Volume 34, Issue 1 Jan / Feb 2011
CONY information booth on the road in 2011 CONY has kicked off its 2011 shows season in high gear!
In this issue: Chairman’s Report 2 President/CEO’s Report
Our VISION: Campground Owners of New York (CONY) will be the model campground association by providing professionalism and diversity in our programs, education, services, advocacy and support for continued growth and collaboration within the outdoor hospitality industry.
Our MISSION: Campground Owners of New York (CONY) is an association dedicated to the promotion, growth, improvement and development of privately owned campgrounds in New York State.
Since January 5th, CONY has given out thousands of guides at four RV shows—Cleveland, OH; Edison, NJ; Hamburg, NY; Toronto, ONT—and at CONY members’ booths in Saratoga Springs, Syracuse and Rochester. In general, consumer attitudes at the RV shows seem to be really positive, and people have been eager to gather travel and camping information for New York State. At the Toronto RV Show, CONY’s booth stood adjacent to the NYS Travel & Vacation Association booth, a great enhancement to our camping information. By show’s end, NYSTVA ran out of many local travel guides and CONY had depleted its stock of CONY guides.
ments, according to a forecast by RV industry analyst and director of consumer surveys at the University of Michigan, Dr. Richard Curtin. Although RV sales face continued challenges because of slow economic growth, uncertainty about future taxes, lower home values, tight credit conditions, and concerns about unemployment, RV shipments in 2011 will rise to 246,000 units, an increase of 3.9% from the projected 2010 total, according to a forecast from Dr. Curtin. Gains in the year ahead will be mainly due to improvements in retail sales rather than the restocking needs of the dealer networks.
According to the Ohio RV Supershow promoters, attendance was up 25% over 2010, and early reports from dealers and exhibitors are that they did very well. Speculation holds better than average weather during the show, compared to previous years, was a contributing factor to increased attendance. Past shows here have seen some adverse weather Pent-up demand for RVs is being released as conditions that limited show attendance. the economy recovers. According to market What we’re experiencing at shows dovetails analysts at Robert W. Baird & Co., RV demand with statistics indicating a positive trend in the rose 20% in the fourth quarter of 2010. That RV sales and RVing industries. trend continued into January with heavy attendance reported at RV shows in Florida, CaliforAccording to data released by the Recreania, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Michigan and tional Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA.org), New York. RV manufacturers shipped 224,000 units through November 2010, an increase of Reasons Behind RV Industry Growth 47.7% from the same period in 2009. In a Harris Interactive survey, owners report RV shipments are projected to total 236,700 that RV travel enables them to reduce stress, in 2010, a gain of 42.8% from 2009 ship(On the Road continued on page 5)
Chairman’s Report part in the advertisers of our own CONY guide. Hopefully, when the budget finally passes in April the money will still be there. Yes, I said when the budget passes in April because I would have to believe one of the most important things a new Governor could do is pass an on-time budget. I guess we will have to wait and see.
Greetings CONY members,
Winter has had quite a stronghold on us here in upstate NY but judging by the way the phones have been ringing, spring cannot be far away. The outlook for this summer seems to be as good as—or better—than last year at this point. This is from member parks I have talked with so far.
March 1st I will join Don Bennett, Jr., our Attorney and Lobbyist Peter O’Connell, and several other CONY members in Albany for the Tourism Action Day. We will be spending time with our elected officials in the Legislative Office Building in Albany, to get a feel for where the budget process is, what we should be looking out for as an industry, and of course to spread the word about what a viable and powerful Association CONY is. If you think you might be
There is even some encouraging news out of Albany if you can believe that. Governor Cuomo released his proposed budget recently and in it he is providing money for I Love NY as well as some matching funds money, which as you may or may not be aware, matching funds play a very large
(Chairman’s Report continued on page 9)
From the Desk of the President and CEO tive updates. We will even be discussing Bed Bugs what if’s. The day will wrap up with one of CONY’s very educational cracker barrel sessions. Register for the zone meetings today, you will be glad that you did.
It’s moving quickly! Cold in most parts of the state but the offseason is quickly coming to an end and before we know it our Zone meetings will be here and then camping season starts right after that.
A contingent of CONY members will be traveling to Albany for Tourism Action day on March 1st. Among the topics of discussion with legislators will be our revised eviction initiative, electricity rates, tourism funding and the matching funds program, I Love NY program, State operated campgrounds, and many more topics. The Tourism Action Day is sponsored by the Tourism Industry Coalition of which CONY is a member. With the changed environment in Albany and the continued budget crisis, these meetings will prove to be very beneficial to demonstrate the importance of our industry. CONY has contracted with legislative advocates in Albany, paid for with membership dues. The firm of K.T. Hannon has a tremendous reputation, and along with CONY, represents many other prestigious clients. They keep us updated on bills and issues that affect CONY members. If you have an interest in joining us in Albany please call the CONY office very soon for more details.
Speaking of CONY’s zone meetings, you will not want to miss attending one of these very important meetings. Matt Mitchell from Corporate Communications, Inc. will be teaching us how to evaluate the effectiveness of our websites with a presentation on Website Statistics and How to Interpret Them. Many exhibitors will be in attendance to show us new and tried and true products and services to improve our campground businesses. Donald G. Bennett, Jr.
In October the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) made sweeping changes for the outdoor recreation industry and many other regulations that will affect every campground in New York State. You need to be at your area Zone Meeting to gain valuable knowledge at just what your responsibilities are to be in compliance with these regulations.
The 2011 CONY Directory is out and by all accounts very popular. I feel that this has been our best directory yet. Distribution at RV shows has surpassed last year up to this writing and many guides have been distributed to many RV Dealers, Tourism Centers and the public. We encourage you to order directories to distribute at your park. We will
You also won’t want to miss all of the new things happening with your national association (ARVC), but also what we have been up to at CONY. We will have a brief presentation on our online reservation service, CONY’s 48th annual conference and trade show, Marketing and Communication updates, NYS Department of Health updates and Legisla-
(President and CEO Report continued on page 7)
Salvatore Bonetti, CRPS速 Financial Advisor 100 Middle Street, East Tower Portland, Maine 04101 800-326-5763 Salvatore.Bonetti@MSSB.com
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On the Road RV sales will benefit as aging baby-boomers continue to enter the age range in which RV ownership is highest. According to Dr. Richard Curtin, director of surveys at the University of Michigan, this year consumers aged 50 to 64 will total 57 million — 38 percent higher than in 2000. One-in10 vehicle-owning households in that age group own at least one RV.
(Continued from page 1)
increase activity, and eat healthy foods while on vacation. RVers reported stronger bonds with loved ones and benefits to children. RVers also cited sleeping in their own bed and having their own bathroom facilities as advantages when they travel.
The fastest growing group of RV owners is young people 18 -34. Products such as sports-utility RVs, as well as the Go RVing campaign, have helped attract younger buyers.
The 2008 PKF Vacation Cost comparison study showed that a family of four can save 27-to-61% on vacation costs by traveling in an RV, after factoring in ownership costs and fuel. Even when fuel prices rise, more than 80% of RV owners say their RV vacations cost less than other forms of vacation.
Approximately 8.3 million American households now own an RV — a 16 percent increase since 2001 and a 64 percent gain since 1980.
In addition to vacation travel, RV owners use RVs for tailgating, travel with pets, and participate in outdoor sports and other leisure activities.
In 2010 the RV industry celebrated its 100th anniversary. A century ago, the popularization of the automobile, improving roads, and America’s passion for exploration gave rise to mass-produced, manufactured recreation vehicles, and the RV industry was born. Through war and peace, booms and busts, fuel lines, fads and the cyber revolution, the RV lifestyle has endured.
Research shows that RVers spend more time enjoying campgrounds and less on the road to save fuel. With more than 16,000 campgrounds nationwide, RVers also save by staying closer to home.
The CONY Shows Program
Analysis of potential fuel cost increases shows that fuel prices would need to more than triple over current levels to make RVing more expensive for a family of four than other forms of travel. “While fuel costs are a component of the overall vacation cost, fluctuations in fuel prices aren't significant enough to affect a family's decision of whether or not to take RV trips over other types of vacations," said Kannan Sankaran, PKF's lead researcher for the study.
The statistical evidence about the growth in the RV sales industry, and the continued popularity of camping and RVing with Boomers and Young People—key demographics—makes it practical and imperative that CONY represent the interests of its members at RV and Travel Shows. Maintaining a presence at these shows ensures CONY directly influences thousands of camping enthusiasts and RVers making their plans to travel, with the goal that those attendees decide to reserve their sites at CONY member parks. Some of those members take advantage of the lowcost shows program to have their brochures advantageously displayed at the CONY booth each year along with the CONY guide.
RV parks and campgrounds across the country reported that reservations in 2010 ran 5% better than they were in 2009, which was one of the best years for campgrounds despite the economic recession. RV owners overwhelmingly said in recent surveys that their RV makes it easier to take more frequent weekend getaways or mini-vacations accommodating busy family schedules.
2012 Shows early bird discounted sign-up forms will be available at the Zone Meetings.
Indicators for Future Growth According to RVIA.org, population and demographic trends favor long-term RV market growth. Buyers aged 35-54 are the largest segment of RV owners, according to the 2005 University of Michigan study commissioned by RVIA. The demographic tidal wave of prime RV buyers remains strongly in the strongest RV ownership age groups. Every day, 11,000 Americans turn 50, according to U.S. Census figures.
See page 10 for a message about CONY’s shows program from CONY 1st Vice President Bill Perry.
Industry News Rock, Colorada, because of potential legal and financial liabilities that surfaced during the extensive due diligence process. (12/9/2010)
New ADA Regulations Now In Effect
Be sure to attend one of the CONY Zone Meetings scheduled March 29April 1 in Lake George, Kingston, Syracuse and Batavia, to learn more about and discuss the new American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations that were passed in September 2010.
NEWS ARVC Board Votes for Third Year in a Row, Dues Will Remain the Same for 2012 During the ARVC Board of Directors meeting at InSites 2010, the Board decided for a 3rd year in a row to not increase dues for 2012. With rising costs in many areas of park ownership these days, and the general economy, ARVC felt it was imperative to make sure the dues costs did not increase for the park owner. (12/20/2010) ARVC Backs Out of Effort to Purchase a New Headquarters Building in Castle Rock, CO
2011 Northeast Conference on Camping Details about the upcoming NCA Northeast Conference on Camping, to be held March 27—29, 2011, at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center in Sturbridge, MA, can be found on the Northeast Campground Association corporate website at http:// campnca.org/conference/
The Board of Directors of ARVC has voted unanimously to not pursue the purchase of an office building in Castle
The regulations become law in March 2011 (following a 6-month comment period), and affect operations including recreational facilities, bathrooms, workplaces, reservations and more. Compliance with the law is mandatory, so campground owners need to be aware of the changes and be ready for them. Additional resource information on ADA is available at www.ada.gov. To see federal property ADA guidelines (which impact campground specifications), go to www.access-board.gov.
Fraud Advisory for Businesses: Corporate Account Takeover PROBLEM: Cyber criminals are targeting the financial accounts of owners and employees of small and medium sized businesses, resulting in significant business disruption and substantial monetary losses due to fraudulent transfers from these accounts. Often these funds may not be recovered. HOW ITS DONE: Cyber criminals employ various technological and nontechnological methods to manipulate or trick victims into divulging personal or account information. Such techniques may result from an action such as opening an email attachment, accepting a fake friend request on a social networking site, or visiting a legitimate, yet compromised, website that
installs malware on the victim’s computer. Cyber criminals will often “phish” for, or prey on, victims using mass emails, pop-up messages that appear on the victim’s computer, and/or the use of social networking and internet career sites. The cyber criminal’s goal is to get the victim to open an infected attachment or click on a link contained in the email and visit a nefarious website where hidden malware is then downloaded to the victim’s computer. This malware allows the fraudster to “see” and track the victim’s activities across the business’s internal network and on the internet. This tracking may 6
include visits to the victim’s financial institution and use of their online banking credentials to access accounts (account information, log in, and passwords). Using this information, the fraudster can conduct unauthorized transactions that appear to be a legitimate transaction conducted by the company or employee. (source: bankinfosecurity.com) Be alert! Don’t willingly provide your personal information—especially banking info or online passwords—when asked by an unverified source. Most banks or legitimately operating businesses won’t ask you for that info via email or pop-up.
Congress Extends Tax Provisions Set to Expire and Defines New Items As business owners, it is important for members of Campground Owners of New York to ensure they are aware of implementation of government regulations and laws that can affect their operations and impact their livelihood, and that of their employees. As of now;
All current individual tax rates to stay the same.
Capital Gains and dividend rates will both remain at 15 percent.
The estate tax will be set at a rate of 35%, with an exemption of 5 million per spouse.
No increase in the alternative
minimum tax For 2011 the standard rate of mileage will be 51 cents per mile for business miles driven, 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. Business Expensing for purchases of new fixed assets:
100 percent deduction for qualified business equipment purchases in 2011. Just about every small business can write off the full amount of investments they make in 2010 and 2011. In September expensing limits
were passed that allow small businesses to immediately deduct up to $500,000 in equipment investments including up to $250,000 for renovations. Do you have employees? If so every worker (including small business owners) in the United States will see a 2 percent payroll tax cut in their social security payroll tax in 2011. Keep in mind that the employer’s share of social security remains at 6.2% while the employee’s social security withheld is reduced to 4.2%. (As always consult your tax advisor on how the above may relate to your own tax situation.)
From the Desk of the President and CEO (Continued from page 2)
have a supply at the zone meetings for you to pick up or if you are unable to attend we will ship them to you. It is important that we promote other CONY parks if the campers are traveling in other parts of the state. Plans are underway for CONY’s 48th Annual Conference and Trade Show. Please save the dates November 3-5th, 2011. You will want to highlight the dates in your new CONY planner. The conference location is none other than
one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, Niagara Falls! Please watch for details that will be forthcoming. Many new activities and events are planned so make sure you are there. As I begin my 4th year as President/ CEO I want to thank all of the members for their continued support. I am thankful for all of the help of our very capable staff and the tireless efforts of your board of directors and officers. Time really flies when you love what you do and I really do enjoy working with each and every one of you to as-
sist you in successfully operating your campground. Thank you for helping me carry out the mission of CONY: An association dedicated to the promotion, growth, improvement, and development of privately owned campgrounds in New York State.
Best Regards, Donald G. Bennett, Jr.
Chairman’s Report (Continued from page 2)
interested in joining us feel free to contact the office and let them know. Or if you are not able but would like us to mention an issue you may have, please let us know that as well. March 2nd we will stay in Albany for the Empire State Tourism Conference for some useful seminars and quality networking with our Tourism partners outside of the camping industry. We certainly all need to work together to promote tourism in New York State. (information about the conference is at www.empirestatetourism.com) I hope you have marked March 29April 1 on your calendars. These are the dates for the 2011 CONY Zone Meetings. As always there will be a
great deal of information to share, vendors to buy from, and networking with fellow campground owners & operators to be had. I would strongly encourage you to take one day out of your busy spring schedules to join us. You will not be disappointed. If you haven’t seen the 2011 CONY Directory yet you will be very pleased. The office staff and directory committee put countless hours into the project and strive to make improvements each year and have produced a very good looking directory once again. The CONY directory is distributed through our own show booth at many RV shows starting in early January, as well as distribution associations such as Anderson’s and United Brochure. The early indicators are that the CONY di-
rectory is flying out of the show booths which is great news for our members. A big thank you to the office staff, directory committee, and the brochure distribution team for all of your efforts in promoting our member parks. I would like to wish you all the best as you enjoy the remainder of your winter, and be prepared for a very good summer at our CONY campgrounds. Thank your for allowing me to continue to serve as your Chairman and I hope to see you this spring at the CONY Zone Meetings. Regards, Scott Sherwood
Maximize value in your CONY membership with the NEW online reservation system developed by Adventure Systems, LLC. Register now to install this easy-to-use management portal, and set-up is FREE! Complete web-based management availability—manage from any computer that has internet access. 585-586-4360 or email@example.com for details.
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CONY Membership News CONY SHOWS PROGRAM: A message from Bill Perry, CONY 1st Vice President On January 15th Anita, Elijah and I attended the Florida RV Supershow in Tampa. Upon arriving in Tampa and nearing the fairgrounds we experienced a great deal of traffic on MLK and US 301, taking about a half-hour just to get off the roadway to enter the fairgrounds. The crowd seemed double to triple from last year. In fact, I don’t think it’s been like that in years, even when Anita and Diane Kinnicutt (from “I Love NY”) were there (CONY used to share booth space with I Love NY until they pulled out of their shows program). We are really missing the boat not being there. Chautauqua Lake KOA will probably have a booth there in 2012, sharing a prime spot with a KOA from North Carolina. I am extremely pleased with the 40+ parks that see a value in our brochures program that CONY does for its members. The campgrounds are getting 13 shows for $400 (the early bird
sign up rate). That’s $33 per show. You can’t even drive there for that. We have done the shows program for years and have benefited from it. The Hamburg, NY show we do ourselves, which I couldn’t imagine not doing, even with coming up from Florida and spending $2000-3000 in expenses. But it is still worth it. I want to charge the rest of you to join. Jump on the boat and ride the barge with the rest of us. Several years ago, when the shows program was structured differently, I did only the western shows (those closer to the western part of the state). (Former member and current Hall of Fame member) Al Kaufman kept telling me that I should do the whole state, but I couldn’t see it. Then Anita and I started doing the western shows for Al and he kept doing the eastern shows. When we were doing the western shows, the first thing I noticed was what Al had been saying, in that people in eastern NY were looking to go west and we certainly noticed that the people in the west were definitely looking to go east. Even in Buffalo they were after the Catskills and Adirondack campgrounds. The value is there folks, and what a
Welcome New Members
GREAT shows program we could have with 100-150 parks in it. Yes, there are parks that won’t fit for a variety of reasons, but the shows program could benefit most members in CONY. This is the cheapest direct advertising you can do, bar none. You have to get the word out, so come along. ***
MEMBER BENEFIT UPDATE: A testimonial about the CONY Energy Plus Program For your consideration: A while back I got a call from USG&E to switch to them as the supplier for our Electric. The information the caller gave apparently was lacking in information. He quoted me a rate and told me how much I could save on the campground office electric bill, which was about half of what we are now paying per KW. Apparently a teaser rate just to get our business and then we'd pay through the nose. Today I talked with Stewart at Energy Plus (267-295-0607) about rates (Editor’s Note: Energy Plus is an asso(Member News continued on next page)
Access Member Info on CampCony.com
Peaceful Valley Campsite 485 Banker Rd., Downsville, NY (Catskills Region)
Have you signed up to receive your login and password information for CONY’s business-to-business website at www.campcony.com? Go now and set yourself up to access “Members Only” information including the materials in the CONY library, and the message forum. Questions? Contact the CONY office at (800) 497-2669 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Up Country Family Campground 1110 State Rte 69, Williamstown, NY (1000 Islands Region) Camping World—Syracuse
7030 Interstate Island Road, Syracuse (888) 501-6903 See our associate members at www.campcony.com! 10
CONY Membership News (Continued from Page 16)
ciate member of CONY). He advised that the rate is a teaser rate and that in fact the USG&E variable rate is actually cents higher than of the CONY Energy Plus rate. After a short period the rate will jump dramatically with these other companies. Apparently Agway is another one doing similar tactics. I heard from them this past fall with a similar pitch.
Providing Quality Protection for your Campgrounds
Also don't forget that there is an annual rebate check depending upon usage from Energy Plus. So the actual overall rate is even less.
If anyone has any questions contact Stewart at his direct number listed above.
F. Gilbert Paddock Deer River Campsites Region 8 Director
Camping Turtles Two turtles go camping and pack a cooler with sandwiches and beer. After three days of walking, they arrive at a great spot but realize they’ve forgotten a bottle opener. The first turtle turns to the second and says, "You’ve got to go back and get the opener or else we have no beer."
Every effort is made to print accurate information. CONY, along with contractors and advertisers will assume no liability for errors or omissions. We will gladly reprint any corrections. Please write or call us.
"No way," says the second. "By the time I get back, you will have eaten all the food."
The CONY Newsletter is published by the CONY office, providing its members with industry related information. For information, article suggestions or advertising inquiries, call: 800-497-2669 or 585-586-4360. Or e-mail us at: email@example.com
"I promise I won’t," says the turtle. "Just hurry!" Nine full days pass and there’s still no sign of the second turtle. Exasperated and starving, the first turtle digs into the sandwiches. Suddenly, the second turtle pops out from behind a rock and yells, "I knew it! I’m not going!"
Campground Owners of New York 1 Grove Street, Suite 200 Pittsford, New York 14534 nycampgrounds.com (consumer website) campcony.com (corporate website)
1 Grove Street, Suite 200 Pittsford, New York 14534
Jumpstart the 2011 Camping Season at the 2011 ZONE MEETINGS! Zone Meetings are designed to provide you with the tools and resources necessary for a successful campground business. From our dedicated vendors offering a variety of goods and services to educational information passed on by industry experts, to networking with colleagues. The open flow of information and problem solving between members is unparalleled by any other industry. Much will be discussed. We will be showcasing the new reservation system, viewing results of the 2010 occupancy surveys, what you need to know about the new ADA rules soon to be in force and much more. Don’t miss the seminar “Understanding & Utilizing Website Stats” presented by Matthew Mitchell, VP & Director of Operations at Corporate Communications, Inc. Registration is only $25 per person, and includes continental breakfast, presentations, plated lunch and trade show. Your attendance is vital to your business’s success. Don’t delay. Invitations have been sent. Register today!
Kingston, NY Thursday, March 31, 2011 Syracuse Area Holiday Inn, Liverpool, NY Friday, April 1, 2011 Batavia Area Batavia Party House, Batavia, NY AGENDA (for each meeting site) 8:30 am– 9:00 am Registration, Refreshments and Networking 9:00 am – 10:45 am Introduction, Regional Meetings, and CONY/ARVC/NCA updates and speakers 10:45 am– 12:45 pm Introduction of Exhibitors and Trade Show 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm Lunch 1:45 pm – 2:45 pm Speakers
ZONE MEETING SCHEDULE
2:45 pm ADA and Other Updates and Cracker Barrel Session
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 Lake George Area Six Flags Great Escape Lodge, Queensbury, NY
For questions about registering to attend, or to secure vendor space at any or all Zone meetings, please contact the CONY office at (585) 586-4360 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 Kingston Area Holiday Inn,