b'Conferencesfrom page 31 NCAfrom page 3local celebrities who can help draw media at- few times near Boston, Mass., Cyndy Zbierski, the executive director of NCA, tention to campground events.told Woodalls Campground Magazine (WCM) that it was great being able to Andrew Nussbaum, a regional tourismsee everyone together.specialist from the Wisconsin Department ofThe conference was kicked off with a complimentary Day of Exploration Tourism, said people like to travel to Wiscon- that was geared for people looking to purchase or develop a park.sin because it is perceived to be a safe travelWe had 33 people register for that and I had to close it down because I did-destination. nt want to get too many people in that room, Zbierski explained. They were This perception predates the COVID pan- able to have the time together to network with each other and then have demic, he said. meals with the current campground owners. The conversation for them was But the onus is on park operators to stepinvaluable, and the message of the day was, if you do choose to buy a camp-up their marketing outreach efforts.For his part, Jeff Crider, a longtimeground, remember how important your state, regional and national associa-Does your chamber of commerce knowcampground industry publicist and WCMtions are, because together we can do so much. That was important to me to you exist? he asked. Docontributor, encouraged park operators toget that thought in all of their heads. destination marketing or- publicize their improvements and expan- In-depth sessions on buying/developing a park, finding financing, fran-ganizationsknowyousionsbecausetheseenhancementschise opportunities and insurance were part of the complimentary program, exist? Do your (local area)areoftennewsworthytopicsforlocalalong with a session led by Lelah Campo, owner of Cozy Hills, who shared residents know you exist?media as well as campground industrythings she wished she had known before buying her park in 2014. Do you have a PR plan?publications. The conferences keynote address was led by Larry Brownfield, senior di-What is your point of dif- Crider encouraged park operators torector of franchise development services at Kampgrounds of America Inc., ferentiation?develop their own press releases, usingwho noted to park owners that KOA had to work through an inflection point Nussbaum asked parknews release posts on Woodallscm.comin 2020 when the COVID crisis was at its peak. Andrew Nussbaum operators to contact himas templates for their own press releases.An inflection point means you can either move forward and see exponen-for a free listing on TravelWisconsin.com, ifThese press releases can be used for out- tial growth or catastrophic decline, noted Brownfield. There is a point where they havent already, and suggested theyreach to newspapers, online media outletsyou are either going to grow or you are going to have drastic decline. It can sign up for free Travel Wisconsin newslet- as well as TV and radio stations, he said.also be called a tipping point. In 2020, KOA was at that point. What is your tip-ters to keep up to date on the states pro- Content from press releases can also beping point? motional efforts. He also encouraged parkrecycled into social media posts, furtherBrownfield noted that the industry has changed dramatically from just a operators to market their parks to youngerdiversifying the parks media outreach ef- few years ago, with younger and more diverse RVers hitting the road. and more ethnically diverse audiences. forts, he said. WCM We have seen the growth in RVers grow five times what it was in 2019, he explained. Baby Boomers are still a large group, but they are not the largest anymore. Millennials and Gen Z is now the main group of campers. You have to look at the marketplace and recognize that you are going to have to change the way that you do business. Brownfield noted that 85% of campers still own an RV, but that the accom-modations market is still growing. He also pointed out that advanced reser-vations at KOA are up 45% so far this year. NCAs tradeshow featured around 30 vendors, a decrease from years in the past, but Zbierski noted that plenty of vendors still supported the conference even though they couldnt make it.It was great being able to utilize the hallway and have attendees be able to flow by the vendors located there, she said.To learn more about NCA, head to: https://campnca.orgBen QuiggleWCMSunlight RV Resorts to Open Champions Run OcalaSunlight Resorts announced it is now taking reservations for its newest RV resort, Champions Run Ocala Luxury RV Resort in Ocala, Fla., which will open on June 1. Located in the Horse Capitol of the World, the resort was built from the ground up to offer premier outdoor hospitality with distinguished modern amenities, according to a release. Situated on superior grounds, Champions Run offers 483 RV sites combined with an array of contemporary park model cot-tages, the release continued. The resort boasts first-class amenities and a unique portfolioofofferingsthatincludea 12,000-square-foot clubhouse, resort-style swimming pool, a rock waterfall and two hot tubs, a ballroom with stage and AV, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a variety of recreational activities, such as pickleball, bocce ball and shuffleboard courts and more. In addition, the resort amenities include Sunlight Resorts full-service Tiki Bar, a signature structure at all of its Florida properties. Sunlight Resorts was founded based oncustomerdemandforbrandnew, modern, and upscale RV and cottage re-sorts in Florida, said Tristan Farrell, president of Sunlight Resorts. With a clear vision for the next generation of RV resorts, Sunlight Resorts develops fresh, amenity-andactivity-richproperties aimed at setting a new standard for the industry. To book a reservation at Champions Run visit www.sunlight-resorts.com/re-sorts/champions-run and enter SUNNY for a 10% discount or call 863-213-0346. The discount is not applicable withotherdiscountsorpromotions. WCM32 May 2022Woodalls Campground Magazine'