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BILLINGS, MONTANA (November 1, 2011) - More than 500 Kampgrounds of America franchisees from throughout North America are expected to arrive in Las Vegas, Nevada next week for the start of the 50th Anniversary KOA Convention and Trade Expo at the South Point Hotel and Casino.

"These annual gettogethers always feel more like a family reunion than a convention," said KOA CEO Jim Rogers. "The real benefit of belonging to a system like KOA is the knowledge of all of those fellow owners around the country. It's always magical to see those connections get made, and all of those

longtime friendships get renewed." Continued


The year 2012 will also mark the 50th anniversary of Kampgrounds of America Inc., which was founded in 1962 on the banks of the Yellowstone River in Billings, Montana by local entrepreneur Dave Drum. Guest speakers for the fourday event, which kicks off Sunday, November 6, include author and executive coach Dr. Kevin Freiberg, who will speak on "Service from the Inside Out." Also presenting will be Dave Michell, the founder of The Leadership Difference, who will speak on "The Power of Understanding People: Celebrity Style!" The

convention will also feature workshops by popular customer service expert Ruby Newell-Legner, and Lucas Hartford, president of Evergreen Insurance MG, as well as workshops by KOA Home Office staff. A special feature of this year's KOA Convention will be a community service project as part of KOA's "Kamp Green" program. The Kamp Green program encourages sustainable camping practices among campers and campground owners. This year's community project is a desert cleanup day held in conjunction with the "Don't Trash Nevada" organization and "Get Outdoors Nevada." KOA

owners and staff will spend the day cleaning trash from the desert near Las Vegas. Wednesday, November 9, the final day of the event, will feature the popular KOA Trade Expo, featuring more than 100 campground supply

vendors from throughout North America. To follow events from the KOA Convention in Las Vegas, just visit KOA on Facebook at mpgrounds.

With this issue I have produced 144 issues of Campground & RV Park E News with the earlier editions published by the former owner Gary Wakerley and editor Dave O'Connor. Each week I am amazed at the news the industry creates- good and bad. The support of the industry help make the E News what it is. We enjoy excellent readership and the results of the survey we carried out were very encouraging.

This year we have six more issues remaining, one will be constructed from the KOA convention with the remainder from Australia where I will be attending my daughters wedding. Dennis Macready, Publisher

November 6-9, 2011 (Expo on Nov. 9) South Point Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV Contact: (406) 248-7444

November 10-11, 2011 On the Internet Contact: (877) 901-3976

November 14-17, 2011 Embassy Suites, Covington, KY Contact: (513) 831-2100

November 28 – December 2, 2011 Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort Spa & Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, Savannah, GA

DENVER, Oct. 26, 2011 – Jennifer J. Schwartz, a seasoned marketing expert with over 20 years of experience working for Fortune 500 companies, has been hired as the senior director of marketing for the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC). “We’re very fortunate to have Jennifer on our team,” said Paul Bambei, ARVC’s president and CEO. “She has the experience needed to help us continue to develop strategic partnerships that bring

value to ARVC members across North America.” Schwartz, a Colorado native with a passion for camping, fishing, hunting, hiking and skiing, said she is excited about the opportunity to work with the campground industry. “This is the first time in my life I’m doing something that reflects my personal passion for camping,” she said, adding that she typically camps 20 to 30 days a year with her family.

Schwartz has held high level marketing positions throughout her career, including vice president of marketing communications for Adelphia Communications; vice president of acquisition and upgrade marketing for AT&T Broadband; vice president of marketing promotions and sales for AT&T Broadband; and director of customer communications for Media One. She also spent three years managing new programs for the American Water Works Association, a national

trade association for municipal water utilities. She worked as a strategic marketing consultant before joining ARVC last week. Schwartz holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She replaces Kera Tomlin, who left ARVC earlier this month to pursue other interests..

There will be Exhibitors, Educational Webinars, Sponsor and Exhibitor Webinars, show specials, a Social Hall and more! A Trade Show at your convenience. What more could you ask for?

Sponsored by David Gorin & Associates

With the Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo only a week away, the Producers and the show’s software provider, VCopious, is putting the finishing touches on the event. Almost all the booths are now set-up and the Exhibitor’s roster and webinar schedule is complete and the training sessions underway for Sponsors and Exhibitors alike. The producers are now adding details to the appearance of the Expo slated to begin on Thursday, November 10th at 12 noon, eastern time. The Expo has already preregistered over 100 attendees, not including Expo personnel. Registration only started late last week so they expect record crowds this year. “So much has changed from last year’s event,” says Producer Art Lieberman “and most importantly VCopious has handled ALL of the software setup including actually utilizing data provided by exhibitors to arrange the appearance of all the booths. This freed Campground Expositions

to advertise to potential attendees as never before”. Last week, two final businesses, cabin and park model manufacturer, North Park Cabins and Park Models and Colortime Crafts and Markers joined the Expo’s list of exhibitors at the deadline. North Park,

located in Minocqua, Wisconsin, started in 2003 and custom-builds park models. Their park models feature true home style construction with full 2x4 walls, premium window selections, and standard insulation packages allowing full season usage. Colortime Craft and Markers, markets a unique product: fabric markers which can be used to color in T-shirts, pillowcases, tote bags, back packs, bandanas or headwraps. These items can either be screen printed with a stock design from Colortime or your own custom design. Colortime is a frequent exhibitor at physical trade shows and has joined the virtual event for the first time. “Truthfully, this year’s Expo is far superior to last year’s event and it’s principally because of VCopious. At this time last year, the software wasn’t even ready.

Participants were phoning us every day seeking help in setting up their booths and placing files into them”, said Deanne Bower, the Expo’s CoProducer. “This year we’re miles ahead of the game, concentrating on the little details that will enhance the user’s experience in the software. We’re getting calls from VCopious asking us what colors we want for the signs above the “entrance doors” to the various virtual rooms such as the Exhibit Hall, the Conference Room, etc.” “Because we’re now into details, which don’t take any time, it has enabled us to schedule a “Press Party and Expo Preview” for all Exhibitors, the press and other invited guests which will be held on November 8th, 2 days before the Expo officially opens. This year, the booths are being created using some exhibitor’s ideas with assistance from VCopious. For instance, exhibitor Yurts of America’s booth is an actual yurt, courtesy of some software manipulation by VCopious. Pelland Advertising’s booth looks exactly like their booth at the many trade shows they have attended. Video files sparkle with interesting items on the screens in some of the booths.”

Art Lieberman Syncing: Cross Platform Content Marketing, Marketing to Rally Groups; Credit Cards: A Primer on Savings and Security; PCI Compliance and Software and Social Media. And, once again Evanne Schmarder will present her RV Cooking Show, live from her own RV. Additionally, the Sponsors Webinars Room will allow Sponsors to do demonstration of their products and services to groups. All of these will be recorded and viewable for the entire 62 days the Expo is on the Web. Registration is free at http://register.outdoorhospit David Gorin & Associates Presents the Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo II is being produced by Art Lieberman and Deanne Bower of Campground Expositions. They can be reached at 877-901-EXPO (3976) or by e-mail at

The website of the Expo is The webinars being lined up include: Social

BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a motorhome fire that left two people severely burned. The fire broke out around 5 a.m. Monday morning, gutting the motorhome parked on Bethel Island in the Delta.

DOVER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY— Cedar Lakes Campground in Dover Township, York County is operating at full capacity, with campers who didn't think they'd get hit with snow in October.

Both people inside escaped, but not before being badly burned. One woman was burned over 80 to 100 percent of her body; a second person has

"You know people kept saying the snow is coming and we're like nahhhhhh." said camper, David Bailey. Many lost power and had no water, but still decided to stay despite refunds that the business was offering to them. "I would come out no matter what, I don't care, as long as I'm camping...haha," said camper, Stacey Bassett. Most spent the day snowball fighting and enjoying

burns over 20 percent of his or her body. "Both victims were treated at the scene and flown to UC Davis Medical Center with their injuries by helicopter," said East Contra Costa County Fire Dept. Chief Hugh Henderson. It took crews about 20 minutes to put out the fire which spread to a wood pile nearby, but caused no other major damage.

the rare Autumn snow scenery instead. "Kids love it, they're just playing around, we got dogs inside they want to be out here running around too, so it's good times," said David Bailey, as he watches his kids make a snowman Article:

A 17-year-old was killed Friday night after an accident on a golf cart in a Rigaud campground. An SQ spokesperson said the campground on Route 201 is open yearround and the family lives there.

The teen was riding around on the cart and was expected back for supper. His family found him unconscious underneath the overturned cart at the base of a hill.

Camping is a popular leisure activity among Japanese people, and many campgrounds are located all over the country. Campgrounds are generally called camp-jo in Japanese, and campgrounds where vehicles are allowed to park in tent sites are called "auto camp-jo". It's common for people to do tent camping beside their cars. A variety of camping gear is available for rent in many campgrounds. Campsite fees vary from site to site, and the average cost is about 5,000 yen per

The family campground at Pine Grove Furnace State Park is closing earlier than expected for the season due to extensive damage from the weekend snowstorm.

night. Most of the auto camp-jo in Japan offer facilities seen in the campgrounds in North America, such as shower rooms, restrooms, sewer, electricity, water, and so on. Some even have hot springs, tennis courts, dog runs, kids play grounds, and so on.

The heavy snow broke tree limbs and brought trees to the ground, causing damage and blocking roadways and trails, Park Manager Jason Zimmerman said. The campground that was originally scheduled to remain open through Dec. 10 had to close Monday

and will remain closed until the opening of the 2012 season on March 30, Zimmerman said. The Organized Group Tenting Area at Pine Grove Furnace is still open along with the campground at the nearby Colonel Denning State Park until Dec. 11. Due to the widespread damage, many trails and roads are currently impassable and the park is without both electric and phone, Zimmerman said.

What if I told you that you could have 5, 10 or 100 marketing reps talking up your park and the cost would be $0.00? Would you believe me or would you say this has got to be a scam? Well the truth is that you can do it and that it just takes a little thinking through to make it work for your park. Who are these free marketers? Brand Ambassadors are the people that we are going to work on developing to help promote the park. A brand ambassador is any customer that you have officially commissioned to speak on behalf of your park without compensation. This idea has been put to use by various companies such as Wal-Mart’s “mommy bloggers”, Ford’s “Fiesta agents”. We are going to copy the big boys and make this work for the RV Resort industry. Let’s take a look at what it takes to be a Brand Ambassador. #1: Creator of information Unless your Brand Ambassador is active on the internet, social media or some other form of communication, their effectiveness is going to be limited. We all encourage

current guests to tell all of their friends about the great time they had when they stayed at the campground, but chances are very high that they are going to tell a couple of people and then forget about it until their next visit. You need to take a look at your guests and identify those who have blogs, are active on social media sites and that are willing to write about their stay with you. One key area to look for is those guests who frequently comment on the RV park review sites, RVing forums or similar sites. #2: Influence opinions and purchases of their friends While there are a lot of people out there writing blogs and on social media, the real key is to find those Brand Ambassadors that truly have influence within their community. A true Brand Ambassador will blend the strengths of a person who connects people to each other and the person who love to share information with others. Look for those guests who have an active conversation going on in social media or on their blog. #3: Love to talk A valuable Brand Ambassador is one who loves to talk to people and

share information. Find those people who are already talking about your park, find out what motivates them and then give them the first peek at any information about your plans for next season. You want to make your Brand Ambassadors your “in the know” network. #4: Use Social Media to help people A true Brand Ambassador is going to enjoy helping others, meeting new people and sharing information. In fact, they are 2.5 times more likely to use social media to expand their network, which gives you the added value of their followers. Be aware that Brand Ambassadors aren’t purely altruistic. They want to get something out of their efforts so be willing to give them what they are looking for. Typically, receiving free products or other incentives will rank at the top of their list. At the same time, satisfaction from helping others with information is equally important. The critical point here is not to “buy” your Brand Ambassador’s goodwill. Don’t make them feel like you expect them to write good things about you just because you have given them a free night’s stay. #5: Known for their valuable insights While Brand Ambassador’s like helping people and getting free stuff, they are also motivated by

recognition. So find creative ways to recognize your most valuable Ambassadors. Consider creating a frequent visitor’s club with a sub group for your Brand Ambassadors. Make sure you mention them by name in your newsletter, email blast and printed ads. Ask them for quotes for your website and make sure that their name appears prominently. Create a guest of the week and post that Brand Ambassador on all of your social media sites. Again, use quotes to add to the interest. Ask the Brand Ambassador for a quote on things like “What I like best about RVing” or “My favorite RV tip.” #6: Use Social Media for sharing their opinions Your Brand Ambassadors should use social media as their first choice for sharing information. Use these Brand Ambassadors for feedback on your social media efforts. This can become an effective means for determining whether your social media efforts are successful or just mediocre. #7: Broad reach Your Brand Ambassador should share their information with not only their friends and relatives but also with people that they haven’t met yet. This means that you need to check out their number of followers on Facebook and on Twitter before deciding

that they are a good candidate for your Brand Ambassador.

can help your Brand Ambassadors promote the event.

#8: Like talking about their choices The top three products that are discussed on the web are: food or dining, personal care products and household products. Travel is one of the top ten categories. Can you relate any of these subjects to your park? If not, you may need to work harder at giving the Brand Ambassadors a reason to talk about you.

#9: Loyalty Your relationship with your Brand Ambassadors is going to be very important to them. They are going to want to know that you value your friendship with them. Show them that you appreciate their efforts and see what can happen.

This is where a park BBQ can fit in. Identify one special event every month or so and work on how you

Now that you have some idea of what skills a good Brand Ambassador should posses, I’m going to recommend that you do two things: 1.) Decide what you want your Brand Ambassador

program to look like. What are you going to be willing to provide the Brand Ambassador? How are you going to identify who you want as your Brand Advocate? 2.) Invite those guests you want as your Brand Ambassador to help you build a program that will be meaningful for you and your future advocates. What do you think? Would a Brand Ambassador work for you? FocusedWords is a company dedicated to helping you promote and market your campground to RVer’s everywhere, using

printed materials, press releases and social media. We are now providing Graphic Design and Virtual Assistants to help you be the best you can be. Be sure to follow Pamela on Twitter: @rvstops and @FocusedWords. Check out her blog at For more information, email her at

:“Since running an article in last week’s E News response from Campgrounds enquiring on the ad feature page has been great”. said Kelley Barnes. "We have structured a page where Campgrounds or RV Resorts can get their message across at a very economical fee considering the targeted reach GetawayUSA magazine promotes to".

and Ohio and promoted the following privately run Campgrounds:

The issue just released included features on New York, New Jersey, Indiana

"We have increased our readership by purchasing 20000 existing RV owner

In New Jersey: Camp Taylor Campground. In Ohio: Happy Hills Campground In New York: New York City North /Newburgh KOA In Indiana: Lake Rudolph Campground

emails from GoRVing which complements the 5000 "Hot Lead" email addresses we already have" said Kelley. "The next eight states to be featured will be California, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Arizona, Alabama and Louisiana as we want to target readers who plan vacation to the warmer states over the next two months" she said. Any Campgrounds in those states wishing to be

Kelley Barnes featured as the full page advertorial should contact Kelley on 770 616 8175 or email These spots are on a first come basis.

The still lagging economy is dishing out more tricks than treats for Grand Strand businesses this fall. Consumers are still spooked by the negative economic reports – high unemployment, sagging consumer confidence, the sometimes shaky stock market – and their hesitancy to take a getaway or cut back on their trips if they do go is showing up in the fall tourism and golf business, which experts say overall is about the same as last fall. Businesses and tourism promoters are working harder to entice the budgetconscious traveler during the fall shoulder season – one of the most popular strategies is dropping prices, offering special deals and touting that affordability. Others are testing new ways to lure visitors, including delving into social media, targeting new groups or organizing more special events. “We have really added a lot to our fall recreation arena,” said Vickie Carmody, marketing assistant at PirateLand Family Camping Resort. “We’ve really tried to add some things to entice people to come.” Consumers have much to overcome: stubbornly high unemployment rates that hang near or in the doubledigits in many parts of the country; a sometimes wobbly stock market; and a

consumer confidence level that is the lowest since March 2009. About 50 percent of consumers plan to take a vacation in the next six months, according to the latest consumer confidence survey by the Conference Board. A dose of positive economic news came last week when the Commerce Department reported that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the JulySeptember quarter, which is enough to ease growing fears of another recession but still well shy of what’s needed to lower the painfully high jobless rate. Along the Grand Strand, summer obviously is the big season for tourism and always will be, but businesses say fall also has potential to grow – if the economy would cooperate. The weather is still nice and not nearly as hot as during the summer, rates are more affordable now than during the peak season and the less congested roads and a lack of lines at restaurants and attractions appeals to travelers who don’t like the summer crowds. “I purposely come in the fall or the winter,” said Frank Fanning of Williston, who rode his motorcycle to the beach last week for a two-night getaway of eating seafood and relaxing. “Right now this temperature is just perfect for me.” - Ocean Lakes Family Campground entrance is decked out with cobwebs and spiders for Halloween. Photo by Steve Jessmore Businesses are doing more games and costume to get the word out to contest, as well as travelers like Fanning who gatherings for Thanksgiving. might appreciate the less crowded atmosphere, And PirateLand – like other touting a growing number lodging providers, of fall events, the nice attractions and golf courses weather and affordable – have dropped prices; with rates. rates about $30 a night for Halloween and $23 a night PirateLand, which last for Thanksgiving. week decorated for Halloween, has added Medieval Times Dinner and holiday events to its lineup, Tournament also has including a Halloween stepped up the discounts, festival with a cookout, Continued - Housekeeping manager Jo Ann Mayhew's walks into the decorated Pavilion at Pirateland Campground she and her housekeeping crew decorated with Halloween decorations. Mayhew said they try and make the display bigger and better each year.

Continued dropping admission prices by $10 to $15 last month and now offering buy one ticket, get one free. Still, travelers are skimping on the amount of money they spend while here because of the economy and aren’t hitting two to four theater shows or attractions like they used to, said Paco Perez, Medieval Times’ general manager. “Now they are going to one,” he said. “People are more careful with their money. They are being more choosey about where they go, what they do. It’s still very hard [even with the discounts].” The theater’s fall business is down from last year, which Perez blames on the economy and the venue’s location in Fantasy Harbour, which isn’t a highly visible location and lacks a main draw since the theme park closed down. “We are still doing well, but definitely it is slower than last year,” Perez said. “This year has been slower than normal.” Golf business this fall also has suffered because of the economy, with the number of rounds on track to be about the same as last fall, said Bill Golden, president of Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, which promotes Grand Strand golf. Economic jolts this summer stopped the momentum from the spring golf season – spring rounds were up about 9 percent –

that Golden had expected to carry over to the fall, he said. Like consumers overall, golfers aren’t confident in the economy, Golden said. The National Golf Foundation’s Golf Consumer Confidence Index fell to 83 in the second quarter, from 90 during the first quarter, and now hovers at 84. At the beginning of 2008, the index was at 100. More than half of golfers – 56 percent – have adopted more frugal spending habits, according to the National Golf Foundation.

this fall, which officials aim to make a year-round effort if these first tactics are successful, chamber marketing director Marilyn Rinehart said. The chamber is interacting with potential travelers on its Facebook page and is buying more Internet ads, she said.

Golfers that jittery about the economy aren’t likely to take a trip they could live without, Golden said.

The success, though, will be influenced by whether consumers are willing to travel, she said.

“That’s about as discretionary an expense as there is,” he said.

“This is the first time we’ve delved into it,” Rinehart said. “It all depends on the economy.”

Courses have poured on the deals for the fall, including buy three rounds, get the fourth free, Golden said. Some also have thrown in extra perks such as a small freebie or discount in the pro shop or in the clubhouse restaurant, he said. “We see a lot of that – just trying to add value to the package,” Golden said. “It’s a challenging environment at this point.” The challenges have prompted some businesses to try new ways to lure customers. The North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce has stepped up its social media strategy

Others try to target specific groups instead of promoting a general vacation to the beach. For the fall, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce targets girlfriend getaways, baby boomers and travelers wanting an outdoor adventure, spokeswoman Nora Hembree said. The Hampton Inn-Broadway at the Beach shifted its strategy to target group business this fall – everything from corporate outings to sports teams – and it’s paid off, General Manager Michael Petrosino said. The hotel’s occupancy is up 20 percent over last fall, he said.

“It is a great fall,” he said. “You have to reach out to other markets.” Petrosino anticipates the momentum will continue; Thanksgiving typically sells out with folks coming here to shop, he said. Halloween at Ocean Lakes Family Campground has been growing, with occupancy this weekend expected to hit 93 percent – up 10 percent from last year, marketing manager Barb Krumm said. Halloween occupancy last year also grew by 10 percent, she said. But it’s not just the holiday that lures campers. The campground focuses on promoting events during the fall to lure more business, and the S.C. Fossil Fair was on tap this weekend, Krumm said. Fall rates range from $39 to $45 a night, about $23 cheaper than during the summer, she said. Still, overall fall business is about the same as last year, Krumm said. “It’s kind of flat so far,” she said. “Overall it’s been a good year, but people are still hurting out there.” Article:

October 28, 2011 – Campground Owners of New York (CONY) announces it has negotiated a Suburban Propane Pricing Program for its campgrounds, administered directly through the CONY association. This program provides discounting for bulk delivery of propane and on equipment for CONY campgrounds in areas serviced by Suburban Propane. The program is the same as any group discounting program that Suburban Program offers throughout the United States. The Suburban Propane Pricing Program is intended to help CONY campgrounds increase their revenues earned in resale to their customers. Don Bennett, Jr., President and CEO of CONY reports, “We are pleased and excited to offer our members this great discount program which, depending on their volume of usage, could save members the equivalent of their CONY membership dues several times over.” Bennett adds, “With the development of programs like this one with Suburban Propane, CONY continues to fulfill its vision as a model campground association working for

continued growth and collaboration within the outdoor hospitality industry.” CONY Chairman of the Board Scott Sherwood, owner of Spruce Row Campground in Ithaca, NY, is pleased with the new program, saying, "In CONY's ongoing efforts to serve its members, we now have our own agreement with Suburban Propane. CONY members will see no interruption in the great rate they have realized through CONY’s affiliation with the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), only now it is a CONY program. Sherwood says it was a focused group effort to make this program happen. “Thanks to the hard work of the CONY office under the direction of President and CEO Donald Bennett, Jr., the CONY Board of Directors, our attorney/lobbyist Peter O'Connell, and Tom Killmer from Suburban Propane we have an agreement that is CONY's own. This member benefit is one of many money saving offerings

CONY brings to its members.” The Suburban Propane Discount Program is one of several new programs either recently started or currently in development by CONY. In particular,

CONY, in partnership with Corporate Communications in Rochester, NY, launched an online reservation system earlier this year. Adventure Systems, LLC is targeted at helping campground owners receive and manage online reservations. In addition to serving CONY members, the association is seeking to market its online reservation system to other associations. More information about Adventure Systems, LLC is available at

TABERG, N.Y. (WKTV) Fish Creek Cabin Resort, LLC has received a grant in the amount of $34,200 from Mohawk Valley EDGE to assist in a $1.4 million construction project in Taberg. The developers have also received an additional $20,000 from the Syracuse office of the United States Department of Agriculture. The money will go toward constructing 28 cabins, 18 of which will include indoorplumbing. The project is expected to bring an economic boost to the area. Four part-time jobs as well as two full-time jobs will be created. Local contractors have been hired to build the cabins."In the long term, this project, as we have seen in other projects across the country, will spur other development in the

community, like coffee shops and art stores, things that you would find typically in Old Forge or Saratoga," says Tim Schoen, Fish Creek Cabin Resort Developer. Schoen hopes his campground attracts outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country. He says the main draw is Fish Creek, which runs through the campground and is very popular among white water rafters and kayakers. "We are catering to the people who use this creek for outdoor sports," says Schoen. "People come here from all over the country." The project also has an environmentally-friendly focus. 80% of the campground will be powered by solar energy. The project is expected to be completed within the next year. Article:

about tiered pricing, reservation systems, checkin procedures, revenue generated by the new camp store, and other aspects of park operations during a question and answer session.

GRAPEVINE, Texas -Texas park operators recently got to see first hand how Joe Moore achieved a 30 percent increase in revenue at The Vineyards Campground & Cabins on Lake Grapevine. He did it with the help of seven new park model cabins from Athens Park Homes. “They give us good occupancies with about a 24- to 30-month payback,” said Moore, who gave park operators a tour of The Vineyards Campground & Cabins Oct. 23rd during the Texas Association of Campground Owners’ fall conference. While the Vineyards also added new RV sites, Moore said park models appeal to a broader market. “Twenty percent of the U.S. market has an RV,

trailer or tent. But 100 percent of the market can use a cabin,” he said, adding that his cheapest cabin brings in twice as much revenue as his most expensive RV site. Moore markets his cabins at prices ranging from $85 to $160 per night. He added that air-conditioned park models, outfitted with decks and barbecues and clean linens, do well in the greater Dallas market with its 6.5 million people. “All of our cabins are within 100 feet of the lake,” he said, adding that his cabins were busy during the summertime, even on the hottest days when many people find it too hot to camp. Moore talked about the merits of upgraded RV sites and park model cabins and answered their questions

whose platinum sponsor was Rowley Insurance. Representatives from Athens Park Homes, TACO’s newly endorsed park model provider, were also in attendance. Schaeffer also briefed park operators on new initiatives for 2012. “One of the initiatives for next year will be a membership drive,” Schaeffer said. “We’re also going to start a new blogging program on to drive more traffic to our members sites while keeping visitors informed.”

“We had a good turnout,” said Brian Schaeffer, TACO’s CEO and executive director, said of the fall meeting and park tour,

The meeting concluded with a barbecue at the Texas Star Dinner Theater in Grapevine.

Snowbirds started arriving in October at Forest Lake RV Resort in Zephryhills, Fla., a 274-site park about 45 miles west of Orlando.

”Last February, we were 92% full,” she said. ”We already are at 92%. We’ve only got 15 more sites to fill up.”

”We are sprucing things up for a busy season,” said manager Diane Bludworth, who reported that reservations for the winter season are well ahead of last year.

The heavily treed park features a country setting with large two-way paved interior roads, a manmade fishing lake and is about an hour from Disney World.

Philip Koch

Santa Claus, Indiana is typically associated with Christmas but a local campground is working to draw people to the town for a different holiday. Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort is nearly doubling its size for Halloween. Every year the Day family looks forward to its biggest holiday of the year. With the kids on fall break from school, Halloween camping at Lake Rudolph has become a tradition for Trudy Day and her Newburgh family. “We literally come every year at the same week and we count down in our house to this week of camping,” she says. The campground hosts many events such as costume contests, trick or treating and site decorating judging. “It became a big family project, we all make things together, build new props, every year what can we do different, what can we add on,” Day says. But this is just one camp site – add this one to 471 others and it is a sight to see. The haunted campground makes owner Philip Koch a happy guy. “Halloween is definitely one of my favorite holidays now,” he says.

That’s understatement from the man who started it all. He says the campground always had a good summer season, but he was looking for a way to bring back families when most kids went to school. He did some research and discovered that Halloween was the second biggest consumer holiday next to Christmas. When you figure in what people spend on decorations, costumes and candy it is nearly $7 billion each year. Koch wanted to capitalize on that. “I would say we used to have occupancy on the fall weekend and spring weekends of roughly 10 percent, and we’re now achieving occupancy of 90 to 95 percent average across all of our weekends,” he says. Close to 5,000 people will fill the campground the 7 weekends before Halloween surpassing even some of the popular summer holidays. “Our last three weekends of Halloween are going to be the first ones that are going to book out rather than Memorial Day weekend, rather than Labor Day weekend, rather than 4th of July Weekend,” Koch says. They can count on having 14 nights of the year completely booked keeping families like the Days coming back for more.

“We started with a couple of pumpkins, now we are making 2 trips from Newburgh and getting trailers,” Day says.

take that same success we’ve experienced with Halloween and strangely enough apply that to Christmas.”

With Halloween weekends at their maximum, Koch is starting to look at other holidays. “We’re kind of looking to

Camping with Santa? After all, they are in the town of Santa Claus. Article:

Emails provided to Campground & RV Park E News show support coming to Rob Schutter Jr on his eligibility to become the next chairman of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).

Rob Schutter

In a letter from Gary Cole, an ARVC board member to other members of the

board he questioned the issue of eligibility based on ARVC Bylaws. In a response, former ARVC chairman Mark Anderson had this to say: Gary, While it is the democratic way and everyone is entitled to their opinion, I must disagree with you, and while difficult I need to put my personal feelings aside. Durring my 17 plus years on the board I have found NO ONE more dedicated to the association and the advancement of our goals. He has never (well maybe once) missed a board meeting or conference call, regardless of where he was, he has always made the time. He has been generous almost to a fault, not only with support from LSI but personally as well. He has been intimately involved with strategic planning and has a real grasp of where this Industry is, and more importantly where we should be going. I can think of no one who would make a better chair at this critical time for our association. Enough said and remember I am retiring Mark Further letters of support followed by Deb Carter and the current chairman David L. Berg.

Hi Friends, Mark – I may be retiring and not know it until after I send this – but personally, I agree with you. I am new to the Board, not close to being an expert on our bylaws or a parliamentarian. However, having worked with ARVC for many years means I’ve also worked with Rob Schutter for just as many years. I can think of no one better qualified to lead the ARVC Board forward, following in the dedicated, more than capable foot steps of David Berg, than Rob. I may be overlooking the obvious, but it seems contradictory to accept all that Mr. Schutter has done for the board as VP, only then to decide he shouldn’t be Chair. We are fortunate to have a Board that is so involved and cares so much. Must mean we’re all doing something right. See you in Savannah, Deb Carter Greetings Board of Directors: I too, feel as others, Rob Schutter has served this board and our membership with the utmost professionalism and dedication. That is not to say others have not as well, but to suggest that Continued

Continued Rob is not qualified to serve as Chairman if the board so determines by his election is simply ridiculous. I too was on the board many years ago when the bylaw language was changed, and I was one of the loudest supporters to make certain the bylaws included language that anyone running for EXCOM must have experience as a park owner or operator. Rob meets these qualifications just as he has had while holding other EXCOM positions as he does today. (same exact bylaw language requirement applies to all EXCOM positions). His knowledge and experience in our industry is invaluable to us an an organization and I, for one, feel he is an excellent choice to lead ARVC into the future with pride, dedication, and commitment and deserves the support of our board working with him. I will be available in Savannah to discuss this matter further with anyone who requests same. David L. Berg To The Board of Directors, • Does Rob Schutter have the necessary credentials to be an ARVC Chairman? Absolutely yes • Should he be elected the Chairman of ARVC? No I think what Garry is trying to say along with a few of the rest of us

Park/Campground owners, is that because of Robs involvement with a major corporation like LSI/Jellystone, a whole new set of rules could become a precedence in the election of an ARVC Chairman. Actually, Rob should not even be on the Ex. Com. By Robs election it opens the door to allow other leaders/CEOs of corporations to become Chairman of ARVC for example KOA, Woodalls, Trailer LIfe, Encore and others. The ARVC Ex. Com should only be comprised of RV Park/Campground owners: Never CEO's of Corporations, mangers of parks/campgrounds, suppliers, and etc. Again let me make myself clear: The Ex Com should be owners; not the rest of the Board. I feel that it's vitally important to this National Association to have these Chairman and Presidents of these Corporations on the Board. There is a special place for them on the ARVC Board i.e. the at large member which Rob has been appointed too, or the Supplier/Partner Counsel, but non of these people no matter how qualified they are should be elected to the Ex Com of ARVC. I strongly feel that to be elected to the Ex Com and especially the Chairman of ARVC, he or she should have the following qualifications in order to give credibility to the Ex Com:

( I urge the Governance Committee to consider these suggestions) 1. He/she should have been elected to the Board (not appointed) by his or her regional membership. 2. He or she should be current owners of an RV Park or Campground with a minimum of 5 years experience as a owner ( 2 years twenty years ago is NOT enough). 3. They should have the CPO designation behind their name when elected with continuing work toward their Lifetime CPO (this should be a requirement of the full Board of Directors including Suppliers, Bus Forum, Foundation, and COD). By attending classes at ARVC and receiving their CPO's, it allows for a fuller understanding of the industry from the owners/parks/campgrounds point of view. After all our new program this year has been designed to do just that by presenting more professional learning skills so that our industry will be more informed and successful by both the parks/campgrounds and their supporters. The reason I support this is because I feel that ARVC is pulling away from the members it represents. This decision on my part has nothing to do with Rob or any other CEO of a Corporation, it has to do with being an Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds and their

owners. If we continue down this path, we stand to lose more of our member parks as well as The State Associations that are committed to their individual members. I am also retiring this year and I have seen many changes take place in ARVC, some good changes and some not so good. As a past State President for 6 years, I know how important the role of Chairman is and how the Chairman can sway a Board one way or the other. Electing a Chairman is a very important responsibility of a Board member because with that election, he/she will help dictate the direction that the Association will go during his/her tenure. I would say that by having a CEO of a major National Corporation like Jellystone which depends on its survival to sell memberships to Park owners, could be a possible conflict of interest. Not that they would intend for a conflict to happen but it will. At this point, you need to ask your Regional Members how they feel. After all, we all should be voting the way of our Regions; not voting our personal convictions or feelings. Respectfully yours and an ARVC member for 30 years, Jo Ann Mickelson, CPO Region #6, ARVC BOD J&H RV Park, owner Flagstaff, Arizona

GULF SHORES, Ala. -Each year tens of thousands of RVers fire up their rigs and head south chasing the warmth of the sun, good times and old friends. For the past few years many have found these same experiences 600 miles closer along the Alabama Gulf Coast. Recognizing this trend, the team at Bella Terra Realty Holdings, LLC., managing arm of the award winning Lake Osprey RV Country Club and Bella Terra of Gulf Shores, have launched a national campaign, “The Other Florida!” The campaign will feature both resorts along with the diverse and exciting array of attractions along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Initial plans are to launch the campaign online via national websites and eblasts before a nationwide tour at major RV shows starting in January 2012. The initial elements will promote the annual U.S. Navy Blue Angel homecoming with a $99 “Stay and Play” weekend Nov. 10 to 13. “We spend countless hours with our owners and guests

and hear time and time again they chose Bella Terra and Lake Osprey because of the experience our host teams provide and the friends they make here – but there is more to it,” said Tripp Keber, chief operating officer of Bella Terra Realty Holding, LLC. “What they tell us is this portion of the Gulf Coast is less congested, less expensive and with just as much to do. And nobody denies the beauty of our sugar-white sands and emerald green waters.” “People are eager to move away from the congestion and crowded roads such as I95 and I75 and connect in a place like the Gulf Shores region,” said Chuck Smith, president of Bella Terra Realty Holdings. “Our guests love that there is so much to do here, yet there are large portions of the coast that are “untouched” -a start contrast to the beaches found in South Florida.” In addition to promoting the two resorts the campaign will focus on promoting major regional events along the Gulf Coast in 2012.

This year will long be remembered. The floods from last winter’s record snowfalls have barely ended but that early snows have already begun in the Rockies. The outlook for this winter is below normal temperatures in the same places as last winter. But for Texas this year will go down as the year made in Hell. The state continues with the worst drought since before 1900. There have been more than 3,651 fires and they have burned almost three million acres as the state became parched for water and cooked in hellish temperature for more than four months. According to a U.S. Forest Service report, so far this year it has filled more than 10,000 personnel requests and 600 equipment requests to help with wildfire operations in Texas. These included dozers,

engine and water tenders, firefighting crews, aircraft support such as helicopter, airtankers and fixed-wing aircraft, as well as a host of experts and analysts on fire and weather conditions. Texas missed most of the tropical storm rain this year and is facing continued drought. One more year like this one and the state will likely need to close power production at a number of power plants. Irrigation and industrial water supplies are threatened as well. Even though our country experienced record rains, snowfall and floods, other parts of the country experienced drought such as Texas is suffering. Then, of course, there were earthquakes, East Coast tropical storms, tornadoes. Oh never mind. It was and is a nightmare.

Issue 167 Campground & RV Park E News  

Weekly news for the Campground Industry

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