Louisiana Association Looks Toward Expansion
Expanded membership is on the immediate horizon for the Louisiana Campground Owners Association (LCOA), reports Renee Givens, new association president, who succeeded longtime president Maurice LeBlanc.
The association has opened its membership to Mississippi parks and has attracted two campgrounds from that state. These two parks attended LCOA’s state convention March 12-13 at the Holiday Inn South in Baton Rouge. The event drew 42 people from 14 campgrounds. In addition, eight vendors attended the trade show.
Givens said Louisiana park owners are cautiously optimistic about the coming “high season,” which runs from April through October. Based at Silver Creek Campground in Mt. Hermon in the southeast corner of the state, Givens plans to travel the state this spring to drum up new members, she said.
She also plans to continue to lobby in the state legislature for state funding to promote tourism in the state. The LCOA has worked with the state’s department of tourism in past years on a joint campground directory, but budget cuts precluded the joint effort in producing the 2012 campground guide, she noted. And LCOA went it alone. She is hoping for more cooperation this year and a return to the combined effort for the 2013 guide.
She sees cooperation with the state essential to promote camping in general in her state.
“Why fuss and fight? We’re all about working together,” she stressed, noting that Louisiana campers are underserved: the state’s public and private campgrounds offer just 7,000 campsites for an estimated 200,000 campers.
Joining Givens in other leadership roles for the coming year are: LeAnne Everhardt, Land-O-Pines Family Campground in Covington, vice president; Toni Nezat of Lakeside RV Park in Livingston, treasurer/secretary; and LeBlanc of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Robert, past president.
Jeff Sims, director of state relations and program advocacy, was the farewell luncheon speaker. Seminar topics during the convention included the new ADA swimming pool regulations, understanding state laws and insurance.