Congressional and administration officialsjoinedrecreationindustrylead- ers in Washington D.C. in mid-April to mark the formal launch of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), accord- ing to a press release. Theeventprovidedaplatformforthe ORR to officially outline its priorities as it works to educate decision makers on CapitolHillabouttheimportanceofthe outdoor recreation economy. “It was a landmark day for the out- door recreation industry in the United States,” said Thom Dammrich, ORR chair and president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “From boating and fishing to camping and hiking, we are united in working towardasharedgoalofmakingoutdoor recreation a national priority.” According to the group, the ORR will focus on infrastructure upgrades in na- tionalparks,aswellasonprivate/public partnerships and “funding that can make these much-needed upgrades a reality.” “Our members serve the nation’s millions of outdoor recreation enthusi- asts and our top priority is to advocate forpoliciesthatwillprovidethemwitha better experience through improved public lands and waters infrastructure,” explained ORR Vice Chair Frank Hugelmeyer, pres- ident of the RV In- dustry Association (RVIA). “Doing so will lead to an en- hanced recreation economy that ben- efitsallAmericans.” ORR’s policy agenda includes: • Fostering collaboration between the outdoor recreation industry and federal policy makers; • Removing barriers that prevent improvement and maintenance of public lands through public-private partnerships; • Prioritizing accessibility of public landssothatmoreAmericanscanenjoy the great outdoors; • Advancing balanced policies that conservepubliclandsandwaterwaysso that they can be accessed and enjoyed today and by future generations of Americans; • Ensuring that the outdoor recre- ation economy is recognized by policy- makers for its importance to the health of the overall economy. WCM ORR members met with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke during an event in D.C. Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Launched During D.C. Event 6 - May 2018 Woodall’s Campground Management visitors to our parks have the ability to hike with a 30-pound pack and camp in the wilderness miles away from utilities. In order for families with young kids, elderly grandparents, or persons with disabilities to enjoy the parks, we need to rebuild basic infrastructure like roads, trails, lodges, restrooms and visitors centers.” According to the release, fees to enter national parks predate the establishment of the NPS in 1916. For example, Mount Rainier National Park began charging an entrance fee in 1908. Factoring in inflation, the $5 entrance fee the park charged in 1914 would be the equivalent of a $123 entrance fee today — more than four times the price of the new seven-day $30 vehicle pass. EntrancefeescollectedbytheNPStotaled $199 million in fiscal year 2016. The NPS esti- mates that once fully implemented, the new fee structure will increase annual entrance fee revenue by about $60 million. WCM NPS —from page 3 Frank Hugelmeyer Kerensa Durr and Brandon Hatcher,foundersof“RVtoFreedom” and the online course “Roadmap to Full-TimeRVing,”havejoinedtheLiv- ingston, Texas-based Escapees RV Club staff as directors of content strat- egy. According to a press release, they will continue their work with RV to Freedom while working for Escapees. “Joining Escapees was a natural fit for us as they have a strong focus on communityandRVeducationjustlike we do at RV to Freedom. Working together, we can help build and support the RV community even more,” said Durr. “We are thrilled to have Brandon and Kerensa join the Escapees RV Club family. They have been part of our family for years, attending and hosting Xscapers convergences,” said Melanie Carr, vice president of EscapeesRVClub.“Thechoicetowork together was an easy one to make. Both Escapees and RV to Freedom work towards a common goal of help- ing RVers succeed in this lifestyle. We look forward to bringing their passion and dedication to the RV community to the Escapees team and creating amazing things together.” The couple will focus strategic content development (blogs, video, articles, etc.) around the Escapees and Xscapers brands. WCM ‘RV To Freedom’ Founders Join Escapees’ Staff RVillage to Host Rally in Elkhart, Ind. RVillage.com, a social online platform for RVers, announced it will be holding “RVillage RallyOne—theConnectedRoad,”inElkhart, Ind.,onMay17-21attheElkhartCampground. “This will be different from other RV rallies,” said Curtis Coleman, the platform’s founder and CEO. “RVillage is all about connecting RVing travelers with each other. Our rally will bring people together, so they can share their experiences and adventures in person, rather than virtually.” Entertainment at the rally will include nightly fireside entertainment around the “Firebirds”—massivesteelsculptureswhich are filled with firewood and burn for hours, Coleman noted. Rally guests also will be treated to tours of the RV/MH Hall of Fame and can select RV factory tours at manufac- turers Jayco Inc., NeXus, Keystone RV Co., ThorIndustriesInc.,GrandDesignRVCo.and Heartland RV. There will also be daily inform- ativeseminars,acommercialexhibitareaand fun events like wine tasting, a dog show and an ice cream social. Rally guests choose their own “virtual village” from Geeks, Boomers, Big Rigs, BoondockersandRVillagers,andeachgroup willinteractwiththeirownactivitiesthrough- out the rally. Coleman founded a beta version of RVil- lage.com in 2014. Since that time, Coleman said it has grown to include nearly 100,000 members. Active special interest groups within RVillage, such as full-time RVers, boondockers,snowbirdsandothers,commu- nicate with one another on a regular basis. “Everytwotothreeminutes,someonejoins RVillage,” noted Coleman. “We’re the fastest- growingRVowners’organizationintheworld.” RV owners interested in attending the RVillage rally should log on to the organiza- tion’s website at www.rvillage.store/rally for more information. WCM Brandon Hatcher & Kerensa Durr