Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 8026 - January 2017 Woodall’s Campground Management flamboyantpersonalitywhodeliverstop- quality service to his customers. DG: Art, can you give us some back- ground about who you are and how you got to where you are today? AL:Iwasbornin1940inBrooklyn,N.Y. At 7, I started piano lessons and at 17 started working in a recording studio. When I was 18, I enlisted in the Army for three years where I won the All-Army EntertainmentContestin1960asasinger and performed all over Europe. In 1962, I began a 50-year career as a piano entertainer, During those years, I also had businesses which I ran during the day, several of which were successful and one of which was a huge failure (in three days I lost $250,000). For the last 16 years, I have run MCPS of Central Pennsylvania, MCPS for Campgrounds and HotelStar Processing Service, all dealing with credit cards. DG: I understand that your office is in a yurt behind your home. Anyone who calls you via Skype can get a tour of the MCPSyurtoffice.Doesyourwifeeverchase you out of the house and make you sleep in the yurt? AL: Quite the opposite. She has to get me out of the yurt. I just love it in there. Ours is 30 feet, heated and air condi- tioned, panelled with Pella windows, a microwave,acoffeemachineandarefrig- erator. My kind of bird cage. DG: Since you’ve been in the camp- ground business for some 16 years, you must do a lot of camping.When was the last time you went camping and how’d you like it? AL: There have been several times when we have used rental unit RVs to attend trade shows rather than staying in ahotel.That’sbeenfun.Asarule,wedon’t usually go vacation camping. DG: Are you thinking of retiring any time soon? If so, what will happen to MCPS when you decide to step away? AL: I have no intention to retire even though I am 76. However, God may have a different idea. I have told people that somedayImightbefoundslumpingover my computer. If that should happen, Deanne Bower would probably still run MCPS. DG:Iknowyoutriedtopromoteonline trade shows for the campground and out- door hospitality industry. You promoted two shows and both did ok but not well enoughtocontinuebeyondthetwoshows. Whyhaven’tonlinetradeshowscaughton in this industry? AL: I hope people take this the right way.Theentireindustryisnottechnolog- ically driven. Most campground owners are seniors or close to it and, although theyareexpertsintheoutdoorhospitality industry,theyareslowtoacquireaninter- est in computers and high tech instu- mentality. Virtual reality is not only difficult for them to understand, but they lovereality,thegreatoutdoorsandnature itself. David Gorin is the former president of ARVC, former executive director of the Virginia Campground Association and is the principal of David Gorin AssociatesLLC.Youmaycontacthimat [email protected] As a very turbulent year winds down, andweareallfacingwhatislikelytobean equallydynamicyearin2017,itstruckme in the last couple of weeks that the major campgroundassociationsandmarketing groups issued very positive and upbeat reports on their annual conventions. The National Association of RV Parks andCampgrounds (ARVC) reported that 500 people attended its early November annualconventioninFortWorth.Let’ssay that’s generously and roughly 250 camp- grounds. Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) indicated that about 300 of its 450 or so franchisees attended the KOA Chat- tanooga annual conference. LeisureSystemsInc.’sYogiBear’sJelly- stone Parks Symposium always seems to attractamajorityofits85franchiseeloca- tions, so lets say that 75 of their camp- groundsattendedtheannualsymposium in the Cincinnati area. AndCruiseInn,thenewestofthepark marketing systems, held its 3rd Annual Cruise Inn Conference after the ARVC convention.Let’sassumethatoutoftheir 44 affiliates, 35 attended the meeting. In an industry with an estimated 10,000 to 13,000 commercial parks, a mere 650 parks — or about 5% to 6.5% of thecommercialbusinesses—showedup atanindustrymeetingduringNovember. Where is everyone else? For years, I’ve encouraged business owners to go to a national meeting maybe every three or four years. I’ve long held that the world is runbythepeoplewhoshowup.Granted, park ownership is not rocket science — but everything changes: technology, demographics of campers and Rvers, recreation tastes and desires, social ac- tions and skills, legislative rules and regs. Park owners, at least once a year every year,needtogetoffthecouch,getoutside their comfort zone, and see what’s going on in your business from an entirely dif- ferent perspective. Fascinating Industry People With this column, I’m initiating a new feature to share with the park industry interesting people whose name and positionmightbefamiliartomanyinthe business but about whom we know only their professional or business personali- ties. In this column I’ll try to introduce everyone to the more personal side of these folks. I’m starting this new feature with a special introduction to Art Lieberman, owner of Merchants Choice Payment Solutions (MCPS), a provider of credit- card processing for RV parks and campgrounds. Art’s company provides processing to more than 600 parks and has close relationships with a number of state associations and companies providing reservation systems to parks. Anyone who’s interacted with Art knows that he is an outspoken and INSITES David Gorin Park Owners Need to Get Off the Couch and Attend a Confab • Real Rustic Log Cabins • Turn-Key! • Durable and Appealing • Highly Profitable • Pays Off Within 1-3 Years Real Log Park Model Cabins 717-445-5522 • www.lancasterlogcabins.com Park Model Cabins starting at $21,900 Located in Lancaster, PA