Carolina Parks Seek Membership Boost
The Carolinas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CARVC) launched a new membership campaign at its annual convention and expo March 9-11 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Concord, N.C.
The campaign is designed to get existing association members more actively involved in enlisting new membership, said Dana Gabriel, newly elected CARVC president. “Growing our membership is definitely priority one,” she told Woodall’s Campground Management.
Fifteen member parks were represented at the convention, which Gabriel described as “a very intimate gathering, providing members quality one-on-one time with the vendors and speakers in attendance.”
Speakers included Jeff Kurowski from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA); William Garpow from the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA); Bob MacKinnon from MacKinnon Campground Consulting; Tracey Markowic from Campersview.com; Wade Elliott from Utility Supply Group; and Larry Oxenham from the National Association of Asset Protection.
Outgoing CARVC president Sandy Tinsley was honored for her years of service and dedication to the association. Rick Moody was also honored for his 26 years as a board member, first with the North Carolina association and later with CARVC.
CARVC faced two major legislative matters as the 2008 camping season got underway.
A proposed $12 million cutback in tourism funding by the state of South Carolina would pose “a huge setback” for the RV park and campground industry, according to Gabriel. “It will probably be our next battle.”
And in North Carolina, campground owners fear attempts to overturn the 2004 School Calendar Law, which mandates school not start before Aug. 24 each year. CARVC supports the law and took part in the Save Our Summers Campaign, which helped get it passed. The law helps prolong the vacation and tourist season in the state.
Gabriel surveyed CARVC members on the issue of emerging trends due to the economy and fuel prices.
“The trend we all are seeing is that more and more of our campers are traveling within a 100 miles or so of their homes to camp, rather than planning higher mileage trips, and are staying longer. An early Easter has kicked off an earlier than usual start to our season, and based on the March numbers, everyone seems confident that higher gas prices are not going to be a great detriment to the camping industry here in the Carolinas,” she told Woodall’s.
New officers elected were President Dana Gabriel, River Bottom Farms RV Resort & Campground, Swansea, S.C.; Vice President Barb Krumm, Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Secretary Sandy Tinsley, Rutledge Lake Travel Park, Fletcher, N.C.; and Treasurer Darin Almond, Norwood Camping Resort, Norwood, N.C.
New board members are Michael Hobby, Moon Landing Campground, Cross Hill, S.C.; Gerry Decker, Sleepy Bears RV Park, Lumberton, N.C.; Gary Rousseau, Magnolia RV Park & Campground, Kinards, S.C.; Diane Larkin, Hide-Away Campground, Bryson City, N.C.; and Norman Boucher, LCN Outdoors, Windsor, Conn.