Bob and Sharon Drakeford

A former professor and politician, Bob Drakeford has settled into “retirement” with his wife Sharon by converting land in his family for 134 years to an RV park in North Carolina.

Drakeford brings a different perspective to the RV park/campground industry, one he thinks the industry needs as the population changes.

“People of color — whatever color it is, black, Latino or otherwise — are going to be a large part of what your campground hospitality industry’s going to be,” Drakeford told Woodall’s Campground Management.

He points to the growth of cabins across the industry as one indicator that more people want to get into camping, and Kampgrounds of America (KOA) has reported that their cabin guests are more ethnically diverse than RV campers and once they come in, they enjoy camping.

Even on the RV side, Drakeford pointed to the National African American RVers Association, a group of 1,400 RVers across 50 chapters. “My point is, it makes sense to me that these folks should have, maybe the president of that association a member of the board” of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, he said.

“If people are coming to you like they’re coming to your church or synagogue, make them welcome. If you want to know about a certain ethnic group, have somebody on your board,” Drakeford said.

Watch for the full story in February’s issue of Woodall’s Campground Management.