b'Northgate Continues to See Growth, Works KOA Care Camps NamesFirst Director of DevelopmenttoInnovateontheCampingExperience Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA)Care Camps, a national nonprofit sup-Caleb Hartung, chief data officer for North- porting free medicallygateandCEOofCampspot,Northgates supervisedoutdoorreservation software company.adventure experiencesOut of its 11 parks, nine are franchised as to kids with cancer andYogi Bears Jellystone Parks Camp-Resorts.theirfamilies,hasAccordingtothe namedJennifer MercercompanysCOO,Greta as its first director ofBossenbroek, Northgate Jennifer Mercer development.Resortshasseenits According to a pressgrowthratequintupled release, KOA Care Camps provides fund-sincethecompanys ing to more than 135 oncology camps na-founding.tionwide, sending thousands of childrenA lot of our success Greta Bossenbroek with cancer and their families on sum-can be attributed to the mer-camp-style adventures.fact that we have so many good people on Its a great joy to see children who areA marshmallow drop is just one example of how Northgate our robust team, she explained.enduring so much get a rare chance to justResorts tries new things to keep campers coming back. Greta Bossenbroek said that Northgate be regular kids, said Mercer. Im com-Resorts is willing to take ideas from anyone, mittedtopartneringwithgenerousWhen officials at Grand Rapids, Mich.- cording to CEO Zach Bossenbroek.and the company lets employees thrive in donors, companies and philanthropic or-based Northgate Resortshad the idea to drop Were all about looking at things from a their areas of interest, contributing to North- ganizations to give every deserving kid themarshmallows from a helicopter onto a group fresh perspective and trying new things, he gate Resorts fast-moving approach in the in- chance to attend a KOA Care Camp. Itsof children, some people might have thought explained. dustry.gratifying to see the satisfaction our bene-they were crazy: thousands of marshmallows Since its founding in 2013, the company There really are no limits to advance- factors gain when they understand thefalling from the sky, after all, is not a typical has acquired 11 campgrounds that it oper- ment, she noted. If an employee excels in significant impact they can make by join-camping activity.ates,withtwomore an area and enjoys their work, we let them ing with us in this work.However,timeand properties on the horizon run with it.Prior to joining KOA Care Camps, Mer-timeagain,officialsatone of which is set to Still, finding good employees to work at cer worked as a strategic business andNorthgate have proven be built from the ground the companys parks has been a challenge. marketingconsultantforcorporationsthat they are willing to up.Stress, especially during a parks peak sea- and nonprofits around the Billings, Mont.,think outside the box to Our passion is creat- son, can have an impact on employees, ac- region. She also filled in as a host for a TVprovideexceptional, ing family camping mem- cording to Greta Bossenbroek. She also segment, Montana Matters, spotlightingZach Bossenbroek one-of-a-kindexperi- ories for our guests that Caleb Hartung reported pressure, tension and worry as Montana businesses and nonprofits for aences for campers, ac- will last a lifetime, said Northgate Resorts continued on page 37 CBS affiliate KTVQ in Montana. WCMMECOA Reports Strong Season, Keeping Eye on Tax Bills CampCalNOW Launches New Website for Park OwnersPark operators in Maine have been hav- new owners are happy to receive first- need to run their businessesing a very good year, with high visitation hand information on the value of mem- successfully, said CampCal-levelsfromtravelersfromsurrounding bership. I am happy to say I have visited NOW officials. states as well as Canada, over 60 parks so far this year. CampCalNOW.orgalsodespite unfavorable ex- Dyer said that helping owners find provides information on thechangerateswiththe employees is something the association associations marketing, gov-U.S. dollar, according to is trying to tackle.ernment affairs program, theKathyDyer,executive Workforce development is an area associationslegalaffairsdirectoroftheMaine that our tourism partners continue to hotline for members, as wellCampgroundOwners work on, Dyer said. This is affecting as continuing education andKathy Dyer Association(MECOA). every employer, not just the tourism in- networking opportunities.Tourism in Maine supports close to dustry. The lack of employees, especially CampCalNOW RV Park and Campground The website hosts a document library of110,000 jobs, about 16% or one out of six this time of year when all of the kids are Alliance (CampCalNOW) has launched a information resources involving everythingjobs in The Pine Tree state, Dyer said. back to school, is an issue and continues newwebsiteforparkoperatorsat from the Americans with Disabilities ActDirect spending on tourism-related to be a large concern for us. www.campcalnow.org, according to offi- (ADA) guidelines to regulations governingtrips by overnight visitors to Maine totaled Maines park owners are also being tar- cials from CampCalNOW.the use of work campers. The document li-morethan$4.7billionin2018and geted for additional lodging taxes. Two Our new website not only provides infor- braryalsoincludesdownloadablelegalovernight spending on tourism trips gen- bills have been proposed, one of which, if mational resources to park operators to help formsrangingfromstorageandleaseerated more than $464 million in tax rev- passed, would increase Maines lodging them be more successful, but it gives them agreements to forms for removals and evic-enue, she said. More than 20.5 million tax to 10%. the ability to instantly update their camp- tions. Sample letters to state legislators arevisitors spent one or more nights in Maine InadditiontoproducingMaines ground listings on Camp-California.com, our also available.on tourism-related trips in 2018. Canadian camping guide, which is available in print travel planning website for consumers, said Kelley said the new website has been or-day and overnight visitation to Maine in and online, MECOA plans to participate CampCalNOW President Dyana Kelley. ganized to make it easy for current and2018 accounted for 4.5 million visitors and innineconsumerRVshowsin2020, CampCalNow.org highlights the associa- prospectiveCampCalNOWmemberstothey spent close to $986 million in Maine. adding the Southern New England RV & tions growing array of member benefits, quickly find what they are looking for.While Dyer tracks state tourism statis- Camping Show, March 13-15 to its roster. which enables it to serve as a one-stop- Any information that a member or non-tics,shealsospeaksfrequentlywith Oneofthemostimportantshows, shopforsignificantdiscountsonevery member is looking for is never more thanMaines park owners and visits their parks. Dyer said, is the annual Vacationland RV major product or service park operators three clicks away, she said. WCMIncreasing the value of membership & Camping Show, April 4-5 at the Nor-continues to be the top priority of the as- waySavingsBankArena inAuburn,sociation, Dyer said. Communication Maine. MECOA has produced this show Park Model Sales Slide 7.5% Through Julyand educating members on their state as- for the past 15 years. While the 2019 showsociation,NationalAssociationofRV saw a slight drop in attendance to a little Park model RV sales slid 7.5% through July, according to Statistical Surveys Inc.ParksandCampgrounds (ARVC)and more than 4,200 camping enthusiasts, (SSI).NortheastCampgroundAssociation the quality of the show was much higher, Skyline Championled the park model RV segment through July with a 29.1% mar-(NCA) benefits and maintaining a strong she said. ket share, followed by Kropf Industries Inc.(21.8%) and Cavco Industries Inc. (14.1%).voice and presence at the state house in The attendees were serious campers On the RV side, year-over-year towable retail registrations slid 7.7% for the firstAugusta are all extremely important to seeking their perfect vacation spot and seven months of 2019.our members. the campground owners said they were According to the latest report from SSI, results by category showed:A very important piece to my job in able to spend more quality time with po-Sales for the travel trailer segment dipped 9.4% through July.the spring, summer and fall months is vis- tential customers, while RV dealers saidFifth-wheel registrations declined 9.4% through July.iting member and non-member parks, they sold the most units they had everFolding camping trailer sales fell 12.8% for the seven months.shecontinued.Membersreallylike soldatthatshow,Dyersaid. Jeff Thor Industries Inc. was the towable sales leader for the seven months with ashowing off their parks when I arrive, and CriderWCM 45.7% share of the market, ahead of Forest River Inc. owning a 37.2% share andGrand Design RV Co. (7%). WCM4 -October 2019Woodalls Campground Management'