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 3214 - April 2017 Woodall’s Campground Management attraction? Travel trailers, park model RVs and motorhomes are larger and more comfortable and can even be less expensive. I’d rather stay in a nicely decked out 400-square-foot trailer than squeeze into 200 square feet. And what’s the attraction to pulling a tiny house down the road? Certainly doesn’t look very appealing; actually looks kind of strange, don’t you think? I’d take a travel trailer anytime. RV Parks for Student Housing? I recently visited a Texas city that’s home to a major university. For the first time, I saw pricing options for college studentsatRVparks.Theserangedfrom annual site leases to three- or four-year lease options. Several of the parks offering college housing required that parents visit the park,co-signthestudent’sagreementsas to behavior and penalties for breaking the rules. These parks report few or no problems with these students. There are all sorts of options that could make this business a success. If parks can rent sites to workers of all kinds,what’stheproblemwithstudents? ParkscansellorleaseRVsorparkmodels or students can bring their own rigs. If your park is located near a large university or in an area where student housingisinshortsupply,givethismar- ket some thought. My experience with college students has been incredibly positive.Yes, they are not the neatest of people, but they keep their mess pretty contained and out of sight. Try it. You mayfinditfuntohost20-somethingsin today’s world. New Park Amenity Ideas Here are a few ideas that I’ve been discussing with clients in an effort to reach into new areas of interest to both younger and older RVers and campers. One of the hottest new things in indoor evening recreation among Mil- lennials and older adults is bowling. Why not add bowling lanes in an RV park? A bowling lane takes up about 70 square feet and six lanes could easily fit into a 600- to 800-square-foot room or building. And they are not as expensive as you might think. Also,howmanytimesdoessomeone in your park want to know if they can work on their car/ATV/motorcycle/ boat on their site? Consider adding one or two do-it-yourself garages. Fit them out with basic equipment and rent the garages by the hour or by the day. Put them in an out-of-the-way area and let your guests tinker away. You can even offer classes on RV repair. Lastamongtheseideas:amoviethe- ater. Why not set up a movie theater and offer movies at various times? Charge admission depending on the time of the day, offer refreshments and give your guests one more thing to when it’s too hot or too cold, rainy, etc. Let me know what you think. Have a great 2017 camping season. 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] INSITES David Gorin Recreation Vehicle Sales are Up. So Should Campground Nights If you own a campground, it’s hard not to be feeling pretty good right now. In 2016, shipments of RVs set a 40-year record, shipping 430,000 units to RV dealers around North America. This represented an increase of some 55,000 RVs shipped over 2015! Richard Curtin, providing a forecast for the RecreationVehicleIndustryAs- sociation (RVIA), projects a continued growthinshipmentsin2017to445,000. Let’s assume that each new RV sold is used 30 nights a year in a camp- ground. In 2016 and 2017, there will be some 70,000 new RVs on the road. At just 30 nights each in a campground of some type, that represents 2.1 million new camper nights from just the sales of those two years. Based on economic studies done by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) in recent yearsthatshowabout90millioncamper nights per year, this growth will repre- sent a 2.3% increase in camper nights. That’s a pretty good pace of growth. So what can we hope for in the com- ing couple of years? Let’s keep our fin- gers crossed that salaries continue to rise, interest rates remain at reasonable levels, business expansion continues and the stock market continues to re- flectagrowingandexpandingeconomy. The challenge for the industry is to ensure that the supply of RV sites continues to grow to meet the demand that seems to be building. If the RV market continues to expand, it may lessen the pressure for park owners to expand into the cabin- rental business. Instead of stick-built cabins, rental RVs available in parks may grow, and that’s an easier business to operate than building, managing andoperatingcabins.Andyoucanturn over the rental RVs frequently to keep them current and up to date. Let’s hope the industry can continue to ride the wave of growth for many more years. And let’s hope, too, that savvy business owners prepare for any change in the economy or downturn in the market that may occur. Good times have a way of becoming not so good times at some point, and being prepared for a change in the business cycle is a smart move for every owner. What’s with Tiny Homes? I am trying hard to understand the fascination that people seem to have for tiny homes. I know that some park owners are installing tiny homes for rental units and hoping that the uniqueness and consumer interest will stimulate rentals. Rentals to whom? Certainly not families with parents and a couple of kids. Empty nesters? Why would I want to squeeze into a 200- square-foot house? Hotel rooms are larger than that. What am I missing here? What’s the