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Maryland ARVC Member Wins Business Award for Going Green

June 6, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

Local companies and leaders were honored at the Washington County 10th Annual Business Awards in six categories and top honors went to ARVC member Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Camp Resort Hagerstown, Md., for its eco-friendly “go green” program

 It was the Oscars of the Washington County, Md., business community: Local companies and leaders were honored at the Washington County 10th Annual Business Awards in six categories and top honors went to ARVC member Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Camp Resort Hagerstown, Md., for its eco-friendly “go green” program.

Several years ago, owners Ron and Vicki Vitkun began putting cost saving, eco-friendly initiatives in place including a recycling relationship with the Star Community of Hagerstown – helping train handicapped individuals to become more productive members of society.

As the finalists were announced, the Vitkuns thought that they did not have a chance. They were up against two large corporations, one of which was Ft. Ritchie and their $5.4 million green building, the first of its kind in Washington County. To their pleasant surprise, though, the Vitkuns’ park was announced the winner of the “Go Green” award. “This award is testament to all of us in our industry that a small business can make a difference that will be recognized by others in your community,” says Ron.

2009 ARVC Awards of

Excellence Call for Entries

The ARVC Awards of Excellence recognize the accomplishments of members in operations, marketing, management, and the industry. Every year, ARVC profiles the winners of its awards with press releases, letters to industry and governmental leaders, articles in the ARVC Report, showcasing on the website and notification on the local, state and national level. New this year, ARVC will recognize two entrants in the brochure, direct mail promotion, and website of the year categories.

To enter, visit www.arvc.org, download the entry form, and provide the information requested. All entries must be received no later than June 30, 2009. All rules and judging criteria are listed in the entry form brochure. Questions? Contact Dan Gurley, ARVC director of membership at (303) 681-0401 or dgurley@arvc.org.

Economic Survey Report

Now Free to ARVC Members

The ARVC Foundation Board recently voted to furnish current ARVC members a complimentary copy of the 2008 National Operations and Economic Survey upon request. To obtain a copy of the Economic Survey, a valuable tool to get a pulse on the industry and gather a wealth of benchmarking information, members may email ARVC Director of Education Cheryl Smith at csmith@arvc.org or call her at (303) 681-0401.

ARVC Members Urged to

Take the Plan-it Green Pledge

ARVC members currently committed to giving back to the environment by recycling and conserving energy and water usage in their park may sign up to become a Plan-It Green park. Once done, their listing on GoCampingAmerica.com will include the Plan-It Green logo by the park name, recognizing their commitment to preserving our nation’s resources.  
In order to proudly display the Plan-It Green logo by the campground name on GoCampingAmerica.com, parks must be able to check off at least three of the following eco-friendly practices:

  •    Currently offer recycling to our guests and recycle where possible.
  •    Avoid using products or chemicals harmful to the environment. 
  •    Have evaluated energy or water usage and have taken steps to conserve. 
  •    Currently use energy saving products in our campground like compact fluorescent lighting or Energy Star products, if applicable. 
  •    Offer eco-friendly tips to our RVing and camping guests. 
  •     Currently offsetting our carbon-footprint.
  •     Offer 100% green energy to our guests.
  •     Plant trees in our park to offset carbon emissions. 
  •     Continue to be mindful that the planet has a limited amount of energy, water, and other natural resources. 

At the same time, we encourage guests to:

  •     Respect the natural wildlife, plants and trees.
  •     Use non-toxic biological tank treatment products.
  •     Recycle and properly dispose of litter.
  •     Conserve energy and other resources during their stay.

Member parks may visit www.arvc.org/greenpledge.aspx to sign up and take advantage of this complimentary marketing opportunity.

National Parks Centennial Initiative

The National Park Centennial Initiative is expected to be reintroduced in the 111th Congress in legislation similar to that considered by the 110th Congress. Passage of legislation with costs similar to the previous version – $1 billion in new Federal support over ten years – may be more problematic in view of the $920 million in new infrastructure investments for the National Parks in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the “Stimulus Bill”). ARVC expects to continue to work with the inter-industry coalition led by the National Park Conservation Association in support of the Centennial Initiative while opposing the use of Centennial funds to construct or expand or update facilities in unfair competition with private sector businesses.

President Profaizer Touches

 on Marketing Opportunities

In today’s economy, marketing could not be more important. Business owners across the campground sector of the outdoor hospitality industry must realize the opportunities available and seize the moment. ARVC member parks are encouraged to take advantage of these low/no cost marketing programs:   

 • ARVC Industry Promotion Fund:  For as little as a $100 voluntary contribution to the Industry Promotion Fund, participating parks will be listed on the www.GoRVing.com website. Additionally, these parks will have access to email and snail mail addresses of several hundred thousand people who are either current RVers or who want to give RVing and camping a try and have asked to receive this type of information from industry partners.

     Participants will also have access to the “Industry Only” section where they’ll find valuable information on how to set up a Facebook.com fan page, photos, advertising ideas, a free copy of the new PKF study on traveling in an RV compared to other types of vacations, and more helpful information. All funds donated will go as a contribution from the RV park and campground industry to the national Go RVing advertising program.

     Be part of the solution. More information at www.arvc.org.

     • Guest Reviews: ARVC member parks are provided a complimentary online survey program allowing guests to provide valuable feedback about their experiences at ARVC member parks. This free basic service points out areas of the park that may need some attention as well as areas that are receiving high grades from guests. This review tool should be a critical piece of the decision-making process when considering and making improvements in a park. It can also be used as a tool to promote park strengths to guests. ARVC members may sign up for this free program by visiting www.arvc.org and clicking on Guest Reviews. Once signed up, parks can access their information online 24/7 and only park representatives have access to those reviews. It’s a great business and marketing tool.

ARVC Welcomes New

Member Benefit Providers

ARVC is delighted to welcome their newest Member Benefit Provider – Poly-Pak Industries – selected to bring ARVC members quality products at a great value.

Poly-Pak Industries is offering 8 ½ x 11 litter bags and 15x18x4 shopping bags to all ARVC members at a 20% discount. The litter bag features the “Plan-It Green” logo and can be customized with park name, address, and phone number. The shopping bag features the “Go Camping America” logo and can also be customized.

All bags are made with 100% recycled film. For ordering information, ARVC members may contact Ceil at (800) 969-1995 ext. 6542 or ctraina@poly-pak.com.

ARVC also is delighted to welcome another new Member Benefit Provider – National Background Investigations Inc, a certified womens’ business enterprise providing customized background screening solutions integrating pre-employment, continuity and vendor screening into the HR process.

ARVC members are invited to visit their website at www.nationalbackground.com or call them at (800) 798-0079 for a consultation.

ARVC Report Rolls Out

 New Value-add Section

Readers of the ARVC Report may notice a new section designed to help parks find essential information across the Internet to better help them in their business operations – Link Farm. This short, easily identifiable sidebar section provides members with three to five website resources on subjects such as Internet marketing, small business legal issues, business insights and more. ARVC members are encouraged to share sites they are surfing for possible inclusion in an upcoming ARVC Report with Editor Evanne Schmarder at Evanne@Roadabode.com.

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