Gorin, King Outline Work for Park Industry at InSites
ARVC’s annual InSites Convention & Expo included a detailed presentation by the association’s government affairs team, David Gorin and Aubrey King, who described how ARVC influences public policy.
“We work in Washington through a series of allies, politicians and friends, the most important of which, of course, is our network of state associations around the country,” Gorin said, adding, “We rely on state associations to help us build relationships with particular members (of Congress) on particular issues.”
ARVC also works closely with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) as well as the Small Business Legislative Council, an association of business associations that represent the interests of some 2 million small businesses, according to a news release.
ARVC also works with the U.S. Travel Association, which primarily focuses on international marketing in an effort to encourage foreign tourists to spend their vacations in the United States. The U.S. Travel Association was previously known as the Travel Industry Association of America. Additionally, ARVC works with the National Tour Association and the American Bus Association. “They share our interest in ‘on the road travel’ and highway legislation,” Gorin said.
ARVC also works with the small business division of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as the American Hotel and Lodging Association and the American Restaurant Association, both of which represent the interests of large numbers of small businesses.
King said one of the biggest issues facing ARVC right now is the reauthorization of funding for federal highway improvements. The funding is scheduled to run out this year, but there is some discussion in Congress about using stimulus funds to pay for additional highway projects.
“There is a big battle going on right now regarding the extent of the extension (of highway funds),” King said, adding that the outcome of the battle will have a direct effect on private parks. “If (travelers) are faced with congestion delays and (road) hazards, your business is going to suffer,” he said.
Other significant issues commanding ARVC’s attention include proposed changes in estate tax laws as well as proposed changes in guidelines for public parks involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Gorin said it behooves private park operators to keep up to date on proposed ADA guidelines for public parks partly for competitive reasons but also because there’s always a chance that such guidelines could eventually be imposed on private parks.
Gorin said details of the latest government policies of interest to private park operators is outlined in ARVC’s National Issues Bulletin, which is issued electronically every six weeks. The bulletin can be obtained by contacting the ARVC office.