CONY 2021

Representatives of more than 40 campgrounds attended CONY’s 57th Annual Exposition for the Outdoor Hospitality Industry in Niagara Falls, N.Y., in 2021. Park operators are pictured here during a dinner honoring inductees into CONY’s Hall of Fame.

The Campground Owners of New York (CONY) kicks off its 59th annual Exposition for the Outdoor Hospitality Industry & Tradeshow in Albany today (Oct. 31). The three-day event is being held at the Renaissance Albany Hotel and the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza Convention Center.

Morning activities include a tour of the New York State Capital Activities and a cracker barrel session moderated by Lori Severson, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners (WACO).

CONY President and CEO Donald Bennett, Jr. is slated to lead a lunch session titled “CONY 101,” which provides an overview of the association’s legal and legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of park owners as well as the marketing, public relations and educational benefits CONY provides for its members in addition to discounts on many products and services needed by park owners.

Christine Taylor, a partner with the Towne Law Firm, P.C., will lead a seminar on “Current Issues and Strategies for What to Do,” from handling social issues to managing guest removals, seasonal agreements, as well as active shooter policies, procedures and preventative measures.

Severson, who purchased her own park a few years ago, was also slated to lead a session on “Strategic Planning” to help park operators prioritize their improvements and determine their best returns on investment based on their short- or long-term exit strategies.

Mark Koep, a longtime full-time RVer, owner of Campground Views, Inc., and host of a Facebook group for park owners and managers with more than 3,200 members, will provide CONY’s keynote address titled, “Own the Future! How You Can Adapt to a Changing World.”

Koep’s keynote will be followed by a presentation by “I Love New York,” New York’s statewide tourism marketing campaign, and a tradeshow preview from 7 to 9 p.m. with dinner stations in the convention hall.

Bennett said many of the approximately 50 vendors that signed up to participate in this year’s CONY convention are first-timers. They include Advanced Outdoor Solutions; Battle Company, a laser tag provider; Business Financial Depot; Campground Views; Dip N Dots New York; Livingston Energy Group, which provides EV charging stations; Park Technologies; Pitstop Outdoors; Progressive Primary Care Solutions; and Spectrum Reach, which is offering special TV advertising promotions for park operators.

Country music is also set to be provided by a group called Tailor Made.