Campground Industry News
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VendorScapes – New Campground Products
For many campers, getting wet in some fashion is an expected and much-anticipated part of their campground experience. Minnesota-based Water Wars has ideas on how to have the most fun doing it.
Founded in 1989, Water Wars manufactures an array of water games and activities for outdoor recreation properties such as campgrounds, amusement parks and family fun centers. It makes stationary games for installation in permanent play areas as well as portable ones for use at carnivals or other special events, according to President Tim VanRooy. Water Wars purchased WhirlWhims in 2010, adding the New Jersey company’s carnival games to its line-up.
In most of its water games, players race to douse their opponents, which VanRooy said is not only fun for the participants, but maximizes the number of people who can play while minimizing wait time. “Our games are designed to last 30 seconds to a couple minutes, so you get a lot of people put through. A regular single Water Wars game plays up to eight people at once, so whole families can play together at the same time,” he explained. “It’s fast, it’s fun and it’s easy.”
One thing Van Rooy cited as a stand-out characteristic of Water Wars equipment is the quality of its construction. “All of our stuff uses powder-coated aluminum and stainless steel hardware, so it’s designed to last forever. And that’s really what we pride ourselves on,” he stated. “So that’s one of the benefits of owning our products. You know you’re going to have something that’s going to last a really long time.”
For more information contact Water Wars at (800) 950-1132 or visit www.waterwars.com.
The explosion of ventures like oil and gas exploration and worker communities springing up around them has created a demand for temporary housing – and in many areas, this housing has spilled over into the campground industry. Bay Point by Recreation by Design in Elkhart, Ind., is providing park models designed to meet the needs of working campers who need a place to live for the duration of their employment.
“We custom-build sleepers in different sizes from 36 feet all the way up to 48- or 50-foot park trailers,” said Recreation by Design sales representative Rod Bentley. “We have a bunker that has doors all the way down on both sides, and each man has his own cubicle to sleep in, maybe eight or 10 in the same trailer.”
The company also emphasizes its line of customizable destination park trailers, which come in lengths between 43 and 46 feet, with bonus upgrades for long-term housing that won’t be found in traditional park models. Those features include larger living areas, full-size storage spaces, slideout rooms, high 84-inch ceilings and detachable hitches.
Either way, said sales representative Terry Hiser, a unit can be built to any particular specifications a campground owner might have in mind, whether it’s a “summer home” for seasonal campers or bunkhouses tailored for high-capacity housing. “We’re primarily a custom builder of specialty products,” he stated.
For more information contact Bay Point by Recreation By Design at (800) 999-1902 or visit www.rbdrv.com.
Dutch company Berg Toys is operating in 60 countries and claims the title of worldwide leader in pedaled go-karts for the commercial recreation industry. According to Frank Bewersdorff, president of Berg Toys USA, their go-karts are available for purchase through retail channels like Costco and toy stores, but are also widely used by entities like campgrounds and party equipment companies who rent them out to customers.
“It’s a very lucrative cash income for medium- to large-sized campgrounds that have a decent amount of traffic and will market the karts well,” Bewersdorff said. “Most of our customers rent them out for between $5 and $9 for half an hour to an hour, and they usually tell us they make their investment back in the first season, sometimes actually double it. And then every season after that is gravy.” Once that initial investment is paid off, he asserted the overhead is low since kart fleet rental can be handled within established workers’ hours. “Many campgrounds do this out of their store, so they already have staff there, so it’s a nice source of additional income.”
The karts hold significant draw to camping families, Bewersdorff stated, because driving a carlike vehicle is enticing to kids who can’t drive real cars yet. “You and I drive cars almost every day, so it’s not a big deal to us; but for kids, there’s just something about getting behind the wheel that they just enjoy, and that makes it attractive.”
And they’re not getting behind just any wheel: Berg Toys offers kart versions of Ferrari, John Deere and Jeep vehicles. “The brand name (recognition) that we have with these world class companies – each is a leader of their field, and that just gives the whole thing a new and special flavor,” he said.
For more information, contact Berg Toys USA, located in Lititz, Pa., at (877) 499-6462 or visit www.BergToys-USA.com.
Enviro Design Products Inc.’s newest product for the RV park and campground sector, the “Gator,” is gaining quick traction, says company president William Watts.
The device fits onto RV sewer hoses and provides a tight seal when fitted into the sewage intake at individual campsites. It’s called a “Gator” because it bites into the hose and provides security by shutting off any chance for leakage or sewer gas emissions, Watts explained.
Based in Dunnellon, Fla., Watts showed the new device at the KOA convention in Orlando, Fla., and sold hundreds of them. He’s getting many re-orders which tells him the product is being well-received, he said.
Overall, Watts is seeing a steady increase in business from campgrounds retrofitting their sewer systems. As the U.S. economy improves, he sees the demand for his environmental products only getting better.
For more information, visit www.envirodesignproducts.com or call (352) 465-6048.
The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has forced the owners of RV parks and campgrounds to upgrade their websites to accommodate these mobile devices. That means new business for firms such as Henley Graphic Communications Inc., a full service printing and graphics company based in Loudonville, Ohio.
Rich Wachtel, office manager, noted that Henley’s ongoing relationship with the Ohio Campground Owners Association (OCOA) has paid dividends as it has led many of the parks in Ohio to Henley for this latest development in online services.
Henley publishes the annual Ohio Campers magazine for OCOA and prints some 235,000 copies for national distribution.
For more information visit www.henley-graphics.com or call (800) 772-5488.