b'EDITORS NOTES BY BEN QUIGGLEConferences Highlight Strength of IndustryFall conference season did not disappoint.All the shows that Woodalls Campground Magazine (WCM) attended broke at least one recordeither on the attendee or vendor front, sometimes bothand were marked by very positive energy.There are few people who dont have a positive outlook for the industry moving forward and the recent report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) con-tinues to show that outdoor recreation is a moneymaker for local economies, con-tributing over $1 trillionyes, that is not a typoto the U.S. economy in 2022. Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) recently celebrated crossing the $500 mil-lion mark in registration revenue for 2023a full year or two ahead of projections. The shocking part? They expect to hit $700 million in a mere three years! There were a lot of discussions about what could slow this trend, but many industry experts noted that an economic downturn wouldnt impact parks too much.Gas Prices? So far, they havent stopped people from traveling and prices are expected to trend down over the holiday season.Higher Interest Rates? While financing is harder to nab for some, many are finding success with local banks or institutions that have a knowledge of the business. While some companies are slowing down acquisitions, many told WCM that they are still bullish looking to the future.Recession? The big R word has been tossed around for a year or more. While all economic indicators point to a recession, consumers have been stubborn, and hiring is still moving in the right direction.What if a recession does happen? Toby ORourke, president and CEO of KOA, summed up how she thinks that could impact parks. During the last recession, from 2008 to 2012, we were up 9.7% as a franchise system, she noted. Camping is widely viewed as an affordable activity and a cost-friendly way to travel. Hospitality is the KeyThe one thing that WCM heard about at every conference this fall was hospitality and the idea that the industry needs to explore what that means to a younger audience.Why is that important? Waves of new campers have entered the market over the past few years and the industry is working hard to ensure they remain lifelong campers. That means meeting their needs and understanding their desires.ORourke said park owners/operators should be focused on:Servicehelping the camper and reducing their anxiety so that they can enjoy time with loved ones.Safetyensuring they feel safe at your park.Amenities & Experiencesrecreational opportunities, pet amenities, Wi-Fi, etc. Accessibilitymeeting the needs of campers who have difficulty walking and those who struggle with social interactions and communication.ORourke explained a consumer cycle when it comes to camping, outlining many reasons campers may exit that cyclewith parks potentially losing that business forever.As an industry that features the word hospitality in its name, it is imperative that everyone continues to work to meet the needs of todays campers and extend the incredible growth of this industry.That way the only exit ramps campers take are the ones leading to your parks. WCMwww.woodallscm.com Vol. 55 No. 1 January 2024Rick Kessler, PublisherADVERTISING: rkessler@rvbusiness.com (734) 777-6830Chris Cieto, Chief Sales Officer ccieto@rvbusiness.com Scott Stropkai, Chief Operating Officer(603) 689-5979 sstropkai@rvbusiness.com (616) 901-8335Jennifer Rose, National Ad Sales jrose@woodallscm.com Sherman Goldenberg, Senior EditorOffice (574) 266-7980sgoldenberg@rvbusiness.com (574) 457-6637Ben Quiggle, EditorScan tobquiggle@woodallscm.comsubscribeMobile: (574) 306-7781to our daily news feed Gary Gerard, Editorial Directorand print ggerard@rvbusiness.compublications Trina Nissley, Art Director tnissley@rvbusiness.comJeff Crider, Contributor campinginfosource@gmail.comAll general correspondence and circulation inquiries may be directed to the following: Woodalls Campground Magazine, C/O G&G Media Group LLC, 3020 B Windsor Ct., Elkhart, IN 46514Email: rvbusiness@rvbusiness.comOwners, managers or marketing directors of privately held U.S. campgrounds may receive a free subscription upon request to Woodalls Campground Magazineone free subscription per campground. Others may purchase subscriptions at these rates: $24.95 per year U.S. or $35.95 per year in Canada.Email: rvbusiness@rvbusiness.comWoodalls Campground Magazine is published monthly by G&G Media Group LLC at the above address. 2 January 2024Woodalls Campground Magazine'