AspiraAcquiresMissionManagement; Will Continue to Invest in Platforms ARVC: New HUD Rule Redefining RV Exemption a ‘Huge’Win for Owners have been created and so far, Dusek and Martinez both say that the response has been positive.Theywereactivelyrecruitingmembers for the AGA at the Long Beach conference. Dusek noted during the opening session that one of the goals of the association is to come up with standards for what she views as a separate industry. “Glamping is not a subset of camping or a subsetofboutiquelodging,”shenotedduring the session. “It’s an industry in its own right and those of us who are in this business, and those of us who would love to be in this business, have the opportunity to go out and pioneer an industry that doesn’t exist. Pretty darn extraordinary if you ask me.” During the conference, attendees were also able to peruse vendor exhibits and listen to expert advice about the latest structures, including tents and tree houses. There were also seminars on how to strategize during the low points of a park owner’s season, methods for attracting media attention, marketing guidance and tips for expansions. —Bob Livingston WCM Martinez also owns Colorado-based Glamping Hub, an online booking company that caters to properties offering glamping accommodations,andDusekisco-founderof Under Canvas, a firm located in Bozeman, Mont., that owns eight parks offering canvas tents to campers. Realizing that a segment of the outdoor hospitalityindustrywashungryforopportuni- ties to brainstorm and make connections, Martinez and Dusek noted that they con- ceivedtheinitialparametersfortheproposed association after the Denver conference. LandingandsocialmediapagesfortheAGA More than 140 persons attended the GlobalGlampingSummitinLongBeach,Calif., that was held Nov. 27-28 at the Westin Long Beach Hotel. Organized by the newly formed American Glamping Association (AGA), attendees were abletositinoneducationalsessionsthatcov- ered a variety of topics related to glamping. Itwasthesecondsuchconferencein2018 after a successful meeting April 24-25 in Denver, Colo.. Ruben Martinez and Sarah Dusek, co- foundersoftheAGA,kickedofftheconference withasessionfocusedonthenewassociation. Attendees at the Global Glamping Summit discussed a variety of topics, including the idea of setting standards for this newer segment of the outdoor hospitality industry. PaulBambei ‘Glamping is not a subset of camping or a subset of boutique lodging,’ American Glamping Association co-founder Sarah Dusek told the more than 140 attendees at the conference. ‘It’s an industry in its own right.’ Second ‘Global Glamping Summit’ Focuses on Luxury Camping, Growth of Segment within Outdoor Hospitality AZ ARVC’s Camping Guide Wins ARVC National Award For the second time in two years, the ArizonaRVandCamp- ing Guide won the “StateDirectoryofthe Year” award from the National Association of RV Parks & Camp- grounds (ARVC). The 32-page color guide features more than 90 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across theGrandCanyonState. The2018-2019ArizonaRVandCampingGuide was designed and produced for the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (AZ ARVC)byCrowley,Texas-basedTexasAdvertis- ing. Texas Advertising has produced AZ ARVC’s campingguidesforthepastthreeyears,including the2016-2017guide,whichalsoreceiveda“State DirectoryoftheYear”awardfromARVC. “We are thrilled to receive national recogni- tion for our directory for the second time in two yearsandwe’reobviouslyverypleasedwiththe work Texas Advertising is doing for us,” said Jo Ann Mickelson, executive director of AZ ARVC, whichalsohostsGoCampinginArizona.com,the statewidetravelplanningwebsite. The campground directory is distributed to chambersofcommerceandvisitor’scentersand throughcampgrounds,RVparksandresortsthat aremembersofAZARVC. Theassociationalsoprovidesadigitalversion oftheguidethroughitstravelplanningwebsite. The guide is supported by national advertis- ers, including Encore RV Resorts, Roberts Resorts, as well as Geico Insurance. The dead- line for advertising in the 2019-2020 camping guideisMarch30. WCM WOODALLSCM.com January 2019 - 3 Aspira, a provider of campground management and reservation soft- ware and the operator of ReserveAm- erica.com, announced in early December that the company had ac- quired Mission Management, the provider of the Astra and Camp- ground Manager software platforms. According to officials with Aspira, the company now provides an “enhanced technology” offering with specific systems designed to meet the needs of large, multiunit campground networks as well as individually operated RV parks and campgrounds. “Aspira’s investment in Mission Management reaffirms our position as the leading provider of camp- ground reservation and management software in the outdoors industry,” noted Mark Trivette, CEO of Aspira. “This move allows us to bring greater resources, expertise and systems to both the private and public camp- ground markets. Mission Manage- ment has created thoughtful and flexible technology specifically de- signed for the privately-owned camp- ground market. That, combined with our ability to generate significant visi- bilityandoccupancyforcampgrounds through ReserveAmerica.com, makes this acquisition particularly exciting.” ReserveAmerica.com is visited by more than 17 million unique consumers every year, according to the company. Officials with the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) are applauding a decision by the U.S. Depart- ment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which has redefined the RV exemp- tion from the manufactured housing standards. Along with the RV Industry Association (RVIA), the RV Dealers Association (RVDA) and seven state associations, ARVC had sent a letter to HUD urging for this ruling to be finalized. The exemption “provides a critical solu- tion to the regulatory uncertainty that has plagued RV parks and campgrounds, RV manufacturers and RV dealers for decades,” according to ARVC officials. “ARVC, along with our industry partners, has fought long and hard for our members to get this decision finalized,” explained Paul Bambei, president and CEO of ARVC. “This will not only provide ARVC members, and members of the outdoor hospitality industry, with peace of mind, but it will save literally millions of dollars across the industry as well.” The final rule defines an RV as a vehicle or vehicular structure not certified as a manufactured home, designed only for recreational use and not as a primary res- idence or for permanent occupancy; and is built and certified in accordance with ei- ther NFPA 1192-15 or ANSI A119.5-15; or any vehicle which is self-propelled. The rule also contains an additional requirement that park model RVs contain a consumer-facing notice that the manufac- turer certifies that the structure is an RV designed only for recreational use. “For years, the definition of an RV has been up in the air — there was never a clear, standard definition, which is why the ARVC public affairs team in step with our industry partners have fought so hard in Washington D.C. to get this decision final- ized,” Bambei explained. “For any ARVC member-park or campground owner won- dering why this is important and how this will save them money, just look at how park model RVs have been regulated in the past few years. It’s been all over the place. Re- cently, the government attempted to define the porch of a park model as part of the 400 max square footage. This official definition clearly defines what an RV is and what an RV isn’t. That is a huge win for ARVC mem- bers and for our industry.” WCM MarkTrivette “We’re excited to join Aspira and offer our customers the advantages that come with being associated with Aspira and ReserveAmerica.com,” said Jim Amadio, founder and presi- dent of Mission Management. “The prospect of offering more value than ever before to our clients is exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing what our combined efforts will do for the private camping industry.” Aspira officials stated in the release that they plan to continue to invest in Mission Management’s platforms “to ensure the needs of RV park and campground owners are always met.” WCM The summit included vendors that displayed a variety of ‘glamping’ accommodations.