The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) is in the final stretch this morning (Nov. 10) of this year’s Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo at the Fort Worth Convention Center in downtown Fort Worth, Texas.
After Tuesday’s full day of education sessions and a cracker barrel, and Wednesday’s education sessions and expo reception, this morning kicked off with the annual membership meeting and breakfast, and much of today will be devoted to the expo.
In conversations with park operators from across the U.S., one common theme keeps coming up: It’s been a good year.
Whether in unusually dry areas like California’s mountains and central Massachusetts, or unusually wet areas like central Colorado, this year has been another banner year for camping, with more and more people seeking outdoor vacations. And while the weather didn’t put much of a dent in the season, it has helped extend the fall demand for camping this year across much of the U.S. with a warmer fall.
“We get better every year,” said Mark Atkinson of Walnut Grove RV Park in the Kansas City suburb of Merriam, Kan. “I was booked to 97% capacity on average, and have a wait list for my monthlies.
“I expect it to drop off this month, but then I expected that last year and we kept busy through January,” said Atkinson, who also serves as the president of the Kansas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
In neighboring Colorado, Lainey Beyhan said business at her 100-site Dolores River Campground has doubled its gross income in the four years since she and her husband bought the park.
After today’s expo, this evening will be devoted to a reception and dinner for ARVC award winners, an auction to benefit the organization’s outreach arm, the ARVC Foundation, and then a 50th Anniversary Celebration party.
Friday morning the event will wrap up with a farewell breakfast.