can develop. ƒƒ Install geocaching ranges. Geocaching is a craze that has engaged over two million people. Start ranges of various difficulties for families and experienced GPS users in the geocaching themed corner of your park. We are in the outdoor hospitality industry by the way. You guessed it — outdoor inventory.

have areas that open the door to natural resources that are unsung and little known? All of these local natural resources are your outdoor inventory assets. Add these assets to your ROI calculation. While you are walking around and identifying outdoor inventory, consider looking for additional sites that you can develop as premium tent sites. Sunset Magazine ran a feature article on tent camping as a luxury experience and profiled luxurious outdoor accommodations in the Western U.S. An insightful entrepreneur’s resort promises discriminating travelers an ultra-luxurious eco-destination, fourstar accommodation, otherworldly coastal cuisine, super natural adventure, and “some of the most breathtakingly beautiful wilderness frontier left on the planet.” All of this and you are sleeping in a tent — a nice tent, but a tent. These folks started by identifying their outdoor inventory and then looking for areas to place tent platforms. Their outdoor inventory lists the following activities:

ƒƒ Place a putting green and dedicate a corner to golf. Golfers who travel in an RV play golf over 100 days a year. If your local golf course doesn’t have an area for RVers, mutually agree to have these people stay in your resort and golf at theirs. Most golf courses are outside — outdoor inventory, and it doesn’t even have to be yours.

Guided Activities: Equestrian Kayaking Canoeing Whale watching Bear watching Hiking Biking Fishing Hot springs soak

ƒƒ Are you close to a rock hound’s Mecca? Does your outdoor inventory

Unguided Activities: Paddle

Hiking Biking Fishing Conservatory Activities: Bear mapping Marine inventory Raptor rehab Salmon habitat Whale acoustics Concierges, butlers, and top notch restaurants are all accoutrements of this tent camping experience. These resorts include non outdoor items to complement their outdoor inventory. Platforms for a white canvas tent, large king sized bed, and lights are all part of a unique outdoor experience. This is a four star accommodation situated under the clear blue sky. Outdoor Inventory: you have more amenities than you are claiming

Think hard, what can I develop for my outdoor inventory? Remember you have the advantage compared the public outdoor accommodations. Look past price and sell the value. Your customer can have the trails and canoeing activities and stay in a safe, upscale resort, complete with onsite hospitality safety personnel. Wade Elliott is the Founder and President of Utility Supply Group, a supplier of electrical power outlet pedestals and boxes to RV resorts throughout North America. You can find Utility Supply at or call them at 800-800-2811.


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campground owner


Q&A with New arvc Members arvc’s newest members include Bob and Maria Cummings, who own and operate Mountain Lake Campground and RV Park in Lancaster, N.H. The 97-site park, which has its own private fishing lake amid maples, pines, spruce and birch, has nine log cabins, a yurt and a teepee. The arvc VOICE recently visited with Bob Cummings:

How long has your campground been in operation? It originally opened in 1973. How long have you owned your park? We are going into our 11th year. How did you get involved with the outdoor hospitality industry? We wanted to get into business for ourselves and away from the corporate world. After much research, we started to focus on the campground sector. What aspect of the outdoor hospitality industry do you like best? I think for us, personally, it’s the freedom of running your own business, having some control over your own destiny. What has been your greatest challenge in the outdoor hospitality industry? Definitely advertising has been the greatest challenge, knowing where to best put your money for its greatest returns. A friend told me that the best advertising was the improvements that you make within the campground, the ones that your customers are seeing and using and knowing that you are reinvesting to make your business successful. Where do your campers come from? Southern New England is our longest draw. Also, Florida, Quebec and the cross country traveler. What makes your park special? Character, character, character. The layout is truly special — no grid here. With spectacular views throughout, a serene 30-acre lake that is private to the campground makes this place a jewel.



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How do you keep focused and motivated? We have three young children that are involved in the business. My wife also home schools them. We have a 15-year-old, a 13-year-old and a 10-year-old. They are a huge help when it comes to running the place, and as they get older they are becoming even more so. Also, seeing your business increase year to year and the positive customer feedback lets us know that we are doing things right. Customer service is very important to us. What advice would you give people who are interested in working in the outdoor hospitality industry? People that are getting into (the campground business) need to get into it for the right reasons. If you think you’re going to make a ton of money at it, it’s not going to happen. It’s a very challenging and tiring business when you’re on your own 24/7. You really have to carve out a niche for yourself to keep it moving. It is not the type of business that can be done from a computer, it is hands-on. If you want to keep up with your competition, reinvesting is the key and with that usually comes with a lot of back labor. What is your favorite part of your job? Pleasing our customers and getting positive feedback. When they let you know they love the place and they return and bring more people with them, that’s what keeps you going as an owner. Obviously, if you’re not getting that kind of feedback and you’re not getting returning customers, you’re not doing things correctly.

Advance Your Industry Expertise Through Professional Certification arvc’s Outdoor Hospitality Education

Program offers you the tools, techniques and strategies you need to grow your business.

For more information call Marla at 303-681-0401.


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buyer’s guide

the buyer’s guide

is a comprehensive marketplace featuring products and services from arvc Member Benefit Providers and Supplier Council members. Advertising/Promotion AGS/TXAD

Debra Schaeffer 877-518-1989 AGS-TXAD specializes in area service guides and websites for RV parks with superior customer service and the latest marketing tools for our clients.

Southeast Publications USA, Inc.

Kurtis Eiben 954-583-3900 Provider of campground site maps, area guides, guest service guides, advertising specialties, special event guides and directories.

The Map Squad

Ryan Johnson 509-293-3997 We create attractive, custom site maps. Showcase your unique park with a specialized map from us! Interactive online maps for websites and mobile devices.

Amusements/Games Backyard Theater Systems

Paul Kahmann 800-630-7503 We sell outdoor movie systems to RV park and campground owners who want to provide their guests with “movies under the stars.” Noninflatable screens to 20 feet.

Betson Enterprises

Brian Murphy 201-438-1300 Betson Enterprises is the leading worldwide distributor of coin-operated amusement equipment. Betson has over 75 years of experience and leadership in the amusement industry.

Big Sky Miniature Golf Construction

Michael Codman 800-508-7357 Designer and builder of miniature golf courses. Supplier of modular miniature golf course, floating range greens, miniature golf obstacles and props.

Chesapeake Ceramics

Melanie Kaffl 800-962-9655 Add revenue to your recreation program with ceramics — no kiln required! Great prices on shapes, colors and equipment. Friendly, expert advice available. Call or log on today!



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Gold Standard Games (Shelti)

Cathy Scarbrough 877-893-1739 Manufacturer of coin-op and home recreational games including air hockey, pool, darts, foosball, and dome hockey.

My Jumping Pillows USA

Con Elfes 865-221-2322 The official jumping pillow, jumping pillow shade structures, hideaway huts, inflatable concession stands and playground equipment provider in the U.S.

Apparel/Gifts/Accessories Crescent Group Int’l/Krave Products

Amy Huang 714-523-0369 Leading manufacturer and distributor of musical instruments and novelty products.We offer competitive wholesale prices for musical instruments, glow products, flashing novelties, and LED/battery-operated toys.

Karla Jordan 414-915-6200

Viva Beads

Lori Mottlowitz 847-291-6742 Handmade clay beaded jewelry.

Wilcor International

Michele Medina 800-346-2345 Camping goods, RV and electrical goods, BBQ, picnic, housewares, fishing gear, pocket knives, impulse jewelry, toys and games, everyday goods, summer fun products, wildlife plush animals, polystone figurines, picture frames, hand crafted wood gifts, magnets, mountain lodge decor, and customized souvenirs.

Awnings/Screen Rooms Dura-Bilt Products, Inc.

Jeffrey Chalk 800-233-4251 National manufacturer of high-quality sunrooms, screen rooms, awnings and roofs, portable RV awnings and screen room; all made by skilled craftsmen in the USA.


Consulting Services Anderson’s Brochure Distribution Joe Tice 866-645-1897

Bud Styer Associates/ Camping For the Fun of It

Bud Styer 608-592-2128 Consulting to campgrounds that are family friendly and family operated!



Bob MacKinnon 877-707-7080 Give your business a competitive advantage with our innovative solutions. Strategic business and marketing plans, economic feasibility studies, design and development coordination, customer service training and operational evaluations.

MacKinnon Consulting

866-608-2267 Give your business a competitive advantage with our innovative solutions. Strategic business and marketing plans, economic feasibility studies, design/development coordination, customer service training, operational evaluations, employee handbooks and satisfaction surveys.

Swamp City Productions, Inc.

Jeff Abrams 954-845-7110 A full service production company focusing on custom video solutions for campgrounds and other properties, including creating professional online videos at an affordable price.

Credit Card Processing ESD, Inc.

Timothy Seitz 800-523-1510 ESD manufactures coin and card business payment systems for commercial laundry and vending applications worldwide.


Danny Haggerty 888-342-1737

MCPS for Campgrounds

Art Lieberman 877-858-9010 Credit and debit card processing services, e-processing, check guarantee, gift cards and cashless ATM machines.


MoneyTree ATM

Chris Bosch 888-282-5384 Reduce the costs of accepting credit cards for your organization and improve credit card processing quality. Let PPC help save your business money.

Wayne Young 850-259-6407 Make MoneyTree your one-stop ATM solution. We manufacture, sale, process and service ATMs. Make 100% of the surcharge an reduce credit card fees.

Electrical Services/ Supplies

Food Products/Dry Goods/ Supplies

Payment Processing Consultants (PPC)

B&B Electric

Matt Linnell 248-391-3800

Peak Energy Technology, LLC

William Weideman 888-613-7775 The Peak Energy Saver recycles electricity and saves up to 25% on your electric bill, buying you less KWH for your RV Park.

Utility Supply Group

Wade Elliott 800-800-2811 Utility Supply Group is a nationwide provider of electrical power outlets, electric and water meters, wire, and replacement parts for RV parks and campgrounds. Ask about FREE electrical layouts and our new products, including on-demand water heaters and hair dryers.

Your Electrical Solutions, LLC

Maggie Linnell 855-644-2400 Shop and compare top of the line suppliers such as Milbank, Eaton, Midwest, American Lighting and more with YES. Electric pedestals, surface boxes, electric meters, conversion kits, water meters, lighting and power distribution equipment. FREE and EXPERT Electrical Layout Services.


American Society of Asset Protection

Jim Jones 877-992-7738 Is your financial house in order? Discover the tools you can use to most effectively structure your business for lawsuit protection and prevention; reduce liability insurance costs; minimize taxes; create successful estate business succession plan.

Equiant Financial Services

Peter Moody 888-302-5938 Equiant delivers quality solutions to receivables servicing issues encompassing invoicing, loan and maintenance payment processing, backup servicing, securitization servicing, early stage collections, and document custody.

Pepsico Frito Lay

Missy Garcia 972-658-6891 The “Snacks to You” program allows you to offer your customers the Frito-Lay products they know and love with single unit ordering, easy payment options with $25 minimum ordering and free delivery.

Pucker Powder by Creative Concepts

Kerri Goldstein 205-838-0570 Pucker Powder is an interactive candy dispensing machine that is fun for kids of all ages.

Franchisers Best Parks in America

David Gorin 703-371-7467 A national marketing and business enhancement group for highly rated, independent, RV Parks and campgrounds and outdoor hospitality businesses.

Kampgrounds of America

Chris Fairlee 800-548-7239 KOA is a franchise camping company providing marketing, operational, and technology programs to over 1000 KOA Kampground entrepreneurs.

Leisure Systems, Inc.

Rob Schutter 866-928-9644 Franchisor of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park CampResorts. Founded in 1969, now includes over 75 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Focus on the family camping and cabin rental market.

grounds maintenance services/ supplies MEMBER BENEFIT PROVIDER

HD Supply

Jawaun Hightower 800-431-3000 HD Supply is the #1 maintenance, repair and operational (MRO) supplier in the U.S. We have over 23,000 items in stock and specialize in free next-day delivery. arvc members receive their lowest published catalog pricing available and save up to 14%.


Insurance Services PREFERRED PROVIDER Evergreen USA

Lucas Hartford Evergreen USA is arvc’s Official Preferred Provider of comprehensive general liability and other insurance coverage. Specializing in providing insurance coverage for the RV park and campground industry, Evergreen USA offers arvc members a discount on rates.


JLBG Health

1-888-624-5891 This health insurance program can help provide members, their employees, and families with comprehensive major medical insurance coverage, along with dental and eye care with flexible options.

Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality

Jimmy Tumblin 910-575-2292 Specializing in resort, campground and hospitality businesses throughout the nation. Coverages designed exclusively for your industry coupled with exceptional customer service.


Mass Marketing Insurance Consultants, Inc.

Ed Sterczek 800-349-1039, ext. 15 Mass Marketing Insurance Consultants, Inc. (MMIC) is here to help you design a healthcare program to fit your needs, your employee’s needs, and your budget.

Progressive Insurance

Charles Mozingo 800-776-4737 Market leader in providing specialized insurance coverage for motor home and trailer travelers.


USI Affinity

Jim Pitts 855-575-2632 We offer an exclusive suite of affordable health care coverage choices for individuals and group insurance including life insurance with long term care, critical illness protection, accident protection, disability coverage, prescription discounts and imaging discounts card.

USI Insurance

Tom Gerken 207-729-4013 Nationally focused insurance firm capable of delivering high-quality insurance and financial products and services nationwide.

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buyer’s guide

interior/exterior design goods Gerber Manufacturing, Ltd.

Brian Legler 800-393-9923 Gerber Manufacturing has been supplying parks and campgrounds with picnic tables, park benches, and outdoor grills nationwide since 1969. All our products are designed and manufactured for commercial use to be extremely durable under all conditions.


Moen, Inc.

John Thornton 724-942-0964 Moen Commercial Products are built for the most demanding environments. Durable products that are both vandalresistant and energy-efficient help lower your cost of ownership.


Sherwin-Williams Company

Brian Benson 303-794-2472 Sherwin-Williams manufacture and distribute paint coatings and related supplies through 3,600-plus company-owned stores in all 50 states and Canada.

Licensing ASCAP

Vernell Fleming 888-772-4142 ASCAP represents more then 420,000 U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. Through our licensing program, giving members access, and the right to perform, millions of musical works of every kind.


BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.)

Josh Lagersen 615-401-2832 BMI is a global leader in rights management, providing music licensing to businesses that enables them to comply with copyright law and grants permission to publically perform all the copyrighted music in the BMI repertoire of more than 7.5 million musical works.


800-826-9996 SESAC, Inc. is a performing rights organization. Performing rights organizations are businesses designed to represent songwriters and publishers and their right to be compensated for having their music performed in public.

Manufacturer, Housing Cavco Park Homes and Cabins

Tim Gage Manufacturer of camping cabins and park model RVs selling factory direct to RV parks and campgrounds nationwide.

Champion/Athens Park Homes

Dick Grymonprez 800-738-0392 Quality builder of park models and cabins with building operations in Athens, TX, Chandler, AZ, Lake City, FL, Lindsay, CA, Salisbury, NC, Sangerfield, NY, Weiser, ID, and York, NE.

Conestoga Log Cabins

Randy Ketchum 717-306-4490 Manufacturer of quality affordable log cabin kits for bathhouses, bunkhouses and rental units for increasing your park’s revenue. 800-944-0240 The original designer and manufacturer of the modern yurt, offers a unique alternative to cabins and meeting halls for generating revenue — the highest quality design, materials and customer service backed by the industry leader.

Silvercrest Homes

Steve Harwood 800-382-0709 Silvercrest RV “Simply the Best”. Manufacturer of the highest quality and outstanding design park models in the western U.S.


Del Bunker 303-474-5561 TUFF SHED builds over 50,000 individual structures each year nationally. When in need of exterior storage and recreational rental solutions, think TUFF SHED!


Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC)

Red Rover

Eileen Korte 800-462-8855 MPLC is the leader in motion picture copyright compliance, supporting legal access across five continents and more than 20 countries.



Pacific Yurts




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Robert Bouse 512-897-8122 Red Rover is the ultimate Marketing tool for campgrounds “mining” the internet to generate new customers, with no cost until the customer is actually delivered.




Arlene Foltyn 800-693-9900, ext. 24658 Shop Staples for office supplies, printer ink, toner, copy paper, technology, electronics and office furniture, and take advantage of special discounts available to arvc members.

Outdoor Furnishings Amish Craftsmen Guild II

Amanda Goss 262-618-2105 “Green”, “FUN”, “Made in USA”, maintenancefree furniture to outfit your grounds, beach chair rentals or camp store sales, “Express Yourself”, “B Who U R”, “Do Good Things”.

R.J. Thomas Mfg. Co./Pilot Rock

Bob Simonsen 800-762-5002 Designer and manufacturer of the Pilot Rock brand of picnic tables, charcoal grills, campfire rings, benches, trash receptacles, bike racks, lantern poles and more.

Sun Patio Furniture

Pat Janis 480- 227-2776 Quality outdoor furniture with excellent service! Get a free quote online!

Plumbing Services/Supplies King Supply Company

Wendy Thibodeau 888-852-5340 Discount supplier of plumbing and maintenance products to the park and recreation industry. On-line catalog at Call for a print catalog.

The Tower Company

Christine Kornely 920-682-6091 Tower Company is your supplier of quality dump station products. Products include Romort Water Towers, sanitary hatch covers and dump station signs and Dogipot products.

Pools and Fountains services/ supplies He Lifts Me Up/Access-Able Designs

Don West 239-543-7777 Provides ADA compliant pool lifts, shower and bathtub seats, as well as hearing impaired equipment for one-stop ADA shopping experience.

Planet Access LLC

Kenneth Bauer 406-239-2705 Distributor of complete lines of handicap accessory equipment and ADA-compliant pool lifts.


AmeriGas Propane

Stan Cardwell 901-581-1954 AmeriGas is the nation’s largest propane company, serving over 1.3 million customers in nearly 50 states. AmeriGas offers you storage tanks, refilling equipment, installation, safety training and support, comprehensive marketing materials, tank rental — FREE. And no extra charges such as hazmat and delivery fees.



Andy Vance 913-661-1862 Ferrellgas provides propane gas solutions for your home or business. Save money with our propane tank delivery and maintenance options.


Suburban Propane

Sandra Holmes 800-643-7137 Suburban provides state-of-the-art bulk refilling dispensing units, bulk propane installations, discount pricing, equipment, on-site safety training and instruction, safety signage with 24hour emergency service available. arvc members can take advantage of discounted propane pricing made available through Suburban’s exclusive arvc member program.

Real Estate Services Baehre Real Estate

Russell Baehre 830-896-5050 A fully licensed real estate firm specializing in campgrounds, RV parks and RV resorts for over 25 years! Proud arvc member for 20 years!

Campground Valuation

Grant Ackerly 855-968-2267 National appraisal company providing market analysis and real estate appraisals to the RV park and campground industry.

Darrell Hess and Associates

Darrell Hess 828-452-1535 Real estate RV park brokerage, consulting, workshops, educational materials.

Recreational Equipment Berg USA LLC

877-499-6462 Berg USA, LLC is the exclusive USA distributor for Berg Toys, Dutch manufacturer of high quality pedal go-karts. Berg’s commercial go-karts have provided safe and healthy recreation at American parks and campgrounds for 10 years.

Club Car – Ingersoll Rand

Ryan McClellan 800- 227-0739 Considered the leading manufacturer of golf cars and utility vehicles, Club Car, an Ingersoll Rand brand, is highly respected for its innovation, product quality and customer satisfaction.

Commercial Recreation Specialists

Ron Romens 877-896-8442 CRS provides revenue-generatng recreation solutions ideal for RV parks and campgrounds, including custom water-based family entertainment centers, inflatables for pool or waterfront from leading brands like Wibit and Aquaglide, AquaClimb Walls for poolside or dockside, kayaks, pedal boats, indoor and outdoor play equipment, miniature golf, portable skateparks, shade structures and much more.

Tommy Dock Products

Mary Woller 866-675-1880 Tommy Docks is a high quality, userfriendly, reasonably priced, do-it-yourself, complete dock system. Standard layout or elaborate design is your choice. The natural alternative to high priced dock systems.

Mission Management Information

Peter Kearns 905-374-8643 Campground Manager® the most powerful campground and RV resort software available today!

RMS North America

PO Box 9025 La Jolla, CA 92038 888-802-5827, ext. 1 RMS is a world leader in providing property management and online reservations solutions for the hospitality industry. RMS will help you more effectively manage all aspects of your property.

Resort Management Services Newby Management

Ray Seigneurie, CPO 888-847-3700 Over 30 years experience managing RV resorts combines a “people-first” approach with higher occupancy and reduced expenses to deliver value added professional management solutions.

RV Associations/Clubs/ Memberships Family Motor Coach Association, Inc.

Jerry Yeatts 800-543-3622 Enhancing the motor home lifestyle for nearly 50 years. Helping to connect over 90,000 families to campgrounds across the U.S. and Canada. Ask us how!

Freedom Resorts

Reservation Systems Campground Automation Systems

877-783-2367 The Sunrise system from CAS is an intuitive, endto-end reservation management and automation system. Sunrise provides an improved user experience with real-time online reservations, unattended kiosk check-in and payment, automated campsite utilities management and remote monitoring and reporting.

Go USA Camping

Wendi Ruhr 800-803-0635 Go USA Camping is the premier online reservation and property management system.

Leisure Interactive, LLC

Kelly O’Bryan 714-628-3434 Leisure Interactive, LLC, is a leading provider of online reservation technology, front office software, property management solutions and consumer marketing networks for campgrounds and RV parks.


Russell Gunter 877-990-2267 25% discount on RV parks,campgrounds, and outdoor recreational adventures.

Good Sam Family

Ann Emerson 800-765-7070 Largest network in North America with over 1,700 affiliated parks. Join Good Sam, the most respected and recognized brand among RVers, and market your park to over 1.3 million active RVer families.

Passport America

Vernon Simmons 800-681-6810 The “original” 50% discount camping club. Over 1,700 participating campgrounds and RV Parks.

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buyer’s guide

RV Equipment/Supplies JR Products

9680 County Road Clarence Center, NY 14032 800-269-7622 Leading supplier of RV parks and accessories; including interior/exterior hardware, plumbing, electrical, hatches and towing.

LCN Outdoors LLC

Norman Boucher 800-552-2267 Camp store supplies, custom imprinted advertising items, clothing, hats, store fixtures, fishing tackle, RV supplies and accessories, tents, campsite grills, picnic tables, electrical power meters, pedestals and surface mount boxes, electrical supplies, insect repellents, kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, park models and cabins.

Stag-Parkway, Inc.

Linda Scott 800-456-7824 As the nation’s largest RV parts and accessories distributor, STAG offers over 25,000 products from 12 warehouses, with next day service to 97% of America’s RV dealerships.

Sunland Specialties

Brian Lerg 909-608-7740 Distributor of RV accessories, camping and electrical goods, beach and swimming goods, toys, personal care, fire and BBQ products.

Sanitation Maintenance/ Supplies MEMBER BENEFIT PROVIDER

Ecolab, Inc.

Henri Roberts 303-222-1720 Global leader in cleaning, hygiene, safety and sanitation solutions to the hospitality market.

Eco-Save Products/JWH Distributing

800-950-9666 Eco-Save bacteria based RV/Marine holding tank products for resale to campers and for campground maintenance of septic/sewer systems, treatment of grease in lines and grease traps, vault and portable toilets, and cleaning. Access control gates and equipment.


Janet Fyock 312-279-1400 Nature-Zyme, a division of BioWish Technologies and Equity Lifestyle Properties, provides campground resort, RV and boat owners with a sustainable, 100% natural, organic and biodegradable alternative to standard wastewater treatment products.



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Sani-Star LLC

Eric Huffman 888-611-9283 Sani-Star automated RV dump fee collection systems.

Walex Products Company, Inc.

Todd Vice 910-371-2242 Leading manufacturer of portable sanitation products worldwide. Major brands include PortaPak, Bio-Pak and Elemonate. All products are formaldehyde-free and biodegradable.


Jim Coppins 603-347-3005 ICE is the nation’s leading manufacturer of electronic message centers.

Staffing/Recruiting/ Training MEMBER BENEFIT PROVIDER

Dan Voss 816-228-5255 has the best background check technology available. Let our platform work for you to help you get the best applicant on board.


SureVista Solutions

Blake Ashdown 800-990-7202 SureVista Solutions combines cutting edge research and industry expertise to build profitable marketing programs and improve customer satisfaction for RV park operators.

Workamper News, Inc.

Steve Anderson 800-446-5627 Workamper News is dedicated to helping you build a successful recruiting program that can decrease your hiring stress while increasing your bottom line!

Telecom/Internet/satellite ANXe Business Corp.

Paul Arceneaux 877-488-8269 ANX helps protect stores from credit card theft. ANX understands that you have a business to run, so we guide you through every step necessary to keep your credit card information safe.



AT&T arvc members and their employees now qualify for a 15 percent discount on qualifying personal wireless plans through AT&T as well as exclusive discounts on equipment To get started today, go to and enter in your existing account details or sign up for AT&T service.

Coba Systems

Bruce Bridgewater 800-928-6306 Coba Systems provides the RV and hospitality industries private cable, telephone and WiFi services utilizing carrier grade technology and industry proven management.

Just In Time Communications

Walter Lawrence 909-985-3777 Just In Time Communications is a premiere DIRECTV provider. Taking pride in our installations we have been named DIRECTV Dealer of the Year multiple times over.

TengoInternet, Inc.

Eric Stumberg 512-469-7660 TengoInternet is proud to be the nation’s leading provider of wireless networks and guest services to the hospitality industry.


Ford Motor Company

Rick Poston 303-738-4437 arvc members will now be able to take advantage of great discounts on Ford cars, vans and trucks from the convenience of home.


Alliance Laundry Systems

Chad Yanziot 920-748-4473 The Alliance Laundry Systems Member Benefit Program provides arvc members with discounts on Speed Queen coin-operated laundry equipment and UniMac on-premise laundry equipment.

Fluid Manufacturing

Pete Parafin 800-443-5843 Factory direct pricing on coin-operated shower controls, coin counters and bill changers. Save up to 15% off American Bill Changers EVERYDAY.


Bob Hansen 866-398-3992 Our pet waste bags are made of low density polyethylene with the special additive (D2W) which makes them degradable. Our bags are easy on your budget and environment!


David Canning 800-364-4768 Dogipot has the most environmentally conscious and highest quality dog waste removal products to help keep campgrounds and RV parks free from the nuisance of unsightly, smelly and harmful dog pollution.

Phelps Honey Wagon, Inc.

Jaylene Shannon 800-463-3707 Phelps Honey Wagon, Inc. works to provide the best mobile sewage handling system in the country. We will make every effort to set you up with a system that will best fit your needs.

Smart Industry Products, LLC.

Jeff Smart 847-607-9319, ext. 216 Supplier of pet stations, washroom sanitary products, store products, waste receptacles (indoor, outdoor, recycle), and mattress solutions.

website Services Big Rig Media LLC

Jeff Beyer 760-200-9477 Big Rig Media has delivered secure, managed hosting solutions, unmatched web development and integrated print material for the outdoor hospitality industry since 2000.

Gueststream, Inc.

Joe Pawlak 720-880-5948 Providing website design, marketing and software development services to the RV Campground Resort Industry.

Strait Web Solutions

Roxi Baxley 360-457-2490 Website design, development and hosting. Mobile websites, social media consulting, search engine optimization.


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arvc VOICE Spring 2013  

The arvc VOICE is the membership news magazine of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (arvc).