Following on from our lead story last issue ARVC have released a press release outlining the possible impact in bringing millions of dollars to campgrounds, rv parks and resorts. LARKSPUR, Colo., March 9, 2010 â€“ President Obamaâ€™s signing of the Travel Promotion Act could translate into
millions of dollars in new business for campgrounds and RV parks in both rural and urban areas across the country, according to the trade association that represents privately owned parks. The legislation, approved with bipartisan congressional support in late February, creates a
Corporation for Travel Promotion, which would work closely with the Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security and State to develop a nationally coordinated, multichannel marketing and communications program to attract more international visitors and Continued page 2
Continued from page 1 explain travel security policies. â€œThis legislation will help us better compete with other countries that have been actively marketing themselves to travelers throughout the world,â€? said Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), adding that stepped up international leisure travel to the U.S. will likely result in
President Obama increased visits to campgrounds, RV parks and resorts. While advocates of the legislation estimated that the program could generate as many as 1.6 million new inbound visitors a year, ARVC believes about 3 percent of those visitors, or 48,000 people, would likely stay in both urban and rural campgrounds, RV parks and resorts as they travel.
David Gorin, ARVCâ€™s government affairs counsel, said that if the travel promotion program brings 48,000 new campers to U.S. parks each year, that could translate into $14.1 million in private park revenue, assuming an average stay of seven nights at $42 per night, the nightly median average for premium sites referenced in the latest ARVC economic report.
These visitors would also be expected to spend a total of about $90 per day for all other goods and services, such as gas, food and local attractions, which would translate into about $30.25 million revenue for the other businesses in the communities where the parks are located. The Corporation for Travel Promotion would be funded through a matching program with up to $100 million in private sector contributions and a $10 fee on foreign travelers who do not pay a $131 fee for a visa to enter the United States. No U.S. tax money would be provided for this market effort.
Next Wednesday we will be hosting the Getawayusa forum to a select group at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Chicago. We are hopeful this venture will help stimulate visitation to campgrounds, rv parks, resorts and state parks of an entirely new "camper," those who need stimulation to get off the couch, start teaching their children about our great outdoors and get down to some real and positive family values. The starting email addresses of 66 million are ones that have opted in to receive emails, and are selected from all over the country.
The monthly magazine will feature four states each month in a heavily orientated pictorial format that encourages the reader to go experience the great outdoors. Readership will be further encouraged with a chance to win a vast array of prizes. Online magazines are experiencing a huge increase in readership levels with some of the leading newspapers announcing fees to read their product online. The demographics are self evident in this recently
released survey which shows internet use by the older generation on par up to the 50-54 age bracket. Reservations, purchasing and information seeking has seen the internet
become THE major source of information. Online magazines are the future. Dennis Macready: Editor Contimued next page
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U.S. companies will spend more this year on digital and online advertising and marketing than on print for the first time ever, according to a study released Monday. Companies will spend $119.6 billion on online and digital strategies and $111.5 billion on newspaper and magazine advertisements and other print campaigns, says the study by Californiabased Outsell. Outsell, which provides research and advisory services to the publishing and information industries, described the spending shift as "an industry milestone crossover event." It said overall U.S. spending on advertising and marketing will increase by 1.2 per cent in 2010 to $368 billion. Outsell said $63 billion, or 52.8 per cent of total online advertising spending by companies, will be on their own websites, which it said constitutes a "powerful form of direct-to-customer marketing."
"Advertisers are directing dollars toward the channels which generate the most qualified leads and most effective branding," Outsell vicepresident and lead analyst Chuck Richard said. "As they emerge from the recession, they need more accountability, and they're spreading their spending over a widening set of options," he said. By category, Outsell said spending on print newspaper advertising was expected to drop 8.2 per cent to $27 billion while print magazine advertising will rise $1.9 per cent to $9.4 billion. U.S. newspapers and magazines have been facing declining print advertising revenue, falling circulation and the migration of readers to free news online. Spending on television advertising was forecast to drop 6.5 per cent to $59.6 billion. Outsell surveyed more than 1,000 advertisers last December for its annual Marketing and Advertising Study 2010.
The results of RVIA’s January 2010 survey of manufacturers reports that 15,800 new RVs were shipped from manufacturers to dealers in January, more than twice the total of January 2009 shipments. Both towable and motorhome categories grew, with all categories at the same or substantially above their January totals last year. Importantly, this increase marked the sixth consecutive month of improvement for RV shipments as dealer orders more closely reflected retail sales during the month. Wholesale shipments of all towable RVs were reported at 14,300 units in January, up 15 percent from December 2009 and up 116 percent over the January 2009 number. Shipments of conventional travel trailers grew from 4,300 units in January 2009 to 9,500 units this January, a 120 percent increase. Fifth wheels climbed 150 percent over the previous year’s number to 3,500 units shipped, the largest percentage increase in the towables group.
Folding camping trailers climbed 37 percent over last year; while shipments of truck campers doubled. Motorhome shipments were reported at 1,500 units this January, up 114 percent over one year ago. Shipments of Type A motorhomes grew by 125 percent to 900 units. Type C motorhomes grew 150 percent over last year, with a total of 500 units shipped. Only Type B motorhomes did not grow over last year, with the same number of units (100) shipped this January as last. “Evidence continues to mount that 2010 will be a year of recovery for the RV industry,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “Although we still have a long way to go, consistently improving shipment numbers are a very positive sign for our industry. And, as the RV industry has historically been a leading indicator of recessions and recoveries, I hope that good news for the RV industry is also an encouraging sign for the nation’s economy as a whole."
BILLINGS, MT (March 5, 2009) – Kampgrounds of America, the largest and best system of open-to-thepublic family campgrounds in the world, will be taking its annual KOA International Convention to the prettiest city in the South November 7-10, 2010. The host hotel for the big event will be the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa. The annual KOA Trade Expo, where vendors work with hundreds of KOA owners and managers, will be
406-248-7444. Booth space for this event fills up fast, so don’t wait! Independent campground owners looking for more information about adding their campground to the November 9-10 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. Vendors interested in securing their spot at the Expo can contact Isabel Frederick at firstname.lastname@example.org or call
KOA family and taking part in the industry’s best educational convention can contact Chris Fairlee at email@example.com, or visit www.ownakoa.com.
WORRIED caravanners hitched up and fled some low lying coastal caravan parks in NSW and Queensland after Chile's massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami threat. Travelers were reportedly moving to higher ground as local radio and television stations broke into normal programming to issue urgent warnings that dangerous waves and strong ocean currents could batter beaches from
Residents and campers watched as about 10 golf carts participated in the decorated golf parade at Frontier Park on State Road 50 at noon on Saturday. The parade was part of the campground's 38th anniversary party, which began on Thursday, March 4, and ends on Sunday.
southern NSW to just south of Rockhampton. But despite a small rise in sea levels there were no reports of damage along Australia's eastern seaboard and relieved caravanners were making their way back to the coast.
The winning golf cart had a 1950s rock and roll theme. The drivers of the cart received a $25 gift card to Cracker Barrel restaurant. Second place received a $20 gift card, third place received a $15 card and all other entrants received $10 gift cards. www2.hernandotoday.com
Go RVing’s $8.25 million media plan, designed to reach prospects with a wide variety of interests and media habits, will give the “Go Affordably. Go RVing” campaign broad exposure at a pivotal time in the industry’s recovery. Last month television ads were aired during the winter olympics. The Vancouver Winter Games were the second-most watched ever, with a total of 190 million Americans tuning in to coverage on the networks of NBC Universal, which include NBC, CNBC, USA, MSNBC and Universal Sports.
Kansas RV park owners met at USI RV Park in Wichita earlier last week for the annual Spring Fling of the Kansas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (KARVC). It began with a social event on the evening prior to the all-day event. Paul Pinick (Emporia RV Park, Emporia) made a comment everyone agreed with, “KARVC is all about us connecting ... the camaraderie. This is why we exist.” As is typical, we had 50% participation from our small association, with 12 parks represented. The difference this year was that we had several first-timers with us. Their “new blood” inspired renewed enthusiasm among everyone. Long-time board member Mary Arlington (High Plains Camping, Oakley) said,
“Hearing the enthusiasm from the members, especially those who hadn’t attended in the past, rejuvenated spirits. Anyone familiar with me knows my spirits run high, so this put me back in the upper atmosphere!” The 2010 edition of the “Kansas RV and Camping Guide” received rave reviews, with not a single improvement suggestion being put on the 2011 slate. The members liked the way the “8 Wonders of Kansas” worked for the cover, and they voted to use the 2011 cover to promote the state’s 150th birthday. The park owners learned more about making the most of the members-only web page. They’re seeing more of its potential and are gaining more comfort with navigating throughout the entire site. Likewise, at
least one enhancement was requested by Larry Rowe (All Season RV Park, Goddard) and has already been implemented; space to post “for sale” notices.
The site informs and connects members online. News is posted as soon as its known, rather than published quarterly in a newsletter. Members post questions to one another, sign up for programs, and share ideas. KARVC is transparent to its members. Formal and informal meetings are held on the site, for all members to see. Links connect members to suppliers and to news from and opportunities through its affiliates (ARVC, state tourism office, TIAK, etc.). Members were impressed that more of KARVC’s income is now spent on
Pat and Olive Morgison built and opened Watersports Campground in Dodge City 40 years ago. (Courtesy of KARVC) consumer-based marketing programs, now that our administrative expenses were reduced. Sheila Wagner (USI RV Park, Wichita) said, “It’s great to know that inhouse communications were drastically increased while admin costs were slashed.” As part of the state-of-theassociation report, members were very pleased to see the online marketing of their parks to Continued next page
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RVers through our greatly enhanced new web page and through several the social networking sites. A discussion was held about how best to display Kansas parks on our web page. Natalie Donges (Deer Grove RV Park, El Dorado) raised a pertinent question which led to a
lengthy open discussion about publicly-funded facilities. KARVC President Harold Hays (Lawrence KOA, Lawrence) said, “To see such lively discussion is a board member’s dreamcome-true. Passion and ownership of the association came out in everyone.” Members were supportive of listing all nonmember privately-owned parks on the consumer site, but remained opposed to including any publicly funded parks. On a jubilant note, Pat Morgison (Watersports Campground, Dodge City) announced it’s been 40 years since he built and opened his RV park.
KARVC congratulates the Morgison family on their lengthy and successful career, and applauds their long-standing dedication to KARVC, having been one of the founding-fathers of the association back in 1973. Members re-elected Sheila Wagner and elected Amy Wagner (USI RV Park, Wichita) to the board. President Harold Hays turned the gavel over to Sheila Wagner as the new President. Mary Arlington and Carolyn Fenn (Four Seasons RV Acres, Abilene) retained their titles as Treasurer and Secretary. Charlotte and Paul Pinick (Emporia RV Park,
Emporia) also continue on the board. The members also unanimously permitted an amendment of the bylaws which allows for a reduction in the size of the board and which further defines the chain of command of the officers. The members chose to continue with our present meeting format, keeping the Spring Fling private to park owners with mostly round-table discussions on the industry and park operations. The next meeting will be February 22, 2011 at Capital City KOA, in Topeka, Kansas.
Since production began on the first virtual Expo in the outdoor hospitality industry, we have been deluged with information about virtual trade shows. Hundreds of articles are being written about virtual shows, which evidence suggests are just beginning to peak. The reason is quite simple it would appear: costs. But that isn’t the only reason according to experts in the new virtual world that is being created all over the world by technocrats. “Did you hear about the guy who bought a virtual island for $26,000?”, David Gould of CAWorld Wi-Fi asked us. Indeed we had and it is representative of the “dream come true”
It's only been a day, and already 70 per cent of the province's campsites are booked for the May long weekend. That's partly thanks to the Alberta government's new online reservation system that became operational Monday. Camille Weleschuk with Tourism, Parks and Recreation says though there are alternatives to booking online.
philosophy that science is creating. There’s a web site called “Second Life”, where a person can have another existence – a virtual life while living their true existence in today’s society. So there is no surprise that business has begun to utilize virtual reality. The most utilized virtual area is now in trade shows, which have proven to increase attendance to six times greater than attendance at real shows, according to a publication called Virtual Fairs. The newest technology in trade shows is to hold them in 3-D, where the attendee creates an avatar of themselves and literally can walk or run through aisles, stop and chat with others and even journey outside the
"The on-line reservations are great for those wanting the piece of mind of knowing that when they arrive, the campsite's already ready for them. But, we have another 140 provincial campgrounds that offer first-come-first serve campsites for those who like to decide last minute as well."
tradeshow to another area. When we viewed a 3-D show, it was suggested to us that we actually create a virtual RV campground outside of the Expo area to demonstrate some of the exhibitor’s products. An exhibitor who was selling park models, for instance, could have his park model in the virtual campground and have attendees walk into it and take a 3-D tour of it. The technology is there to do exactly that – and more. There are no space limitations in the virtual world. We have opted, however, to keep this first Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo in 2-D. We felt that our industry was not at all familiar with the technology and we wanted them to have an easy comfort level at this event. But make no mistake, should this virtual experience be exciting to exhibitors and attendees alike, the technology is there to enhance the experience exponentially. The virtual world is greener too. In evaluating the usage of automobiles and gas used to go to a real trade show, the fuel consumed to heat the facility, or air-condition it, not to mention the carbon footprint for the hotels that attendees and exhibitors stay in during an event, it is obvious that the virtual trade show is greener. According to Daniel Kerns
in Virtual Fairs they are about 142% greener. Kerns knew the footprint of a virtual event would be significantly smaller than that of a physical one but was blown away by just how much after doing the calculations. Much of the advancement in the look of our forthcoming virtual shows will be solely based upon how comfortable exhibitors are in creating their exhibits. We understand that it is easier to please service-oriented businesses at our Expo in a 2-D world than it is to please those that sell hard goods and products. Those that have items that should be touched or tasted may still prefer a real event – and who can blame them. It’s also harder to socialize with others in your industry when they are not present and it seems that only a real event can satisfy that need. Even a 3-D Expo doesn’t allow you to share a beer with a companion. 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 is also the producer of the International Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo scheduled for Nov. 1-3, 2010. www.campgroundexpo.com
Casey Jourden says the Pure Michigan TV ads -those dreamy, 30-second promos of vacation splendor -- boosted business at least 10% at her new campground near Muskegon last year, even drawing travelers from the East and West coasts. "A lot of people have seen the advertisements who maybe wouldn't have even considered a trip to Michigan," said Jourden, who, with her husband, owns Duck Creek RV Resort. But another state deficit has the Pure Michigan campaign on the chopping block in Lansing. Under a Senate-passed bill, $15 million would be spent on the campaign this year, half of the $30 million spent last year for nationwide exposure. The campaign needs more, said Rep. Joel Sheltrown, D-West Branch, chairman of the House tourism committee. He'll hold a
hearing today on Pure Michigan funding. "In my area, and all of northern Michigan, there's a huge cry to fund this program," Sheltrown said. "It's a basic business principle. In hard times, the last thing you should cut is your advertising budget," said Sheltrown. "What are we doing cutting our tourism funding?" With $5.5 million still left in "Pure Michigan's" fund, the Senate plan would spend half of last year's $30million budget for the ads, in which actor Tim Allen narrates gorgeous scenes of golf, lakes and forests. "Pure Michigan" has become a flashpoint over how to spend precious state money. Supporters, led by the tourism industry, say it's money well spent. A state-sponsored study concludes the ads lured 2 million visitors from outside of Michigan. Full Article: www.freep.com
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) In Gulfport, people are only allowed to stay in a RV park six months at a time. They can go to another RV park but can only stay for six months. RV campground parks are not considered long-term rental properties in the city. At Baywood RV Park off Cowan-Lorraine Road, some have parked their motor homes for nearly ten years, and say they didn't know it was a problem. "They didn't tell us there was a six month limit. The park did not tell us," Leonard Rossbach said. Health concerns and relocating kids in the middle
of the year are some of the hardships residents have expressed. In last week's council meeting, Mayor George Schloegel said the city would work with people in certain situations. They would be given more than 30 days to move. But, some are still at odds with the ordinance. "Why can you live in one [an RV park] for six months and not live in it the second six months without moving to another location. You're still living in it [an RV] over a continuous period of time," said Baywood resident Hal Kellar. Article: www.wlox.com
JACKSON CENTER, Ohio, March 8 /PRNewswireFirstCall/ -- Thor Industries, Inc. (NYSE: THO) today reported increased sales, net income and E.P.S. for the second quarter and six months ended January 31, 2010. Net income for the second quarter was $11,924,000 versus a loss of $14,860,000 last year. E.P.S. were 22 cents versus a loss of 27 cents last year. Sales for the second quarter were $430.0 million, up 90% from $226.7 million last year. Net income for the six months was $35,353,000, compared to a loss of $9,740,000 last year. E.P.S. for the six months were 65 cents versus a loss of 18 cents last year. Sales
for the six months were $932.6 million, up 40% from $665.5 million last year. RV income before tax in the quarter was $18,057,000 compared to a loss of $19,840,000 last year. Bus income before tax in the quarter was $6,233,000, up 67% from $3,723,000 last year. RV sales in the quarter were $335.8 million, up 150% from $134.6 million last year. Bus sales in the quarter were $94.2 million, up 2% from $92.1 million last year. Net corporate costs in the quarter were $5.0 million vs. $6.8 million last year. RV income before tax for the six months ended
January 31, 2010 was $49,699,000 compared to a loss of $14,068,000 last year, a $64 million turnaround. Bus income before tax for the six months was $14,613,000, up 62% from $9,020,000 last year. RV sales for the six months ended January 31, 2010 were $725.7 million, up 56% from $465.0 million last year. Bus sales for the six months ended January 31, 2010 were $206.9 million, up 3% from $200.5 million last year. Net corporate costs for the six months ended January 31, 2010 were $7.8 million versus
$9.7 million last year. "Thor's results continue to progress, propelled by improving RV market conditions and strong bus efficiencies. We continue to be profitable in all segments of our businesses, including motor homes, reflecting the permanent cost reductions we have made," said Peter B. Orthwein, Thor chairman. Thor is the world's largest manufacturer of recreation vehicles and a major builder of commercial buses.
GUN BARREL CITY–You know how local city leaders are always trying to think of ways of attracting visitors to the area? Well, here’s the story of two visitors who found their way here all the way from Germany, via Canada and the North Pacific Highway. They are Anne and Stephen von Mering, just a couple of typical RVers making their way east after completing a tour of the Pacific coast. Typical, except they came all the way from Europe, traveling through much of Canada and the northwestern United States. This is their second trip touring North America, and to prove it, a large map is displayed on the outside of their RV. The states are all a different color, with only one blank spot remaining. “We haven’t yet been to Kentucky,” Anne explained. Their current trip included a tour along the famed Highway 1, down California’s Pacific coastline to San Diego. “We were on our way to Purtis Creek State Park the evening of Feb. 8, when we were caught in a heavy rainstorm,” she said. The couple carried a travel guide containing all the roads, highways, places and possible stops a traveler might enjoy.
While seeking a place to pull in out of the rain, a listing for Lakeridge RV Park in Gun Barrel City caught their attention, so they decided to stop for a few days. At Lakeridge, they met owner Barbara Caudell and became friends. Both Anne and Stephen began telling how much they have enjoyed traveling. No matter what country one is from, the dream to travel is often elusive. The couple took to the roads soon after Stephen retired from being a judge. “I have tried both civil and criminal cases, which included family court,” he said. “After retiring, we sold our home and bought our RV.” Working through a travel agency, the couple arranged for their RV to be shipped to the U.S. Three weeks later, the couple boarded an airliner and flew to Baltimore, where they picked up their waiting vehicle. “We were worried. We had heard so many stories about vehicles being vandalized on the trips
Lakeridge RV Park.
Monitor Photo/ Barbara Gartman. Anne and Stephen von Mering stop at Lakeridge RV Park in Gun Barrel City. over, but nothing happened,” Anne said, “so we were able to begin our trip right away.” They left Baltimore May 10, 2009, and have been traveling for almost a year. America’s wide-open spaces and the amount of unspoiled wilderness to be seen was an exciting experience for the travelers. The von Merings live in Oldenburg, Germany. “The country of Germany is about the size of the state of Montana,” he explained. “But, there are 80 million (people) living there.” By comparison, Montana has an estimated
population of 974,989. No wonder it is the state with the third lowest population density and is called “the Big Sky Country.” “We covered more than 40,000 kilometers, about 30,000 miles,” Stephen said, including 1,500 miles of unpaved road that took in the famed Dempster Highway in Canada. The Dempster Highway (also known as Yukon Highway 5 and Northwest Territories Highway 8) is 457 miles of gravel road through the Arctic wilderness from Dawson City, Yukon, to Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories. The road is two lanes wide, and in some places, the gravel pad ranges from four to eight feet deep, to prevent the road from sinking when the permafrost melts. The merry travelers reentered the U.S. from Canada, and continued visiting the west. “We celebrated my 66th birthday in New Port, Oregon,” Anne (who looked very trim and nowhere near 66) reported. “One of the most moving events for me was our trip to Yellowstone (National Park). It showed me just how insignificant I am,” Anne said. Stephen, 68, was most impressed by Bryce Canyon in Utah. “It was beautiful to see the unusual (rock) forms. Looking up, it was like being in a temple,” Stephen Continued next page
Continued from previous page said. “It was very beautiful and so quiet. I couldn’t get over the loneliness and the solitude.” The couple are slowly moving towards Florida, with plans to arrive in time for the 90th birthday of Anne’s “American mother.” “In 1960, I was an exchange student in Michigan, and lived for a year with my host family. We stayed in touch,” Anne said. One of six exchange students, Anne said they were the first in that area. “I graduated from Perry
High School,” she said. “In Germany, I taught deaf children.” The wanderers plan on returning to Germany May 5, completing their second North America odyssey. And though Gun Barrel City doesn’t compare to nearly 500 miles of gravel highway or the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean, the solitude of sacred Bryce Canyon, or the majesty of Yellowstone Park, their visit to Cedar Creek Lake will stand out in their memory for a different reason – the warmth of the friendship they found while here.
A 13-year-old boy was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta on Saturday after a propane heater at a Floyd County RV park possibly exploded, said Steve Wilson, battalion chief with the Rome-Floyd Fire Department. Also treated for burns were two adult males and a female, who were taken to Floyd Medical Center by ambulance, Wilson said. The incident occurred at the Fosters Mill RV Park. Witnesses speculated that the boy had fallen into a creek near the RV park and had gone inside his family’s camper to get warm. When those with him tried to light the propane heater, it
apparently exploded, possibly because of a leak. Witnesses at the RV park said they overheard a woman saying, “Don’t light that heater, I smell gas,” just before the explosion. The exact cause of the explosion is still under investigation. Article and Photo: www.romenewstribune.com
It seems a rotten shame that two of the most successful and beneficial RV Campground shows in our industry have to occur on the same dates. Both the Wisconsin and Northeast shows have gained superlative reputations from exhibitors who attend them and seem to be enjoyed by campground owners. Both, however, are always scheduled for the same dates each year. We have been fortunate, as have some other exhibitors, to have the personnel available to exhibit at both shows, but one has to wonder why these two ARVC shows seem to compete each year. True, attendees do like to stay close to home when traveling to a conference, but exhibitors, offtimes, are forced to choose which show to attend. Speaking of scheduling, I have always wondered why for the past several years ARVC's Insites has been run over Veteran's
Day - especially since there is no tribute to veterans at Insites. This year ARVC has moved their Insites to December avoiding that holiday entirely. Also on election day, 2008 (what many consider to be a rather important date in our lifetimes) I found myself in the Embassy Suites in Covington, KY while exhibiting at the Leisure System's Convention. Doesn't anyone use a calendar anymore?
I have been reading with interest about the new magazine. I am not sure how it will help my campground, are you going to have park listings? I think it is a good idea, us smaller parks need all the help we can get. It seems the bigger you are the more promotion you get. How about featuring some of us smaller guys sometime. In regard to your reporting on the economy, I for one have just held ground on this time last year.
NASHVILLE – Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke have announced the results of a University of Tennessee study that quantifies the significant positive impact Tennessee State Parks have on the state’s economy. The study indicates Tennessee State Parks pump millions of dollars into local economies and create thousands of jobs. “Our nationally recognized state parks provide Tennesseans with invaluable resources for recreation, protect the landscapes and cultural sites that make our state special, and now we have data that validates what we’ve long known − they also provide economic engines and jobs in some of our most rural communities,” said Bredesen. “I’m pleased to see the results of this research, which supports our belief that Tennessee State Parks strongly support local economies.” The study, titled, “Economic Impacts of Tennessee’s State Parks,” was conducted by the University of Tennessee Human Dimensions Research Lab in the Institute of Agriculture. It concluded that in FY2008-
2009, Tennessee State Parks visitors directly spent $725.2 million on items such as food, gas, lodging and activities for visits to state parks, financing nearly 12,000 jobs in Tennessee communities. Additionally, the study indicates that for every dollar spent on trips to Tennessee State Parks, an additional $1.11 of economic activity was generated, resulting in $1.5 billion in total industry output. That brings the total number of jobs supported by state parks in Tennessee to more than 18,600. Indirect business taxes from state park visitors were estimated at $106.3 million. According to the study, state parks also play a role in reducing physical and mental health costs and increasing overall productivity, while increasing the state’s attractiveness to industries and individuals looking to relocate in an area rich in natural amenities. “Our award-winning Tennessee State Parks offer a variety of no-cost and lowcost recreational opportunities and cost effective accommodations,” said Fyke. “We’re pleased to have such an important role in helping to make Tennessee such an attractive place to live, work and play.”
The complete economic impact study is available on the Environment and Conservation Web site at www.tnstateparks.com/eco nomic_impact. The economic impact study was conducted for inclusion in Tennessee’s comprehensive outdoor
recreation plan, which will guide outdoor recreation priorities over the next 10 years. The recreation plan, which is titled, “Tennessee 2020,” is in the final stages of completion after significant public input, and will be available in the coming weeks.
TALLAHASSEE –The Department Florida State Parks began a new promotion on Tuesday to encourage weekday camping. The Two for Tuesday promotions allow visitors to purchase discounted camping packages at three state parks for Tuesday and Wednesday night stays that include admission to select nearby state parks. “Two for Tuesday is a great way to promote camping and encourage visitors to check out neighboring parks,” said
Florida Park Service Director Mike Bullock. “By offering ready-made packages, visitors can take the guess work out of planning their trip, all for a discounted price.” Locations of the Two for Tuesday parks range from springs near Central Florida to beaches in the Panhandle and museums in southwest Florida. Campers can bring a tent, camper or RV, or choose to stay in a cabin or bungalow. All overnight accommodations are subject to availability.
AUGUSTA - Campers headed to Maine from other states wouldn’t be allowed to bring their own firewood under a proposed law headed toward passage in the state Legislature. Lawmakers want to protect Maine from destructive bugs that have wiped out huge swaths of trees in central Massachusetts and in other states. The insects can enter the state through infested firewood. Legislators and other state officials fear widespread infestations could harm production of lumber and maple sugar, affecting as many as 25,000 workers in Maine, while leaving ecological and visual scars on the woodlands of the nation’s most heavily forested state. They are particularly concerned about Asian longhorned beetles, which tunnel and lay eggs in maple and other hardwood trees, and emerald ash borers, which burrow into ash trees. Representative Jeff McCabe said his bill directs state forestry officials to draft rules that close Maine’s border to firewood brought in by campers and sets up a mechanism to
collect firewood brought into the state near the border. The law would likely cover commercial importation of firewood. It exempts wood that’s kilndried, or treated to prevent pests. Out-of-state firewood represents a huge volume of what’s carried into Maine campgrounds. There are 20,000 campsites in the state, and on a given night 40-50 percent of the campers are nonresidents, Such a law should not come as a shock to many Maine campers, said Rick Abare, executive director of the Maine Campground Owners Association. Abare said his 210-member group has been working with state officials for three years to pass the legislation, and has been educating campers in the meantime about the need for the restriction. Campground owners, whose properties generally include woods, understand the threat of a serious bug invasion, he said. “This is the Legislature ratifying what’s already known by the business community and the public,’’ Abare said. Full Article;www.boston.com
Mother Nature can be cruel and devastating. The liability to reasonably protect your customers and clients goes with the territory of owning and managing parks and campgrounds. It is not optional. What is optional, however, is making an inventory of all the beauty and goodness to be found in nature, not only on your premises but in the surrounding territory. Do a roundup of everything good on your site. Then do the same for everything you can find within one mile, two miles, three miles and so forth, as far out as 20 or 25 miles. Then publicize these far and wide as part of the reasons why people should come to your park or campgrounds. Enjoying nature is, after all, one of the big reasons!
Here is a checklist for your inventory. Be sure to note seasonal differences and average temperatures as well as when to avoid allergens. Sights to See and Enjoy, Best Vantage Points and Locations sunrises sunsets Fall colors sky views valleys views migratory birds mountains and hills shorelines storms streams woods and forests northern lights flowers and scents animals fish Activities walking trails horseback riding wading swimming fishing bicycling hunting bird watching canoeing drifting climbing repelling white water rafting sky diving photo ops rock collecting surfing gardening
In recognition of its outstanding facilities, amenities, and guest services, Hidden Ridge RV Resort located in Hopkins, Mich., has been designated as one of the Best Parks in America. The resort is one of the newest affiliates of Best Parks, a national network of the top 10 percent of America's RV parks and campgrounds as rated by the industry's rating companies and consumers. Hidden Ridge RV Resort is owned by Bill Lettinga and the Lettinga family and has been open since 2005. The Lettingas have been in the RV and camping industry both in Michigan and Florida for 12 years. The deluxe RV resort features plenty of amenities, including two lakes for swimming and fishing, a spacious pool and spa, cement pad sites, private shower houses, planned activities and more. "Being associated with Best Parks in America is a huge honor for Hidden Ridge RV Resort," remarked Lettinga. "Being recognized on the national level is a great accomplishment for us." Best Parks in America currently has a network of 28 of the nation's highest rated parks located in 16 states and new parks are becoming part of the
expanding network each week. The network's Web site, www.BestParks.com, allows RVers and campers to easily and quickly identify the very best places to stay. Best Parks will be publishing an annual print directory that will appear for the first time in April 2010. The organization is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. "We are delighted to welcome Hidden Ridge RV Resort as one of the newest Best Parks in America and congratulate the owners and staff on this achievement," said network president David Gorin. "The park truly represents the best of the RV park and campground industry and we're delighted to have them as an affiliate. Achieving the high ratings required to be part of Best Parks is no easy task and the Lettinga family and their staff is to be commended on delivering such high quality experiences to their guests."
North Hollywood, CA, March 3, 2010 – A video tour of the Airstream 28 International Signature Series is LIVE on RVBuddiesOnline.com for viewing now. “Airstream is a classic trailer with a rich history,” says Mark Summers, Host and Executive Producer of RV Buddies Online. "In fact, the 28 so caught our cameraman's eye that we couldn't pull him away," says Summers. "He shot close-ups of bolts and plumbing that were more for his personal enjoyment and research than for the video tour!" Like all Airstream trailers, the International Signature series has a low center of gravity for incredible control on the road. Additionally, its aerodynamic shape can improve fuel economy by up to 20%. Over 70% of all Airstream trailers ever made are still on the road today. That's because they can easily last over 40 years, which is
significantly greater than most conventional trailers. Airstreams have a cult following and are high on the list of demands by "A" celebrities while they are on set in Hollywood or on location. There are six different lines of travel trailers with floor plans ranging from 16' to just under 35'. One model, the PanAmerica, even includes a garage area, which officially brings Airstream into the toy hauler market. Airstream continues to be one of the most popular trailers available today – the result of the vision of one man, Wally Byam, whose dream was to build the perfect travel trailer. Ahead of its time, the Airstream still slices efficiently through the air – a simple design that remains intact today. Byam's philosophy was that quality always remained "in style", and that there was no room for planned obsolescence.
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