16 - July 2019 Woodall’s Campground Management Bill Mallory recently visited a 250- site campground in Delaware as he scoured the East Coast for locations for majorFamilyMotorCoachAssociation (FMCA) rallies. “It’s got swimming pools, golf carts — but I can’t have a rally here,” said Mallory, who serves as national vice president of FMCA’s Eastern Area. “There’s no place we can have enter- tainment. I would have to outsource all of my tables and chairs.” While these problems are not insur- mountable, having to rent tables and chairs or set up big tents for meeting space and entertainment can drive up the cost of a rally — which is something many event organizers hope to avoid, if at all possible. Oftentimes, however, organizers of the biggest rallies have no choice but to use state and local fairgrounds to host their biggest events, which may draw more than 400 or 500 rigs. In these cases, the fairgrounds have plenty of park- ing, but event organizers still have to hire outside vendors to bring in everything from tables and chairs to electrical power. Lon Cross, national vice president for FMCA’s Western Area, said the association has had as many as 2,100 RVs at its annual Western Area Rally at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio, Calif. “Wehavetobring in electrical power because they only have 100 outlets,” Crosssaid,notingthattoday’sRVerslike to have creature comforts. FMCA’s Western Region hires a company called Event Power to bring in the pedestal power to feed all the RVs at their rallies. Other RV clubs, such as Good Sam Club and the Escapees RV Club, are known for their massive rallies which caninvolvehundreds,ifnotthousands, of RVs. But while the biggest rallies are clearly out of reach for most camp- grounds,RVparksandresorts,thebusi- ness opportunities for private parks interested in targeting smaller rallies is huge, considering the large numbers of RV clubs and RV club chapters, each of which likes to hold their own rallies. BY JEFF CRIDER Hosting Groups and Rallies Can Fill Empty Sites — and Bring More Revenue to Parks Escapees RV Club’s “Hangouts” or “Convergences,” along with other groups and rallies, bring RVers together and can offer park owners a way to keep their parks full and revenue coming in. Bill Mallory Lon Cross