Kansas ARVC Weighs Online Marketing Costs/Benefits
The Kansas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (KARVC) held its general membership meeting Feb. 22 at Capital City KOA, Topeka, with nearly half of its members present.
After elections KARVC’s board remains unchanged. Officers for 2011 are President and Treasurer Mary Arlington, High Plains Camping, Oakley; Vice President Paul Pinick, Emporia RV Park, Emporia; and Secretary Carolyn Fenn, Four Seasons RV Acres, Abilene.
“A significant change for us has to do with our online marketing,” Arlington stated. “During a discussion of the roles within KARVC, the commitments and obligations of our own individual parks, and our association’s finances and how best they can be used, Paul Pinick explained why he renews his park’s dues.
“He hit upon the primary needs of belonging to ARVC and the networking with fellow park owners, and he appreciates the professional development and the efforts in Topeka. But he admitted that KARVC’s marketing programs had virtually no place in his decision.”
Arlington continued, “I reminded the association of all of our online efforts (web, social media, etc.) and how our visitor numbers were healthy and growing every year. I outlined the financial and time costs of maintaining our web page and our Internet presence. Then I added a report on how my guests found my park in 2010 (my park’s occupancy was up 15% over 2009 & 24% over 2008). My park’s stats made it obvious to me that KARVC isn’t one of the primary marketing resources for my park.”
Jeff Sims, director of membership and government affairs with the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), provided news about how ARVC is advancing its marketing of Kansas and other state’s parks.
“It’s fair to say this presentation captured our attention and excited us,” Arlington noted. “The response from KARVC was that of absolute support for ARVC. The members reminded me once again that ARVC remains our primary reason for existing. I recall hearing that KARVC is thought of as a subset of ARVC rather than as you being a supplier or provider for us. The members spoke loudly and clearly … KARVC is excited about the changes we’ve already seen with ARVC’s new president Paul Bambei’s leadership.”
After further discussion, KARVC membership voted unanimously to retain the www.ksrvparks.com domain, but to no longer have it be an active directory. Instead it will link visitors to the Kansas page on GoCampingAmerica.
“This is merely one example of how our very small association, run by volunteers, operating on a very small budget, can best fulfill the needs of members and accomplish our mission,” Arlington said. “The members felt we still needed our printed ‘Kansas RV and Camping Guide’ for distribution.”
Arlington added. “Another large development for us has to do with news in (the state capital of) Topeka. Our new governor has begun shaking the branches, and the outcome is that our Division of Travel and Tourism has been moved from the Department of Commerce over to the Department of Parks and Wildlife.
“KARVC is very blessed to have Natalie Donges, Deere Grove RV Park, El Dorado, working diligently with those in the Department of Parks and Wildlife,” Arlington added. “Natalie has agreed to be our delegate to the Travel Industry Association of Kansas (TIAK), which has enjoyed a very lengthy and warm relationship with KARVC.”