Enforcing a City of Lake City law for no recreational vehicle camping in commercial parking lots is an issue of fairness, said Cecil Shaw, owner of E-Z Stop RV Park. “The only thing I ask is you be fair about it,” he
said. “Enforce the law where RV park owners can make their money.”
parking lot indicating the ordinance to RV travelers.
Overnight parking has been an issue Shaw has battled for several years, but he is finally starting to see results, he said. Signs have recently been put up in Walmart’s
The decision to enforce the ordinance has elicited some negative responses from travelers. In an e-mail Continued Page 2
Continued from Page 1 addressed to Lake City Reporter publisher Todd Wilson, Gary Campbell wrote: “Just to let you know that I have just learned about the placement of No Overnight Parking (sign) in the local Walmart parking lot. You will be happy to know that I will not be stopping anywhere in Lake City to spend any money and I will request that any person who is a friend of mine do the same. If your town is going to be unfriendly to long-distance travellers, we are going to vote against you with our wallets. Want our money, open the parking lot. Simple as that.” Cities from Sacramento, Calif., to Nova Scotia, British Columbia, have ordinances on the books that prohibit overnight camping, Shaw said. Shaw sits on the Tourist Development Council board, said Harvey Campbell, TDC executive director. He brought the existing ordinance to the board’s attention. It was in place, but not necessarily enforced. Lake City’s Walmart is conveniently located near a
“RVs have a tendency to use Walmart as a campground and that’s not something the law allows” major interstate, Campbell said. He’s seen a range of a few to around 35 RVs camping in the parking lot over the years. RV parks pay an occupation license fee, assessment on property taxes and more, whereas Walmart doesn’t have these associated costs, Shaw said. RV park owners lose money when RV travelers park in commercial parking lots.
This picture shows a sign posted at the Walmart Supercenter that says there should be no RV camping or sleeping in the store’s parking lot. JASON MATTHEW WALKER/Lake City Reporter down, cook meals and more, Shaw said. “It’s camping really,” he said.
“We have an ordinance we have to go by and abide by just like any other company or business and they don’t have to have anything,” he said.
Tourists in a car make arrangements to find lodging if stopping through town to rest, Shaw said. RV parks are available just the same for overnight accommodations.
Most RV travelers stop at Walmart to buy supplies, but they also put their jacks
The ordinance is not just singling out Walmart, said
City Manager Wendell Johnson. The law affects any commercial area not designated as a campground. Walmart has been the only one allowing RV travelers setting up there, he said. “RVs have a tendency to use Walmart as a campground and that’s not something the law allows,” Johnson said. Continued
Continued The city has no problem with RV travelers stopping at the store to take a break and buy groceries, or visit local shops and restaurants, he said. The problem occurs when they set up camp. “If you get right down to it, Walmart is not a campground,” Johnson said. Nationally, Walmart is known as RV-friendly, he said. Walmart does not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV travelers,
but values and considers them among its best customers, according to the store’s website. It does permit RV parking on the store lots as it is able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. RV travelers are asked to contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking. Walmart is responsible for complying with the laws of the city, Johnson said. The local Walmart has been very cooperative in upholding the law by
posting the signs. Several out-of-town RV travelers have contacted the TDC, saying they are going to alert their groups that Lake City is not RVfriendly, Campbell said. The travelers will no longer spend money at local restaurants and shops or visit the area. There are examples of RV groups blacklisting a community. “We’d hate to have people boycott the community,” he said. Lake City isn’t the only community dealing with this issue, Campbell said.
He recently spoke with the executive director of the Florida Campground Association, who indicated other cities also have similar regulations. “It’s one tough issue with arguments on either side,” he said. Ultimately he thinks the impact of the ordinance will be minimal, Johnson said. Eventually people will accept the law. “People traveling in RVs know where they can stop,” he said. “We want them to stop in Lake City and they can find a place to park.” Article: www.lakecityreporter.com
Bob MacKinnon CalARVC is to host an Education Forum March 12 at the Embassy Suites, Anaheim South and some outstanding industry speakers have been scheduled. Evanne Schmarder, Bob MacKinnon, John Pentecost, Rick Wiseman and John Pentecost will address various topics. Delegate registration is open and vendor marketplace is available. http://www.calarvc.com/dele gate.html Marketing Seminars Tuesday - 10:30 am Make the most of Regional Marketing Partnerships Speaker: CTTC Representative Tuesday - 3:00 - 3:50 pm Presenting the "Sizzle" in Your Ads Speaker: "Camper Rick" Wiseman, Camp-California Director of Advertising We've all heard the expression "Sell the sizzle, not the steak", but how does that apply to advertising? It’s an expression that states you should sell the benefits of the product, not the product itself. But, effective
Evanne Schmarder selling in today’s camping industry requires sizzle and some steak. Learn how to attract attention by clearly stating the benefits of your offer, and then maintain and build interest by demonstrating the connection between your product and the benefits you're touting. Tuesday - 4:00 - 5:00 pm 13 Low or No-Cost Guerilla Marketing Tips Speaker: Evanne Schmarder, Roadabode Productions Marketing in today’s environment looks very different than it did even one year ago. Stretch your marketing budget and reach your audience with low or no cost marketing and PR ideas that work. This seminar will leave you buzzing with easy, practical, affordable tactics to start implementing right away. Wednesday 8:00 - 9:50 am Driving the Experience Speaker: Larry Brownfield, Business Development Consultant for KOA Identifying the most important product the outdoor hospitality industry has to offer and making direct applications that will
Larry Brownfield grow your business. Wednesday - 10:00 am Noon Comprehensive Marketing Plan Speaker: Evanne Schmarder, Roadabode Productions Think of your business like a long-term road trip – sure meandering may be fun for a while as you explore new adventures but eventually you’d like to reach a destination and still have some money in your pocket. The same can be said about marketing your park. Come prepared to learn the ins and outs of developing a comprehensive roadmap for your business – a marketing plan – in this hands-on session. Park Administration Seminars Tuesday - 10:30 am - Noon How to Survive as a Digital Immigrant Speaker: Larry Brownfield, Business Development Consultant for KOA A strategy to not only survive but to thrive in this ever changing digital marketplace. Tuesday - 3:00 - 5:00 am What to do with a Negative
John Pentecost Review Speaker: Bob MacKinnon, Guest Reviews Eventually, we all must deal with an upset guest or negative review. Since conflict is inevitable, what’s the best way to respond? After personally dealing with thousands of critical comments and upset guests over a period of more than 40 years, Bob MacKinnon of GuestReviews will share some of his successful strategies and tools to help you respond to negative guest feedback. This will be a hands-on workshop with real-life examples, so bring your “challenging” guest comments for discussion. Wednesday - 10:00 am Noon Park Rules & Regulations Speaker: John Pentecost, Hart, King & Coldren "My Park rules are antiquated. What could it hurt?" Wednesday - 3:00 - 5:00 pm RV Park Evictions- What you should know Speaker: John Pentecost, Hart, King & Coldren "Stitch in time" - Doing it right the first time saves time and money for your park.
Tom Benning originally wanted to buy a motorcycle. Instead, he ended up owning half a motor home, and gaining hundreds of new friends. As Benning and best friend Chuck Miesfeld prepared to head out of town for Dallas Monday afternoon, he was convinced more than ever that he did the right thing. "We're thinking the GBBRAT is the catalyst for this," Benning said. "We must be the Packers' good luck charm." GBBRAT doubles as the license plate number (a
Packers plate, of course) and name of the 34-foot Bounder recreational vehicle Benning and Miesfeld bought and refurbished before the season to follow their favorite team, the Green Bay Packers. And when you own a shrine on wheels to the green-andgold, the only place to be this week is Dallas, where the Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in the Super Bowl. "We had no idea we'd be heading there," said Benning, 52, of Howards Grove. "Everyone picked
them, and we thought 'wouldn't it be cool if they somehow went to the Super Bowl?' And we're on our way." The pair moved their planned departure up a day early to Monday in hopes of avoiding the nasty snowstorms expected to batter Sheboygan County over the next few days. As they make their way to Texas, the motor home could easily be mistaken for an official team vehicle. Full Article: www.sheboyganpress.com
Chuck Miesfeld poses Monday in the comfy confines of his Packersthemed RV. (Photo by Bruce Halmo/The Sheboygan Press
you really want and expect from running a SM campaign.
Everyone is talking about it, some people are doing it, you haven’t quite decided whether you want to jump in or not, so what is a Campground owner to do? It seems that Social Media is on everyone’s mind these days. It is quickly reaching the point where you are expected to have a presence in Social Media if you are a modern, viable business. If you have any guests in the 34 to 54 age range, they are already using Social Media as a part of their day to day lives. If you have guests in the 55 and up range, you will be
interested to know that this is the fastest growing population on Face Book. There is no way around the fact that setting up your Social Media campaign is going to take some time and effort. Maybe you even have someone who wants to take care of setting it up for you. But before you say yes, take some time to decide what
It’s easy enough to create accounts on the various sites. The hard part is to present cohesive, well thought out campaign. We have all seen the websites that are put up just to be able to say “We have a website” and the fact that it was done with very little planning leaves you with questions as to how trustworthy the business is. Take some time out and answer these five questions before you jump in.
1.) What is your objective? Do you just want to stay in touch with your current guests? Are you expecting to attract new guests? Make a list of your goals and objectives. Some may be quite doable while others may require so much time and effort to achieve that they aren’t reasonable at this time, but you will at least have a better idea of what you are looking to achieve. 2.) Who is your audience? Take a look at your demographics. Are your guests overnight only? Full timers? Families? Decide Continued
Continued if you have different guest profiles depending on the season. You may need to adjust your campaign to fit the season. Clearly define who you are going to be talking to. 3.) If your campaign is successful, what will your guests learn? Maybe you want them to know of your plan to enlarge your laundry room, or that you are adding sites. One thing you definitely want to impart is the personality of your park. Just by virtue of being involved in SM, you are going to be viewed as a modern, up to date business. 4.) What tactics are you going to utilize? Now we get to the meat of the problem. There are huge numbers of SM sites out there...YouTube, Twitter, Face book, MySpace, to name just a few. It’s time to take a look at each area and decide what each one can do for you. I would suggest that you consider creating a blog that gets posted on a monthly basis. If you are currently publishing a newsletter, you can easily use the articles from it to post to your blog. From the blog you can post to your Face Book page without having to do a lot more work. From the Face Book page you can post to Twitter telling everyone that you have a new Blog post. And so you complete the circle, sending your followers back to learn more about your campground.
5.) How are you going to measure your success? This is going to be a fluid part of your whole campaign. As you getter better with SM, you will probably find new ways to define your success or failure. To start, look for visits to the blog, likes on Face Book, and retweets on Twitter. 6.) Is it really wise to turn over your SM Campaign to someone who doesn’t know you or the RV industry? There are plenty of people out there who will be happy to give you a boilerplate campaign, but don’t expect it to look like anything except a boilerplate campaign. If you decide to hire someone, ask them to tell you how they would approach the job. If they don’t ask who your audience is or what your expectations are, chances are that you are going to be disappointed. Now that you have a plan you are ready to begin laying out your identity on the various sites. Remember that this is your brand. You want to present yourself and your RV business in the best light. Keep your campaign coordinated, and the look similar. It won’t take long for people to recognize that they have seen something about you somewhere else. And that is really the point, isn’t it? By Pamela Wright, see her ad Page 17.
Five operators from the Capilano RV Park were arrested last Wednesday morning after police, armed with a court order, swooped in to remove them from the property. The Squamish Indian Band obtained the order Jan. 14 to enforce an injunction they filed with the B.C. Supreme Court in December against the six operators of the park: Darlene Baker, Dennis Baker, Franklin Baker, Wade Baker, Wayne Baker and Pamela Pack. The band claims the defendants, all members of the Baker family that has operated the RV and manufactured home parks since 1966, have refused to negotiate a new five-year lease for both operations and stopped paying rent in
May. The Squamish Nation owns the land and is seeking about $500,000 in unpaid rent for the property. They also plan to take over operations of the park. West Vancouver police spokesman Jag Johal said all five will face charges, but were all released with conditions pending charges. "They were read the conditions within the court order injunction and they refused to leave the premises," he said. A court-ordered receiver, D. Manning & Associates Inc., has taken over management of the park indefinitely, according to court documents filed on Jan. 14. Squamish chief Gibby
Jacob said the dispute began when the last 10-year lease ran out in 2008, at which point council said they would agree to a final five-year lease. After that, council planned for the band to take over operation of the park. Jacob said after some discussions the family refused to negotiate for a new lease and stopped paying rent for the land entirely in May of last year. The rent, valued at about $50,000 each month, is needed to pay for programs run by the band, he said. "You're given an option, and the option is if you cross the line you will get arrested. They chose to cross," he said. "It was not our desire to be doing what we're doing, but we have a legal duty to our membership to
ensure that we are getting the funds that we get in -and every dollar we get gets budgeted." He said no tenants will be removed from the site and that any employees who aren't among the former operators will be allowed to keep their jobs. A number of reserve residents huddled near the site early Wednesday morning to watch the commotion, including supporters of the Baker family. At the time of publication the former operators have not filed a statement of defence with the B.C. Supreme Court. Full Article: www.nsnews.com
Following my article last week I received an email from the New Jersey Campground Owners Association outlining their views on the storyThank you for your thoughts on attracting foreign travelers to camping. As direct advertising to the foreign market would be way beyond our associations means we rely on our Stateâ€™s modest
expenditures to attract tourists to New Jersey. The Stateâ€™s Travel Guide, the main fulfillment piece produced by the state, does list campgrounds and includes an ad placed by our association advertising our campground RV Park Guide. We in turn make the guides available at the RV rental agencies in and around the New York/New Jersey ports of entry. We are hoping that the Federal Government will start doing
a better job at marketing overseas and include camping in their materials. Tourism is an export commodity bringing in money to the US. Jay & Marji Otto, Executive Directors. ARVC CEO Paul Bambei also commented that they will be announcing something shortly that may assist in getting the word out more globally.
Dennis Macready: Editor
BOISE - Idaho’s cashstrapped state parks system will be looking to “tasteful” corporate sponsorships to try to help keep the state’s 30 parks open in the coming year, state parks chief Nancy Merrill told lawmakers this morning. “We do not want to overcommercialize our state parks,” Merrill said, saying there will be no “Pepsi Cola state park in northern Idaho.” She gave examples of what she has in mind: In California, Coca-Cola is
funding interpretive signs that include just a small corporate logo at the bottom. The North Face outdoor clothing company might donate ranger uniforms that could include their logo. Subaru might donate vehicles for use in parks. Juicy Juice might sponsor a children’s playground. Odwalla juice might pay for tree-planting. “We’re not interested in broadcasting huge commercial ventures out there,” Merrill said. “What we are interested in is partnerships that will help
Idaho state parks Director Nancy Merrill tells lawmakers how parks are coping with deep budget cuts. sustain us … that fit Idaho.” week, and if the board approves, “We will move She said she’ll be taking quickly to engage proposed guidelines for companies,” she said. corporate sponsorships to Full Article: Photosthe state parks board next www.spokesman.com
Buoyed by a surprisingly strong December, wholesale shipments to RV retailers soared to close the 2010 year at 242,300 units, up 45.6% over 2009 and the highest annual totals for RV shipments in the past three years. Underscoring an improved level of dealer confidence, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported today (Jan. 26) that total wholesale shipments to retailers of all RVs increased to 18,300 units in RVIA’s December 2010 survey of manufacturers.
The total was 36.5% greater than last month and 30.7% greater than this same month last year. Shipments of all towable RVs were at 16,400 units in December 2010, up 32.3% over the final month the previous year, while motorhome shipments totaled 1,900 units, a gain of 18.8% over December 2009. Seasonally adjusted, the December total represents an annualized rate of more than 295,000 units, the best monthly showing since April 2008. No towable or motorized
segment reported a shipment decrease compared to the previous year, although Class B coaches remained level for the month-to-month comparison and was the only segment to show a decline in year-to-date deliveries. Shipments by segment were as follows: ■Travel trailers: 10,400, up 23.8% for the month, and 42.3% for the year (144,500). ■Fifth-wheel trailers: 4,100, up 24.2% for the month, and 48.6% for the year
(54,700). ■Folding camping trailers: 1,600, up 166.7% for the month, and 22% for the year (15,000). ■Truck campers: 300, up 200% for the month, and 52.6% for the year (2,900). ■Class A motorhomes: 1,100, up 22.2% for the month, and 122% for the year (13,100). ■Class B motorhomes: 100, level for the month, and down 15.8% for the year (1,600). ■Class C motorhomes: 700, up 16.7% for the month, and 72.1% for the year (10,500).
ARTWORK | LOGO DESIGN | WEBSITES | PRINTING SERVICES Contact Dennis Macready 865 387 5667 | 865 429 8344 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.voircreative.com
Livingston, TX (January 25, 2011) – Showcasing central California’s spectacular Santa Ynez Valley and the luxurious Flying Flags RV Resort, located in the picturesque town of Solvang, the RV Cooking Show www.RVCookingShow.com, in partnership with Horizon RV Resorts, is delighted to announce an upcoming fiveepisode series dubbed Food, Fun & Friends at Flying Flags. From rolling hills and wonderful wineries to activities and attractions to fresh, local flavors, the RV Cooking Show will share the bounty of the area – in the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country – with those who love to travel and love to eat. The series will include two live events at Flying Flags as well as a number of exciting extras for live and virtual viewers. Series details to follow as they become available. “The Santa Ynez/Santa Barbara region is rich in natural beauty, history and no surprise, is a foodie paradise. We are thrilled to bring the best of this remarkable area and its trademark taste sensations to our fans all across the
North Hollywood, CA, January 31, 2011 - RV Buddies is proud to announce that nationally recognized author, speaker, writer and sales trainer John DiPietro has joined RV Buddies as a contributing Editor for the Feature Articles category. globe. This series is going to be simply terrific,” said RV Cooking Show producer and host Evanne Schmarder. “Just as with pairing great wine with great food, the pairing of Evanne’s RV Cooking Show with Flying Flags RV Resort promises to be spectacular. It is a perfect match, and we’re certain that our guests, along with all of the RV Cooking Show’s fans, are in for something truly remarkable. We can’t wait!” added Randy Hendrickson, President, Horizon RV Resorts. Filming will take place this spring and will be available in time for the summer travel season. For more information about the upcoming Food, Fun & Friends at Flying Flags series contact Evanne Schmarder, RV Cooking Show, at Evanne@RVCookingShow. com or 702-460-9863.
John DiPietro DiPietro, and avid RVer, has contributed to several national RV publications and is known for his informative video interviews featuring everyone from campground owners to industry executives. DiPietro is one of the few RV journalists that actually is an RV owner. "This is an absolute thrill to be associated with RV Buddies and join some of the top names in the RV world to provide information to our audience," says DiPietro. "Having John on board further expands our reach," says Mark Summers, Executive Producer for RV Buddies. "His writing style adds a unique viewpoint and perspective which will create interesting articles and content for the website." DiPietro's forte is finding the offbeat story of human interest that the average
RVer will enjoy. He does not write about sizes of tires or cubic inches of an engine, but discusses what activities and attractions are best for a family with young children, or those more suited to active retired RVers and fulltimers. DiPietro's career has been in the media, public relations and entertainment fields. He has experience in print, radio and currently hosts three television series. His background includes working with such entertainment superstars as Kenny Rogers, Neil Diamond, Garth Brooks, the Harlem Globetrotters, the superstars of the WWE and even the clowns from the Greatest Show on Earth. Please submit story ideas to JohnD@RVBuddies.net. Or just say hello to John and his wife when you see them in your travels on the road.
If you needed proof that advertising in Campground & RV Park E-News works then check out what happened with the SpiderWeb advertisement which ran for the first time last week. Jumping Pillows reports that on the day of the release of the news they received five orders for the SpiderWeb and several email enquiries and on the second day, eight orders and more calls and e-mail enquiries. “It’s just testimony to combining the right product and the right advertising medium” said Gary Wakerley of Jumping Pillows LLC. ‘Sure I am part own the E-News but I’m just not kidding” he said. During the course of speaking with Campground Owners who rang to ask about the SpiderWeb, I was asked several questions that I could not answer so here is some additional information that I would like to share.
• The SpiderWeb is made of Polypropylene UV stabilized rope which is used extensively in the Aquatic industry. • The rope will fade over time but does not lose strength • The over-netting is replaceable at a minimum cost. • The rope is Lead safe and contains no Latex • Comes with a 1year manufacturer’s warranty • The product should be put away during winter (in freezing temperatures) as water trapped between the ropes fibers can freeze and sometimes the expansion can snap some rope fibers. • No need for any special surface under the SpiderWeb, you determine the height off the ground, 1’ at the front rising to 3’ at the back is ideal so no distance to fall! I’ve looked at a lot of new product over the years and most get rejected because we at Jumping Pillows have some standard requirements that have to be met: a) It has to be really really safe. b) Will kids tire of the activity? c) Does it cater to numbers? d) Does it look great?
Gary Wakerley owner of Jumping Pillows LLC releases the Spider Web.
e) Is it long lasting?
The SpiderWeb met all of the criteria so it became a no brainer and I delighted that the Campground Owners are seeing what I am seeing.
existing shade structures and in order I to prove the theory I have to build one myself.
On another note, we are releasing another new product this year; it’s a Shade Structure with a very unique design.
This unusually cold weather in Tennessee has kept me indoors but as soon as it breaks I’ll be hard at it. Expect to see something toward the end of March – all going well!
I came up with the design after years of thinking about the very high cost of
See Page 11 for more information and prices of the Spider Web.
Desalination does not get mentioned very often in the news. Mostly the subject will come up in conversation: how could there ever be a shortage of water on a planet that has far more water surface than land surface? At first glance it looks simple and logical: just evaporate out the salt and presto, good water ready to go! Salt! If the oceans were not salty we would be water rich. It is no small matter to make saltwater usable except in very tiny amounts. Not that humans havenâ€™t recognized the potential for a very long time. Aristotle and others in the Greek and Roman civilizations wrote about desalination and in fact were able to make seawater usable. Sailing captains also employed desalination. But the methods used were relatively small scale and slow. There are an estimated 15,000 desalination plants around the world today. Such plants are only now beginning to catch on in the
United States as the agricultural and industrial needs for water increase beyond what is currently available. Production of usable water from the ocean is expensive because it requires building or retooling water treatment plants, a large amount of energy (heat) and technical systems to filter and process seawater. Because water has until now been both plentiful and cheap in the United States the market will not bear high enough prices to make the processed water very profitable. The only way to make money with desalination is to produce water in huge quantities with a small profit margin. This requires large plants and large up- front investment. Not to despair: the challenges are capable of being solved and they will be solved. In the meantime, prepare for gradual increases on your water bill. And keep figuring out ways to recycle your water, capture rain, conserve and protect the quality of ground water.
Memphis, Tenn. – RVC Outdoor Destinations has hired general managers at their Pine Mountain, GA and Freeport, FL properties. The new managers bring experience in the travel and leisure industry and add to the group of superb managers RVC already has on board. Additionally, the company is training another team of staff for the opening of their Arkansas resort “Catherine’s Landing” in March. “We’ve made many changes within the past two months at each and every property, internally and externally,” said Andy Cates, President of RVC Outdoor Destinations. “We’re proud to announce our new managers and believe this will be the biggest year for lucrative growth.”
RVC welcomes Neil Sorrell, Manager of Live Oak Landing in Freeport, FL to the team. Live Oak Landing opened in November of 2010 and the resort has just finished construction of additional enhancements. Sorrell has traveled the globe and was responsible for nearly $2,000,000 in sales with Outdoor Resorts of America in 2005. Jim Anderson, Manager of Pine Mountain, an RVC Outdoor Destination in GA, has been involved in the outdoor resort industry for over five years. He worked at an RV Park near
Yellowstone National Park in Arizona, where he provided oversight of operations for over 300 sites. After that, he led a restructuring and successful turn-around effort at an RV park in Wyoming. Catherine’s Landing (AR), the newest addition to the RVC Outdoor Destinations’ properties, will be managed by Aundrea Crary and assistant manager Ian Horgan. Both have experience in the hospitality industry and Crary currently serves on the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce board.
“All of our General Managers, including Sheryl Mitchell, General Manager of our Carrabelle Beach, FL property, have deep experience in the travel and tourism fields,” explained Yale Spina, Vice President of Operations for RVC Outdoor Destinations. “I am proud to be working with such a strong group of professionals and it doesn’t hurt that they are also great people,” Spina added. For more information on RVC Outdoor Destinations and their resorts, visit www.rvcoutdoors.com.
New Berlin, PA – The Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo producers have announced the final tallies for attendance at the 2010 version of their trade show and conference, held entirely on the Internet thru Monday, January 31st. Campground attendance shattered records for physical shows at any regional or state association in the history of the industry. Two Hundred and Seventy-Nine distinctive RV Parks had representatives visit the site during the 3-day live event and the additional 90 day “on-demand” period. All in all, nearly 500 unique attendees visited the event. According to some of our more experienced vendors, some of the Expo’s attendees had never visited a national show in the industry. “We’re pretty proud of the results”, said Producer Art Lieberman, “although the software used to produce the event was highly criticized by sponsors, exhibitors and attendees alike. Since the live portion of the Expo closed, Deanne and I have been examining a half dozen reputable alternative software companies that produce virtual expos, and we have found three with whom we are further negotiations.” Deanne Bower, the Expo’s co-producer believes that any of that trio will create a
software environment that is more user-friendly than the one used last year. “And”, she states, “we believe that we’ve chosen an opening date that nobody will forget: November 11th of this year: 11/11/11.” In addition, at the advice of several exhibitors, Campground Expo is also preparing another Expo for the Spring of 2012. “I read somewhere in an email that the year 2011 has produced some interesting dates and numbers”, she continues. “There was 1/1/11, 1/11/11, and, of course, our target date for the Expo 11/11/11. Strangely, there is another number that is significant. If you add the last 2 digits of the year you were born (in the 20th century) to the age you will be in 2011, you always get 111. I bet this year is going to be the year of the campground!” The Producers have already had a bit of luck. They have added three people to the Advisory Committee of the Expo who bring their own expertise to the event. Tracie Fisher, of Campground Manager Today, earned her invitation to the Board by voluntarily assisting exhibitors in setting up their booths at last year’s event. Ms. Fisher also simultaneously worked in 3 different booths last year: the National
School of RV Park and Campground Management, the Michigan Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds, and her own company’s exhibit. Also joining the Board is well-known RV cooking expert, writer and owner of Roadabode Productions, Evanne Schmarder. Evanne took an early interest in the first Expo, conducted her cooking show live and volunteering to host an Open Forum. Finally, the producers were able to persuade Norman Boucher, owner of LCN
Outdoors and President of the ARVC Supplier Council, to join the Board. Norm’s expertise in the outdoor hospitality industry cannot be matched and, as a supplier of hard goods to campgrounds, his input is a necessity for a successful virtual event.
showing their RV Parks to the world through the quality of a CampersView.com tour. CampersView.com, providing highly detailed virtual tours to the Campground and RV Park Industry for over five years, is excited to announce the booking of their 100th customer. David and Tracey Markowich started the company in the fall of 2005, living and working from their RV. “We have embedded ourselves within the Campground Industry and feel this is the only way to truly understand what this Industry is all about,” stated Markowich. The husband and wife team had a goal of “50 in 5” (50 RV Park tours online within 5 years) and are delighted to have over 60 with bookings totaling the 100 mark over the next two years. A number of the RV Parks represented on the CampersView website are award winning, well-known RV parks across the US. The most recent National Award winners for Medium Park of the Year, Shelby/Mansfield KOA in OH and Mega Park of the Year Lakewood Camping Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC are both CampersView customers. You can see why these parks won such a high honor by viewing their tours. The latest two additions to the website are no
exception. Two of Virginia’s highly rated RV Parks, Bethpage Camp Resort in Urbanna, VA with a must see water park, and Grey’s Point Camp in Topping, VA located along the Rappahannock River have first class amenities that any RVer would want to enjoy. The Leaders within this Industry see the marketing success of the highly detailed tours by Campersview.com and are sharing the news with their colleagues. Markowich commented, “We are very grateful to the many customers who use our tour within their marketing efforts and refer us to others. This has been an important part of our success.” In the summer months the CampersView website receives over 2,300 visitors and almost 43,000 hits daily. With stats like these you can see why the aggressive marketers are
Bethpage Camp Resort Water Park
The following RV Parks had tours added to Campersview.com in 2010: Lakewood Camping Resort – Myrtle Beach, SC Prizer Point Marina & Resort – Cadiz, KY Streetsboro KOA – Streetsboro, OH Powder Horn Campground – Old Orchard Beach, ME Hid’n Pines Campground –
Old Orchard Beach, ME Philadelphia KOA – Coatesville, PA Hershey KOA – Elizabethtown, PA Gettysburg Campground – Gettysburg, PA Paradise Park Resort in Old Orchard Beach, ME has an updated tour with their new expansion coming soon. Also, Pittsburgh KOA in Ruffs Dale, PA and Hemlock Hill Campground in Litchfield, CT will have tours online soon.