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Campground Groups Teaming Up Outside Sector

March 28, 2017 by   - () Comments Off on Campground Groups Teaming Up Outside Sector

While government regulations are an unpopular topic for campground owners and operators — and, of course, many other small businesses — there are areas where private campground groups and states are working together successfully in addition to work between state associations and other organizations to leverage common ground.

Many of those came up during at the mid-March Northeast Conference on Camping in Nashua, N.H., but on by the Northeast Campground Association

Campground Owners of New York in December received a second “Market New York” grant from the state, noted staff member Mike Papp, who is owner of West Canada Creek Campsites in Poland, N.Y. “Our first one was $148,000 and this one is for $247,000 to be used for marketing,” he noted. “We just got our economic impact study back that our marketing grant helped pay for last year, and camping in New York has $1.2 billion worth of economic impact in our state, and that’s something we’re going to use when we sit down and talk with our legislators,” Papp said.

Likewise, the Maine Campground Owners Association has partnered with the state to increase its marketing abilities. “We have a good relationship with the Maine Office of Tourism,” said David Berg, owner of Red Apple Campground in Kennebunkport, Maine. “They unveiled a big plan for advertising. Portions of it show people camping in tents. It’s very hard when you don’t have millions to get the kind of marketing that we deserve in our business, and we did get it this year.”

To the west, the New Hampshire Campground Owners Association formally joined the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association, which provides member parks a variety of benefits like music licensing and 401(k) programs, said Executive Director Jeremy Sprince.

The group also received a $35,000 grant from the state government. “We are the beneficiaries of the Joint Promotional Program grant which matches, dollar for dollar, marketing initiatives we have,” Sprince said.

The New Jersey Campground Owners Association has developed strong working relationships with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association and the U.S. Travel Association, according to board member Jean Taylor of Camp Taylor Campground in Columbia, N.J. In fact, the association’s executive director, JoAnn Del Vescio, takes part in the U.S. Travel Association’s Capitol Hill Day

And on the other side of the U.S., Gene Zanger, one of the owners of Casa de Fruta RV Orchard Resort in Hollister, Calif., joined the statewide Visit California marketing organization’s board last June, while Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, joined the Visit California Rural Tourism Committee and Government Relations Committee, giving RV parks and campgrounds a voice in a major tourism engine.

All are efforts to continue to impressive upswing the campground and RVing industries have been seeing over the past several years, and all successfully leverage partnerships outside the campground sector.

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