By Dennis Macready This week I attended the first two days of the Pennsylvania RV & Camping show held at Hershey. The first couple of days are the "Trade days" where vendors set up their booths in anticipation of selling their wares to campground owners and in particular the traveling RV enthusiast. Starting today the show will be open to the public when all the action will start. RV dealers are quietly optimistic on the success of the show and can see some positive trends toward the end of the year going into 2010.
One of the first speakers at the conference was Linda Profaizer from ARVC along with Bill Garpow representing RPTIA who gave a very informal discussion on "Park Trailers as part of your Campground Inventory" to a small but very enthusiastic audience. Bill opened the discussion relating to where the Park Model and Park Trailer concept in campgrounds was heading citing the incredible acceptance overseas and in particular Australia where overnight cabins were accepted by the traveling public over hotel and motel rooms.
As the writer was involved in marketing the park industry and cabin accommodation in Australia I can vouch for Bill's comments. The overnight cabins in Australia offer full utilities, linen, cutlery along with televisions, not unlike any hotel or motel room. "Every day 20000 baby boomers are turning 60, those people want to travel and overnight cabin rentals are becoming extremely popular, this is a fast growing trend for that age group. The national average for overnight rentals is 5-6 nights" Linda said. Continued Page 2
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Continued from Page 1 This year saw a major increase in tent rentals and it would make sense other forms of rentals will follow suit where the traveling public look to keep more money in their pockets. Discussion also centered around the different state laws and taxes relating to overnight park models and concern that overnight
rentals can easily result in permanents which will open up a minefield with county regulations. Bill Grapow has a wealth of knowledge on this topic and any concerned owner should contact him directly at the RPTIA office at 770 251 2672 or email him at: email@example.com
Bill Grapow, Executive Director Recreational Park Trailer Industry Assn.
Linda Profaizer, President & CEO of ARVC.
2.5 to 3 months to make it. We get a few dribbles in the spring and fall, but most of that has dried up because the retirees do not have the money to travel anymore. Having to compete with a large State/Federal Park that is charging 25-50% less than you are is unfair competition in my way of thinking. Letters to the editor are not necessarily the views of the publisher. Articles can be submitted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
that they (the state and feds) are cutting our own throat with, and that's not right. We have to charge a certain amount to be able to stay in business and pay the bills.
I was reading about the person who is loosing his RV Park partly because of having to compete with State or Federal run Parks. I have a big bitch about them too.
They on the other hand seem to be able to draw on a bottomless money pit for what ever they need. It is well and fine if that State or Federal Park is in an area that is not competing with the private Parks, but when they are near to them, they need to be charging the prevailing rates. RV Parks in the coastal northwest have around
There needs to be a balance between what they charge and what the privately run Parks have to charge to stay in business. It is our darn tax money
I have seen 3 RV Parks close in my area and no new ones being built. Every RV Park in this area is for sale. Mine will disappear as soon as someone buys the ground for redevelopment. Having over a million dollar investment with a 2-4% return will not keep these Parks going anymore so more and more Parks are going to be closing and remade into something that will show a reasonable return for the investment. Having to keep the rates low to compete with our
own money running a State/Federal Park is killing all of us. WalMart had better start building bigger parking lots it looks like. Scott Pietz Driftwood RV Park Long Beach, Wa.
RESPONSE TO WAYNE VIRTUE Feed the cows scallions and onions, real strong ones. First batch of sour milk and the cows will be kept home. Go to the other parks see what they have. Don' t try to be better. Be different, offer a different experience. Stop giving your sites away for $15.00. Hire a promotion or advertising company to get your experience out there. Or continue complaining and go out of business. Dan Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds New York
Several weeks ago, we began an ongoing series of articles, here, in the Campground & RV Parks E News. The first in the series focused on the need for a consistent marketing strategy. The follow up article outlined many of the essential concepts involved with creating an image and a theme. Now we can begin to look at the on site implementation necessary to make your strategy a success. But where to begin? Let’s start with that critical first impression, entrance imaging. A campground’s road frontage provides a “window from the highway”. Within seconds, an impression is delivered to passing motorists, 24 hours a day… 7 days a week. Make no mistake; this is an effective, economical, high volume advertising opportunity. It is essential that a positive and purposeful message is conveyed.
What is your frontage communicating? What can it communicate? Fencing and landscaping can begin to convey a message… announcing your campground even before a
guest arrives at the entrance. Cost effective design features that directly relate to features found at the main entrance should be repeated at regular intervals and at strategic points to reinforce the desired image. Whenever possible, site lines should be utilized to better capitalize on the marketing benefits of these elements.
An entry sign with appropriate landscaping is the most important element for establishing an effective image. An attractive entry sign will not only set the tone of a campground but assist in crafting an expectation and style. If your campground is rustic, your signage should portray that image. If your RV resort caters to a higher end market, your image should reflect that as well.
A well-designed entrance sign will utilize the logo, name, and descriptor established during the initial planning phases. These elements represent your message and should be utilized at every opportunity. Similarly, a contemporary color scheme should be
selected that works harmoniously with the established logo while further reinforcing the desired image. Materials chosen for entry structure construction should be guided and influenced by these color selections as well. To capture the attention of a passing motorist, the signage will need to be of a sufficient size. Lettering, logos, and structural elements should be scaled to quickly capture attention while conveying the intended message. Text should be legible from a distance while being succinct enough for motorists to read within seconds. Be certain that the sign size, details, and location comply with local ordinances.
Suitable landscaping and night lighting will further strengthen the impact of your image by creating a prominent focal point. A mixture of deciduous and evergreen plantings, appropriately sized, will provide an instant effect. Flowers and vibrant deciduous shrubs can be used to supply seasonal color variation. In some cases these plants should be selected to coincide with the previously established color patterns. Irrigation may be necessary to ensure that the attractive appearance of the landscaping is continued year after year.
As the political environment changes and the green movement becomes more prevalent, it may become necessary to consider aspects of sustainability as well. Solar lighting, regional material selection, native plantings, and water absorbing permeable surfaces are just a few of the concepts to consider. These efforts can engender good will while fostering a positive and timely marketing statement.
When applied comprehensively, the concepts outlined in this article will insure a successful and competitive first impression. Next week we will suggest ways of continuing your imaging efforts through the use of subsequent signage and imaging elements located at strategic points throughout your development. The goal is to represent a consistent theme from border to border. Look for this and more in next week’s publication. Written by Adam Shissler and Don Westphal Please check out the website at www.dcwestphal.com or contact us at 248 651 5518
The Virginia Campground Association (VCA) annual convention and trade show will take place October 19 to 21 at Yogi Bear Jellystone Park, Luray, VA. The annual trade show will take place Monday evening, October 19 and Tuesday morning, October 20. Fifteen exhibitors are expected. There are several remaining exhibit booths and companies providing products and services to the park industry are invited to attend. Exhibit booth information is available by calling 703 448 6863 or emailing email@example.com. Featured speakers at the convention include Joe Elton, Director of Virginia State Parks, Evanne Schmarder, editor of the ARVC Report and producer of the online RV Cooking Show, Guy Gagnon, Account Representative at Evergreen USA, Cheryl Smith, ARVC Director of Education and David Gorin, David Gorin & Associates and VCA Executive Director. Five seminars scheduled include Guerilla Marketing: Getting More Bang For Less Bucks and New Marketing Media: You Tube, Facebook, Twitter & More both presented by Evanne Schmarder; Key
Evanne Schmarder will be the special guest at the VA Campground Association Fall Meeting & Trade Show. Evanne is the editor of the ARVC Report, producer of the RV Cooking Show and a public relations consultant and writer. Personnel Strategies: Owner/Manager Relations and Identifying, Interviewing, Selecting & Hiring Workampers taught by Cheryl Smith, Guy Gagnonâ€™s Are you ready? Disaster Planning for RV Parks & Campgrounds and Things to Consider in Planning Your Business for the Next Decade presented by David Gorin. The annual auction, the 4th Annual Best Idea Fair, the VCA Crackerbarrel and a special tour of Luray Caverns are also on the agenda. All Virginia campgrounds as well as those from neighboring states including West Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware and Maryland are cordially invited. For information, please call the VCA office at 703 448 6863 or send an email to the association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NJCOA’s Fall Tour, scheduled for September 30th, will take place in the Delaware River Region of the State. Each year the Fall Tour rotates to a different region of the State taking six years to visit all areas. This year’s tour will stop at six campgrounds and one tourism attraction. Each year attendees get to visit a tourism attraction in the region of the tour. This year’s tourism attraction is the new Thunderbolt Raceway at the NJ Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ. Lunch will be served in the Driver’s Club with a track tour following a short association meeting and election of Trustees and Officers. A guest speaker from an engineering firm with speak about New Jersey DEP’s new cesspool regulations. The day’s events will include stops at Hospitality
Creek, Lake Kandle, Oldman’s Creek, Old Cedar, Four Seasons, and conclude at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Elmer, NJ with a lobster cookout sponsored by Evergreen USA Insurance Company. The Fall Tour is one of the state association’s most popular meetings with 70 to 80 expected to attend. Campground owners caravan by car from one location to the next during the day. For those traveling to the tour by RV, Yogi has offered complimentary camping overnight or discounted cabin rentals. For more information contact Jay or Marji Otto, Executive Directors, New Jersey Campground Owners Association. 609-465-8444 or NJCOA@comcast.net
Swenson RV has found strong demand for the "Little Hero," despite the recession. Now Cavco is reaching out to RV dealers in Texas and across the country to expand its dealer base SEGUIN, Texas, Sept. 9, 2009 - This has been one of the toughest years ever for RV dealers. But Swenson RV in La Feria, Texas is surviving, thanks in part to its diversified product offering, which includes the "Little Hero," a new line of
affordable park models manufactured at Cavco Home's plant in Seguin. "Consumer demand for the product is very strong," said John Crouch, manager of Swenson RV, which started carrying the "Little Hero" in January. "It's a price conscious person's park model. It's what our average Winter Texan is looking for." Unlike manufactured homes, which are a form of low-cost, permanent housing, recreational park trailers or "park models"
are 400-square foot movable resort cottages that are designed exclusively for part-time recreational use. Widely used in RV parks throughout the Rio Grande Valley and other winter destinations across the Sunbelt, park models are the product of choice for empty nesters and retirees who are looking for an affordable winter vacation cottage. "We got into the park model business four years ago because we saw the writing on the wall," Crouch said. "We the saw that the average age of our customer was getting older. We also recognized that it can be more affordable and more comfortable to spend the winter in a park model than in towable RV or motorhome." Owners of towable or motorized RVs typically pay $1,200 or more to park their rigs in Rio Grande Valley RV parks during the peak winter season, while park model owners generally pay about $2,200 to leave their park model onsite for the whole year. "So what happens is park model owners tend to spend five or six months instead of two or three," Crouch said. But while park models have been around for
many years, the "Little Hero," is more affordable than most, with retail prices averaging around $25,000 range. The 'Little Hero" features 8 foot sidewalls with Â˝-inch sheetrock interiors, cathedral ceilings, high-end appliances, and vinyl siding. "People are looking at these and looking at $50,000 trailers and are realizing how affordable they are," said Christine Summers, a zone manager for park model sales for Cavco Homes in Seguin, adding that the company is expanding its dealer base in Texas and across the Sunbelt an effort to gear up for the coming winter season. "I'm taking seven to nine calls a day from dealers who are interested in carrying these units," Summers said. Newest dealers for the "Little Hero" include The RV Shack in Livingston, South Main RV Park in Houston, Wholesale Homes in Fredericksburg and Affordable Homes in Lytle. Summers added that there is plenty of room for park model growth in Rio Grande parks. Some bed and breakfast inns are also exploring the idea of using them as guest cottages, she said. For more information on the "Little Hero" and other Cavco park models, please contact Christine Summers at (830) 379-4485 or visit http://www.cavcohomes.com/li ttlehero/default.asp.
Leasing the Pt. A campground could prove to be a sweet deal for Thom Watson’s Sweet Home Alabama Campgrounds — at least that what he hopes. Friday, Watson signed a five-year contract to sublease the Pt. A grounds from the Covington County Commission. The contract has two five-year renewal options and requires Watson to assume all maintenance, operation and insurance responsibilities for the property, which is owned by PowerSouth. By subleasing the property, the county is expected to save
around $83,000 a year. However, how much Watson expects to garner from the property is unknown. “I know that it’s going to be dependent on how much time and effort I put into the property,” Watson said. “This is my fulltime job now. I’m committed to doing it.” The Jacksonville, Fla., native and Gantt Lake property owner said he’d been thinking of a possible business venture involving the campground “for six or seven years.” “The property I have in Gantt, my dad bought it,” he
said. “It used to be a campground and my dad ran it until it got to be too much for him. So you could say that the idea to have a campground has been in the back of my mind for six or seven years.” Watson said when he made the decision to reopen his father’s campground, he called the Andalusia Chamber of Commerce to “check out the competition.” “I knew that there was a campground in Gantt, but that was all I knew,” he said. “I called the Chamber to see if they could tell me who owned it and they referred me to the county. So I called them and asked if they would be interested in leasing it out.” It turned out the timing was
“as near to perfect as you can get,” he said, since the county announced earlier this year it was seeking someone to take over the Pt. A Campground. “I knew (leasing Pt. A) was a good option for me because by building a campground on my property, I’d have to start from scratch,” he said. There are 25 campsites/RV hook ups at the Pt. A campground, as well as a bathhouse, kitchenequipped clubhouse, playground, swimming area and docks at the main site. Down the road is a handicapped fishing pier and boat launch. Full article: www.andalusiastarnews.com
one, don’t you? “We’ll send you the second one absolutely FREE, just pay shipping and handling” “Subscribe to this magazine and we’ll send you this lovely gift FREE with your subscription” We’ve all heard these marketing ploys so often that we’ve come up with our own expression when we hear that word, “what’s the catch?”
Art Lieberman We have been sending out e-mails announcing and promoting our webinars for several months. The chore became an unpleasant one when our e-mail list of “optin” recipients grew to 3,000. We hired a company that will do the e-mails for us and the discussion began about the word “FREE”. There is probably no word in the English dictionary that causes more skepticism than the word FREE, and rightly so. Nothing, I mean nothing is free and most people know it. There are famous expressions that confirm this like “There’s no free lunch”, though songwriters tell us that “The best things in life are free”, I can give you dozens of examples of this concept. “Buy one, get one FREE” – ah, but you have to BUY
The e-mail company we hired suggested that when informing campgrounds about FREE webinars that we use the term “NO COST” instead of free. We actually did it one time. Did it work? Did people believe us when we substituted another synonym for free? We don’t know. In some states the word free cannot be used if there is a catch. Departments of Consumer Affairs have outlawed that. It might even make the word free useless to most marketing companies if they can’t tie-in some sort of promotion to the word. We started to explore the usage of the word and it became fun. We found the synonyms for free that have become part of the language: gratis, gratuitous, on the house, complimentary, courtesy of the management, without charge, no obligation to buy and the one that the email company suggested, at no cost, But consumers are Continued next page
Continued from previous page many inform their present smart. They can see right provider that they want to through these ploys, can’t use what they learned but they? they want to continue to utilize them for their The answer is no, of processing course not. We consumers love the word ‘free”. Oh, sure we’re aware that there really IS a cost to getting something for free. We are fascinated anyway by offers that announce that something is free. As I write this column, I just received a promo from Staples. It informs me that I can get $250 worth of personalized promotional items – FREE – with a $5,000 order.
On our more recent webinars on PCI Compliance, however, we really are giving a service to merchants. The webinar on the internet is free and the audio portion is a toll-free (there’s that word again) number. WE pay for the audio. We still have a hidden agenda for this “free” service – but it’s long-range. We want to become THE credit card processor for the campground industry.
So is our webinar actually free? Technically yes – but we too have a catch, a hidden one. Our webinar on “Saving money on credit/debit card transactions” informs campgrounds on some methodology to save money on credit card transaction we hope that they will switch their processing to us. However, in that webinar, campground owners really are not obligated to do anything except learn about those methods and
Take the webinar! It won’t cost you one thin dime!
(Art Lieberman is President of MCPS for Campgrounds, a credit card processor sponsored by Woodforest Bank NA. Art has been in the Credit Card industry for nearly 12 years. Art has been conducting webinars online and seminars on credit cards in many State and Regional Association Conventions. He can be contacted at email@example.com
The latest product to hit the campground industry is receiving major interest by owners who see these bikes as an opportunity for good revenue by renting them to campers. The bikes are not only "green" environmentally
friendly but are safe and extremely economical with a battery charge range of up to 25 miles. Campgrounds can purchase the bikes outright for as low as $1195 ensuring an excellent and fast return on investment.
Speed: Up to 16 mph Range: Up to 25 Miles Motor: 350 watt brushless motor Driving Sytem: Powerful 48 volt front hub drive System built into the front wheel! Charging Time: 4-6 hours for pennies Battery: 48 volt 14 AH sealed lead battery acid
Battery Charger: 110 volt smart charger, UL Listed Tires: Front 16 x 2.5" and rear pneumatic 10 x 3.5" Color: White and Black (Custom Paint Jobs Also) Size: 40" L x 26.8 "Wx 5.7" H Weight: 93 lbs. Comes With: headlight, taillight, and horn. (Basket Optional)
month, usually is heralded in with snow and cold temperatures. The whole flower garden should be dug over, but it is most important not to injure the hardy plants that will remain. Where there are a lot of these, it is safer to dig with a fork than a spade. A spade is much more likely to cut roots through if it comes across them. This, of course, presupposes you already have a flower bed with easily worked soil. Annual plants may all be pulled up and carted away to the compost bin as they cease to flower. Remember that many of our hardy perennial plants die down for the winter. Their leaves and stems wither and die. But we must not conclude that the plant is dead just cause the tops die. The roots are very much alive and in the spring beautiful fresh young growth will peep through the soil. This is just a caution for the newbie gardener.
A very busy time begins in the garden as the summer and autumn flowers fade. Although much depends upon the weather, the time is approaching quickly when we must put everything in order for the winter. In my part of the country, Halloween, at the end of the
Nature has all sorts of methods to enable her hardy plants to pass the winter safely. Some, like the hardy perennials, are simply going to sleep, in a manner of speaking. Some, like the bulbous plants - the snowdrops, and winter aconites, and others - are waking up, for these sleep during the hot summer months. Some plants remain fresh and green winter and summer alike. Just as we should have made everything neat and
trim for the summer, so during the next few weeks everything should be made neat and tidy for the winter. All dead leaves, stems, etc., should be cleared away, and stakes taken up and stored except where plants still need them. If our gardens were only made and planted in the spring, our hardy plants will not need dividing. But if they have been around two or three seasons then probably some of them will be better divided. We divide clumps that have grown to a large size because if they throw up too many flowering stems, they will not be well nourished or produce a fine blossom and towards the center the plant will grow poorly. We should remember that it is good for the future welfare of a plant to replant it in a different spot from where it has been. If we do not need all the pieces we can make of a divided plant, we should replant the strong or outer portions. About the author: Sandra Dinkins-Wilson is a lover of beautiful things including Flower Gardens. She has created a website for Flower Garden Lovers, and those that love them, with gardening tips, artwork and books on the subject. www.flowergardenlovers.com 4 Quick Tips
September Tip: Wait to Dig Up Bulbs. If you want to overwinter summerblooming bulbs that aren't hardy in your area (such as
cannas, calla lilies, and dahlias), wait to dig them up until after the first frost kills foliage. This change in temperature tells the bulb it's time for dormancy. Fall is the best time to buy and plant peonies if you want beautiful blooms next spring. Tips for Moving Plants Indoors: Bring tender plants, such as passion flower and lemon verbena, indoors before the first frost. To help tender plants adjust to indoor light levels, place them in a shady spot outdoors for about two weeks. Before bringing them inside, check tender plants for pests and diseases and give them a good shower with the hose or watering can. This is also a good time to cut back plants slightly--up to one-fourth of the plant. Deter Deer: Rotate Repellents Fall is breeding season for deer, and it also means that deer will be eating more tender plants-leaving stringy, stripped foliage behind--to prepare for winter. To deter them, combine taste repellents (such as hot-pepper spray, soap spray, and rotten eggs) with scent repellents (such as scented soaps, garlic, and fabric-softener strips). If deer ignore or adapt to the smells, the bad tastes may deter them. Rotate and change repellents often so deer don't get used to any one smell or taste.
Drought is a â€œtrickyâ€? subject when it comes to predicting. For example, just when it looked like Atlanta was doomed last year along came good winter and spring precipitation. Much of the east coast has had more rain than average for much of this year, ending years of below average precipitation. The same sort of relief could come for the west coast, Texas and the southwest states. On the other hand, if present weather trends continue there will be near catastrophic consequences. The most serious consequence of water shortage is the threat to agriculture. So much of our food production depends on being able to irrigate when there is not enough precipitation. Drought has increased that demand to the point that the aquifers cannot sustain the demand, and the reservoirs are running too low as well. The vast majority of freshwater used in this country is for
irrigation, not drinking water and household use.
to allow development and when to build reservoirs.
Even in household use, most of the water is used for watering lawns, shrubs and gardens, along with taking showers, washing clothes and flushing toilets.
On a larger scale, it would seem imperative that there be more attention paid to the management of our water resources.
When increasing demands for water are combined with drought, the stage is set for a crisis. We have seen this type of crisis in parts of California and in parts of other states. Soon, if present trends continue, we will see a crisis in most of the states, given that 43 states are expected to have significant water shortages within five years. Just what we need: more crises! What can be done? Individuals can do only two things to help the situation. First, we can manage our use of water wisely. Secondly, we can join in the planning/problem solving efforts on the theory that many heads are better than one. lanning for water use goes on all the time in many forms, such as how many permits to issue for water use, how much water to draw from central wells and aquifers, what to do with wastewater and storm water runoff, where
The Great Lakes Commission is one example of regional planning and long term stewardship. The Tennessee Valley Authority and the Colorado River management efforts are another example. We
would all do well to listen to what those closest to the challenge are telling us. If there is anything to be learned from our problems about energy it is that with proper planning and sensible management of resources we could avoid painful and costly crises. We could, on the other hand, as a whole nation ignore and pooh-pooh what is happening with water. Then very soon we will look back on the good old days when water, like energy, was cheap and plentiful.
Born in the Australian Outback, AuspitTM is a compact, portable and patented rotisserie system that enables easy 5-star dining under the stars from the mountains to the beach to your backyard, delighting 1-16 people at a time. The rotisserie motor is battery-powered, which means you can take AuspitTM anywhere, or use it with a fire pit right at home. The motor runs for over 90 hours on just two
D-sized batteries, and the spit can handle up to 18 pounds of mouth-watering meats, vegetables, etc. -you name it! The basic kit weighs only 11 lbs. Auspit’s ever-expanding line of innovative accessories include many items that are unique worldwide which add to the system’s versatility. Designed to work over an open campfire or over the FireTrough, AuspitTM has an ever-expanding line of
accessories such as the patented Squeezeloc Spikes and Spitmate rotisserie baskets, which allow you to cook anything from roasted chestnuts to a succulent whole turkey—at the same time! Auspit’s auspicious American debut was at the July 2008 Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City. Out of thousands of
products, AuspitTM was selected as a “ShowStopper!” by the OR Daily trade show publication. Low pricing ensures excellent rental revenue opportunities AllClear, LLC Exclusive distributor for Auspit in North America Phone: 775-468-5665
By Lucas Hartford
In the past couple of weeks Evergreen USA, has received a lot of questions about playground safety â€œIt seems that people are in the process of starting to think about upgrading or replacing equipment for next year, this is great news and we are happy to see a lot of people looking to reinvest in their parks and campgrounds.â€? stated in a recent press release.
Since Evergreen already has had a lot of questions about playgrounds and expect more, it has posted information on its
website, as a guide for campground owners. Anyone can review the presentation slides on the document to get some ideas about playground safety. In addition, clients of Evergreen can log in to the Client Information Center on this website and be given the opportunity to search for many more articles on playground safety. Evergreen USA provides insurance exclusively to campgrounds, RV parks and resorts and can be reached at 1-800-343-7900 www.evergreenusa.com
New Program Will Drive Millions of New Visitors to U.S., Create Jobs, Strengthen Economy, Lower Federal Budget Deficit WASHINGTON, DC -The U.S. Senate has passed S. 1023, the “Travel Promotion Act,” with strong bipartisan support, 79 to 19. The legislation creates a public-private partnership to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and better explain U.S. security policies. Once passed by the House of Representatives and enacted into law, the program is estimated to create 40,000 U.S. jobs, drive $4 billion in new consumer spending according to Oxford Economics and reduce the federal budget deficit by $425 million according to the Congressional Budget Office. Overseas visitors spend an average of $4,500 per person, per trip in the United States. “The United States Senate took a giant step toward regaining America’s position as the premier travel destination and strengthening our struggling economy,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “Nearly every company, city, state and developed nation
understands the power of promotion. By getting in the global game, America will create tens of thousands of new jobs and strengthen its image in the world as visitors leave with an improved perception of our country and her people.” The “Travel Promotion Act,” introduced by Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and John Ensign (R-NV) and co-sponsored by 51 Senators, is modeled after successful state-level programs and is funded through a matching program featuring up to $100 million in private sector contributions and a $10 fee on foreign travelers who do not pay $131 for a visa to enter the United States. The fee is collected once every two years in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization. No money is provided by U.S. taxpayers. Nearly identical legislation passed the House of Representatives in the last session, but did not receive a Senate vote before adjournment. A new House companion bill, H.R. 2935, is cosponsored by 68 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
By Lucas Hartford- Evergreen USA RRG, Inc.
Outdoor camping is a low cost vacation option for American families coping with the current economic downturn. An online survey conducted in 2008 by the non-profit Outdoor Foundation indicates that, overall, Americans spent more time than they did the previous year enjoying outdoor activities like camping, hiking and biking. For newcomers who lack their own outdoor-living gear and others who don't want to rough it, one campground on the
outskirts of the nation's capital provides a special service called "camperready camping."
The driver of a minivan involved in a fatal New Hampshire collision with a golf cart driven by a Gloucester man has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in connection with the Sept. 6 crash.
According to a witness, approximately 100 people were returning to their camp sites around midnight Sunday following a concert in a barn at Pine Knoll Campground when the crash occurred.
New Hampshire State Police said the driver of the golf cart is also suspected of drunken driving, though he has not been charged at this point.
The golf cart was supposed to go approximately 25 feet down a hill and then take a sharp right into the campground's tent site area.
The cart, which had three passengers, was struck by the minivan on Route 16 near Conway. A golf cart passenger, 34-year-old Robin Clohecy of Groveland, died of injuries sustained in the crash.
For an extra fee of $25 a night, with a minimum 2night stay at the Little Bennett Campground in Clarksburg, Maryland, Rosemary Nichols, manager, and her assistant Lyn Duncan pitch a tent and set up camp chairs, a battery-powered lantern and a two-burner stove with propane fuel for cooking.
Instead, the cart's driver missed the entrance in the dark, and drove the 50 to 75 feet into the middle of Route 16.
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