b'AROUND THE STATES News from State AssociationsCARVC Conference Breaksbook and Instagram pages, as well as a 38%Attendees were provided with up-to-date Records as Associationincrease in visitors to CampingCarolinas.com,research and several actionable insights that the associations consumer-facing website, awill help improve their marketing and guest ex-Continues to Grow new version of which will also go live this year.perience.The Carolinas Association of RV ParksCARVC currently has 145 campgroundGlen Cobb, chief of the Ohio Department and Campgrounds (CARVC) wrapped up themembers, an all-time high for the association,of Natural Resources Division of Parks and largest and most successful annual conventionwith 18 new members, Witting said.Watercraft, discussed what is happening with and tradeshow in the associations 20-yearCARVCsnextannualconventionandstate parks in Ohio and how private camp-history at the beginning of February. tradeshow will be held Feb. 9-11, 2025, at thegrounds can partner with them. Representing 53 parks in the Carolinas,Embassy Suites, Kingston Plantation, in MyrtleOhio Tourism Director Sarah Wickham dis-Georgia and Virginia, 125 people attended theBeach, S.C. WCMcussed Ohio-specific visitor profile data and Feb.3-6eventattheEmbassySuites,The Carolinas Association of RV Parks andother industry updates.Kingston Plantation, in Myrtle Beach, S.C.,Campgrounds hosted a record-breakingOCOA Spring ConferenceDavid Basler, chief strategy officer at OHI, along with representatives from 54 camp- conference in February. gave an update on the reorganization of the na-rently expanding their parks.Hosts over 70 Attendeestional association and its rebranding from its ground industry vendors, according to DeeCrider noted that new and expanding parksThe 2024 Ohio Campground Owners As- previous status as the National Association of Witting, CARVCs executive director.are always newsworthy topics to pitch, bothsociation(OCOA)SpringConferenceandRV Parks and Campgrounds.Tyler Watts, of Broad River CampgroundforcampgroundindustrymediaandlocalTrade Show was held March 1-2 at the Em- Over lunch, the OCOA Annual Membership in Mooresboro, N.C., who recently won OHIsmedia, including newspapers, TV and radiobassy Suites Columbus Airport. The eventMeeting was held. The financial report was Small Park of the Year Award, led a seminarstations. He encouraged park operators to takehosted over 70 attendees representing approx- given and the 2024-25 operating budget was outlining some of the challenges he faced de- the initiative to create their own press releasesimatelyover35campgrounds.TheTradeapproved. OCOA executive board members veloping his park. OHI was formerly known asand to reach out to reporters, noting that parkgave their reports and took questions. OCOA the National Association of RV Parks andoperators themselves are experts on theShow had 42 booths with exhibitors displayinglobbyist Amanda Sines gave a legislative up-Campgrounds. He noted that he had to use fi- campground segment of the tourism business.the latest and greatest products and services. date and the OCOA thanked Hoffman for his nancing from hard money lenders and otherCrider also suggested that park operators shareConference sponsors included: Platinumyears of service as OCOA president by pre-sources due to traditional lenders who werelinks to WCM reports with their local news re- SponsorsRF Works/Campfire Connect;senting him with a letter of commendation not willing to provide him with a loan becauseporters, noting that reporters often find com- Access Parks; Urban Industries and Utilityfrom the Ohio Senate outlining his dedication he hadnt developed a campground before.fort in reporting on topics that other newsSupplyGroup.GoldsponsorsHenleyand service to the organization. Feliks Yamnik, of Passado Media in Raleigh,outlets have previously covered.Graphics; Wilcor Outdoors; Camp Strategy;The Board of Trustees elections were held, N.C., led a working lunch session focusing onThe four-day conference began with an all- Yale Realty and Capital Advisors; CampLifeand the following were elected to office:Google Analytics. He noted that Google Analyt- day workshop by the RV Training Institute atand Millwood Lumber. Silver sponsorsPresidentBrya Long Jimison, Longs ics is free and is an essential tool to help parkLakewood Camping Resort in Myrtle Beach,KTS Equipment and Strait Web Solutions.Retreat Family Resort operators measure the effectiveness of theirwhich was designed to orient park operatorsBronze sponsorLeavitt Recreation & Hos-First Vice PresidentChip Hanawalt, websites and what needs to be changed.on the benefits of having a technician based atpitality Insurance. Mt. Gilead KOA You need to know where your customerstheir park who can help RVers with repairs andThe event started with a pre-conference Vice President of Government Affairsare coming from and what theyre doing onmaintenance.Drinking Water Training Course on Feb. 29 ledRyan McPeek, Coshocton KOA your website, he said, adding, Are they book- Sundays sessions included a workshop onby the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency TreasurerBarb McClintock, Wally ing sites?hiring and staffing by Rebecca Murphy, gen- (EPA). The day-long course offered eight hoursWorld Riverside Retreat Yamnik noted that the data provided byeral manager of the Jellystone Park Camp- of Ohio EPA approved contact hours for con-NE TrusteeDon Virgi, Chestnut Ridge Google Analytics is not 100% accurate, partlyResort in Tabor City, N.C. and Lisa Courtney,tinuing education for operators of drinkingCampground because of the privacy settings of some web- director of operations/franchisee onboarding,water systems. NE AlternatesSamuel Hershberger, site users. However, the information Googlefor Southfield, Mich.-based Camp Jellystone.On March 1, the conference kicked off withScenic Hills RV Park; Leroy Miller, Berlin RV Analytics provides can help park operators as- the Conference Welcome by OCOA PresidentPark and Campground; Fernando Lusvarghi, sess the performance of their website andDuring CARVCs annual business meeting,Jeff Hoffman.Lake Milton/Berlin Lake KOA identify areas of their website that may needWitting noted that the association distributedNext, attendees heard from keynote speaker Central TrusteeDuane Dancer, Back improvements, he said.80,000 printed campground directories lastAmir Eylon, president & CEO of Longwoods40 Campground CARVCs conference also included a sem- year and that its 2024 directory has alreadyInternational, a travel industry market research Central AlternateJoy Stelzer, Alton RV inarbylongtimepublicistandWoodallsbeen printed and distributed. CARVCs market- consultancy firm. Eylon shared some of thePark Campground Magazine (WCM) writer Jeffing efforts are also bearing fruit, she said, not- companys latest research and insights about SE TrusteeSharrie Yarber, Rocky Crider, who walked park operators through theingasuccessfulsocialmediaoutreachwhat American travelers are thinking, as wellFork Ranch process of writing press releases, using infor- campaign by JVES Marketing that significantlyas highlighted some of the top five key trendsSEAlternateJustinStaten,Big mation from seminar participants who are cur- increased CARVCs followers through its Face- based upon their behavior. Sycamore Family Campground. The first set of breakout sessions followed and included the following options: Reading the Crystal Ball Part Two: More Trends & Insights! led by Eylon and Ride Safety 101Including Inflatables! led by Ron Dean (Ohio Department of Agriculture). A second set of breakout sessions in-cluded: Clearing a Path Through the Permitting Jungle led by the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio EPA and AI Essentials: Camp-ground Operations & Marketing led by Brian Searl (Insider Perks).Tradeshow activity remained brisk through-out the day, as attendees were able to peruse a variety of products and services.The night closed with the Totally Awesome 80s Night & Silent Auction.During the 80s Party, attendees bid on silent auction items generously donated by OCOA members, Trade Show vendors and other supporters.On March 2, the trade show continued and a final set of breakout sessions were hosted, including: Free Utilities Are Not Fair led by Mike Sorensen (Wild Energy) and An Intro-duction to Revenue Management and Dynamic Price led by Hoffman (Camp Strategy).The conference closed with a Farewell Fi-esta where attendees had lunch and threw out burning questions and hot topics for discus-sion with the group.Kristy Smith WCMAround the Statescontinued on page 3614 April 2024 Woodalls Campground Magazine'