b'ARVC Report Highlights Growth, Notes 53,000 New Sites Expected in 2021The 2020 Industry Trends and Insights Report, released proven by 38% of parks thatbytheNational Association of RV Parks and Camp- anticipate increased profits ingrounds (ARVC), includes data that shows that the COVID- 2020 despite the challenges19 pandemic affected parks (some more than others) in a encounteredthisyear,ex-variety of ways in 2020, including impacting shoulder sea- plained Bambei.sons and causing a wide swing in occupancy rates and Thesurveyresultscon-profits. tinuetoprovidenumericalStill, despite the challenges 2020 provided, the numbers data to support anecdotal ev-show the industry was resilient and is poised for continued idence of the campground in-expansion and growth into 2021. dustry expanding rapidly inDespite a year in which our industry dealt directly with the past five years and an ex-the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemica roller- pectationofgrowthinthecoaster economy, travel changes, delayed openings, re- next 12 months. 43% of re-strictions to amenitiesthe privately-owned RV park and spondents indicate that the Paul Bambeicampgroundindustryremainsstrongandthefuture parks owner plans to expand or open a new park in thebright, said ARVC President and CEO Paul Bambei. coming year, just behind last years projection of 46% ofARVCs survey sampled 516 outdoor hospitality owners parks planning expansion.and operators from across the country on expansion The study anticipates more than 53,000 new sites con-trendsandplans,alongwithcampgroundprofiles, structed in the next 12 months. These numbers continueCOVID-19 pandemic effects, guest demographics, ameni- to contradict anecdotal comments made previously in theties, sites and accommodations and rates. The findings of industry suggesting private campgrounds were runningthe survey, which are broken down by region, provide rel- out of room to grow.evant insight into the state of the industry, which can be The outdoor hospitality industry has been experiencingused as a valuable resource for all campground owners rapid growth for the past decade. While the COVID-19 pan-and operators when making business decisions. demic caused a minor dip, the number of people interestedThe overall effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were in camping rapidly expanded as a result, said Bambei.wide-ranging,with40%ofrespondentsreportingin- Campground owners need to be prepared to expand andcreased main season occupancy in 2020 compared to the improve their parks to keep up with this increased demandprevious year, down from 49% who reported occupancyand they need to know the data so that their parks are pre- ing market of Millennial campers, they can cross-referencegrowth in 2019. 29% of this years respondents indicated pared to accommodate a new brand of camper. this data and KOAs data showing that Millennial camperstheir park suffered lower occupancy levels in 2020, a large In addition to this expansion data, the study also drills prefer park models over standard spaces, said Bambei. Itjump from just 8% reporting decreased occupancy in 2019. down into more details about rates, amenities and popular removes some of the guesswork and helps an owner makeAmong those whose main season occupancy increased site types, reporting results by park size and region, own- a sound business decision based on hard numbers.in 2020, 70% attribute the change to the effects of the ership statistics and more. ARVC will complete the Industry Trends and InsightsCOVID-19 pandemic. Among those whose occupancy de- These findings are especially important when com- Reporton an annual basis so its members, and memberscreased, 99% also attributed the decrease to the effects of pared with other industry surveys, including the 2020 of the industry, can use it as the go-to report for year-over-the pandemic. North American Camping Report, published by Kamp- year trends.Our industry showed tremendous resiliency dealing grounds of America Inc.(KOA), which includes additional As a benefit of membership, the report is available with this pandemic, but it wasnt the same across the information showing the growth and changes in camper at no cost to ARVC members in their member portal.board. Still, even for parks that suffered in 2020, there is demographics. Non-members can download the report for $299 via theplenty of hope for a huge bounce-back year in 2021, For example, if an owner is looking to target the emerg- ARVC Store. WCMKOA and its Franchisees Donate Over $900,000 to Care Camps in 2020Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) comeswithcancer,andjustbeakid year.?anditsfranchiseescontributedover again. Today, Care Camps is growing part- Despite fundraising$900,000toCareCamps in2020,the nerships across the camping and RV in- challenges,campsBillings,Mont.-basedcompanyan- dustries, but KOA and its franchisees are across North Americanounced.Thisincludesanadditional still Care Camps largest supporters, and continuedtooperate$100,000 donation that KOA Inc. has just we could not be more grateful for this this year utilizing moreannouncedontopofthetraditional gift. collaboration and cre-sources of financial support for the or- Unfortunately, due to COVID restric- ativity than ever before.ganization. tions,threeofCareCampsbiggest CampdirectorsatKOA donates a dollar of every sale of fundraisers had to be cancelled this year, these special oncologyits Value Kard Rewards loyalty program including the annual KOA Big Weekendin camps knew that can-to Care Camps and offers a promotional May. These restrictions also limited local cerwouldnottakeacamping weekend in May that provides campground fundraisers. In addition, cor- break for COVID. Campfunds to the organization. Additionally, porate and private donations slowed sub- staff came together tomoney is raised year-round at KOAs 526 stantially. As a result, Care Camps faces a create innovative In-company-owned and franchised loca- massive budget deficit for their camps. teractiveVirtualtions across the U.S. and Canada. This deficit prompted KOA to step for- Camps and Camp-in-Care Camps was founded 36 years ward with an additional donation this year. a-Boxprogramstoago by KOA campground owners and is When Toby ORourke, KOA president and bring camp to kids inthe primary charity for the organization. CEO, learned of the fi- their own homes. In ad-Care Camps has helped children with nancialchallenges dition,campswerecancer experience the hope and healing thatCOVIDrestric- abletoservekidsinthat comes from spending time in the tionshadposedfor hospitals that ordinarilyoutdoorsthroughspecialoncology Care Camps, she im- wouldhavebeentoocamps. mediately knew KOA sick to attend camp inSince the non-profits inception, KOA had to help. ORourke person.Asaresult,franchisees and KOA Inc. have been the garneredsupport thousands of kids goingleading champions for this cause, said from KOA ownership throughthehardestJenniferMercer, Toby ORourke to make an additional timesoftheirlivesCare Camps director $100,000 donation to help Care Camps. wereabletocreateofdevelopment. KOA and its campgrounds have al- memories to help themTheKOAsystem ways been dedicated to making sure kids endure the challengeshas raised over $14 with cancer can experience the healing they face despite COVID restrictions. ensure kids with cancer continue to havemillion to help kids poweroftheoutdoorsthroughCare We feel strongly about ensuring that the chance to enjoy the outdoors. We allwithcancerforget Camps, ORourke said. As a corporation, camps are still there for these special chil- believe in the health benefits of beingaboutthechemo, we wanted to do what we could to offer dren next year, said ORourke. We hope outside, and I cant think of an organiza-the radiation, and all additional support to the charity during others in the outdoor hospitality and RV in- tion more aligned with the values of thisJennifer Mercer thehardstuffthat what has been an extremely challenging dustry will join us with year-end gifts to industry than Care Camps. WCMWOODALLSCM.com February 2021-3'