Evanne Schmarder

Editor’s Note: The following column was written by Evanne Schmarder on behalf of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).

ARVC President Bambei Outlines Summer Marketing Program

ARVC’s first national campaign aimed at young American families is coming to life as several promotional components begin to fall into place. The “Get Outdoors and Go Camping America” campaign will be using two forms of video media to reach a vast audience – the Outdoor Channel, which has a potential U.S. audience-reach of 35 million outdoor enthusiasts and YouTube, the video medium of choice by the younger generation.

ARVC’s message – family camping is easy – will encourage viewers to try the convenience of rental RVs, hassle-free cabins or other types of park rental lodging or just pure and simple tent camping during the run-up to summer – June 1-25. The viewing audience will be directed to GoCampingAmerica.com’s promotional page where they will find a myriad of special offers and pricing designed to make the camping experience easy and cost-effective.

There is a robust public relations component to this campaign that will drive awareness and create local publicity for ARVC members. Under the guidance of CAMP state executives, Rick Abare, CPO, (Maine) and Don Bennett, CPO, (New York), and working closely with sister associations including Derrick Crandall’s American Recreation Coalition (ARC) as well as ARVC’s own PR consultant, Jeff Crider, there are now 22 states/state executives that are committed to participating in the Great Outdoors publicity initiative.

To learn more about the “Get Outdoors and Go Camping America” campaign contact ARVC Marketing Director Kera Tomlin at ktomlin@arvc.org.

ARVC’s Annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference Fees Reduced

The cost of attending ARVC’s 2011 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo Nov. 28-Dec. 2, in Savannah, Ga., just got more affordable with a price reduction of nearly a third for parks with 250 or fewer sites. This change is in direct response to ARVC members who said the high cost of conference registration prevented them from attending ARVC conferences in the past. “I want small and medium size park operators and their staffs to come and see what they’ve been missing,” said ARVC President Paul Bambei.

Registration fees have also been reduced for parks that send more than one representative, recognizing multiple generations of campground family owners from the same park who have been loyal to ARVC and its state affiliates over the years.

Registration no later than Aug. 31 is required to take advantage of the special pricing. Visit http://www.arvc.org/outdoor-hospitality-conference.aspx today for a tentative conference schedule, further details and to register online.

ARVC Board Approves New Headquarters Building

Unanimous approval by ARVC’s board of directors was given to purchase a new ARVC headquarters office in South Denver, Colo. The closing took place on March 9 following over two months of due diligence that included a full inspection and value appraisal.

The new office space is located along the commercially vibrant Interstate-25 corridor, just inside the C-470 beltway. It is easily accessible to the new RTD Light Rail system, is within a mile radius of Colorado’s largest and most successful shopping mall as well as a variety of hotels and businesses within the Denver Technological Center.

According to ARVC Chairman David L. Berg, CPO, “It has been a long and arduous process, but I am confident after viewing the office this is the right property for our new ARVC headquarters.” The move-in was scheduled for April 8.

ARVC Industry Leadership

Following is a brief report on three ongoing ARVC policy initiatives in which it is playing a leadership role for the tourism and recreation industry:

  • ARVC has organized other tourism and recreation industry organizations in support of an Interagency Communications Conference. Missing from the set of admirable goals of the Great Outdoors Initiative is an attempt to increase the number and diversity of federal land visitors and users. This should entail a commitment to work with the tourism and recreation industry, and with gateway communities, to increase responsible visitation to the Federal lands, which have seen visitation trending downward for more than two decades. ARVC and six other industry organizations are proposing to the National Park Service, the Forest Service and the other federal land agencies that a conference be organized to follow up on the Great Outdoors Initiative and bring together agency and industry communications leaders to develop more cooperative, joint efforts to get the public lands message more effectively to an increasingly diverse public.
  • The Tourism Highway Group, which ARVC initiated, now comprises 16 national and regional organizations with the addition of Destination Marketing Association International (the nation’s convention and visitor and tourism bureaus). The group letter signed by those organizations was presented to at least two of the regional congressional listening sessions going on around the country – Memphis and Los Angeles. It will now be submitted formally to the key congressional committee chairs and ranking members and to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
  • The Scenic Byways Coalition has been organized to defend the national scenic byways program and has started by drafting a letter to Congress and distributing a list of all the Scenic Byways projects funded in each state since the program began in 1993, along with showing the value of each project. ARVC is helping to identify and convince other organizations to join this coalition.

ARVC Announces 2012 National School Dates

If you have ever thought about attending the National School of RV Park & Campground Management but questioned whether it was worth the money – Barb Youmans, ARVC senior director of administration and education, can reassure you it is. “I spent the school week shoulder-to-shoulder with other students from around the nation – and world (we had two students from China). Our classes were made up of a diverse group of individuals from workampers to park owners,” remarked Youmans. “It included those planning on opening a park, those who are new to the business, those who have been around for years, and those who manage public parks. I don’t think anyone walked away wondering if ‘it was worth the money’,” she added.

Registration is now available for the 2012 National School of RV Park & Campground Management to be held Feb. 21-26at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, W. Va. Special pricing is available for early bird enrollment. Visit www.campgroundschool.org for more information or contact Youmans at byoumans@arvc.org.

ARVC Partners on Travel Industry Drive Market Survey

Mandala Research has partnered with ARVC, CAMP, CalARVC, KOA, LSI, Leisure Interactive and other major travel industry related partners to learn more about the travel industry’s drive market. Mandala Research recently surveyed consumers to learn more about their vacation drive habits and is now focused on learning more about this particular market in regards to industry executives addressing the varying needs of their customers.

The results will help further understand the drive market and in turn will help in upcoming industry marketing. The results of the study will be reported in aggregate by industry segment and was published in March.