Bike Tour Will Benefit Missouri Campgrounds
Increased state tourism funding and the return of the successful Tour of Missouri bicycle race this summer had members of the Missouri Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (MOARC) in good spirits at their 40th Annual Convention and Trade Show March 6-8. Twenty-three campgrounds were represented at the event, which was held at the Lodge of the Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, Mo.
Bob Smith, deputy director of tourism for Missouri, told members about plans for the Tour of Missouri, scheduled for Sept. 8-14. The 2007 race, modeled after the Tour de France, drew 350,000 spectators and had an economic impact of $26 million across the state, with $21 million of that total coming from out-of-state visitors. Twelve cities will be showcased during the 2008 event, which starts at St. Joseph, Mo., and ends in St. Louis with the Gateway Arch as a backdrop.
MOARC members benefited from the inaugural event with increased out-of-state visitors and look forward to the race’s return, Linda Alcorn, MOARC treasurer, told Woodall’s Campground Management.
State tourism promotion spending is well funded for 2008 and 2009 at $21 million and $24.6 million, respectively, she said, citing numbers from Smith’s presentation.
Other guest speakers were Max Gibbs, former chairman of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC); Chuck Purgason, state senator representing the Lake Ozark area; and Kelly Swanson, a member of the Missouri Tourism Commission.
Seminar speakers were Robert Bouse, senior business consultant for Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), who spoke on creative ways to improve your bottom line; and Jackie Rasmussen, a business development specialist with the University of Missouri Extension Office, who spoke on “Thinking Before You Spend.”
Ten companies participated in the vendor show.
MOARC presented a lifetime contribution award to the family of Dean Sims. Sims was one of six MOARC founders 40 years ago. The Sims family formerly owned the Compton Ridge Campground in Branson. Jeff Sims received the award on behalf of the entire family.
MOARC elected new officers for 2008. They are: President Larry Helms, Boiling Spring Campground, Dixon; Vice President Gary Ferguson, Basswood RV Resort, Platte City; Secretary Eleanor Magard, Jason Place Campground, Sedalia; and Treasurer Linda Alcorn, Countryside RV Park, Sedalia. Carolyn Strong, Sundermeier RV Park & Conference Center, St. Charles, also serves as immediate-past-president.