George O'Leary

George O’Leary presents his gift at ARVC’s OHCE. Credit: ARVC & Katie Maynard

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) is excited to announce it has received a generous gift that will fund full scholarships to its annual National School of RV Park and Campground Management in perpetuity.

The gift of $1 million, given by George O’Leary, a past member of the ARVC Board of Directors and longtime owner of award-winning ARVC member-parks Rincon Country East RV Resort and Rincon Country West RV Resort in Tucson, Ariz., will allow ARVC to fully fund scholarships to its National School, providing valuable professional development to the future of our industry, noted ARVC officials.

“George has experienced so much as a campground owner and has been sharing his expertise with members of this industry for decades,” said ARVC President and CEO Paul Bambei. “This gift is an exceptional extension of his generosity, and it will ensure that the education and experience of National School will be more accessible to those in our industry for years to come. This is a game-changer for our industry and to say we are grateful is an understatement.”

Bambei announced O’Leary’s gift during the ARVC Awards of Excellence ceremony on Nov. 11 at the Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo in Raleigh, N.C., and also shared that the National School will be renamed and rebranded to honor O’Leary.

O’Leary then shared his passion for educating the future of our industry as his reason for giving the gift.

“From early on, I learned the importance of education in this industry and that’s why I am doing what I am doing. It’s to ensure the future of our industry has the opportunity to get educated about the business,” O’Leary told the audience. “I’m near the end of the trail now, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I hope that what I am doing to help the school will help young people on the road to success.”

O’Leary, who was born on a farm near the town of Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland, sailed from Ireland in 1956 and opened Rincon Country East RV Resort in November 1979.

A year later, all 460 sites were rented. In 1983, he began a new venture which became the 1,100-site Rincon Country West RV Resort on Tucson’s southwest side.

Since then, the O’Leary family has continuously modernized both resorts to keep them up to date with state-of-the-art facilities and amenities, and after more than four decades in the outdoor hospitality industry, O’Leary recently sold Rincon Country RV Resorts.

The next National School is scheduled for Feb. 20-24, 2022, in Myrtle Beach, S.C. O’Leary’s gift will begin funding scholarships for the 2023 National School. For more information about the event, or to apply for a scholarship, click here.