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KARVC conference attendees listen during an educational session.

As campground owners from across Kansas prepare for a busy spring and summer, some took time out for industry education and networking during the Kansas Association of RV Parks & Campground’s (KARVC) annual conference on Feb. 27 at Four Seasons RV Acres in Abilene, Kan, according to a press release.

Aside from a short business meeting, standard election, round-table discussions and industry presentations by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), attendees also heard formal presentations on cybersecurity by Peter Pelland, founder of Haydenville, Mass.-based Pelland Advertising and ADA compliance by Mark Douglass, co-founder and CEO of the Pagosa, Colo.-based RVing Accessibility Group.

Attendees were also introduced to a variety of Kansas-made items to consider offering in their camp stores, according to the release.

“There are many Kansas small businesses making products that not only could improve a park’s revenue stream, but would also create more new memories for their guests,” according to KARVC Executive Director Mary Arlington.

Keeping in line with the made-in Kansas focus, every attendee went home with a copy of the new Kansas Guidebook 2 for Explorers, which was co-written by fellow Kansas residents Marci Penner and WenDee Rowe.

“Kansas doesn’t have to be a completely pass-through state, but it’s up to each campground owner to encourage their guests to slow down, to take it all in or even return for future visits,” said Arlington.

Arlington said that attendees appreciated the newly expanded educational aspect of the annual event.

“Every single attendee thanked us for shaking things up,” said Arlington.

“Those who don’t attend don’t know what they don’t know,” said Karen Weber, manager of Mid-America Camp Inn in Goodland, Kan.

The KARVC board also welcomed new members including Jeanne Squier, general manager of Beaumont Hotel & RV Park in Beaumont, Kan., and Richard Lord, owner of Rutlader Outpost RV Park in Louisburg, Kan.

KARVC President Charlie Reaser said the annual conference is key for KARVC members and helps recharge batteries for the season ahead.

“There’s a wealth of information regarding park operations and management at the conference,” said Reaser. “The time together is also about having some fun and tending to some healing. That’s what happens when we spend time with people who have the same career and who face the same struggles. Together is better. “