CARVC’s Gabriel Touts ARVC Member Benefits
Membership in the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) is helping at least one state association in its member recruitment.
The Carolinas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CARVC) has added 19 new members in less than a year and it’s largely due to the appeal of ARVC member benefits, says Dana Gabriel, CARVC president.
“We’re picking up people just because of the ARVC benefits,” she said, following CARVC’s state convention, held Feb. 5-7 at Lakewood Camping Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The convention drew approximately 100 people, representing 30 campgrounds and 20 vendor firms.
ARVC president and CEO Paul Bambei was the keynote speaker and discussed new ARVC programs and benefits.
“ARVC has become a very value-based association,” Gabriel continued, citing as examples the new vehicle purchase rebate program through Ford Motor Co. and the pending licensing program through BMI.
“That will become the biggest draw,” Gabriel contends. “It’s getting to the point where you can’t afford not to belong to ARVC. It’s becoming a money-making program. That (licensing) will save me $700 a year. That’s more than my dues.”
Gabriel also attributes the membership growth to the aggressive recruiting program conducted by the CARVC board and the leadership of Queen Communications LLC, CARVC’s professional management company. The Columbia, S.C.-based company was hired last spring.
At the convention, CARVC members also heard presentations on living trusts, Leave No Trace and ways to promote the Halloween season as a way to boost the fall shoulder season. Many CARVC parks are open year-round but are finding that promoting Halloween can boost occupancy rates from September through November. Gabriel noted, for example, that as of the first of February, her reservations for Halloween weekend exceed those for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July.
Good Season Anticipated
Based on talks Gabriel had with CARVC members, the association is anticipating a good 2012 season.
“To a person the spring and summer and holiday bookings are up considerably from last year,” Gabriel said. “Everyone is excited, but then there are those gas prices. It will hurt the mountain parks (in North Carolina) if it happens. Hopefully, it won’t come to fruition.”
The association is also re-launching its consumer website this spring and has already launched a new member website, which is improving communications among members, she said.
CARVC elected new officers and board members.
Gabriel, Jellystone Park at River Bottom Farms in Swansea, S.C., was re-elected president. Other officers are: Barb Krumm, Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Myrtle Beach, vice president; Dee Witting, Peace Valley KOA, Murphy, N.C., secretary; and Carson Durham, Oceanaire Travel Park, Holden Beach, N.C., treasurer.
Board members are: Gabriel; Rebecca Murphy, Myrtle Beach Travel Park, Myrtle Beach; Darin Almond, Norwood Campground, Norwood, N.C.; and Michael Way, Greensboro Campground, Greensboro, N.C.
The CARVC board will meet April 17 at The Lighthouse RV Park & Marina in Cross Hill, S.C., followed by a regional meeting that same day at the Blue Ocean Restaurant in Clinton, S.C.