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 806 - January 2017 Woodall’s Campground Management Anybody who has ever gone on vacation knows that it can be a hassle carrying money everywhere, especially if you’re heading to the beach or the pool. And if you have kids head- ing out on their own, it really can become a challenge keep- ing them supplied with money for food or amusements. Lakewood Campground personnel in Myrtle Beach, S.C., came up with a unique idea for the 2016 season that handled those problems — and proved to be a moneymaker for the campground. When someone camps at Lakewood, they’re given a special wristband. This wrist- band carries a chip that can be loaded with funds to pay for almost anything in the campground. Campground General Manager Robert Clinger said the new bracelet comes from an idea that’s evolved over the last few years. “We started with the Family Fun Pass,” Clinger said. “Then last year we used a sili- cone ID band that had a bar code that could be tied to a camper’s reservation.” But this latest technology has moved leaps and bounds beyond those first two ideas, Clinger said. The new wristbands have an RFID chip Kampgrounds Enterprises Inc. (KEI), a third-generation family business established in 1968 by Ted and Carol Bell, pur- chased Williams/Circle Pines KOA in November, making it the third location for KEI in Northern Arizona. When property improvements are complete, KEI will operate all three Kampgrounds of America brand segments — KOA Resort, KOA Holiday and KOA Journey — in the Grand Canyon National Park area, ensuring that there is a specific style of accommodation to meet the needs of all guests visiting the area. According to an announce- ment, the purchase is part of a recent growth strategy led by third-generation members of the family business. Josh Bell, who is taking the lead in evalu- ating new properties, said KEI is actively looking for more campground purchase and management opportunities. “We are very excited to add Williams/Circle Pines KOA to the group of campgrounds owned and operated by KEI. Our team has more than 100 years of collective experience and leadership in the outdoor hospitality industry. We have a unique combination of hands- on operating experience, mar- keting strategies, revenue management, and park devel- opment skills that positions us to participate in the exciting growth the industry is seeing today,” said Bell. WCM The simple bracelet led to more guest spending at the park CampgroundUsesNewTechIdeatoBoost Revenue — Much to Campers’ Delight LakewoodCampground–continued on page 32 Wildfires —from page 3 Family Campground in Townsend, Tenn. Although East Tennessee is experiencing the worst drought in more than a decade, Felton said it’s hard to imagine that anyone could have predicted such a combination of events. “The mayor of Gatlinburg, Mike Werner, lost his business, The Highlands condos, and his home, so it’s not like firefighters were playing favorites,” Felton said. “At one point we had 14 different fires going.” The nearby community of Pigeon Forge, home to Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park, was also threatened, but while struc- tures on the outskirts were destroyed the fires did not enter the theme park or the town proper. Heather Blankenship, manager at nearby Bear Cove Village, said that busi- ness was evacuated for one night when the fires got close. “We were so blessed, no damage was done,” she said. “So we’re holding up great and are ready to serve our guests.” Representatives from Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) reported the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg KOA was able to operate throughout the worst of the wildfires. “The park was not affected at all, it never closed down or was evacuated or anything like that,” said Mike Gast, vice president of communications at KOA. “It’s a company- owned property so we’re in contact with them all the time and we’re glad to report that everybody is okay.” However, even those businesses not damaged in the fires were affected by the days lost to evacuations and closures so close to the holiday season. “The news stations made the whole area look destroyed, but Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are mostly unaffected,” Blanken- ship said. “As you drive through, you can’t tell anything ever happened. All the busi- nesses are open and Gatlinburg’s main area has been reopened. But many homes and business were lost and our prayers are with all those affected. We hope and pray that business will go back to normal around town so we can all survive. From the looks of things, that’s already beginning to happen.” For those outside the area wishing to contribute to the relief effort, the Dollywood Foundation (dollywoodfoundation.org) has createda“MyPeopleFund,”whichwillsend 100% of donations to families affected by the fires by providing them with $1,000 a month for up to six months. —TyAdams WCM Campgroundoperatorsarehelpingfellowres- idents with cleanup efforts after the wildfire. Manufacturers of Quality Recreation FUNniture www.ParkEquipment.com 1-800-376-7897 2061 Sulphur Springs Rd Morristown, TN 37813 Campground Owners Attend MARVAC Meeting Nearly four dozen people attended the5thAnnualCampgroundIndustryin December hosted by the Michigan As- sociation of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) at the state association’s offices outside of Lansing. The full agenda included an update on political issues affecting Michigan campgrounds as well as a presentation by Don Westphal, whose Rochester Hills, Mich.-based firm is widely recog- nizedasoneofthenation’sforemostau- thorities on manufactured home community design. Westphal offered advice on how current campground ownerscouldbestexpandtheirparksas well as provided a snapshot of what it would take to develop an RV park from scratch. Otheragendatopicsandspeakersin- cluded:“Rules & Regulation Update” by Jeremy Hoeh, David Graves, and Sarah Rotters for the state Department of EnvironmentalQuality,thestateagency overseeing Michigan’s private camp- grounds; a presentation on the Michi- gan.org website by Kelly Wolgamott of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.,whichoverseesthestate’stourism outreach efforts, including the Pure Michigan campaign; a “Legislative Up- date” by John Lindley of Public Affairs Associates,thelobbyingfirmretainedby MARVAC; and “Legally Speaking — Ask the Attorney” by William Perrone and Jason Hanselman of Dykema, the legal firm retained by MARVAC. In a related note, it was announced thatPerrone,MARVAC’slongtimeattor- ney, would be retiring at the end of this year and that Hanselman would be succeeding him. WCM Kampgrounds Enterprises Adds Third Arizona Park