Texas 'Parks of the Year' Named at TRVA Convention

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August 24, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

About 250 people attended the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association's (TRVA) annual convention recently (Aug. 12-15) in San Antonio.

During an awards ceremony, Alamo Palms in Alamo was named "Large Park of the Year;" Coyote Ranch, Wichita Falls, "Medium-size Park of the Year;" and Shady Pines, Texarkana, "Small Park of the Year."

Convention attendees heard about a new Texas law that will allow dealers to market RVs — but not close sales — on Sundays during RV shows.

Previously, motorized displays had been required to close down on Sundays if they had been open the preceding day.

"Texas 'Blue Laws' are strict and dealers weren't allowed to sell motorized RVs on consecutive Saturdays and Sundays," said Clark McEwen, TRVA executive director. "We've been introducing a bill for eight years and we finally got it through. It allows us to show prices on units and we're allowed to quote a price. We can do everything but consummate a sale, which can happen later. "That was a big accomplishment."

The new law effective Sept. 1, "will be in time for the fall shows," McEwen noted.

Characterizing activity during the recently adjourned 2011 Legislature as "defensive," McEwen said the RV industry dodged a bullet.

"The state was looking at a $23 billion deficit," McEwen said. "We were concerned about new taxes and increased fees. Our governor, (Rick Perry), promised not to do that and he held true."

McEwen said attendance at the convention was the best in the last decade.

"What was on most peoples' minds is that 2011 is certainly better than '08 and '09," he said, "but it's not what people were hoping for, although there are pockets in Texas around oil fields that are doing extremely well."

The convention at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel — themed "Hit the Jackpot," — kicked off Friday night with a casino night. A golf outing and evening reception and trade show followed on Saturday.

On Sunday, educational seminars followed two speaker tracks — one for dealers and one for campgrounds, and also featured a dealer-only discussion group.

During a Monday annual membership meeting, Diana LeBlanc, general manager of PPL Motorhomes, Houston, was elected president. Other new officers include Vice President J.T. Bowyer, Lone Star RV, Harker Heights; Treasurer John Crouch, Swenson RV, LaFeria; and Secretary Peg Johnson-Lee, Western Campers, Fort Worth.

TRVA's "Lifetime Achievement Award" was presented to Dean Nelson of Professional Sales RV, Colleyville, while Steve Spearing of Crestview RV, Selma, received the "Outstanding Achievement Award."

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