ARVC Eyes Move to Colorado
The executive committee of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) is meeting late next month in Colorado to review progress in finding a suitable location in the Denver area for its national office and locating the new Center for Outdoor Hospitality.
ARVC President Linda Profaizer has made several trips to Colorado inspecting potential sites for the ARVC office and Center for Hospitality, but told Woodall’s Campground Management it is still too early to report on her progress.
However, after identifying in a news release last spring that the Chief Hosa Lodge and Campground in the Denver suburb of Golden as an early contender for the center site, Profaizer now says that announcement was “premature.”
“Chief Hosa is still a possibility but we’re pursuing other opportunities. We’ve looked at a lot of places,” Profaizer said.
Max Gibbs, ARVC chairman, concurred, saying that the ARVC board remains open to all possibilities. “We’ve not ruled out anything yet,” he said.
The Chief Hosa site is situated in the heart of the Genesee Mountain Park 20 minutes west of downtown Denver. The campground, owned by the city of Denver, is located off Interstate 70 at exit 253. “We’ve looked at Chief Hosa and know what potential that has,” Gibbs said.
Though not ruling out the Chief Hosa site, Profaizer said the issue with it is it’s a “public park. It would be easier if we had some type of affiliation with commercial (private) parks, as opposed to the public sector.”
Gibbs said the ARVC executive committee would look over the contending sites during its September meeting but he didn’t indicate a decision would be made immediately.
Profaizer hopes to update ARVC members on the location search during the InSites Convention in Phoenix in November.
“Denver was chosen over other areas of the country under consideration due to its central location, easy access through a hub airport, numerous universities and colleges specializing in outdoor recreation and hospitality and a lower cost of living and greater quality of life,” Profaizer said in her spring release, following the board’s April 21 decision to approve the move. “Once we have secured a new location for the association, then we can turn our attention to the potential development of the Center for Outdoor Hospitality.”
As envisioned by ARVC, the center would:
•Create a “living laboratory” for developers, park operators, consumers and the media to view in action.
• Include an industry showcase, depicting development of a facility from design concept to completion.
• Offer industry suppliers the opportunity to showcase their products in action.
• Store historical aspects of the RV park and campground sector.
• House research information on the parks arena.
• Showcase all types of RVs and camping equipment available to the traveling public, including RVs, tenting options, park models, cabins and yurts.
• Offer a public picnic/rest area exemplifying the lifestyle and health benefits of the RV park and camping arena.
• Publicize educational opportunities in the RV park and campground business.
• Make available internships to college students seeking an opportunity in commercial outdoor hospitality.
• Promote opportunities for “workampers” to find hands-on training for positions at RV parks and campgrounds.
• Afford venue to develop and host forums to solicit consumer feedback on the industry.
• Help launch community outreach programs to foster partnerships with groups to offer camping experiences to children and others unfamiliar with camping.
ARVC would not oversee the center’s campground, Profaizer emphasized.
“It is important to note that ARVC would not be in the park business. We would work with a third party operator to run that portion of the center. They would, however, be guided by the standards set by ARVC for the concept. ARVC staff does not have the expertise nor the time to run a park, and that is not our core business.”
Profaizer has been working directly with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and other state agencies in finding the best location for the ARVC headquarters.
“They are all very excited,” Gibbs said of the reception by Denver officials. “This is something they want to add to their area – non-profit organizations like ours.”
However, Gibbs said the timing of a move to Colorado is contingent upon selling the ARVC property in Falls Church, a suburb of Washington, D.C. “Until we sell our building, we won’t have the economic ability to do that,” Gibbs said.
The prime real estate is listed at $2,295,000. Profaizer said there have been some nibbles on the property but did not elaborate
Gibbs hopes a sale could be reached by the end of this year. A sale for the asking price “would give us enough to do all we need to do (in Colorado),” Gibbs said.
Should the Falls Church property sell quickly, ARVC could either lease temporary space elsewhere in Falls Church or in the Denver area, Gibbs said.
Once the move is made, ARVC will not lose its lobbying influence in government, Profaizer and Gibbs stressed.
“Our two lobbyists we have there are not leaving. Our connections with the government will be as strong as ever,” Gibbs said.