Editor’s Note: The following “guest commentary” by Jim Ozburn first appeared in the December issue of the CCLOA News, a publication of the Colorado Campground and Lodging Owners’ Association. The accompanying headline was: “They Have to Be Kidding! What Are They Thinking?” Ozburn is owner of Falcon Meadow RV Campground in Falcon, Colo., and is a CCLOA regional director.

ARVC proposed state campground associations give free trial limited time membership to their public state parks and to non-member private parks and campgrounds. When it comes to competition, we all know how unfair the state park systems have it over private parks. Also some association members aren’t so hot on private parks that haven’t been members of their association and helping with the promotion of camping within their state getting a free trial.

For the last few years Colorado Campground and Lodging Owners’ Association has included the listing of our state parks and the many private parks and campgrounds that are not members in their camp guide Camp Colorado Guide. I am not kidding. They get in our guide for free. What was the CCLOA board thinking? I was on the board then and I am still on the board now. So here is what the board was thinking. First, and foremost CCLOA is to promote its members.

To do this well we must also promote Colorado camping. To make our guide a useful and valid guide to Colorado camping and not just an advertisement for member campgrounds, it was decided to include all forms of camping. We also list information for Forest Service camping and national parks in Colorado. This makes it a welcomed give-a-way at RV shows. People who contact CCLOA by phone, email, and mail for our guide will see there are more opportunities to camp in Colorado.

CCLOA is trying to get the Colorado State Parks to join us in promoting Colorado camping. We need them and they need us. As proof, the state is considering closing four of its parks. Colorado has one of the finest park systems in all of good old USA! By working together and not promoting just ourselves, rather promoting Colorado camping we will all be winners.

At this time the state parks are not dues paying members of CCLOA and if this is to happen, we may have to change our mission statement. Just as or maybe more importantly we need more private parks to join and pay dues. We could do so much more promoting Colorado camping if we had the revenue.

There has been mixed reaction to ARVC’s proposal. The most negative is the New York state association with their withdrawal of membership from ARVC. This is a loss to national promotion of camping. It will be a gain for Colorado camping.