Transformations keep the Kansas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (KARVC) in line with the needs of its members, with the latest modifications being driven by the ever-evolving world of Internet technology, according to a news release issued following KARVC’s latest business meeting in April.

As a result, KARVC is now providing greater services for its park members, offering extensive publicity for the parks and encouraging more constant camaraderie among its members.

“News travels quickly in today’s world, people make their travel plans with different tools today than yesterday, and KARVC has its fingers on the gauges,” reports Mary Arlington, owner of High Plains Camping in Oakley and chairwoman of KARVC’s Internet Committee. “We work day and night to promote the parks, and we’re seeing incredible results.”

KARVC President Sheila Wagner of USI RV Park, Wichita, she she was pleased with the outcome of the latest business meeting. “We increased our dues for 2011, but we also significantly restructured every program we offer and we added new programs which should help drive more RVs into campsites for our members.”

Sheila Wagner, Kansas ARVC president

Wagner provided examples:

  • Members will no longer pay fees to attend the annual convention or its associated social, breakfast and lunch functions. Registration fees for the event typically cost the parks $60 – $95 each year.
  • Distribution of the printed directory will again see expansion in 2011. The more we place it in the hands of RVers, the more likely each park will see more traffic.
  • Each park is already receiving publicity through a vastly improved online directory, ksrvparks.com, and more enhancements are now in the works.
  • Each park will now receive far greater publicity through our blogs, Twitter tweets and Facebook posts.
  • Each park has hands-on access to everything KARVC offers, including direct access to all the members by all the members through our online membership website. Meetings are held on the website, parks converse with one another outside of committee work, members post items they have for sale or situations they’re facing from which others might be able to offer assistance, and simply talk like they’re in a cracker-barrel session sharing thoughts with one another. Parks also share pictures and post news as it develops.

According to Karen Weber, owner of Mid-America Camp Inn, Goodland, the members-only website enables everyone to see the association business unfold as its developing. “During meetings, the board reviewed recent annual conventions and they studied trends. From that they determined the impact on our budget, on the dues and on manpower.”

Weber continued, “For two years the duties of the association have fallen upon committee volunteers since we chose to not fill the vacancy of an executive director. If the association manages the work through its own members, we can then use more funds toward a better marketing program, which could steer more customers into our parks.”

Carolyn Fenn of Four Seasons RV Acres in Abiline, KARVC secretary, added, “Karen is not a board member but we always enjoy when she and others chime in during our meetings. It’s like having a barometer for what all our members might like to see us do or not do.”

KARVC awarded the Internet and social networking contract to Arlington. Wagner said, “Between her marketing skills, her background with social networks, and her familiarity with our membership, we are very fortunate to have her in this role.”

“Other very exciting news for KARVC,” according to Wagner, “is our relationship with Jeff Sims for membership growth. There aren’t many parks in Kansas who qualify who aren’t already members, but Jeff is hoping to speak with each owner to encourage membership with us. He began his efforts in Kansas during the last week in April.”

Wagner also announced that KARVC met with Leisure Interactive in regard to the membership drive. They are being very generous in helping us achieve greater publicity for our parks. Last year they made it possible for KARVC to market its members’ parks in ways we couldn’t otherwise achieve. Now we can literally drive customers right to the front door! Their continued support as we strive to grow in membership is very beneficial.”

She added, “I told Leisure Interactive that the park owners of KARVC are well trained at operating RV parks, but we are a small group with a lot of limitations. We appreciate what they’ve done for us. Partnerships are extremely valuable, and it’s always been a pleasure to work with their team.”

Wagner concluded, “April’s business meeting was a lengthy one but it set the tone for a very productive path for all of our parks. The 2010 and 2011 benefits, especially for a small state association, are very impressive. I’ve been a member for over 20 years; this is definitely an exciting era for us.”