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Many Americans, fed up with being pent up, appear determined to go on vacation this summer — even though they know it's going to cost them more than in recent years. More than six of 10 Americans say it's

important they get away from home this year, a recent USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds. And many say they're finding ways around high gasoline prices, airfares and hotel rooms to do it. "Rising gas prices won't

at all affect my vacation," says Richard Miller of Plano, Texas, who's flying to San Francisco in July with a ticket he scooped up in a fare sale. "I'm going."

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Continued from Page 1 The poll indicates that Americans are prepared to pay more to get away this summer: 71% of those who tend to travel say they expect to spend more on transportation this year, and 44% plan on paying more for food, lodging and entertainment. Pay more they will. Nearly every aspect of travel in the USA costs more than it did last year, with the summer travel season starting in less than two weeks, on Memorial Day weekend. "I think the 'staycation' is dead. People are sick of it," says Anne Banas, executive editor of the website SmarterTravel. She says the desire to get away from home began to pick up during the holidays at the end of last year. "People who may have put off vacation during the deepest part of the recession … decided to go, so we saw an uptick. And I think we're going to see that for summer travel as well, even though prices are on (an) upward trend." Early bookings at some hotels in popular vacation spots such as Orlando are up from last year. But it

"High pump prices aren't necessarily a vacation-breaker, many travel watchers say". won't be free-spending boom times like before the financial industry's downward spiral and the recession took away jobs and extra income. Americans are looking to save however they can on vacation — and go by whatever means they can afford. Road trips — how roughly 85% to 90% of Americans travel to holiday getaways, according to AAA— will

cost more because of high gasoline prices. The national average price for a gallon of regular was $3.96 on Sunday, AAA says. That's $1.08 more a gallon than the $2.88 average at this time last year and can cost a family an extra $20 or so every time they fill up. High pump prices aren't necessarily a vacationbreaker, many travel watchers say. The USA TODAY poll taken April 30-

May 1 of 816 adults who normally take vacations shows they expect to pay more to get to their destinations this year. "We've seen … that some people may decide not to travel because of gas prices," AAA spokeswoman Heather Hunter says. "But many others will cut back in other areas, perhaps taking a trip that's a shorter distance away or staying in a hotel that's a little cheaper. Or looking for a promotion like free breakfast to help (offset) a larger portion of the travel budget going to gas prices."

McLean, VA…May 12, 2011. Best Parks in America™ has announced the addition of 4 new affiliated RV resorts bringing the total number of parks carrying the Best Parks flag to 80. The new parks are located in Maryland, Virginia and Maine. The new parks include Point Sebago Resort, Casco, Maine; Holiday Trav-L-Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia; Frontier Town Campground, Ocean City, Maryland and Fort Whaley Campground, Whaleyville, Maryland. “These new Best Parks affiliates are very welcome additions to the Best Parks family,” said BPA President David Gorin. “Each of these parks has a long and successful track record of providing the highest quality facilities, amenities and services to their guests and the owners of these

parks have been industry leaders for many years,” said Gorin. Frontier Town Campground is located on the Atlantic Ocean in West Ocean City, Maryland. The resort offers 584 sites serving tenting 45 foot motor homes. In addition to typical park amenities Frontier Town has great crabbing and fishing, a 75 slip marina with boat ramp, restaurant and ice cream parlor, free beach shuttle and free admission to a full scale Water Park. The park also offers a Frontier Town Wild West Show during the summer season. The park is owned by Mitch Parker, a veteran park owner who also owns Fort Whaley Campground in Whaleyville, MD. Fort Whaley Campground is located in Whaleyville, Maryland approx. 10 minutes from Ocean City. Park amenities include complimentary unlimited miniature golf, planned activities, swimming pool, fully stocked camp store, a fresh water fishing lake, paddle boats, and free admission to the water park at cousin Frontier Town Campground in Ocean City, Maryland.

David Gorin

Best Holiday Trav-L-Park in Virginia Beach, VA is an 850 site vacation mecca

and the closest campground to the Virginia Beach resort area. The park offers its own satellite parking area one block from the famous VA Beach boardwalk and beaches. In addition to the beach, the Virginia Aquarium, Ocean Breeze Festival Park with water slides, mini-Indy race track and mini-golf course are nearby. The parks is also close to Norfolk, Williamsburg and the southern Chesapeake Bay. Point Sebago is a 775acre campground resort on Sebago Lake in Southern Maine. The resort offers a mile of sandy beach, it’s own onsite 18-hole championship golf course, marina, restaurant, and awardwinning daily activities and entertainment for every age. The resort features RV sites, cottage rentals and a variety of ownership options. The resort is

owned by industry pioneer Larry Gould and the General Manager is Don Toms, a long time active leader in the Maine Campground Owners Association and National ARVC. “We’re delighted to welcome this group of incredibly wonderful examples of the RV park business in the 21st Century,” said Gorin. “The addition of these resorts is a strong indication of how the Best Parks brand is creating a collection of the nation’s top independent parks,” he said. Best Parks in America is an association of unique and highly rated RV parks and campgrounds. Each park is independently owned and operated and each features unique characteristics that appeal to a wide range of campers and RVers from young families to emptynesters, full timers and retirees. For a complete list of affiliated parks, visit

Many parents with adolescent or teenage children worry that their kids have become couch potatoes who spend far too much of their free time playing video games or sitting in front of a computer screen. “As far as physical fitness goes, today’s kids are the sorriest generation in the history of the United States,” said one parent quoted by author Richard Louv in his best-selling book, The Last Child in the Woods. Louv found several alarming statistics, which document the increasingly sedentary lifestyles of America’s youth and the extent to which they are

losing the physical and psychological benefits that come from spending time in nature. In an effort to encourage parents to spend more time with their children outdoors, President Obama has proclaimed June as national Great Outdoors Month. Building on Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative, which encourages children to eat healthier foods and increase their physical activity, Great Outdoors Month is intended to encourage parents and their children “to move, run, play and thrive” in our state, national and local parks and other scenic places.

Campgrounds affiliated with Campground Owners of New York (CONY) are doing their part to support Great Outdoors Month by offering fun family activities as well as significant camping discounts during the month of June. “Camping is not only the most affordable vacation option, but it supports a healthy lifestyle, particularly when you consider the great variety of outdoor activities that are available at campgrounds across our state,” said Don Bennett, president and CEO of Campground Owners of New York. New York campgrounds will be participating in’s Great Outdoors Month promotion, which involves 20 percent discounts on camping between June 1st and 25th at participating parks. will also provide e-coupons that consumers can use to obtain discounts at Camping World stores and RV rentals booked through El Monte RV, which has agreed to provide 500 free miles plus 50 free miles a day to GoCampingAmerica

visitors who rent an RV for at least one week during the June 1st to 25th period. The e-coupons will be posted on on May 15th. Twenty-five New York campgrounds are also offering a “buy two, get one night free” promotion through October 10th. Visit for more information. Additionally, 16 New York campgrounds are offering a geocaching competition on June 11th, in which campers will have the opportunity to search for a hidden coin, which they can redeem for a special prize. More information on geocaching is available at For more information on New York campgrounds, please contact Suzanne Bixby or Don Bennett at (585) 586-4360 and visit

By Larry

River flooding comes after the large amounts of precipitation and the terrible storms are over. For weeks afterwards water drains into the rivers. In the case of the current Mississippi flood,his process has been going on for months. As of May 15 the amount of water flowing down the Mississippi per second was more than one and one half million cubic feet! The release of water through the floodgates at the Marganza, Louisiana spillway in order to save Baton Rouge and New Orleans, will possibly create water up to 25 feet deep. It will affect 25,000 people and 11,000 structures. The water could be there until as late as August. When large rivers flood the smaller rivers flowing into them flood even more because they cannot empty into the larger rivers. Approaches to bridges get flooded. Travel becomes a nightmare as the world goes underwater and homes are destroyed along with farmland, vehicles and businesses. What we are

witnessing now in epic proportions happens in smaller versions nearly every year around our country: floods are assumed to happen because the cost of truly preventing all flooding where people live, work and farm is too high to achieve. Every year we have more runoff because every year we add more structures, roads, parking lots and asphalt surfaces, thereby preventing more and more water from soaking into the ground. Water will always go somewhere. Even on level land it will flow with a forceful current. Unless you live on very high ground it would be wise to check into the flood plans and possibilities for your area. “One hundred year floods� do not happen once every one hundred years. They can occur two years in a row or even twice within the same year. Those who will be flooded out by the Mississippi knew the policy and facts. They decided to take their chances, mostly out of necessity.

New Berlin, PA – The Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo, slated for November 11th on the Internet has joined the chorus of supporters of Tents for Troops, the organization which is saying “thank you” to active duty servicemen and women by encouraging campgrounds to donate 2 sites for 2 nights of free camping to them. The offer is made to active members of the military and members of their immediate family only. The movement is driven by Charlie Curry, owner of Toutle River RV Resort in Castle Rock, WA and has caught on like wildfire. The word has spread through press releases to publications and on social media such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. Evanne Schmarder has been sending out her own releases about the organization. It was Evanne who encouraged Expo Producers Art Lieberman and Deanne Bower to participate and they responded by offering the organization a complimentary booth at the Expo. T4T appeared recently at the ARVC convention in Las Vegas and now has a bevy of commercial sponsors although no specific program exists for them. Last month, country icon

Willie Nelson gave the program a boost by mentioning it on his Facebook and Twitter account. This fall, volunteers will be touring the US and soliciting help from campground owners as part of a national recruitment drive. The Expo is proud to be part of that movement in November. Participation in the program is, of course, voluntary. Curry has stated to campground owners that “we do not believe that this will cause any significant impact to your bottom line and that the goodwill benefits associated with this gesture far outweigh the revenue lost”. It should

also be pointed out that many of the military personnel who take advantage of this offer from campgrounds will become repeat customers who bring paying family and friends.

“David Gorin & Associates Presents The Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo II” is scheduled to take place on 11-11-11 for 2 days and another 60 days in an ondemand status.

T4T is based on availability and will respect all blackout dates. Campgrounds may offer as many sites as they wish and some have gone far beyond the minimum requirement to join the program.

The producers may be contacted by calling 877901-EXPO (3976) or by email at

Tents for Troops can be contacted at 360-274-8373 or at For more information you can go to their website at

Their website (currently being updated) is

Pelland Advertising maintains the Expo’s Webpage.

State parks officials today announced the closure of 70 parks because of the state budget deficit, including the governor's mansion and the Stanford mansion in Sacramento. Gov. Jerry Brown's January budget plan proposed reducing the state parks budget by $22 million. The Legislature in March approved $11 million in cuts to state parks and $10 million in cuts to off highway vehicle parks in the next fiscal year, with $22 million in cuts to state parks in future years.

The California State Parks System was directed to identify which parks would close based on attendance rates and historical significance. The department operates more than 270 state park units covering more than 1.4 million acres. "We regret closing any park," Ruth Coleman, director of California State Parks, said in a statement. "But with the proposed budget reductions over the next two years, we can no longer afford to operate all parks within the system."

Everyone wants excellent pictures representing their park to use for brochures, guest guides and websites. But the real question becomes, how well do those pictures represent the park? RV parks seem to have joined with hotels in being notorious for pictures that have been taken by an expert photographer and look nothing like reality. Nothing but negative comments comes from guests saying the park looks nothing like the pictures. What you do want is guests saying the pictures of the park don’t do it justice. So how do you get good, quality pictures of your park without spending a fortune on a photographer? I have a few suggestions. 1.) Contact your local community college, high school or vocational school and ask if they have a photography club. Ask the instructor if there would be any interest in the park sponsoring a photography competition. Some of the details you will need to work out include: what is the prize, who will judge, ownership of the images, etc. 2.) If you have a park with a lot of activity, such as destination parks, consider hiring a member of the

photography club to spend the summer taking pictures for you. You could set up a small area with a computer and printer where the pictures could be developed and then sell them at the front desk for a small fee. (Think of the cruise lines and how they handle photos.) Make sure that you have a model release set up so that if you like a particular shot, you can trade the guest the photo at no charge for rights to use it in your advertising. 3.) Think about running a photography contest where your guests submit their pictures of the park and its surroundings. There are a number of websites that are set up to handle photo contests. Be sure to check the sites for their guidelines for running a contest. You will need to have some infrastructure set up to handle any of the above suggestions. Here are a few items that should be put into place right away. 1.) Consider having a statement added to your registration sheet that says you have the rights use pictures taken in the park for advertising/marketing purposes. Be sure to state that you will not sell the image for third party use. (If you need some help with the language, let me know as I have a couple of samples. Please do get

professional advice before depending on any permission statements. One thing you might consider is to also inform your guest that if they don’t want their picture to be taken by the park, to be sure to inform the photographer and/or to move out of the picture. You will need to be tactful about how you inform them of this option but it is a lot easier to deal with the guests who don’t want to be in the picture than to try to get a model release from everyone who is in the picture. 2.) If you are going to have a photographer on site, invest in the price of paper frames for the pictures. These can be personalized with your logo which gives that extra name recognition. The frames can run as little as a few cents to a dollar or more so make sure you figure it into the costs. You will also need a means of identifying those guests whose pictures have been

taken. Something that will be fairly simple for the photographer to use to note who the picture belongs to. Figure a price list where the costs ramp down depending on the number of pictures that are purchased. 3.) If you decide on either item 1 or 2, be sure that you have a probationary period where you can review the quality of the photos as well as the reception of the photographer by the guests. It’s not going to help if the guests find the photographer as being pushy, intimidating or uncaring. Remember that this person is going to represent your park’s personality. 4.) Organize the front end of your photography contest. You will need prizes, entry forms, a means of voting, timeframe for the contest, and how the winner is to be notified, to mention a few of the items. Decide where the winning photo is going to hang and have it nicely framed. Continued

Continued When you have the photos in hand there are a few things to look for if you are going to use them for advertising/marketing. 1.) Candid photos that show people having a good time are more enticing than posed photos. It’s great to have a shot of a group of people waving at the camera but it needs to look like it was spontaneous, not directed with someone yelling “Action!” 2.) You need white space in the photo to add text. White space doesn’t mean that the area has to be white, but rather that you need to have a lot of sky where your text can be placed, or a nice large area of grass for the same purpose. This goes against what most photographers have learned so you may need a bit of re-education to let them know what you are looking for. 3.) Pictures without people in them do not sell the park as well as ones with people in them. While you are at it, if you are a pet friendly park, make sure you have pets in your pictures. Nothing tells a potential guest that you are pet friendly better than a shot of people walking their pets. 4.) If you have two seasons, like many of the southern parks do, be sure to get shots of your summer guests and of your winter guests. Shots of the kids playing in the splash pool aren’t going to entice more

snowbirds to come to your park. In contrast, shots of snowbirds playing cards aren’t going to entice young families to come stay with you. Recognize who your audience is and gear the photos toward them. Hope this gives you just a few ideas of what you can do to beef up your photos. As always, if you need any help or further information, I’m just an email or phone call away. Pamela and her company, FocusedWords, are dedicated to helping you promote and market your RV Park/ Resort/ Campground to RVer’s everywhere. Be sure to follow her on Twitter: @RVStops and @FocusedWords. Check out her blog at

Pamela has redesigned her website,, to provide a place for you to tell Rally groups what your park has to offer for their next rally. Be sure to fill out your park form with your facilities information.

ELKHART -- Thor Motor Coach announced a substantial increase in year to date sales in comparison to the same time period last year.

compared to last year. The newly introduced ACE has made quite the splash in the market with both the retail dealerships and new RVers, he added.

“Our goal is simple, to be the best, and the numbers will follow," said Bill Fenech, president and CEO of Thor Motor Coach. “It has been quite some time since we’ve seen shipments this high. In my opinion, these numbers bring added validation to our team’s complete dedication to building the best motorhomes in the business. Although our dealers’ confidence continues to grow, we maintain cautious optimism by keeping our production levels in-line with retail demand.”

Rental production is helping to catapult the increased demand. TMC continues to be one of the largest suppliers of rental coaches by partnering with the top RV rental companies in the world, said Fenech. “Our market shares continue to swell on many products. We attribute these successes to our market driven 'hot products,' innovative designs, a continued focus on consumer needs, and several customer focused programs including the Gold Star Inspection, Concierge Connection and Rapid Response Parts,” said Dana Simon, vice president of gas sales.

A 23 percent increase in sales from April 2011 over 2010 and a 36 percent increase in sales for the fiscal year highlight the demand for Thor Motor Coach products. Retail demand continues to rise for Thor Motor Coach diesel products with the largest surge coming from the Tuscany and Serrano brands, said Fenech. The Tuscany year-to-date market share is up 36 percent, and the Serrano has seen a 64 percent hike

Thor Motor Coach is a fullline manufacturer of several of the top brands on the market that include: A.C.E., Astoria, Avanti, Challenger, Chateau, Chateau Citation, Chateau Citation Sprinter, Daybreak, Four Winds, Four Winds Siesta, Four Winds Siesta Sprinter, Hurricane, Outlaw, Serrano, Tuscany, and Windsport.

With gas prices continuing to climb through the Spring, RVIA has collected positive data and RV travel savings information for industry members to use in responding to media questions that may be asked in the coming months. With the onset of the summer RV travel season, these facts are also suitable for consumer marketing communications. The information will continue to be updated as RVIA conducts future research and gathers more data. Please visit for the most up-to-date version. • RV travel is a great value. The PKF Vacation Cost comparison study shows that a family of four can save 26-to-71% on vacation costs depending on the type of trip and type of RV used. More than 80% of RV owners say their RV vacations cost less than other forms of vacation. • The latest Campfire Canvass survey of RV owners reveals that 53% intend to use their RVs more this spring/summer despite higher fuel prices. Another 38% say they’ll use their RVs the same amount. • Many RV owning families plan to take shorter but more frequent

trips in their RVs. 63% plan to spend five or more weekends in their RVs this spring/summer. 19% will reserve a seasonal site at a campground this summer, and visit it on weekends. • When fuel prices rise, RVers adjust by traveling to destinations closer to home, driving fewer miles, and staying longer in one place, according to surveys of RV owners conducted by RVIA and CVENT, a leading provider of online surveys and research technology. • More than 80% of RVers say their RV vacations cost less than other forms of vacation, even when fuel prices rise. • To save on fuel, RVers typically spend more time enjoying the campground

experience and less time on the road. More than 16,000 campgrounds nationwide give RVers the flexibility to save fuel and cut costs by staying closer to home. Whether they travel five miles or 500, they can still enjoy a great outdoor experience. • Fuel prices would need to more than double from their current level to make RVing more expensive for a family of four than other forms of travel, according to PKF Consulting. PKF’s spring 2008 vacation cost comparison study shows that RV trips remain the most affordable way for a family to travel because of the significant savings on air, hotel and restaurant costs, which continue to rise. • Fluctuating fuel prices affect the cost of all modes

of travel and transportation. Airfares and hotel rates rise rapidly when fuel costs increase. • Many RV owners surveyed take additional measures to reduce fuel consumption through simple steps like driving 55 instead of 65 miles per hour, packing lighter to reduce weight in the RV, and turning off home utilities to save energy when traveling. RVers travel at a leisurely pace with no tight schedules for flights, hotels or restaurants. For more information, contact Kevin Broom in RVIA’s Public Relations department at (703) 6206003 (ext. 304) or


Heading into a hearing scheduled today about using parked trailers instead of hosting RVs at his Jackson Hole Wyoming Campground, Jamie Mackay said the venture will use “green” elements such as wind power and will reduce fuel consumption by more than 680,000 gallons annually.

Mackay seeks to place up to 71 cabin-like rental trailers on his west bank campground. The recreational park trailers would sit on sites currently designated for RVs. The trailers would either be parked permanently or for months at a time. Stays would be would be limited to 30 days.

Mackay announced the changes in a news release this week.

Though they look like cabins, federal standards dictate that the trailers be built on a single chassis, measure 400 square feet or less and be able to be towed by a light-duty truck.

The Teton County Board of Comm-issioners is expected to review Mackay’s proposal during a meeting at 9 a.m. today. “The [green] initiatives will work to produce a more sustainable lodging/camping option at the Jackson Hole Campground,” the release states. “Owners look forward to joining the ranks of other sustainable businesses in Teton County.”

Just days before the hearing, Mackay said the trailers are part of his new “Green Camping” initiative, a major component of the campground’s efforts to improve and evolve. For example, use of the trailers would reduce fuel consumption by 687,635

gallons and carbon dioxide emissions by 8,245 tons per year, according to a study of 506 random RV guests during summer 2010. Additionally, Mackay said he aims to use 100 percent purchased wind power, and he plans to reclaim unnecessarily disturbed areas on the property by seeding or sodding with native grasses and to plant 100 new trees on the site. “The trees will be placed mostly along the border of the property in a continued effort to shelter and privatize the property from adjacent properties and homes,” the release states. “This will benefit both neighbors and guests alike.” If commissioners approve the trailers, Mackay hopes to use Gold Level TRA Green Certified Recreational Park Trailers, the release states.

Other parts of the initiative include membership in 1% for the Tetons, which collects money from member businesses and distributes the funds as grants to groups working on regional sustainability issues, and the U.S. Green Building Counsel, the release states. There is a chance Mackay’s hearing will not be held today. Husband and wife Dave Coon and Gail Jensen filed with Teton County an appeal of the county planning department’s “zoning compliance verifications” for the Jackson Hole Campground and Buffalo Valley RV Resort, which also proposed to use the park trailers. Full Article:

The Grapevine campground, which has seen a 30-percent increase in revenue since completing a $2.25 million expansion and improvement effort, received “Park of the Year” and “Website of the Year” awards

“We’re obviously very pleased with this recognition,” said Joe Moore, manager of The Vineyards Campground & Cabins, which is located on Grapevine Lake midway between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Six months after completing a $2.25 million expansion, The Vineyards Campground has received a “Park of the Year Award” from the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).

The Vineyards won the Park of the Year award in 2009. But TACO’s judges took another look at the campground after it completed a $2.25 million expansion and improvement effort last November.

The award recognizes excellence in operations, customer service reviews, park promotions, directory ratings, management skills, employee training and community service. But that wasn’t the only award The Vineyards received. The park also won TACO’s “Website of the Year Award,” which recognizes the contemporary look and feel of the website, its ease of navigation as well as the timeliness and depth of the information provided. The website, which includes numerous photos, a blog, a newsletter archive and information on upcoming activities and special events, can be accessed at

Improvements included construction of 23 additional RV sites, the installation of seven new park model cabins, the building of a new camp store, the replacement of a boat dock and construction of overflow parking areas. Yet, the biggest cost involved the installation of sewer service throughout the park. “Before, we only had 28 sewered sites and a dump station. Now we have sewer service throughout the campground,” Moore said. “Having sewer service at each campsite is a big convenience that actually encourages RVers to stay longer,” Moore shares, “since guests don’t have to worry about filling up and

dumping their holding tanks.” Having additional park model cabin rentals is also increasing business because it makes The Vineyards accessible to people who don’t have an RV. “Overall, our revenues are up 30-percent this year compared to the same period last year. Some of that reflects the additional RV sites, sales from the camp store and the new cabin rentals. And, we’re also seeing a general increase in occupancy,” Moore said, adding that the physical improvements to

the park are complemented by a welcoming staff and clean facilities. “This renovation is all part and parcel of what people are looking for,” Moore said of the park, which has 88 RV sites and 13 cabin rentals, all of which can be reserved online. The Vineyards Campground & Cabins is affiliated with Best Parks in America, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds and the Texas Association of Campground Owners.

Horizon RV Resorts announced today that they have hired Denver-area based Scott Foos as Vice President of Operations as a key component of their expansion strategy. Formerly General Manager of one of Colorado’s premier RV Resorts, Scott brings to the Horizon team over seven years of experience in the outdoor hospitality industry and an impressive level of skills in all areas of RV Resort management. In his new role, Scott will be actively engaged in the recruiting and management of new parks coming into the Horizon RV Resorts’ portfolio of managed properties. Scott will also head the Greenwood Village, CO office of Horizon RV Resorts. Randy Hendrickson, Founder and President of Horizon RV Resorts, observes:”We are absolutely thrilled to have Scott on board. We have worked with Scott for close to 7 years now in various capacities and we have had our eye on him for this entire span of time. When the opportunity arose to be

able to approach Scott to join the Horizon team, we were elated that he was so eager to jump on board with us. He is a phenomenal talent, and he has embraced every new challenge we’ve thrown at him with an unbelievable commitment to timely, steadfast, quality results.’ Adds Beverly Johnson, Horizon RV Resorts cofounder and Executive Vice President: ‘Scott is truly amazing on all levels, and the best part is that he is very well known to us. By virtue of having worked with him for several years, we knew the type of character and commitment he possesses. We already knew that he shares our values and commitment to the guest experience and to the park owner’s bottom line, and that is a rare combination. And although we knew of Scott’s talents, we have been particularly impressed by the level of innovation and forwardthinking he has shown in pushing Horizon RV Resorts to a higher level of efficiency, which is why he is a key component in our expansion plans.’

Horizon RV Resorts provides management and consulting services to 11 properties in 6 states at present, and has a demonstrable track record of assisting park owners anywhere in the country, but the next level of expansion involves Colorado as the focus area. Horizon recently became a Supplier Member with CCLOA and is preparing a number of promotional advertising venues to reach park owners in Colorado in an effort to establish a significant presence there. With the addition of a Colorado base of operations, Horizon can provide local-level services to park owners looking to free up their time while becoming more profitable. ‘This is an exciting time for Horizon RV Resorts. By adding Scott and a regional office in Colorado, we are geographically poised to reach more clients with the personalized attention they require’ adds Hendrickson. ‘Although we are initially targeting Colorado, this is just the first of many initiatives we have planned to establish a more robust presence in several key

Randy Hendrickson markets. We have a few other tricks up our sleeves, so stay tuned!’ Horizon RV Resorts

is a third-party Campground & RV Park Management and Consulting group exclusively serving the Outdoor Hospitality industry. Founder Randy Hendrickson has been involved in the industry for 16 years, providing management, consulting, due dilligence services, feasibility studies, site design and construction management. Contact: Randy Hendrickson Horizon RV Resorts 805.253.1562

By Larry

The Bible tells us that the sins of the father are visited upon the son. Such is the case with bad policy. We are right now witnessing a good example of bad policy. Beginning with the week of April 24 it became likely that Cairo, Illinois, would flood. In order to avoid this, the Corps of Engineers planned to blow up levees downstream that would flood 130,000 acres of farmland in Missouri. So where was the bad policy? The bad policy was created decades ago. It was decided to contain the Mississippi in order to avoid the frequent Spring floods that occurred because the Mississippi is a very shallow river with a huge watershed area all the way from Canada to the Gulf. The policy was twofold: dredge the river from St. Louis to New Orleans and use levees and dikes to control the flooding of the Mississippi as well as some of the rivers flowing into it. This plan allowed and encouraged people to live,

and farmers to farm, in flood prone areas. The problem with the policy, of course, was that it could only hold back floods to a limited degree. No matter how high the dikes and damns, there could always be a flood greater than the maximum planned for. Instead of buying out the homes and properties in the flood prone areas the policy was to protect them - at a cost of billions annually, along with the misery, death and destruction of the greatest floods. This year the flooding was the greatest since 1937. Now we see the results of hand to hand combat with Mother Nature, brought on by deep widespread winter snows, record cold temperatures and monsoonlike spring rains in much of the watershed area. Take a guess as to who wins, people or Mother Nature?

The park, which will entertain RVers and local residents with food and live entertainment over Memorial Day weekend, was voted “Park of the Year” by the Texas Association of Campground Owners and earned two 5W ratings from the famed Woodall’s North American Campground Directory Strong demand for the resort’s park model cabin rentals is also prompting the resort to add 40 more park models this year

KERRVILLE, Texas, May 12, 2011 – Ratings and awards do make a difference in the minds of consumers. Just ask Don Temple, who co-owns and operates Guadalupe RV Resort in Kerrville. Last year, the resort earned two 5W ratings from the famed Woodall’s North American Campground Directory, plus a “Large Park of the Year” award from the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO). The result? An increase in business, with more than 30 percent of Temple’s guests saying high ratings were a factor in their decision to stay at his park. “People pay attention to ratings,” he said.

Consumers have also been paying attention to Temple’s rental accommodations, which include site built and park model cabins. They’ve been so much in demand that he plans to add 40 more park models this year. “These will be first class park model cabins with covered decks and gas grills,” he said. “We’re going through the engineering process right now and then will be working with the city to get everything approved,” he said, adding that the new units will be placed on a 15-acre property next to the RV resort that will have its own access gate, clubhouse, pool, Jacuzzi and laundry. But while Temple and his team are keeping busy with a park expansion, they haven’t lost their focus on customer service or maintaining high quality amenities. Earlier this month, Guadalupe River RV Resort received the 2011 “Park of the Year” Award from the Texas Association of Campground Owners, which recognized the park’s excellence in operations, customer service reviews, park promotions, directory ratings, management skills, employee training and community service. The park also received two 5W ratings from the famed

Woodall’s North American Campground Directory for having top quality RV and recreational facilities. The 5W rating is the highest rating given by the Woodall’s directory. Temple said the park’s riverfront amphitheatre and concert stage are popular with its guests and Kerrville residents alike because the park brings in live entertainment. Several rock and rock and country bands will perform there over Memorial Day weekend, 4th of July weekend and Labor Day weekend. Guadalupe River RV Resort is also involved in the local community, having adopted the K Star Emergency Shelter. “During the winter months, we have a toy drive for all the kids and we collect food and money for the shelter,” Temple said. “Last winter, we collected over $6,000 in donations just from our

winter visitors. We also brought all of the staff and kids for a Christmas dinner at the park.”

Tom and Lisa Cauthen had spent more than 20 years running various businesses, including a scuba diving store, a health club and a mobile home park in Huntsville, when Lisa started asking Tom about some of his fondest memories. “He told me how much he loved camping with his uncle when he was growing up,” said Lisa, who had similarly fond memories of camping growing up with her own family. But after visiting the Texas Hill Country, the Cauthens found the area too much to

Lisa Cauthen said they have built a strong customer base of Winter Texans, who fill the park for several months during the winter season. “In the wintertime, we have activities seven days a week,” Lisa Cauthen explained. “We do potlucks, Saturday breakfasts, bingo, game nights, off-site outings and have ladies that teach quilting. On Valentine’s Day, we have a Valentine’s dinner for everybody in the park. We also have a wedding chapel and do services there on Sundays.” Johnson Creek also attracts small rally groups,

resist. So they sold their Huntsville businesses and built Johnson Creek RV Resort & Park, a 49-site park in a pecan orchard off Highway 27, roughly 11 miles west of Kerrville, which they opened in October 2005. But even though the decision to go into the campground business was a career change for both of them, the Cauthens are clearly heading in the right direction. Earlier this month, Johnson Creek RV Resort received the “Small Park of the Year Award” from the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO). The award recognizes excellence in operations,

customer service reviews, park promotions, directory ratings, management skills, employee training and community service. Johnson Creek also received two 5W ratings from the Woodall’s North American Campground Directory for having top quality RV and recreational facilities. The 5W rating, which Johnson Creek first received in 2006, is the highest rating given by the Woodall’s directory. Tom and Lisa Cauthen live and work at the RV resort with their daughter, Delanie, who helps with tours, works in the office, waitresses during catered dinners and helps out with game nights.

and the park caters to them with catfish dinners and barbecues. “We just built a new Western town-themed rally hall and that facility helps with our rally business,” Lisa Cauthen said. The Cauthens say they enjoy high levels of repeat business by providing value to their guests with reasonable rates and fantastic amenities. “I think our prices are very reasonable and that’s why we stay full. We just have a beautiful place,” Lisa Cauthen said. “People like the more intimate setting. And it’s nice because we get to see the same people every year.”

Buellton, CA (May 12, 2011) – After a whirlwind three weeks of exploring interesting, off-the-beaten track attractions, shops and eateries, interviewing 13 local luminaries and raising $450 (enough to purchase 3150 meals) for the Santa Barbara County Food Bank at two live events, the RV Cooking Show wrapped filming on the Food, Fun and Friends at Flying Flags series. “I can’t believe how much there is to see, do and taste in the Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez Wine Country,” remarked RV Cooking Show producer and host Evanne Schmarder. “With the help and direction of long-time Flying Flags RV Resort ( manager Dan Baumann and Buellton Visitors Bureau executive director Kathy Vreeland we were able to

fill our days and nights collecting a treasure trove of neat travel information that not only RVers will be excited to experience but those interested in the area will enjoy as well. In fact, the Gourmet Guests episode with Chef Giorgio of Trattoria Grappolo was filmed in and around a wellappointed park model cottage – perfect for travelers that want to enjoy a back-to-nature resort experience without having to bring an RV or tent.” Guests were treated to two live event evenings on Friday and Saturday, April 29th and 30th. Resident tritip barbeque master Richard Boucher delivered a tri-tip cooking demonstration and took questions from the audience and Enjoy Cupcakes arrived with their restored vintage Shasta Travel Trailer, talked cupcakes and handed out 72 of their

fabulous chocolate syrah specialties on Friday. Guests enjoyed a potluck dinner with friends new and old, made s’mores fireside and took in an alfresco movie on Saturday. Portions of these events will air in upcoming episodes. During the live events sensational prizes donated by generous local merchants were raffled to several lucky winners. Flying Flags staff member and raffle-ticket-seller extraordinaire Terry Boucher, with assistance from the front desk staff, collected $450 – enough to allow the Santa Barbara County Food Bank to serve 3150 meals to those that might otherwise go hungry. Without the kindheartedness of the merchants and Flying Flags guests this would not have been possible. “No one should go hungry in this great country of ours. The outpouring of support for the food bank benefit touched my very soul. Thanks to the fine folks at the resort and in the valley 3150 hot, nutritious meals will feed the hungry,” added

Evanne Schmarder Schmarder, “and that makes a real difference in so many lives.” “This has been a terrific experience – both the live portion of the RV Cooking Show/Flying Flags series and the fun we had filming. All who participated are looking forward to watching the shows as they are released this summer. And I know RVers who have not had the pleasure of visiting our resort here in California’s Central Coast will appreciate the upcoming series showcasing our special slice of paradise,” said Baumann. A complimentary ecookbook containing recipes from the series is in the works. Subscribers to the Flying Flags enewsletter and the RV Cooking Show e-updates will be notified as each episode of the Food, Fun and Friends at Flying Flags series is released as well as have access to the ecookbook. For more information about the upcoming Food, Fun & Friends at Flying Flags series contact Evanne Schmarder, RV Cooking Show, at

or 702-460-9863.

TWO RIVERS WI— Tammie and Paul Scheffel are making a $300,000 investment in their Scheffel's Hideaway Campground set to open Memorial Day weekend. With a prime location near Point Beach State Forest with its 127 sites often full all summer, the Scheffels believe they're taking a calculated gamble. "At least, our banker believes it is," Paul, vice president of operations at Riverside Foods, said with a smile. Their website states, "Your toughest decision will be what weekend to come and stay. Two Rivers may be a quiet, small town, but there are events going on all the time." One of them, the state Harley Owners Group gettogether in late June — the "H.O.G. Rally" — already has filled about half their 50 large campsites. All have water and electricity hook-ups and 15 have sewer connections on crushed limestone pads that can accommodate large RVs or pop-up campers. Fifteen sites have been reserved for Labor Day weekend but the Scheffels so far have an open campground for July 4 weekend. The Rawley Point Bicycle Trail is adjacent to their 10acre site, 6511 County O,

with Point Beach State Forest land to the north and east. And what is directly south of their property that the couple also believes will be helpful in recouping their investment. Port Sandy Bay, literally right next door, offers burgers, fish lunches, smelt, broasted chicken and "Snow Coaster" pizzas. Tammie said she anticipates getting up at 5 a.m. daily making sure the bathhouse with its five showers and laundry room are clean and sprucing up the grounds. She has been a certified nursing assistant but quit her job to concentrate on getting their campground into operation, "a work in progress since June 2009." The Scheffels' land purchase included the 4bedroom, 3-bath home they live in. They anticipate the majority of their patrons will come from outside Manitowoc County, but also believe campers will roll in from the Lakeshore area who might not want to spend big bucks on gasoline to get their large RVs to a distant location. The Scheffels have joined the Manitowoc Area & Visitor Convention Bureau, Two Rivers Business Association and The Chamber of Manitowoc County to take advantage of marketing opportunities.

The couple is aided by their adult sons, Paul and Stephen, who have trimmed trees and run heavy equipment during prep work.

For Paul, he is putting into action a life philosophy he has tattooed on the inside of his right forearm in capital letters:

Paul said he's not sure when he'll be retiring but the campground will help fulfill "my need to stay busy." This first season the Scheffels plan to be open till early December, and, in future years, open in April if business warrants.


Issue 143 Campground & RV Park E News  

Weekly news for the campground industry

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