TACO Releases Texas Camping Guide
But some of the best known names in every genre of music were either born in Texas or lived there for long periods of time, including Scott Joplin, Roy Orbison, Janis Joplin, Beyonce, Selena, Freddy Fender and Kris Kristofferson.
So, in an effort to add a new level of interest to the 2014 RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas, the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) is introducing each region of the Lone Star State by highlighting famous singers, songwriters and musicians who were either born there or lived there for long periods of time, according to a press release.
“We think it’s a pretty unique approach to introducing each region of Texas,” said Brian Schaeffer, TACO’s executive director and CEO.
“I love it! I love it! I love it!” exclaimed Diana LeBlanc, president of PPL Motor Homes, after seeing the 2014 guide. Her company, which has RV dealerships in Houston and New Braunfels, is a major advertiser in the RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas, a free, four-color glossy magazine that lists more than 375 campgrounds and RV resorts in Texas and surrounding states.
“People always tell us they’ve seen our ads in the guide,” LeBlanc said, adding that the guide itself is an indispensable resource for Texas travelers. “It’s a don’t-leave-home-without-it type publication,” she said, noting that the guide provides detailed information on interesting things to see and do in Texas as well as campgrounds, RV parks and resorts in each region.
Other prominent advertisers in the 2014 guide include Carefree RV Resorts, Sun RV Resorts, La Hacienda RV Resort in Austin; Rayford Crossing RV Resort in Spring; The Vineyards Campground & Cabins in Grapevine; Forest Retreat RV Park in New Caney and Woodland Lakes RV Park in Conroe.
Steve Haley of Arlington-based Steve Haley Designs is the lead designer of the 2014 guide, which he divided into seven regions, each of which has a two-page, illustrated introductory spread that talks about singers, songwriters and musicians from each region as well as popular songs that highlight each area of Texas.
Region 1 or west Texas performers include Betty Buckley of Big Spring, a Tony award winning Broadway star whose credits include “Cats.” She also played Abby Bradford in the 1980s television series “Eight is Enough,”; rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly of Lubbock; and country music singer Waylon Jennings of Littlefield. The featured West Texas song is “El Paso” by Marty Robbins.
Region 2 or north Texas performers include ragtime piano pioneer Scott Joplin of Texarkana; pop singer Johnny Mathis of Gilman; and rock and roll pioneer Roy Orbison of Vernon. The featured north Texas song is “Big D,” a song about Dallas from “The Most Happy Fella,” a broadway musical.
Region 3 or east Texas performers include Jim Reeves, a country music singer and songwriter from Gallaway; Tex Ritter, the famed country music singer and television star, who was born in Murvaul; and Bob Wills, a singer, songwriter and band leader who was born near Kosse. Wills is considered to be a co-founder of Western Swing. The featured east Texas song is “East Texas Red” by Woody Guthrie.
Region 4 or central Texas performers include country music stars Pat Green of San Antonio, Willie Nelson of Abbott; and George Strait of Poteet. The featured central Texas song is “Luckenbach Texas,” which was made famous by Waylon Jennings.
Region 5 or north gulf coast performers include Beyonce, who was born and raised in Houston; rock star Janis Joplin of Beaumont; and Selena, the Tejano music superstar, who was born in Lake Jackson. The featured north gulf coast song is “Galveston,” which was made famous by Glen Campbell.
Region 6 or south Texas performers include country music star Radney Foster of Del Rio, and Johnny Rodriguez of Sabinal, the first Latino country music star. The featured south Texas song is the “Streets of Laredo.”
Region 7 or south gulf coast performers include Freddy Fender, a Tejano, country and rock and roll musician from San Benito; Bill Haley, a rock and roll performer from Harlingen; and Kris Kristofferson, a country music star from Brownsville. The featured south gulf coast song is “Brownsville Girl” by Bob Dylan.
Locator maps are provided at the beginning of each regional section of the 2014 guide, with numbered listings of the campgrounds for each region. Campgrounds are also alpha-indexed by city and park name.
Each campground listing includes a grid that lists the park’s facilities, services and amenities as well as driving directions, a miniature locator map and many parks have panoramic photos showing off what campers can experience. The directory also features a Texas Saver Card, which provides 10 percent discounts at participating parks.
The 2014 directory also includes a separate section listing campgrounds with cabin and cottage rentals (www.TexasCabinRentals.com) as well as a listing of park model manufacturers. Schaeffer said almost a fourth of Texas campgrounds have cabin or cottage rentals. Many of the parks that offer cabin and cottage rentals also have sites for lease or for sale to park model owners.
Park models are 400-square foot, movable resort cottages. Typically upscale in appearance, they often include hardwood floors, bay windows and lofts as well as cherry, oak or maple cabinetry. And because park models are technically classified as recreational vehicles, they can be set up on leased or purchased sites in campgrounds and RV parks and used as weekend retreats or seasonal vacation dwellings.
Schaeffer said an initial batch of directories has already been sent to campgrounds, RV parks, TXDOT Travel Information Centers along with Convention & Visitor Bureaus across the state. Additionally, pallets of the guides were sent to Anderson’s Brochure Service (http://www.campwithandersons.com) who will distribute them at 30 shows across the Eastern part of the US and Canada.
Additional directories will be distributed at RV shows in major Texas cities from Dallas and Houston to San Antonio and Mercedes during January and February.
Gwen Craig of Rayford Crossing RV Resort is also distributing copies of the 2014 guide at the Tarrant County RV Show, which runs through Sunday in Fort Worth. She also plans to distribute more of the guides at the Acadiana RV & Camping Show, which takes place March 21 – 23 at Cajun Field in Lafayette, La.
RV and camping enthusiasts can order the nearly 150-page directory online by visiting www.texascampgrounds.com. The 2014 RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas is also posted on the website in digital page-turning format.