As the lead story of this issue of WCM indicates, ARVC is in the final planning stages of the upcoming 2010 InSites Annual Convention & Outdoor Hospitality Expo scheduled for Dec. 1-3 at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
InSites features Certified Park Operator (CPO) approved seminars covering educational tracks, presented by nationally recognized speakers and leaders in the industry; cracker barrel discussions; networking events; and social activities with national and international park operators and owners – making the ARVC Annual Convention the premiere event in the camping industry.
Held concurrently with the convention, the Outdoor Hospitality Expo is slated to feature as many as 135 or more exhibitors displaying the latest products and services to assist in guest service and park operation. The expo will feature a Park Trailer Pavilion, with the support of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA).
Both association and non-association members are invited to attend this annual event and may learn more and/or register online at www.arvc.org. Registrants will be entered into a drawing for some very special gifts including tickets to see popular Las Vegas acts such as Penn and Teller or dinner at one of the hotel’s great restaurants.
Ex-ARVC Chairman Sims Advocates for Association
On March 21, 2010, former ARVC Chairman Jeff Sims set out on a mission to assist state associations and strengthen the industry by educating parks about the value of ARVC membership. Sims has taken on the task of meeting face to face with park operators across the country to hear their concerns and talk with them about ARVC and the work the association is doing on their behalf.
On July 29, after logging over 23,000 miles in eight states, Sims visited his 1,000th park – South Padre Island KOA in Texas. Sims’ visits have allowed ARVC to update information and address issues for members and non-members that come to their attention through his visits.
“We are extremely fortunate that Jeff has the conviction of his beliefs in the value of belonging to ARVC and the state associations,” said Linda Profaizer, president/CEO, ARVC. “He is so particularly well-suited to be on the road talking to park owners and managers about the benefits of associations and to lend an ear to their concerns and their business needs.”
ARVC GuestReviews Benefits Small RV Park
In 2006 Mary Arlington, owner of High Plains Camping in Oakley, Kan., chose to participate in the ARVC member benefit program GuestReviews at the premium level. Her goal was to accumulate data to share with her local banker. Arlington expected poor scores but instead received high ratings. The statistics available at the premium level offered her the benefit of having information and comments on individual park attributes rather than seeing just narratives provided on other review sites.
Arlington uses this information as fresh content for her website, a barometer for amenities made available and associated fees, to understand guests’ travel habits, and to communicate the value of her business to bankers and lawmakers.
High Plains Camping shares the park’s current rating score, the GuestReviews logo, awards, comments, and statistics on their website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, print ads and everywhere they market my park. “GuestReviews is a vital tool that actually costs very little compared to some tools I use,” remarked Arlington.
4th Annual ARVC Report Tech Issue NowAvailable
Cutting-edge technology is no longer a luxury in business … it’s a necessity. ARVC is pleased to assist members as they seek out the latest tools to grow their parks, improve their operations, and run more efficiently. Each year ARVC publishes a technology edition of their its newsletter – the ARVC Report.
Editor Evanne Schmarder invites technology thought leaders to share their expertise around a cohesive theme. Contributors to the 2010 ARVC Report Annual Technology Issue focused on ‘Technology Futurists: What’s New? What’s Next?’
“It’s fascinating to see how, in just four short years, technology has advanced. In 2007 we talked about topics such as “Should Wi-Fi Access Be Free” and “Sorting through the Internet Marketing Maze.” Today, the concepts are not that different but the techniques and advancements are light years ahead,” remarked Schmarder.
The September 2010 ARVC Report – the 4th Annual Technology Edition – covers mobile marketing, emerging tools such as foursquare and Groupon, tech terms and definitions, ever-evolving website development, and more. Members of the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) can access the PDF soft-copy via the release e-mail or in the “Members Only” section of www.arvc.org. Hard copies will arrive in mailboxes around mid-month. For more information about ARVC, visit www.arvc.org. Contact Schmarder at evanne@Roadabode.com.
Federal Highway Program’s Future Remains in Stalemate
ARVC continues to closely follow developments regarding the Federal Highway Program. As RV park and campground operators understand, few if any federal programs have as much of an impact on their business as the condition of the highways that carry their customers to their doors. So, it is frustrating that there has been little progress in reauthorizing, let alone strengthening that program. The last congressional authorization for this vital program expired last October, and it is now on its second extension, which runs until the end of 2010. There is little expectation of significant changes before then. The fundamental problem remains a political inability to approve additional funding sufficient to meet future construction and maintenance needs.
ARVC is discussing with other tourism organizations mounting an industry effort to respond to this looming crisis for national highway policy. This could include reorganizing the former National Tourism Coalition for Highways that ARVC led during the last highway reauthorization battle.