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 32KARVC Annual Meeting Pulls Attendees from Across Kansas for Day-Long Event to spread closer to the park,shebeganwork- ing with the fire de- partment to monitor the situation closely. At the time, the wind was blowing away from Club Naples, so there was no evacua- tion. By the afternoon of Tuesday, March 7, authorities ordered themandatoryevacu- ation of Club Naples and the neighboring Panther’sWalk RV Resort. Also evacuated were the Forest Glencommunity,theAventineatNaples Apartments and area horse stables. “About noon Tuesday, the winds shifted and we could see the smoke headingourdirection,”saidOwens.“The sky was growing very gray when the fire department gave the evacuation order. The police told our residents they were to leave their RVs behind.” Nearly all of Club Naples’ 305 sites were occupied when everyone had to gather a few belongings and get into their cars to flee. Rather than chaotic, the evacuation played out seamlessly. Everyoneleftinanorderlyfashion,while makingsurenoneoftheirneighborswas left behind. “There are some people who do not keep cars here, just their RVs,” said Owens. “But everyone worked together ‘Camping continues to be popular, perhaps the highest peak we’ve ever seen. Campers expect and demand more amenities, activities and value than ever before…demand is strong for park models, cabins and yurts,’ said Mike Irons of Maryland. CanadianAssociationsHost RVing and Camping Week Go RVing Canada and the Canadian Camping and RV Council (CCRVC) are partnering to host Canadian RVing and Camping Week from May 23-28. According to the two groups, the week will be a celebration of RVing and camping in Canada and will encourage Canadians to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. The Canadian RVing and Camping Week will also be raising funds for Make-A-Wish Canada to help provide experiences and opportunities for deserving children. Dealers can be involved in the Make-A-Wish campaign by selling paper stars to help meet the $20,000 goal. Additionally, marketing materials are available to help promote the week and to drive campers to book with their favorite campground to further help achieve the goal. As a special incentive, RVDA of Canada dealer members will be eligible to win a complimentary convention registration for the 2017 RV Dealers International Conven- tion/Expo in Las Vegas. The dealership that sells the most stars and makes the largest donation to Make a Wish Canada will be awarded the registration. WCM April 2017 - 3 A March Florida wildfire threatened the safety of several Naples, Fla.-area communities, including multiple RV resorts.What could have been a tragedy, however, became an example of how members of the RV community look out for each other and survive. On March 5, a small, unexplained fire started in the Picayune Strand State Forest in southwest Florida. Positioned between the Everglades to the east and Naples to the west, the area contains extensive scrubland. The winds were blowing strong from east to west, driving the Lee Williams RoadWildfire west toward RV parks and residential areas in eastern Collier County.The fire charred 7,500 acres and forced the closure of a 25-mile stretch of Interstate 75 due to reduced visibility from rampant smoke. MeghanOwens is the RV resort man- ageratClubNaples.Asthefireappeared Members of the Kansas Association of RV ParksandCampgrounds(KARVC)gottogether for their annual meeting on Feb. 28 in Abilene. Theeventprovidedagreatopportunitytobring memberstogetherforatimeofnetworkingwith their peers, discussing industry trends and learning from informative presentations. This year’s meeting of KARVC drew people fromhalfofthe24memberparksacrossKansas. Attendeeswereamixofbeginnersandexperi- encedparkowners,lookingforwaystonetwork with each other and improve their businesses. “This annual meeting is a great chance to promote camaraderie amongst the associa- tion members and to learn from different industry speakers who lend their time and expertise,” said CharlieReaser,newly elected president of KARVC, who served as vice president in 2016. “It is always good to get together, to hear from peers and find ideas that you may want to try in yours business. It reenergizes you and gets you more pumped up for the upcoming season.” Reaser, a Kampgrounds of America (KOA) franchisee, owns the Topeka Capital City KOA campground,whichopenedinthefallof1999.The pastyearwasdefinitelyoneofhispark’sbest. “What stood out to me in 2016 was the high volume of traffic,” said Reaser. “Many people have told me they had their best year ever in 2016. RV manufacturers have been selling like crazy. Even tent camping has increased. We saw more Millennials than before, in tents or their first campers — some young families, some couples, even some singles just making their way across the country.” KARVC meetings began as informal lunch gatherings or even picnics in the early 1970s. They’ve since evolved into a daylong annual conference. Held at the Four Seasons RV Acres, this year’s meeting was also a time to tend to the business of the association. New board members were elected, includ- ing Reaser, Vice President/Secretary Sheila WagnerofUSIRVParkinWichitaandCarolyn Fenn of Four Seasons. Attendees learned the KARVC annual Kansas RV & Camping Guide is more widely distributed this year than in any year prior. Far from a coincidence, the increased visibility resultedfromstrategicpartnershipswithother state associations. MaryArlingtonservesasexecutivedirector fornotonlyKARVC,butsincelate2015hasheld the same role with the ColoradoCampground & Lodging Owners Association (CCLOA). In preparation for this year’s RV show sea- son, she presented bothoftheboardswith educational ideas for sharing in the costs and expanding their options. Additionally, Jo Ann Mickelson, executive directoroftheArizonaAssociationofRVParks and Campgrounds had suggested some states shareaboothattheRVshowinQuartzsite,Ariz. While developing this idea, KARVC also Charlie Reaser Mary Arlington As flames neared Club Naples in March, the park got the order to evacuate its guests and personnel. A sense of upbeat optimism pervaded the Radisson Hotel Nashua in Nashua, N.H., March 16-18 when more than 300 park operators and providers of services and products got together for the 53rd Northeast Conference on Camping and Trade Show, organized by the Northeast Campground Association (NCA). David Berg again handled auctioneer duties at the NCA fundraising auction. KARVC Meeting – continued on page 27 Florida Wildfire – continued on page 27 Betweenthepositiveatmosphere,thero- busttradeshow—with70vendorsfillingthe hotel’s main ballroom and indoor courtyard — and 15 different expert educational ses- sions that covered everything from trends in technology, camping and legislation to best practices in a variety of RV park and camp- ground operations, NCA Executive Director Cyndy Zbierski said this year’s event was “a wonderful success. Our goal of bringing togethercampgroundowners,aspiringown- ers, state association leaders and company representativeswasachieved.Thespeakers allreceivedexcellentreviewsandtheenter- tainment was enjoyed by all,” she said. The conference happened as many campground operators looked ahead to the coming season, with some of them set to open April 1. By all accounts, campground operators from Maryland to Maine are looking forward to an excellent — and in some cases record-breaking — year. “We’re hoping the 2017 season will be great for everyone,” said Jean Taylor of the New Jersey Campground Owners Associa- tion(NJCOA)andfirstvicepresidentofNCA. Mike Papp of Campground Owners of New York (CONY) said his organization has handed out 54,000 2017 camping directories already in a little more than two months. Papp owns West Canada Creek Campsites Inc.intheAdirondackfoothillsinPoland,N.Y. David Berg of Red Apple Campground in Kennebunkport, Me., a visible player in NCA, theMaineCampgroundOwnersAssociation (MECOA) and a former chairman of the NationalAssociationofRVParksandCamp- grounds (ARVC), pointed out that last year was the best year MECOA members have ever seen, “and this year’s shaping up to be the same thing.” And Berg’s campground is no exception. Hisparkhasnotseenanyrevenuedeclinein more than 15 years — though there wasn’t NCA Conference – continued on page 6 Northeast CampgroundAssociation Gathering Brings Park Operators from Across the Region MarchWildfireinSouthwestFloridaDrives Snowbirds from RV Parks, into Shelters