The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation is considering developing an informational kiosk program that would refer campers to private campgrounds when public parks are full, according to David Gorin, executive director of the Virginia Campground Association (VCA).
John Elton, Virginia’s state parks director, told VCA members about the state proposal during the association’s annual convention and trade show, which took place Oct. 22 – 24 at Candy Hill Campground in Winchester, Va., Gorin said. Elton said the state proposal would be contingent upon the VCA providing financial support for informational kiosks that would be set up state parks throughout Virginia. Virginia has 31 state parks, 24 of which have campgrounds.
At the time of this writing, VCA members were still considering the proposal, but were expected to make a decision by January, Gorin said.
In addition to Elton’s presentation, the annual VCA meeting included a keynote address by Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), as well as a panel discussion on issues involving seasonal and extended stay campers. “There was a lot of discussion on operational issues, leases and relationships between seasonal and transient guests,” Gorin said. “The biggest problem with seasonal campers is that they think it’s ‘their’ campground because they’re there for an extended period of time. So there are loyalty issues. If they want to build a certain deck or have an outdoor refrigerator, how do you set policies and rules and enforce them uniformly?”
The convention, which attracted representatives from roughly 20 private parks, also included seminars on ways to improve quality in various aspects of park operations, including wireless Internet or Wi-Fi service, as well as financial planning for college, retirement, long-term care and other major life events.
The trade show featured about 15 vendors.
In other business, the association elected its officers for 2008. They include President Karl Littman of Candy Hill Campground in Winchester; Vice President Ray Barker of Tall Pines Harbor Campground in Sanford; Secretary Angy Kinsey of Rockahock Campground in Lenexa; and Treasurer Rose Mary Zellner of Rainbow Acres Campground in King and Queen County.