Fifty-three campgrounds were represented at the Campground Owners of New York’s (CONY) 45th Annual Conference and Trade Show Oct. 30-Nov. 2 at the RIT Inn and Conference Center in Rochester, N.Y.
Donald G. Bennett Jr., CONY’s executive director, provided these highlights to Woodall’s Campground Management.
The conference kicked off with two six-hour seminars on Oct. 30 that carried CPO-certified hours.

  • Clyde Taylor of Taylor Communications, Fairport, N.Y., presented “Sharpening Your Marketing Edge.” The seminar was sponsored by Wilcor International and David Corrigan, Frankfort, NY. Taylor and Corrigan worked on a study of a CONY member’s store given them before the conference. Taylor shared some of the strategies that he employed at the store and the improved results that ensued.
  • Tom Wolfe of Niagara Woodlands Campground and Rosemary Curtis, CPO, of Hickory Hill Family Camping Resort in Bath, presented the CPR and AED training.
    CONY President Scott Sherwood of Spruce Row Campground in Ithaca gave the conference keynote address, followed by a presentation by Greg Marshall, the chief marketing officer of the Greater Rochester Visitors Bureau.
    After the keynote address. conferees toured the George Eastman House with dinner following.
    On Oct. 31, additional CPO education sessions were offered:

  • Bob MacKinnon of MacKinnon’s Campground Consulting gave two concurrent sessions: one on the ARVC Guest Satisfaction Survey program and the other on Customer Service and Training your frontline staff.
  • Joseph Murray of First Financial Group Mass Mutual gave a seminar on estate conservation.
  • Sal Bonetti of Morgan Stanley offered the attendees “How to make more money with your park now.”
  • Don Dunton of Dunton Commercial Real Estate led a session on how to increase the value of your campground.
  • Gordon Boyd of Energy Next Inc. updated members on electricity and the marketplace in New York.
    Peter O’Connell, CONY’s lobbyist, updated his clients on what legislative efforts have been underway in 2008 and what is planned for 2009.
    With the increasing amount of campground owners and operators becoming younger and having children, CONY decided to run a CONY Kids Club. They had activities in the Kids Club room, visited the Strong Children’s Museum in Rochester and attended a Halloween party at Don and Lisa Bennett’s home before coming back to the conference facility for a costume parade during the annual auction. Twelve children attended the activity. “The parents and kids liked it so much that we will definitely keep this on the agenda for 2009’s conference,” Bennett said.
    New Officers, Directors Elected
    A trade show featuring 26 vendors followed the sponsorship recognition luncheon and concluded on Saturday morning, followed by a cracker barrel session. That afternoon, CONY conducted its annual business meeting where the following officers were elected to one-year terms:

  • President Scott Sherwood, Spruce Row Campground, Ithaca.
  • First Vice President Bill Perry, Chautauqua Heights Camping Resort, Dewittville.
  • Second Vice President Laurie Bulluck, Rainbow Shores, Campsite, Pulaski.
  • Third Vice President Cecelia Schleder, Meadow-Vale Campsites, Mount Vision.
  • Secretary Carmen Marden, Camp Bell Campground, Campbell.
  • Treasurer Ed Marden, Camp Bell Campground, Campbell.
  • Past President Janine Paddock, Deer River Campsite, Malone.
    The following regional directors were elected to new three-year terms by their regions in September 2008.

  • Region 4 Gregg Nicholls, Lake Bluff Campground, Wolcott.
  • Region 6 Mike Papp, West Canada Creek Campsites, Poland.
  • Region 10 Kimberly Foro, Whispering Pines Campsites and RV Park, Greenfield Center.
  • Region 11 Doug Brown, Nickerson Park Campground, Gilboa.
    Awards Given to CONY Members
    Saturday evening saw the annual awards banquet and Hall of Fame induction. Marketing awards were given to parks that entered the competition in two categories: more than 100 campsites and less than 100 campsites.
    In the less than 100 campsite category:

  • Simple Brochure: Back-Bay Campground and Cottages, Hammond, owned by Dave and Fran Powelczyk.
  • Web Design: West Canada Creek Campsites, Poland, owned by Mike and Sandy Papp.
    In the large campground category:

  • Web Design: Lake George RV Park, Lake George, owned by Dave King and the King Family.
  • Simple Brochure: Chautauqua Heights Family Camping Resort, Dewittville, owned by Bill and Anita Perry.
  • Mailing Piece: Hickory Hill Family Camping Resort, Bath, owned by Randy and Janet Lehman.
    The president’s award was awarded to Region 3 director Rosemary Curtis, CPO, of Hickory Hill Family Camping Resort in recognition of her commitment to CONY and her hard work in going above and beyond what is expected of her.
    Hall of Fame Inductees
    The CONY Hall of Fame induction honored two ladies, each of whom represent one of the 12 CONY charter member parks when CONY was formed 45 years ago. Both also are still engaged in running their parks on a daily basis. Vera Eddy of Woodstream Campground in Gainesville and Mildred Yaniszewski of Conesus Lake Campground in Conesus.
    “It was a treat for me to actually be the one who inducted them into CONY’s Hall of Fame, as my grandmother, Mildred Yaniszewski, was one of the inductees,” Bennett said.
    CONY’s 46th annual conference will be at the Kaatskill Mountain Club and Hunter Mountain Ski Area in Hunter, N.Y. from Oct. 28 to Nov.1, 2009.