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Cornwell: ‘Flat is the New Up’ in Campground Industry

October 4, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Florida ARVC's Bobby Cornwell

Bobby Cornwell, executive director of the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (FLARVC), spoke at the 31st Annual Convention of the Florida RV Trade Association (FRVTA) held Sept. 8-11 at the Harbor Beach Marriott in Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Over 250 members attended the event, which included an address from Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

FRVTA again hosted an industry outlook panel featuring representatives from all sectors of the RV Industry.

As part of that panel, according to a news release, Cornwell told members that “flat is the new up,” adding that most of his RV park and campground members are stable.

However, a big change in his industry is the increased presence of corporate park ownership versus the traditional “mom & pop” ownership, he said.

“I’m also seeing increased demand for tent and park model camping, probably as a result of the economy,” he said. Saying “buddy sites” are increasing in popularity within campgrounds, Cornwelly believes parks are seeing more campers in their 40s, which is down from previous years when campers in their 60’s dominated.

Additionally, long weekend trips with reservations made at the last minute are more likely. Campgrounds have responded to all this by upgrading their sites with 50-amp service and a variety of high-end amenities.

Other speakers included Rick Compton, senior vice president and general manager of BB&T’s Recreational Lending Division in North Carolina; Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President Mike Molino; Martin Street, Stag-Parkway Inc.’s COO; Mark Schroeder, senior executive/credit products manager of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Winnebago Industries Inc. Chairman Bob Olson who is also co-chairman of the Go RVing Coalition; and Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) President Richard Coon.

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