b'Q&A CONVERSATIONS BY BEN QUIGGLEARVC Continues to Focus on Developing Tools, Education toHelp Park Owners as it Navigates COVID, Industry-Related IssuesWhile 2020 has brought a variety of challenges to the RV park and trends and topics, to hosting the first-ever virtual Outdoor Hospitalitycampground sectors, it also has been a busy one for most park owners as Conference and Expo in early November, ARVC has been exploring ainterest in RVing and camping has skyrocketed amid the COVID crisis. number of different arenas to make an impact in 2020 amid the COVIDThe National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has pandemic. worked to meet all of the challenges the outdoor hospitality industry has But beyond COVID, ARVC continues to highlight its education effortsfaced head on, according to ARVCs CEO and President Paul Bambei.and expand the member-benefits program it offers. On the consumerThe focus is always on the member and we keep our finger on the side, ARVC recently updated its GoCampingAmerica.com website andpulse of whats going on, he toldWoodalls Campground Management released a GoCampingAmerica.com app, both of which are poised to(WCM).be not only better resources for RVers and campers, but also offer betterWith more than 3,000 members,ARVC focuses heavily on advocating marketing tools to park owners. at both the national and state levels to ensure park owners can run their Bambei took a few minutes during the holiday season to chat withbusinesses effectively.WCM about the interesting year that was 2020 and to look forward toPaul Bambei From helping state associations get parks declared essential in the the promising 2021 camping season. early days of the pandemic, to hosting regular webinars on key industry Below is our edited conversation.WCM: Letstakealookbackat2020. I dont think anyone quite ex-pected the type of year that we had.Obviously, COVID was a large focusfor everyone. What were some of thethings ARVC was focused on in 2020and how did things pan out for theassociation and its members?Paul Bambei: We just had a meeting ated a mobile app that allows them tohererecentlywithourpartnering find the park they desire, and we arestate executives, something we do on sure this is going to help bring busi-a quarterly basis, and every one of ness to our members front doors.them reported that 2020 was a really WCM: Somestateassociationsgood one in terms of economic per- have seen membership numbers tickformance. It was difficult obviously, up due to the work they have beendealing with the pandemic, all the doing during the current crisis. Hasnew rules and regulations, but by and ARVCalsorecognizedagrowthinlarge, when we look back on 2020, as membership due to the work that ita camping year it was positive.has done? You come from that kind of year Bambei: Absolutely.Wearecur-and you look at 2021, and obviously, rently in the reconciliation stage ofwhat we want to do is keep that mo- billing with our partnering states andmentum moving in a forward direc- thats when we see the year-end sta-tion. We think, given the things that tistics of the number of campgroundswe focus on to create value for our that have been added to the scrolls.members,weareinaverygood Andagain,fromthereportsfromplace.Weneverstopcreatingthe state executives, the majority is onvalue and what we are seeing is that the upside from a year ago. So, thatsthe members really appreciated the the clear indicator that people wantwork that we did here from Denver, to be part of this association. Colo., and the collaboration with our When you have been through anstate executives, to keep their busi- experience like we have been in 2020,nessesmovingforwardandbeing I think these members, maybe for thevery productive this past year. We are first time, saw how we, in partnershipgoing to just keep that going.with our state executive offices, reallyWe have new assets that are being came to their need. And I wont call itdeployed really as we speak, to bring acrisis,butbackinFebruaryandbusiness to them. The latest of those March, there were a lot of unknowns.is the GoCampingAmerica.com mo- They saw the activity, they saw whatbile app that we are rolling out. Its in- we were doing to get them declaredtuitivewhenyouthinkaboutit. as essential businesses, and it wasntPeople are away from their homes an overnight thing. A lot of letters, aandusingtheirmobiledevicesto lot of calls, personal calls made to justsearch and find the parks that have abouteverybodyonthelegislativethe amenities they are looking for, sideweremade,andIthinkthewithin the location that they are look- members really appreciated it. Theying for. It is high time that ARVC cre- are showing it by remaining mem-ARVC continues to work on tools that allow its members to get in front of potential campers more,such as a revamped GoCampingAmerica.com.28 -February 2021 Woodalls Campground Management'