b"INDUSTRY NEWSWACO Conference Draws Record CrowdStyer honored withregarding the permitting requirements and codes Presidents Award that come into play with differenttypesofim-The Wisconsin Association of Camp- provements and expan-ground Owners (WACO) had a recordsions. turnout for its 59th annual conventionThe convention fea-and tradeshow, attracting 192 vendorsturedpresentationsby and more than 330 attendees includingseveral current and for-representativesfrom119Wisconsinmerstateofficials,in-campgrounds,morethanhalfofBud Styer cluding Stephanie Klett, WACOs membership, according to LoriwhowasWisconsins Severson, the associations executive director.secretaryoftourism I dont know of another state that has over half of their mem- from 2011 to 2019 andCampground bership that comes (to their convention), she said, adding thatspent two decades host-Wisconsin park owners were complemented by campgroundCEO of VISIT Lake Geneva.ingthepopulartravelIndustry Analysis operators from as far away as Kansas and Maryland.program, Discover Wisconsin. Klett is currently president and The five-day convention and tradeshow, held at the HolidayConvention attendees also received a briefing from RebeccaShows Need for Inn & Convention Center in Stevens Point, Wisc., featured more than 50 educational seminars that delved into topics critical toKleefisch, a Republican candidate for governor. Kleefisch wasMore Campsites every aspect of park operations.Wisconsins lieutenant governor from 2011 to 2019. Intensive pool training was provided by Neuman Pools thatPaul Bambei, president and CEO of the National Associa-included an exam, an eight-hour ServSafe CFPM class with ation of RV Parks and Campgrounds (National ARVC), providedwith Amenitiessourcebook and a proctored exam.updates on membership benefits and research, such as Na-The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Con- tional ARVCs 2022 Trends and Insights Report, which containsWith the completion of the first-ever Camp-sumer Protection also offered an interactive campground ex- ground Industry Market Analysis, the RV In-pansionexercise,whichgaveparticipantsinformationWACOcontinued on page36 dustry Association (RVIA) has compiled a comprehensive report that details the avail-NCA Holds Conference After 2-Year Hiatus ability of campsites and campground ameni-ties at federal, state, municipal and private campgrounds across the United States.After a two-year wait, the NortheastSaying that working with the wider RV in-Campground Associations (NCA) 56thLarry Brownfield, senior director of franchise development services at Kamp- dustry to improve the RVing experience is a AnnualNortheastConferenceongrounds of America Inc., gives the keynote address at NCAs annual conference.core focus for RVIA, Vice President of Mem-Campingand TradeShowtookplacebership & Research Bill Baker told Woodalls March 17-19) at the Southbridge HotelCampground Magazine having such a vast &ConferenceCenterinSouthbridge,amount of data on campgrounds and RV Mass.campsites will be a tremendous asset going Unable to take place due to the COVIDforward. crisis the past two years, dozens of parkThis is the first time a study like this has owners enjoyed getting to see each othereverbeendone,andgivenhowpopular in-person again. camping has become overall and the growth After hosting the conference the pastof RVing in particular, its important to under-NCAcontinued on page 32 stand the total catalogue of campgrounds and campsites in the ecosystem, as well as the amenities, to better plan for the future, Baker Camp Michigan Hosts Scores of Park Owners said. It's important to note, he emphasized, that Camp Michigan welcomed apointed out. If you just serv- prior research has shown that campground few dozen park owners to itsice a customer, what do youavailability and the amenities offered at camp-annual conference March 20-22think the experience is goinggrounds are key factors to the retention of attheSoaringEagleCasinoto be like for them? Just aver- RVers. and Resort in Mount Pleasant,age? You need to think aboutThis is backed up by the 2021 North Mich. what is going to keep themAmerican Camping Report, an annual study The association held a boardcoming back. How do you dif- commissioned by Kampgrounds of America meeting to kick things off andferentiate yourself from oth- (KOA), which indicates full-service hookups then heard from John Formica,ers?are one of the top 10 amenities sought by better known as the Ex-DisneyFormica encouraged atten- campers (29%) making campground selec-Guy, during lunch. Formica spoke on the secrets to creating adees to take a hard look at what their customers want and whattions. Yet this new campground report shows Disney-like culture for both employees and customers.attracts them to particular parks.that only 8% of public campgrounds and 51% I am also known as the anti-customer service guy, heofprivatecampgroundshavefull-service Michigancontinued on page 33 hookups. One of the key drivers is people want to Canada Council Attracts Hundreds to Virtual Event camp where they want to camp. So, the better we do as industry to provide them with that Cara Csizmadia, the memberence was well-attended, notedopportunity, the more likely they will stay in services coordinator for the Cana- Csizmadia. the lifestyle and that benefits everybody, dian Camping & RV Council, toldLarryBrownfield,seniorBaker explained. Woodalls Campground Magazinedirector of franchise develop- Compounding this problem is the fact that (WCM) that she was excited aboutmentservicesatKamp- during the peak camping season of June, July all of the positive feedback thatgroundsofAmericaInc.and August, 76% of all campsites are booked, the association had received after(KOA), served as the confer- meaning it is difficult for RVers to find a camp-its Canadian Outdoor Hospitalityences keynote and spoke onsite that meets their needs. Conference & Expo took place inkey industry data and the areasTheanalysisalsofoundadisparityin early March. park owners need to focus on as they enter the busy summeramenities between private and public camp-Our sponsors were all very happy, and we had attendeesmonths. grounds. This is especially apparent in the taking part in networking events, educational sessions andHe noted the impressive growth that KOA saw year-over- availability of Wi-Fi in public campsites versus sharing information on social media, she explained. year, and that advanced reservation figures are up for 2022. private ones, as well as with other available Held virtually again due to COVID restrictions, the confer- CCRVCcontinued on page 34 Analysiscontinued on page24WOODALLSCM.comMay 2022 3"