Evanne Schmarder

ARVC has made an offer on new office space in Castle Rock, Colo. Having signed a purchase and sales agreement with the sellers, the national trade association is currently going through the various steps of due diligence, and their real estate lawyer is working on closing requirements.

The ARVC board overwhelmingly voted to authorize purchasing the building, which consists of the entire second floor of a new three-story office complex.

“The new building is just fantastic,” said ARVC Executive Committee member Michael Gelfand of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.-based Terra Vista Management, Inc., whose properties include Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina in Newport Beach and Campland On The Bay in San Diego. “I think it’s a great move and is a significant upgrade that will benefit the whole organization. I wholeheartedly agree that purchasing the new office space in Castle Rock is the right thing to do.”

Several ARVC board members noted that the headquarters location really doesn’t matter to most park operators, who typically only meet with ARVC representatives during the annual InSites convention and tradeshow held in different cities each year. Nor does the headquarters location matter to the association’s legislative affairs, media relations, advertising and website consultants, who conduct much of their work by phone and Internet from various locales across the country.

Former ARVC Chairman Jason Sheaffer formed a nine-member task force in 2005 to establish criteria for the move and to research various headquarters options, including staying in Virginia. The task force, whose members represented the diversity of America’s campground industry, ultimately determined that Denver was the best location, citing the city’s prominent rankings for quality of life and low cost of living, ample labor supply, as well as its proximity to major highways and airports and all of these facts still stand today.

“What is important is the quality of work coming out of our office,” reports ARVC Chairman David L. Berg, “and I feel as we go forward owning professional class A office space will be but one factor in our ability to attract great employees and leadership. To continue to pay rent at commercial prices is throwing money away. And being able to purchase office space without a mortgage puts us miles ahead of where we were several years ago, and we start building equity day one.”

“ARVC is in the process of completing various paperwork and expects to be able to close very soon, putting all of our efforts in moving ARVC into the future,” says Berg. “There is still much to accomplish, and we appreciate all of the support we’ve received. Change can be a good thing. When one door closes another opens. Working together for the betterment of ARVC and our members we can accomplish great things.”

In other ARVC news:

ARVC’s Profaizer Extends InSites Invite: It’s not too early to start thinking about attending InSites, Dec. 1-3 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. As you know, Vegas is a great destination at that time of year and there is so much more to do than gamble. Of course, attendees will be kept very busy for those few days of the conference with numerous seminars, panels, special events, networking and FUN! Come and join us. This will be my last conference and I sure would like to see all of you. To learn more about the InSites 2010 Convention & Outdoor Hospitality Expo visit www.arvc.org or call (800) 395-2267.

Green Supplier Skyway Joins New ARVC Program: ARVC is pleased to announce it has made it easier for members to “green” their properties. Skyway Supply Inc., which offers a variety of environmentally preferable janitorial products and office supplies, recently became an ARVC Member Benefit Provider.

Skyway Supply specializes in affordable, easy-to-implement, eco-friendly products. A family owned business founded in 2006, Skyway Supply serves hundreds of customers all over the U.S.A. The company provides an affordable and proven track record of great performance and cleaning solutions. More information about this new ARVC Member Benefit Provider can be found at www.arvc.org.

ARVC Supports National Parks Tourism Office: ARVC and five other major tourism and recreation organizations have urged key congressional leaders to increase funding for the National Park Service Office of Sustainable Tourism.

In a joint industry letter initiated by ARVC, the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees responsible for the NPS budget have been asked to provide a modest $1 million for the NPS Tourism Office.

Although the mission of the NPS from its beginning nearly a century ago has included a commitment to ensure that the national parks provide for the enjoyment of the public, the current agency tourism office budget only allows one staff position and includes no money to implement the comprehensive national tourism strategic plan adopted in 2008.

Administration’s New Great Outdoors Initiative: Following an April White House Conference, President Obama has called for a new Great Outdoors Initiative. A series of “Listening Sessions” have been called for more than a dozen locations around the nation, which are expected to culminate in a report to the president on a 21st century Great Outdoors Strategy by mid-November that will help shape future Federal budget priorities.

Among the issues thought likely to be considered for this new initiative – in which ARVC is participating — are revitalization of the National Park System in time for its 100th anniversary in 2016, designation of a number of new national monuments on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land and an increased focus of interagency collaboration on tourism and recreation.

GoCampingAmerica Develops Mobile Site: Go Camping America, ARVC’s consumer arm, is delighted to unveil the mobile version of GoCampingAmerica.com – GoCampingAmerica.mobi.

Thanks to mobile web design by ITI Marketing, the web-based version of GoCampingAmerica.com has been condensed to a mobile site to allow a quicker page load with the most pertinent information appearing on the homepage. With the introduction of mobile websites, the most important information from the site is made readily available as soon as the mobile website loads.

Travelers may search for a park by a number of criteria and the phone number is clickable – meaning that the user is able to call the park with just one touch. ARVC staff thoroughly researched all the various options and after speaking to many companies and members, the ARVC board decided that a mobile website is the best option at this time.