Virginians Elect New Board, Expand Marketing Efforts
The Virginia Campground Association (VCA) board and members, meeting at Bethpage Camp Resort, Urbanna, Va., Oct. 24-26, acted to significantly expand its marketing of member parks by adding four new shows to its 2012 exhibit schedule, according to a news release.
The new shows added to the calendar for a VCA booth are RV shows in Montreal, Canada, Raleigh, N.C., the FMCA Rally in Indianapolis, Ind., and the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Show in Hershey, Pa. The association will continue to exhibit at shows in Chantilly, Va. (Washington, D.C.), Richmond, Va., and Timonium, Md., and will move its participation from a show in Hampton Roads, Va. to a show in Virginia Beach, Va.
The new expanded marketing program will bring the Virginia exhibit booth to a total of eight shows in 2012. The new program is the result of a partnership with Anderson’s Brochure Distribution Service. Anderson’s will handle the shipping, set up, stocking and manning of the Virginia booth at the eight shows and will also handle distribution at all of the other shows along the East Coast that Anderson’s attends annually.
“The new partnership with Joe Tice and Anderson’s is a big plus for VCA,” said VCA President Karl Littman. “We are able to extend our marketing reach in a very cost effective way. The value of the Virginia Campground Directory and the strong attraction of camping in Virginia are proven and this additional presence at the shows is sure to draw more campers to Virginia.”
Elton Joins VCA Board
In a somewhat historic move, the association elected a number of new board members, including Virginia State Parks Director Joe Elton. Six Virginia state parks have become full members of the VCA and the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and each was represented at the VCA Fall Meeting by the park manager or a designee. While there is no specific guarantee of a board seat for a state park representative, the members felt that adding Elton to the board will assure that the new partnership between VCA and the state parks will start off on solid ground.
It is expected that during the coming year, the association will work to further expand camping promotion in surrounding states and within Virginia in order to capture a larger share of the region’s camping and RVing visitors.
In addition to Elton, other new VCA Board Members include Phil Upton of the Best Holiday Travel Park/Best Parks in America, Virginia Beach; Kim Beveridge, Hidden Acres CG, Bowling Green; and Kathi Martin, Deer Trail Park, Wytheville.
Directors continuing in office for the coming year include Karl Littman, Candy Hill CG, Winchester; Kristina Krall, Bethpage Camp Resort/Best Parks in America, Urbanna; Steve Albrecht, Walnut Hills KOA, Staunton; Ray Barker, Tall Pines Harbor, Sanford; Bob Aldrich, Madison KOA/Shenandoah Hills, Madison; Scott Daniels, Cozy Acres CG, Powhatan; Ken Gedicke, Jellystone Park Gloucester Point; and Mike Johncox, Riverside Campground, Lanexa.
Karl Littman was re-elected to a new one year term as VCA President. Serving with him will be Vice President Ray Barker, Secretary Kristina Crall, Treasurer Phil Upton and Board Chairman Steve Albrecht.
Other VCA Actions
In other actions at the annual meeting, the membership discussed adding a Richmond-based lobbyist to assist the association in achieving some legislative and regulatory objectives, including:
- Addressing inconsistencies in state sub metering rules.
- Monitoring and containing increases in state license, permits and other fees.
- Expanding road signage rules and keeping logo sign costs under control.
- Working to increase state funding for tourism promotion targeted towards attracting RVers and campers to Virginia.
The membership voted to establish a task force to survey all Virginia members for their opinion on engaging a lobbyist and to develop a issues agenda and then to interview candidates for the position.
The meeting seminar program featured two seminars on various operational issues presented by Robert Bouse, business development director for Travel America Resorts, a seminar on developing shoulder and off-peak business presented by Kristina Crall, director of operation at host park Bethpage Camp Resort and Brent Crebs, manager of Bethpage Camp Resort, and a special workshop moderated by Staci Martin, state park visitor experience manager and David Gorin, VCA Executive Director on public/private promotion and marketing.
Jeff Sims, ARVC director of membership and public affairs, was a special guest. He delivered a keynote address to the group and also led a seminar on “Tips from a Veteran Park Owner.”
Fifteen exhibitors participated in the trade show and 22 campgrounds were represented at the meeting. The association’s annual auction raised over $4,000 that will help fund the association lobbyist position should the board determine to move in that direction.