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RVIA Brings Campfires To Capitol Hill

July 25, 2014 by   Leave a Comment

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) brought campfires to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and their staffs Wednesday evening (July 23) on Capitol Hill at the request of the RV caucus, a group of representatives who aim to benefit the RV industry and all its related industries.

"We were shoulder-to-shoulder in a room. We tried to have a very casual event with very little podium speaking. We set up campfires, electric campfires, around the room," said Dianne Farrell, RVIA's vice president of government affairs.

The four campfires represented four segments: One for RV manufacturers, one for RV dealers, one for campgrounds and one for the outdoor-recreation industry. "We had two industry leaders at each of the campfires," Farrell said.

Representing the campground industry were Jeff Simms of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) and Deb Carter, operator of Buttonwood Beach RV Resort in Maryland, Farrell said.

As Farrell explained, "one of the purposes of the caucus, from our perspective, is to get people on the hill more familiar with, and raise the profile of, the RV industry, to highlight the economic benefits the industry provides across the country."

That includes $13 billion directly each year "and many more billions indirectly," she said.

The 200 or so attendees — Farrell estimated that they had 10 to 15 members of Congress, far more than is usual for receptions like this "which happen every evening," she said — got to talk in small groups with the industry leaders and left with s'mores kits and roller roasters from Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA).

Though the caucus has been around for about 13 months, the RVIA's event marked the group's formal kickoff, Farrell said, and "it was a very good kickoff event."

The caucus members so far include founders Jackie Walorski, R—Ind., and Dennis Ross R—Fla.,  and the other current RV caucus members are: Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich., Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., and Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind.

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