Packed Agenda at CalARVC-Led Convention
More than 100 campground operators, suppliers and industry officials from more than half a dozen states got down to business in Sparks, Nev., in late April to attend the ReV up in Reno convention and tradeshow.
The April 19-21 event at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Hotel and Casino, which featured 20 educational seminars as well as a tradeshow with more than 40 vendors, also included state campground association meetings for the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (Arizona ARVC) and the Oregon RV Park & Campground Association (ORCA).
A total of 117 delegates representing 68 parks and 38 exhibitors attended.
CalARVC Executive Director Debbie Sipe updated her board of directors on several initiatives, the most prominent being the association’s support for state legislation to ban the use of formaldehyde and five other chemicals in RV and marine holding tank products.
At CalARVC’s urging, Assemblyman Bill Monning, D-Santa Cruz, introduced legislation earlier this year that would force the state to ban the use of use of holding tank products containing bronopol, dowicil, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, paraformaldehyde and para-dichlorobenzene, all of which are capable of damaging various types of septic systems while posing significant threats to groundwater supplies.
While campground association executives for California, Arizona and Oregon met separately to attend their respective board meetings, everyone attended keynote addresses by Caroline Beteta, former chairwoman of the U.S. Travel Association, as well as Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), who provided updates involving the GoCampingAmerica website and other ARVC initiatives.
All conference attendees were also on hand to hear Sipe and Mark Lucas, president of Topeka, Ind.-based CrossRoads RV announce their joint partnership to promote camping and RVing this year through a statewide sweepstakes competition for a 2011 Slingshot RV travel trailer. The trailer, to be provided by Sacramento-based Happy Daze RV’s, will be awarded to the winning ticket holder this summer during the California State Fair.
“Our goal,” said Sipe, “is to become an established part of the California State Fair.”
Lucas also joined Shane Ott, director of campground relations for Jackson Center, Ohio-based Thor Industries Inc,. in announcing that CrossRoads RV would be the fourth Thor subsidiary to market park model cabins at special rates through a special promotion for ARVC members parks. Other Thor subsidiaries participating in the ARVC accommodations promotion include Airstream, the Breckenridge Division of Damon Corp. and Keystone RV.
Sipe said CrossRoads RV’s partnership with CalARVC will strengthen the association’s promotional outreach efforts in California. “I can’t tell you how excited we are to have a partnership with CrossRoads RV,” she said. “They understand the importance of promoting RV and camping options in California. Our members and the camping public will benefit from this partnership for years to come.”
Consumers can obtain RVing Rewards! Scratchers to participate in the competition by camping at least one night at one of nearly 30 campgrounds and RV parks that are participating in the promotion.
Monthly drawings are already being held to determine the semifinalists who will compete for the Slingshot Travel Travel in the drawing that takes place on the final day of the California State Fair. Scratchers will also be available at the fair. All finalists will be invited to appear on stage July 27th at the California State Fair and all finalists will receive a cash award. Other prizes, including free camping opportunities and camping equipment, will also be awarded to contest participants whose scratchers are selected.
Lucas said he is excited about the promotion and thinks it will generate considerable interest, partly because the Slingshot is a lightweight trailer that can be towed by many types of vehicles, including small SUVs and crossovers. “The California State Fair is a great opportunity to showcase the family friendly activities available throughout the state and we’re thrilled to have our Slingshot as the grand prize,” he said.
The CrossRoads Slingshot Travel Trailer and other RVs will be on display along with other camping equipment during a four-day period at the California State Fair from July 24th to 27 at Cal Expo in Sacramento.
Campgrounds, RV parks and resorts and travel destinations will also be featured at the state fair, which will include a 2,500-square-foot display that shows people how they can camp in different parts of the state. “We’ll have hands on activities, such as geocaching, demonstrations on how to set up a tent and use a Coleman stove as well as classic outdoor games, such as sack races and water balloon tosses,” Sipe said.
Lucas, for his part, joined Shane Ott, director of campground relations for Thor Industries Inc., in announcing the ARVC-Thor promotion, and encouraged park operators to brave blustery winds outside the hotel to check out the CrossRoads park model rental unit, which the company designed with input from campground operators. They also introduced park operators to Fran Wickenhauser of Midwest Leasing Inc., whose company had just inked a deal to provide financing for Thor’s rental units.
All of these announcements took place following a presentation by CalARVC President Daniel Wright of The Springs at Borrego RV Resort in Borrego Springs, Calif., who reminded convention attendees of the critical roles that campground associations play, not only by providing educational and networking opportunities, but through the support they provide to people who are new to the campground industry. He cited himself as an example, and noted that he came from the construction business and knew relatively little about the details of managing an RV resort when he got into the business. But by joining CalARVC, he said, he was able to meet industry people who helped him learn the ropes of the outdoor hospitality business.
CalARVC also offered roughly 20 seminars and cracker barrel sessions, including sessions focusing on green activities and sustainable improvements; eviction law, park improvement financing, and marketing.
Bob MacKinnon, who developed the GuestReviews survey program, also held sessions on how to use survey data to improve guest satisfaction, while Jeff Crider of Crider Public Relations Inc. held a session on the news media and how to take advantage of media publicity opportunities he is developing on behalf of CalARVC, ARVC and other campground associations.