b'Park actually stretches back into Kals Irina recalled. We were both in man- by both CARVC and ARVC, Kal and Irinachildhood. While he grew up in Raleigh, agement positions. But we were strug- quickly learned about the latest trends Campground Overviewhis family frequently took camping and gling with permits and figuring out how in the RV park and campground busi- Name:fishing trips to Topsail Island and neigh- to do advertising. We realized we were ness and the things they needed to do Seahaven Marine RV Parkboring Sneads Ferry, which has been a reinventing the wheel. I said, Kal, there to transform Seahaven Marine RV Park Address: commercialfishingportsincethe should be an association of profession- into a more attractive destination and1700s. als who work at RV parks who could more lucrative business venture. 148 Old Ferry Road, Sneads Ferry, So, when Kal learned through his fa- help us. But while they were learning these N.C. 28460ther that waterfront property was for Kal did a Google search and quickly things, Kal and Irina were living and Number of Campsites: 67sale in Sneads Ferry in 1995, he part- found the Carolinas Association of RV working in Houston, which forced them Boatslips: 9nered with his father to purchase the Parks and Campgrounds (CARVC). I tooutsourcetheactualday-to-day Amenities: Meditation garden, plusproperty, and provided him with invest- called Dee Witting, CARVCs executive management of their park to a series ofment capital from his deep water oil director, and we spent 35 minutes on managers who ultimately didnt work marina with boat launch and boatdrilling work to help his dad develop the thephone,Irinasaid.Iwasover- out for one reason or another. and trailer storage areapropertyintoawaterfrontRVpark, whelmed with gratitude and joy. We fell If you own your business, you need Pricing: Prices start at $55 daily, $330which celebrates its 25th anniversary in love with the association, and with to be near your business, Irina said, per week & $695 per month, depend-this year. Dees work ethic and her desire to help sharing one lesson learned through the ing on site location & amenitiesKals father, Moustafa, rented sites at us. school of hard knocks. You dont have Website:the 67-site park on an annual basis for to live at your park, but you need to be www.seahavenmarinervpark.comthe first 20 years of the parks existence close to it.until he retired five years ago. Thats The challenges involved with out- Contact:when Kal and Irina made the transition sourcing management of a park involve (910) 333-5773WCMfrom passive investors to managers of more than basic things, like whetherthe park and began the process of grad- you can trust the manager. If you have tions, especially family-owned parks.uallytransformingtheirwaterfront a manager and you work side-by-side But people can become overwhelmedproperty into a popular overnight beach with them, you can give them better by the volume of work that has to bedestinationforpeoplewholiveand support, Irina said. You can see where done.workintheRaleigh-Durhamarea, the deficiencies are. You can see where While Kal and Irina had been think-Charlotte and the neighboring states.their strengths are. You also have more ing for the past few years about some-ButwhileKalandIrinaareboth Kal and Irina Karmous knowledge and flexibility (by being at day relocating to Sneads Ferry to workhighly accomplished in their respective the park) and you can make decisions onsite at their park, the COVID pan-careers, they, like everyone else who Kal and Irina also joined the National faster. demicwasthefinalstrawthatgoes into the RV park business from an- AssociationofRVParksandCamp- Irina said some of the problems with prompted them to actually leave Hous-other profession, suddenly found them- grounds (ARVC) and attended conven- their previous managers had nothing to ton and do it. selvesneedingtofindawayto tions at the state and national levels, as do with their competency. Some man- Irina said the experience of workingaccelerate their learning curve to maxi- well as the ARVC Foundations School agers would not share how tiring (the onsite at their park has been enlighten-mize their success. of RV Park and Campground Manage- job) was or how overwhelming it was ing. You get a feel for whats happeningWhen we took over managing the ment. becominguntiltheyreachedtheir (at the park), how the environment ispark, Kal was working for the oil and gas Byattendingclasses,conventions breaking point, she said. changing. We could see the behavior ofindustry and I was working for NASA, and networking opportunities offered Indeed, most parks are lean opera- Campground Profilecontinued on page 32WOODALLSCM.com November 2020-27'