Leisure Systems Inc.â€™s annual Symposium for its Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Camp-Resort franchisees will be held in conjunction with the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) InSites 2009 Convention & Outdoor Hospitality Expo in Orlando Florida. The symposium will continue with a cruise to the Bahamas celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Yogi Bear Jellystone Park franchise.
Most of Leisure Systems 73 Jellystone parks will be represented at the convention in Orlando with around 200 Jellystone Park employees attending the convention or cruise. From 9:45 am to 12:30 pm on November 10, Leisure Systems will hold a general session for its franchisees at the symposium, where proprietary information for LSI franchisees will be shared.
The LSI two day mini trade show will kick off on Nov. 11 on the second floor of the Orlando Convention Center. The trade show will feature around a dozen vendors of merchandise made exclusively to Yogi Bear franchisees. On the Thursday a social function will be held along with an auction of Yogi Bear items. A feature will be the drawing of a raffle for a park model donated by Jack London Park Models. Continued Page 2
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Good odds to say the least! Only one ticket will be given to each Jellystone Park at the Symposium registration so that is sure to attract attention. This is the first time the symposium has been held in conjunction with the ARVC convention and will undoubtedly prove very successful. Franchisees and LSI staff will then be bused to Port Canaveral for a cruise aboard the Royal Caribbeanâ€™s Monarch of the Seas and head for the Bahamas.
Management and staff of Campground & RV Park E News wish to congratulate Leisure Systems in achieving forty years of promoting the Yogi Bear Jellystone Campground franchise. Dennis Macready Editor/Joint Publisher
CORDELE, Ga. – The current economic downturn is negatively impacting fire departments across the country, according to a comprehensive national survey of firefighters sponsored by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. The study polled 30 percent of all fire departments in the country, revealing that more than half of departments (51 percent) have had to increase fundraising efforts.
department will be receiving six new automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and various medical supplies to strengthen rescue operations in the community.
Thanks to a unique national contest, the Crisp County Fire Rescue will receive a $10,000 grant.
Fire Chief Ray Lunsford will be joined by firefighters and local officials, as executives from Cordele KOA, Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance and Fireman’s Fund present the grant package at 1.30 pm on October 20th at crisp County Fire Rescue, 112 Eddie Road.
Last year, Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company launched a competition among campgrounds around the country. One campground, Cordele KOA, was selected the winner and allowed to direct a $10,000 grant to a local fire department of its choice. Norma Perkins, the general manager of Cordele KOA, chose Crisp County. Now, thanks to the contest, the fire
First responders use AEDs on victims who have suffered sudden cardiac arrest. AED technology analyzes the heart’s rhythms and prompts the user to deliver a defibrillation shock if one is needed.
“AEDs aren’t luxury items, they are essential pieces of equipment that save lives,” said Fire Chief Ray Lunsford. “Every second counts when a victim goes into cardiac arrest, so it’s crucial to have the latest high-tech gear as technology continues to change.” The grant package is part of a nationwide philanthropic program funded by Fireman’s Fund
Insurance Company. The program is designed to provide needed equipment, training and educational tools to local fire departments. Since 2004, Fireman’s Fund has issued grants to over 1,400 different departments totaling more than $23 million. Independent insurance agencies that sell Fireman’s Fund products are able to direct these grants to support fire departments. “We realize the current recession is impacting communities and fire departments across the country, so it was especially nice to have Cordele KOA help us identify Crisp County,” said Jimmy Tumblin, vice president and co-owner of Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance. “We take great pride in being able to help in such a tangible way.” About Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance specializes in insurance protection for campgrounds and resorts, hotels and motels, bowling centers, bed and breakfasts, bars and restaurants, and many other recreation and hospitality businesses.
Currently, Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance insures over 1,000 campgrounds and resorts nationally. For more information, visit www.LRHInsurance.com. About Fireman’s Fund Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company is a premier property and casualty insurance company providing personal and commercial insurance products nationwide. It is rated 'AA-' by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services. Founded in 1863 with a mission to support firefighters, Fireman’s Fund continues this effort today through its national philanthropic work. Fireman’s Fund is a member of the Allianz Group (NYSE: AZ), one of the world’s largest providers of insurance and other financial services. For more information, visit www.firemansfund.com. About Kampgrounds of America The Cordele KOA is one of 450 campgrounds in the Kampgrounds of America system in North America. Nearly all of the KOA parks are locally owned franchises, all intimately involved in their local communities
A TOP Gear television programme stunt in Britain went horribly wrong when an airship with a caravan slung underneath crashed alongside the busy A428 near Eltisley in Cambridgeshire. Presenter James May and his film crew were unhurt. HOLIDAYMAKERS will soon be touring India in luxury caravans. The 'home on wheel' packages are being launched in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh and tourists will travel in airconditioned caravans with all mod-cons including WiFi connectivity, mini bar, TV and toilet.
The Caravan Channel television programme in Britain, which attracts more than 100,000 viewers, celebrates three years' of continuous production this month. AMERICAN cyclist Paul Elkins has built what could be the world's smallest caravan. Weighing in a mere 45kg, the 2m 'van is fully equipped with solar power, gas cooker, bed, fan, ice box, laundry hamper, fold-out table, storage areas ... and even a flower box. THE 58-year-old Mayor of Fleetwood in Lancashire, England, has quit after being charged with stealing women's underwear from
the Sportsman's Caravan Park in Stalmine. Ian Stafford will appear in court next month.
District Council will issue fines to anyone not camping in an official campsite or holiday park.
A COMPETITION organised by German caravan and motorhome company Sunlight GmbH revealed that the ideal men's RV would come with bar, disco, outdoor theatre, rooftop sundeck, two plasma screens, sound system, poker table and barbecue â€“ but few essential kitchen devices! TRAVELLERS in New Zealand are hopping mad over new legislation which will land them with $40 onthe-spot fines if they are caught free-camping. Thames Coromandel
CARAVAN and camping holidays are set to lead the tourism revival, according to the Caravan and Camping Industry Association in New South Wales, Australia. The claim follows record sales at last month's Penrith Caravan, Camping and Holiday Expo which attracted 25,000 visitors, the biggest attendance ever. The CCIA maintains that this type of affordable holiday will launch domestic tourism into a new phase of growth.
I would like to respond to Mr. Dow's comments about why we lost the Olympic games. First, Chicago has a bad image and needed to do a lot to clean that up. It was just a few years ago that it was the murder capitol of the US. Two, have you ever had to go through customs? They, the TSA, and all the other government agencies act like everyone is a criminal that is just waiting to blow up anything and everything. They are accusing, surly, will toss you into a room for no apparent reason and of you open your mouth, they strip search you, and they are doing this to 85 year old ladies. If they want people to come to this country, they need to present a pleasant face and experience to them. Treating them like a bunch of crooks and terrorists does not go over worth a damn. They need to run this country like a business and treat visitors like they want
them here, not scare them away. France is a classic example of what a country and people of that country should not do. We do not need to emulate them. If this countryâ€™s image gets any worse, no one will want to come here. They can advertise, promote, sweat talk, and post all the pretty pictures they want to, but until people are treated better stepping off the plane, boat or train, it will be all for naught. I have been in sales for 55 years, and I know what I am talking about. The first impression is the lasting one, believe me. Scott Pietz Driftwood RV Park Long Beach, Wa. Editors Note: The comment about the first impressions by overseas visitors could not be more accurate, it is about time USA officials took note how other countries welcome visitors to their country. A smile and a genuine greeting costs nothing!
Luxury developers with grand plans swarmed the Florida Keys during the real estate boom, paying big bucks to gobble up campgrounds, trailer parks, marinas, mom-and-pop motels. Then came the real estate and credit crash. From Key Largo to Key West, at least 18 pricey projects screeched to a halt in 2007 and 2008. They included The Shore in Islamorada — site of Home & Garden Television’s 2008 Dream Home — and Harbor Place, now a city block of dust in Key West’s Historic Seaport District. The economic downturn has become a reprieve — perhaps temporary — for the small amount of inexpensive lodging that remains in the Keys. And it halted other developers’ potential purchases of trailer parks and budget motels. Most of the other upscale projects never began construction. In Key Largo, developers of Playa Cristal Resort purchased the popular American Outdoors RV Park, with ambitious plans in 2006 to turn the land with 154 RV hookups into a condo-hotel with 92 upscale units, a restaurant and
lounge built in a style “reminiscent of the Hemingway era in Cuba.” Price: $690,000 to $4 million per unit. The developers, Cortex Living Resort, demolished the park. The property is now embroiled in a $40 million foreclosure lawsuit. Other projects never saw a bulldozer, such as Seaglass Resort, formerly a popular KOA Campground on Fiesta Key. Plans called for swanky townhomes with a shipwreck salvagers theme. Other properties have made their way through the legal process and are back on the market at 2003 and 2004 prices — preboom property values, but still relatively high compared with other parts of Florida. In Islamorada, for instance, the 25-unit, condo-hotel named Indigo Bay was about 95 percent complete when the money ran out for the now-bankrupt developer DB Key Largo. After two unsuccessful auctions, it remains empty — and for sale. Asking price: $6 million, reduced from more than $8 million and millions less than the developer expected to make if the units had been sold individually. Full Article: www.bradentonherald.com
contributions to deductible retirement programs. Payment into traditional retirement plans like IRAs and 401Ks can reduce your taxable income by the amounts contributed and thereby reduce your tax bill by your tax bracket percentage of the amounts deposited. These must be qualified programs, whether they are private or employer sponsored.
By Roger Beattie
There are many tools and techniques used to assist individuals in reducing their tax liability. Many of these techniques are confusing, difficult to apply or are questionable regarding their functionality. If you are interested in simple tried and true actions that are easy and effective in reducing tax liability for this year, here are seven that you should consider. 1. Income shifting. If possible, wait to take income, gains, distributions or profits until next year. This will reduce your total income for the current year and thereby reduce your tax liability. Some people worry about any delay, however, consider that the difference between receiving income on December 31 of one year and Jan 1st of the next, is only one day, and that one day could save you a great deal of money. This is particularly effective in the income you are shifting is unusual or extraordinary, otherwise, you'll just shift the tax burden from one year to the next and you'll need to be prepared to address this issue again
over the next twelve months. However, perhaps you have things in the works that will offset the income next year so it won't be an issue then either. 2. Prepay Expenses. If appropriate, you can prepay some deductible expenses for next year (by year end) and thereby be able to deduct those items from this year's income and reduce your current tax liability. These items may include prepaid interest on applicable loans and investments, professional dues and subscriptions, premiums for qualified long-term care insurance coverage, property taxes, etc. 3. Establish and fund educational accounts. If you've got young children or grandchildren, you can establish and fund programs for their college funding and enjoy the deduction this year. These Section 529 plans not only grow tax free for your chosen beneficiary, they are a write off for you too. 4. Maximize your
5. Make desired charitable contributions by year end. By making your chosen charitable contributions by year end, you in effect get Uncle Sam to help fund your chosen charity. Since these contributions are deducted from your income prior to taxes be calculated and deducted, you effectively move money that would have gone to the Government to the coffers of a worthwhile organization or group. 6. Get credit where credit is due. Be sure to consider and capitalize on current credits made available. If you qualify, make sure you utilize the following credits and deductions. You'll need to review these items with your chosen tax professional to see if and how you may be eligible. * First-time homebuyer credit * Child-care credit * First-Year bonus depreciation * Enhanced Section 179 write offs
7. Use losses to offset gains. If you have suffered capital losses from certain investments you may want to consider using them to offset gains in others. For example, if you have lost $1,000 on one stock and another stock has increased in value by $1,000, you could sell the first looser at a $1,000 loss, sell the winner for a $1,000 gain and then let the losses offset the gain for tax purposes. You can then invest the proceeds, including the $1,000 now tax free gain, in another investment. But what if you want to keep an investment in the same winning stock? You'll have to wait at least 30 days to avoid the "washsale rule" that could disallow your loss. In these cases, the $1,000 gain will have been covered by the loss and so your basis in a new purchase would be $1,000 higher than the old shares held and you would never see a tax bill from the $1,000 gain that was sheltered by the loss. What if you have losses that exceed gains? Good news; you can also deduct excess loss from $1,500 to $3,000, depending on your filing status. And that's not all; you may also be able to carry forward excess losses to next year to reduce your taxes then as well. Always talk to your professional advisors for more information, clarification and confirmation. Good luck and good savings.
CROWLEY, Texas, Oct. 13, 2009 – Advance reservations are up at Texas campgrounds and RV parks that cater to “Winter Texans,” according to an information survey of park operators across the Lone Star State. “While some parks are seeing advance reservations consistent with last year’s figures, most are telling us they are ahead of where they were last year at this time in terms of advance reservations,” said Brian Schaeffer, executive director and CEO of the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO). Here’s a sampling of comments from private park operators in Texas regarding their reservation levels and business projections for the upcoming winter season: Guadalupe River RV Park Campground and Nature Trails LLC in Spring Branch: This 45-site Hill
Country park is seeing advanced reservation figures that are consistent with last year’s statistics, said Guy Anderson, the park’s general partner. “We hope that new winter visitors come and visit for a while. The winter business is interesting. Once a family or group finds their ‘winter home,’ meaning where they want to spend that time, it is all but impossible to (move them).” Hatch RV Park in Corpus Christi: This park expects a strong winter season. “We’re full every winter,” said park office manager Becky Tipton, adding that she already has “13 to 14” winter rig reservations. Hidden Valley RV Park in Von Ormy: “We’re looking for a strong year,” said Mark Blaschke, co-owner of the 31-site Hill Country park. “We did real well last winter and I’m thinking we should do a little better this winter.” Blaschke’s optimism is fueled by the fact that he already has several monthly renters who are working in the area in addition to winter visitors who come every season. La Hacienda RV Resort in Austin: Advance winter reservations at this 240-site park are on par with last year’s figures, said managing partner Ken
Butschek, adding that winter visitors will see new additions to the park, including a 2-acre lake and new landscaping. Parkview Riverside RV Park in Concan: This 95site Hill Country park has seen a 25 percent increase in advance winter bookings compared to last year at this time, said park owner Doug Shearer, who also serves as president of the Texas Association of Campground Owners. And because many RVers show up without reservations, Shearer believes his winter occupancies may ultimately be up 25 to 30 percent compared to last winter’s figures. Rayford Crossing RV Resort at The Woodlands: “Reservations for the remainder of the year are strong with a full park of ‘Winter Texans’ expected for the months of November through April,” said park owner Gwen Craig, adding, “We have witnessed a very healthy increase with our Winter Texan bookings and have also seen a surge in local residents selling their home and trying out the full-time RVing lifestyle.” Sunset Point RV Resort in Marble Falls: This 50-site park is expecting a strong winter season. “One
hundred percent of the Winter Texans we had in 2008 are returning and we continue to take reservations for additional sites,” said park manager Ed Robinson. Surfside R.V. & Resort in Port Aransas: “My winter months will be very busy,” said Charles Rhea, who owns the 45-site park. “January to April 15th are booked for monthly sites. Only a few nightly and weekly sites are still available,” he said. And while he isn’t convinced that the worst of the recession is behind us, Rhea is still moving ahead with improvements to his park, including an $8,000 bathroom renovation project, which he hopes to complete before his winter visitors arrive. “I’m eager for them to see the upgrades,” he said, adding, “They will appreciate me putting money back into the park, back into them.” Winter Haven Resort in Brownsville: This park, which includes 525-seasonal park model sites and 29 RV sites for nightly rentals, is completely booked up for the winter season, said Juan Estrada. He added that cold weather up north has already prompted some Winter Texans to return to the park.
Jellystone Park campers are always up for a good time, but never more so than when the frost is on the pumpkin (and the candle is in it.) Their campgrounds are wrapping up the summer and planning blowout fright and fun fests. Here’s just a few of the fun things families can do: deck out a campsite in its ghostly best; creep your way through haunted forests and mazes; enjoy the boys and ghouls in their costumes as they trick or treat through the park; play spooky games and so much more. Halloween is such a big event for Jellystone Parks, sometimes it’s a month-long celebration. Enjoy four weekends of Halloween festivities at the Jellystone Campground in Cave City, KY. The Haunted Forest opened its gates with new attractions and each campsite gets two free admission passes. There will be Trick-or-treating on Saturdays plus pumpkin carving, costume, and site decorating contests with prizes to the winners. Competition is always fierce in all three events so come prepared!
Join the Jellystone Campground in Natural Bridge, VA for Yogi’s Spooktacular Weekends. It’s our favorite time of the year and we’re celebrating all month long with games, crafts, pumpkin carving and painting, trick or treating, and costume contests. Decorate your site and scare our judges you could win a free weekend of camping! Also, don’t forget to purchase your tickets for our haunted wagon rides. Come in costume Saturday night for our Monster Mash Party with karaoke and glow stick dancing. The Jellystone Campground in Robert, LA has Halloween activities for all ages in October! The fun started on October 9 with our Pumpkin Patch and Kiddie Carnival, which is perfect for the little ones. The rest of the month includes Warlock Weekend October 16 & 17, Witching Weekend October 23 & 24 and Halloween. There will be monster mash dancing, karaoke, night vision volleyball, a haunted maze and trick-or-treating, of course.
AUBURN, Calif., Oct. 7, 2009 – California campground and RV park occupancies and revenues have largely kept pace with 2008 figures, despite the recession, according to an informal survey of parks by the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). In fact, while some California parks have seen modest declines in business due to the economy, others have seen their business flourish. “We’re actually the bright spot in the tourism business,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, adding that parks that offer tent camping opportunities have done particularly well this year. Sipe said campgrounds and RV parks are resilient in down economic times because they offer families the most affordable vacation option. Many parks also offer fun family activities as well as unique accommodations, such as cabins, park models, safari tents, teepees and yurts, so consumers don’t have to have an RV or tent to join in the fun.
Nationally, the major campground chains also reported relatively strong occupancy and revenue figures. Billings, Mont.-based Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), the nation’s largest campground chain with more than 430 locations across the U.S. and Canada, was 1.1 percent ahead of 2008 occupancy figures systemwide through the end of September, while revenues were up 5.6 percent, according to Mike Gast, a company spokesman. Meanwhile, Milford, Ohiobased Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI), which franchises roughly 70 Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, which are mostly located east of the Mississippi River, has experienced a 5 percent jump in revenues, although its systemwide occupancies have fallen slightly, largely because of wet weather in the Northeast, said Dean Crawford, LSI’s executive vice president. Here’s a sampling of yearto-date business levels and occupancies reported by independently owned campgrounds and RV parks in California:
Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff: This 174-site park, which opened in August of last year, has seen significant growth in its business. Its September occupancies, for example, were nearly triple last year’s figures, said Donna Hollenshade, the park’s general manager. El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara: This park, which features over 100 park model cabins and as well as safari tents and yurts, experienced a 10 percent jump in occupancies this year compared to last year’s figures, while its sister park, Ocean Mesa Campground in Santa Barbara, saw a 15 percent increase in occupancies, said Terri Bowman, general manager for the parks. She attributed the increase to the fact that both parks are a “nice family destination” within easy driving distance of Los Angeles and Orange counties. Flying Flags RV Resort in Buelton: This park, located near the Dutch-themed town of Solvang, is posting record numbers this year, which park manager Randall Henderson attributes to
the investment of $1.3 million in capital improvements in recent years. Recent upgrades include the addition of several park model cabin rental units, a fitness center, electrical and sewer service upgrades, renovation of campsites, cable television system upgrades and new landscaping. Kamp Klamath RV Park & Campground in Klamath: This 33-acre park, which is located in Big Foot country with one-quarter mile of frontage along the Klamath River, kept very busy this year, according to park owner Aaron Funk. “We overflowed every day in August and September,” he said, adding that much of the growth was attributable to his addition of tent camping sites. Mountain Gate R.V. Park in Redding: This park experienced a 4 percent drop in total sales and a 10 percent decline in net income, partly because of competition from other parks. “A new park was built 20 miles away that is very nice and (another) is 60 miles north. Therefore, we have increased competition,” said park manager Patrick Stone. However, he said the park
plans to invest in several new amenities by spring to step up its own competition with other parks in the area. Pismo Coast Village RV Resort in Pismo Beach: “Our occupancy is even with last year, which was a record year,” said park CEO and General Manager Jay Jamison, adding that the park’s campsite revenue is up 9.3 percent due a rate increase, while ancillary revenue from the park’s store, arcade and laundry facilities is down 3 to 11 percent. “They are coming, but not spending as much,” Jamison said. However, the park’s projections through fall and winter remain strong, while group and club bookings remain consistent with last year’s figures. Premier RV Resort in Redding: This park has seen a 4 percent increase in gross revenues during the first eight months of this year compared to last year. “We are seeing a
nice increase in first time visitors who are staying from two to four days while they are vacationing in the area,” said park owner Paul Williams, adding that the increase in demand from RVers has prompted the park to add 21 new pull through sites, which will be available in early October. Rancho Los Coches RV Resort in Lakeside: Year to date occupancies are down 9 percent at this 146-site park, said park owner Bill Milligan, whose guests range from travelers who stay a night or two to snowbirds who stay for weeks. The park also sees a fair number of contractors and traveling nurses who stay on a monthly basis while on assignment. Sacred Rocks Preserve in Boulevard: This park, which features campsites and park model cabins, experienced an increase in short-stays, with many guests staying longer than they originally intended. However, the park saw a
decline in long term guests who stay up to five months, according to Marti Amado, a spokeswoman for the park, which is located in at the 4,000-foot level in the mountains east of San Diego. San Diego Metro KOA: This park has seen a 7 to 10 percent decline in occupancies this year, despite having a relatively strong summer season, said park owner Clint Bell. “Our biggest increase has been in tent camping,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot more tents and a lot more tent groups and a lot more tent families, though we’ve also seen a little bit of a decline in our caravan business, folks traveling to Mexico.” Bell said he has enhanced several of the park’s tent sites to accommodate larger numbers of people. “We also created family tent sites to accommodate two families so they can camp together. We’re trying to capture more of that market, which seems to be
on a steady rise.” Clint attributed the overall decline in occupancies, however, to the economy, as well as to the furloughing of state government employees. “We draw from Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego,” he said, “and when the state was in flux, a lot of those folks that use camping as vacation where financially impacted.”
The Springs at Borrego RV Resort and Golf Course in Borrego Springs: 2009 occupancies are running slightly ahead of last year’s figures at this low desert park, which is located just outside of Anza Borrego Desert State Park, said Daniel Wright, the park’s general manager.
Debbie Sipe: CALARVC
If you think you have seen everything available in the world of RVing, then think again, because when the 57th Annual California RV Show opens on October 16 at the Fairplex in Pomona, Calif., it will boast a number of new and exciting RVs. Running through October 25th, one of the exciting features of this year’s show will be well-known outdoor adventure expert, environmental pioneer and “Green RVer,” Brian Bawdy and his “Green” Lance Camper. A former New York City police investigator turned outdoor adventure expert and author, Brian has parlayed his passion for the outdoors into expertise on everything from family camping to emergency preparedness to backcountry survival. Determined to find ways of reconnecting people with their planet in a healthy and sustainable way,
Bawdy’s mission is to educate kids and adults alike to get outside, get dirty and breathe fresh air. “Some may be surprised to find how eco-friendly RVing is,” says Brawdy. “I’m showing off my Green RV to make this point.” Brawdy also says that he already sees other RVers at local campgrounds doing their part to conserve water and electricity, recycle and buy paper items instead of plastic. “We can all do a little more. And a little from all of us is all it takes,” explains Brawdy. With the purchase of his first RV, Brian outfitted it with equipment to harness the natural energies of the sun, wind and rain – solar panels, a wind turbine and rain filtration system – along with the latest in electronic navigational and weather-forecasting equipment. Brawdy relies on solar and wind power to provide additional energy for those necessary gadgets and the RV’s living systems.
Verifone has “engaged in an unlawful and tortuous campaign to punish Heartland and injure competition”.
computer processing of credit cards. Verifone also manufacturers pin pads for all its machines and the VX line has now replaced the 3700 series and is PCI compliant.
By Art Lieberman If this headline sounds ominous, you should know that it represents what might be a huge fight between two titans of the Credit Card industry. In the blue corner is terminal manufacturer Verifone, whose POS systems are in an estimated 35% of all the Campgrounds in the US. Their growth has been constant beginning with the advent of credit cards. Their Trans 330, 380 and 480 terminals were considered state-of-the-art 20 years ago. Then the POS giant issued the Omni line of terminals, starting with the Omni 3200 and progressing to the 3700 series. They swallowed up Lipman Industries which produced the Nurit terminals and then purchased the PCCharge software for
In the red corner is Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. Heartland was one of the most reputable credit card processors until they were hacked last January and hundreds of thousands of merchant’s records were stolen. We reported the entire series of events in these pages several months ago. Heartland has apparently cleared up that mess and has been looking to move on. They have been developing a POS terminal of its own that supports end-to-end encryption of card and transaction data. The endto-end encryption, known as the E3 Project supposedly employs a level of security even higher than Triple DES (Data Encryption Standard) which is required by the PCI DSS compliance regulations which must be used by all merchants by July of 2010. This information is included in the free
webinars that we have been conducting. On September 9th, VeriFone’s Israeli unit; Verifone Israel Ltd. filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court of the Northern District of California which alleges that the terminals developed by Heartland in partnership with a Taiwanese firm infringe on Verifone Patents. A week later, Heartland fired back. Their attorneys sued Verifone in Mercer County Superior Court in New Jersey for trying to sabotage Heartland’s ability to manufacture and market their terminals. In the complaint Heartland states that it spent considerable time and money working with a Taiwanese firm named Unelectra International Corp to develop the E3 terminals. They have, according to the complaint tested the terminal and were prepared to market the terminal in the thirdquarter of 2009. But, Heartland alleges, the
Heartland accuses Verifone, in the suit, that they won’t do business with Heartland and their client’s nor will they support existing terminals and other products currently being used by these clients. Heartland also has accused Verifone of threatening to put companies working on the E3 project out of business. Neither company wants to comment on the pending cases, but both are evidently going to slug it out. What is at stake should be obvious. Heartland believes they have a remarkable new technology which they have developed and are ready to market, while POS terminal giant Verifone feels that its patents for the technology has been infringed upon. We’ll be following this case. It certainly will have an impact on merchants who process credit cards, including campgrounds. (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)
The final installment in our series will focus on the growing public awareness of the environment and its effects on our day-to-day lives. Leveraging this in your marketing is critical… green campgrounds have an advantage of perception. A few tips and tricks are outlined below that, if utilized, will allow your staff to say confidently “We Are Green”. Plant Selection By choosing a range of native plants, costly replacement and maintenance can be reduced. Not only will your landscaping fit with its surroundings, your plantings will thrive under local conditions while being less likely to invade new habitats. Drought tolerance is also important. If plants are selected correctly, irrigation can be minimized if not avoided entirely. What could you do with those savings? Xerisacping is the epitome of this concept and it has become popular in arid regions. Using a combination of succulent plants and rocks, an attractive display can be created that radically conserves water.
If irrigation is absolutely
necessary, consider utilizing a detention pond or a rain barrel first. Ask your architect about the “grey water” option. Is grass always necessary? Traditional lawns can be costly… maintenance, water, and fertilizer add up quickly while negatively impacting the environment. The natural appearance of these alternatives are often more appropriate for a campground or RV resort. Site Design Proper site design will accommodate the hills and slopes of a site, minimizing the need to waste time, fuel, and money moving earth and designing unnecessary storm water systems. Efficient traffic routes can further reduce fuel use while avoiding the confusion and frustration that comes with an illogical street layout. By providing pedestrian walkways and trails, a social and human scale experience can be achieved while simultaneously promoting public and ecological health.
Material Choices You can go a long way in achieving the “Green” by choosing the correct materials.
Paving materials such as gravel and permeable pavers allow for pollution filtration and ground water recharge. Choose materials from local sources. The regional economy will be bolstered while limiting transportation costs and carbon emissions. Considering renewable or recycled products? Locating recycling bins throughout your campground can help involve your guests. Solar Heating Solar heating harnesses the power of the sun to provide thermal energy for hot water heaters, space heating, and pool heaters. Many of these systems transfer heat to more traditional systems.
Solar heating has come a long way, and in the correct climate, it can save energy while reducing utility costs. Rain Gardens Rain gardens are planted depressions that are designed to retain runoff and allow for pollution filtration. The water then renews the local reservoir.
When designed properly, rain gardens provide a low maintenance alternative to expensive storm sewer systems. They also reduce site flooding, while providing a visible reminder of your green efforts. Name Recognition Energy Star and LEED are well known national programs that can provide instant recognition and credibility… maximizing your marketing impact. Ask your planner to help guide you through the process. RV’s are now eligible for Energy Star classification. Have you considered offering a promotional discount to people with Energy Star RV’s… they’ll save you money… pass it along and bring them in. Most municipal planners are in tune with these trends and often provide incentives and benefits that can help increase profitability. A savvy development team will take advantage of this while promoting the approval of the project or upgrade. Don’t forget to list your green efforts in your marketing material. Go Green! Written by Adam Shissler and Don Westphal For a copy of a green questionnaire and list of easy tips, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How serious is the global water crisis? Some experts on this issue say that the 6 billion plus persons on earth today are using and abusing the earth’s water resources at such a rate that it would take two planet earths to meet the demand by the time we get to the projected population of 9 billion people on earth. That assumes no significant increase in water use/abuse. However, irrigation for agriculture accounts for 70% of the water use and the earth’s population will grow by 3 billion people. The demand for food will, therefore, likely increase the need for water. Remember too, that in addition to irrigation, food production requires water for animals and for food processing. The concept of “embedded water” is now being put forth in the effort to quantify exactly how much water is used for what. The growing and processing of food requires water. Thus, it is estimated that 3 gallons of water are needed to
produce 1 gallon of bottled water, 10 gallons of water are needed to produce one slice of bread and 35 gallons of water go into the production of one cup of coffee. Water is also used in the production of energy just as energy is used in the treatment and delivery of water. When we use energy we are, in effect, using embedded water. As the cost of water increases the cost of energy will increase. Likewise, when the cost of energy increases, the cost of water increases. Fasten your financial seatbelts: the water bill will be going up and the supply will be going down. So What Is a Person to Do? As individuals there are three categories of actions available to help the situation: join in study and planning efforts that address water and wastewater needs. avoid polluting, contaminating or otherwise compromising water quality. Dispose of chemicals, toxins and various waste products properly. Manage land to avoid erosion. Be careful about how you use fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. manage and use your water wisely.
“Wise management of water” is not the same thing as rationing. People marooned on a desert island or in a life boat with a limited supply of drinking water ration. People who have running water piped into their homes manage: turn off the shower immediately when you are finished and don’t run it until you are ready to shower. turn off the lawn sprinklers when there is rain. fix leaky faucets use low flush toilets wash clothes in full loads run the dishwasher only when it is filled use outdoor trees, bushes and plants that require very little water
consider non organic outdoor landscaping, using rock, stone and other non-water consuming items as part of the total plan All these tiny little steps in the face of global problems are truly just drops in the bucket. That is true. But so are raindrops. No one raindrop can make any difference. And yet when it rains there is plenty of water. Another way of looking at it: no one of us created the water crisis but there it is, big as day. We have all worked together to create the problem. That tells us we could all work together to solve the problem.
After an extensive marketing study, at General RV, KOA, ARVC, and Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare Michigan Campmasters will now offer the new Smokey Bear campfire poker just the way you want it.
Cedar Springs, MI—October 5, 2009—The US Forest Department has issued Campmasters LLC a license to make The Smokey Pokey tm…. Smokey Bear Campfire pokers!
According to Mark Loucks, “We are now prepared to offer the new Smokey Bear campfire poker at the price and quality everyone asked for.” Both the campground industries, retail stores and end users have demanded a price and quality that they will purchase.
Campgrounds all across America will now have the chance to carry Smokey Bear campfire pokers in their camp stores.
“We have tested many different manufacturers, prices places and promotions to compile the exact formula that both the
customers and retailers want Mark said.” Now we are going to launch this new Smokey Bear campfire poker at the National ARVC show in Orlando on November 9-11 2009 and the National KOA show in Woodland Texas November 18-22 2009. Campmasters would like to thank all of the early innovative Campground owners for their great vision to purchase and untried product and to all of the RV and Retail stores who participated in our marketing study. Smokey Bear campfire pokers is now available to
order for Christmas presents and we are also taking wholesale orders for Spring of 2010. You can order by contacting Campmasters@charter.net or calling Campmasters at 616-918-3732. Our new Campfirepoker.com website is currently under construction due to the Federal Licensing by Smokey Bear. We hope to see you at the KOA and ARVC shows in November. If not, contact us at Campmasters@charter.net
HARRISBURG PA - The new resort in Harrisburg boasts several firsts for the community.
The resort is the work of Cross and business partners Chris Erickson and his father, Gus Erickson.
"We've got the first commercial swimming pool, the first elevator and the first hotel," said coowner Tony Cross with a smile.
The Willamette River runs the length of the nine-acre property, whose north boundary is the city of Harrisburg's tree farm. The men bought the property five years ago, when the area's luxury motor coach industry was thriving.
The $5.3 million River Bend Resort opened in May after 18 months of construction. Nestled on the north edge of this community of 3,200 residents, it features a 95spur campground, 19room hotel and 17,000square-foot conference center, restaurant and lounge.
"Our original business plan was to cater to the owners of the 200 or more large motor coaches that were in the area at any given time to get repairs done," Cross said. Harrisburg and Junction City were home to several large manufacturers
until the recession took its toll on the sale of milliondollar recreational vehicles.
ceremony and reception on the lawn to a completely catered sit-down affair."
The resort owners reworked their plan and now want to help the community cast itself as a tourist destination.
Camping in the oversized spurs is $29.95 per day and includes full hookups, 50amp electrical service and satellite television.
"The river is certainly a big draw any time of year," Cross said. "We see eagles, osprey and deer all of the time." The resort has already hosted 10 weddings, and bookings for 2010 are coming in, Cross said. "We will work within anyone's budget on a wedding," Cross said. "Anything from a simple
Hotel rooms run from $79 to $159. The suites include kitchenettes with stoves and full-sized refrigerators. Some of the rooms also have patios. Nineteen units are finished and there is room on a third level to add 10 more, Cross said. Full Article: www.democratherald.com
By Lucas Hartford- Evergreen USA RRG, Inc.
Since 1981, the Best Holiday Trav-L-Park Association has held their annual meeting at the site of the ARVC InSites Convention. They will do the same this year, except it will be divided into two sessions. The first will be a casual get-together Sunday evening at 7:00 pm in a meeting room at the Rosen Centre Hotel and the 2nd session will be Wednesday 12-2pm, a lunch meeting in the restaurant at the Rosen Centre Hotel. Topics discussed will be: • 15% first night camping discount • $100 prize given to three camping families this year • 15% advertising discount in Trailer Life, Woodall’s and AAA directories • New members • Best Holiday standard of quality Nonmember parks and vendors are invited to attend. The Best Holiday Trav-LPark Association is a nonprofit organization of the very best parks in North America, which have
joined together for the purpose of providing the highest quality possible accommodations. They represent the top 5 percent of all campgrounds and RV parks providing group benefits to independently owned parks without being a franchise. The association offers many benefits including: • Nationally recognized and promoted registered trademark logo • Protected market area • International campground directory distributed at AAA visitor centers, RV dealers, camping shows • 15% discount on advertising in major publications • Nationwide Best Buck network ing For more information contact: Donn Ianuzi, Executive Director Best Holiday Trav-L-Park Association 4809 East Marshall Drive Vestal, New York 13850 Phone: 607-237-0702 Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
CROWLEY, Texas, Oct. 13, 2009 – Not all of the retirees from up north who spend the winter at RV parks and campgrounds in Texas will be staying in motorhomes, travel trailers or fifth wheels. Many of them will be staying in “park models,” 400-square foot, cottagelike accommodations that are increasingly being used as part-time winter retreats in campgrounds and RV parks and resorts in Texas and across the Sunbelt. “Park models and cottages make a lot of sense for Winter Texans who spend the entire season at a single park where they have friends or family nearby,” said Brian Schaeffer, executive director and CEO of the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).
model rentals are an option that’s available to them,” said Ken Butschek, managing partner and co-owner of La Hacienda RV Resort in Austin, which has 15 park models. “I already have 8 of my 15 park models rented this winter by Winter Texans,” he said, adding the remainder will be available to accommodate additional Winter Texans or other travelers. Still relatively unknown to most consumers, recreational park trailers or “park models” are 400square foot movable resort cottages that are designed exclusively for part-time recreational use. Typically upscale in appearance, they often include hardwood floors, bay windows and lofts as well as cherry, oak or maple cabinetry.
Park models also can be an economical choice for RV owners who really enjoy the life style, but find it more cost effective to leave their rig at home than spend the money in gas or diesel driving their rig across the country, merely to leave it parked at one location for most of the winter.
And because park models are technically classified as recreational vehicles, they can be set up in campgrounds and RV parks and used as weekend retreats or seasonal vacation dwellings. That’s precisely what’s happening at many RV resorts across the country, many of which are continuing to invest in park models as rental units.
“Not everybody understands that park
Hill Country RV Resort in New Braunfels, for
example, plans to purchase another 10 park models this month, boosting its total number of park model rentals to 20, said Bryan Kastleman, who manages the park on behalf of an investment group. Many parks also lease campsites to people who own their own park models, while other parks act as park model dealers and sell the units to consumers as a package deal with a campsite they either lease or purchase.
Butschek of La Hacienda RV Resort recently opted to make some of his RV sites available to people who own their own park model. Other private park operators in Texas, including Don Temple of Guadalupe River RV Resort in Kerrville, have both park model rentals and cottages available for sale. The resort, located on a site overlooking the Guadalupe River, sells park models made by Texas-based, Athens Park Homes for under $60,000.
Does not matter where you are in the world, travelers talk and that is particularly true of RV’ers and Campers. The conversation always seems to start out with the icebreaker question ‘Where ya been? and Where ya goin?’ This guy I know named Bert has a highway RV Park along a busy tourist route, there are many choices for the RV’ers on where they will pull in for the night and competition is fierce. Bert has 140 sites and runs at 55% occupancy through the season. I can’t help notice that Bert is starting to spend more on everything! From his park to his house and even on the size of his advertising. – Does Bert have a secret? The park had changed a lot since I was last there – things were looking good, I booked into a cabin and later that evening Bert and I got to talking. I wanted to ease into the subject and felt I had to be very diplomatic, stelth-like even! So I said: Bert, ‘what is your current occupancy?’ and he said 79% so I said ‘How come?’ Bert proceeded to tell me that he had introduced a new discount system but one with a difference. Every night he chats with his campers and RV’ers, they’re real glad to meet the owner of the park and delighted when Bert gives them a discount card with his signature on it (it’s all hand
written). Bert explains that when they meet and get to talking to someone coming this way that they can give them the card and he will honor the 15% discount. I said ‘That’s it?’ you mean that has been responsible for the massive increase in occupancy! and Bert said Yep! I quizzed him further and it became very apparent that Bert was a lot smarter then he let on. By nature (he explained) people get a kick out of doing a good turn for someone else, so a couple of unique things are in play with this method of providing a discount: 1.The privilege of being able to help someone is passed on to the client and many of them may not be usually positioned to experience that. 2.The campers and RV’ers become Ambassadors’ for the park, they don’t just pass on the discount card they actually encourage fellow travelers to stay here. When it comes to how good our park is who would you believe? Me or a fellow traveler? 3.The Clients we gave the cards to are all coming back again this year. Even though they themselves did not get the discount it seems that being able to provide that to others kinda just felt good to them. Anyway we seemed to have just stumbled onto something that really works for us.
GOSHEN, Ind. -- The Passport division of Keystone RV has announced today the introduction of a full-depth, 36-inch deep slide-room available in select new Passport ultra lite models. Exclusive technology called Ultra-Slide has enabled Passport engineers to create larger slides with little added weight. According to Keystone General Manager Sean Ryan, Ultra-Slide will allow Passport Ultra Lite travel trailers to offer floorplans not previously found in trailers at this weight and price point. “We’ve successfully incorporated
a 36-inch deep slide with full size U-shaped dinette and sofa bed into the Passport Ultra Lite without increasing weight. This hasn’t been done before and will transform the ultra lite market,” he said. The benefits of a deeper slide include more interior living area, more comfortable seating areas, and a larger dinette. All these extra features typically increase weight making full-depth slides in an ultra lite impossible. However, the Passport Ultra-Slide utilizes advanced design and manufacturing technology making the impossible a reality.
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