The Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) Sunday (Oct. 19) held its annual Fall Parks on Tour at Rustic Creek Ranch in Burleson, Texas.

Approximately 65 people attended, spending a few hours looking over every aspect of the magnificent property, according to a report to members by Executive Director Brian Schaeffer.

The recent addition of dozens of RV sites, beautifully appointed cottages and fabulous meeting halls were the highlights.

Just prior to the park tour, guests were treated to an outstanding collection of vintage Corvettes, Camaros and muscle cars at a nearby collector.

The association unveiled the look and feel of a significant rebuild of its consumer website – www.texascampgrounds.com. The new site will be very visually appealing, extremely content rich with very robust search capability. Changes to member park information can be made immediately on the new site which goes live at the end of the year. The new site, featuring 400-plus private campgrounds, will continue to garner more visitors than any other state camping site, Schaeffer predicted.

During a CPO-approved marketing round table discussion 60% of owners indicated that their business had grown steadily over the last three years. Approximately 30% indicated they were flat over the same period, while 10% have seen a slight down turn in the last two years.

Most owners indicated they employed a well-rounded marketing approach of print media, online advertising various word-of-mouth programs to promote business.

Approximately two-thirds of the group said they had expanded their facilities or upgraded amenities over the previous year and half of the parks have expansion plans for this year. All attendees confirmed significant increases in operating expenses. Leading the way were property tax increase ranging from 20% to 200% over the last two years.

An award was presented to the host park – Rustic Creek Ranch. Also, board service awards were presented to Carolyn Brown of Boone RV Park, Lampasas, Texas; and Terry Cagle of Little Creel RV Park, Chama, N.M., for six years of  TACO board service. A slate of directors was presented and approved for the 2009 – 2010 TACO board.

 Officers are President Doug Shearer, Parkview Riverside RV Park, Rio Frio; 1st Vice President Rober Kennedy, Lubbock RV Park, Lubbock; 2nd Vice President Don Temple, Guadalupe River RV Resort, Kerrville; Treasurer Allan Hughes, Grand Prairie; and Secretary Mac McLaughlin, Hatch RV Park, Corpus Christi.