The Virginia Campground Association (VCA) announced the schedule of seminars and workshops for its Fall Convention and Trade Show, Oct. 24–26 at Bethpage Camp Resort in Urbanna.
According to a press release, the seminar program for this year’s meeting is titled “Park Operations: The Key To Business Success.”
In a keynote speech, Jeff Sims, director of membership and government relations for the National Association of RV Park and Campgrounds (ARVC), will address park industry trends across the United States and provide insights into how parks can effectively and profitably operate during the current economic instability. He will also present a seminar based on his experiences as a veteran park owner, “Tips for Better & Smarter Operations from an Industry Veteran.”
Robert Bouse, director of operations for Travel Resorts of America and a hands-on park executive with more than 25 years experience operating parks, will present two seminars on operational excellence. Bouse is one of the nation’s recognized experts on park operations.
The convention program will also draw on the expertise of the executives who operate the meeting’s host park, Bethpage Camp Resort. Kristina Crall and Brent Crebs will discuss their experiences and share advice in the seminar “Maximizing the Use of Your Facilities & Amenities: Building Off Peak Business.”
A workshop on Wednesday will cover maximizing the benefits of a close cooperative relationship between the Virginia commercial campground industry and Virginia State Parks. Participants will discuss the unique relationship developing between the groups and how to take advantage of the strengths they offer Virginia campers. Participating will be David Gorin, VCA’s executive director, and Tom Cervanak, VSPs’ director of marketing.
A trade show featuring suppliers and vendors will be held on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. For more information contact David Gorin at (703) 448-6863 or at ToVCA@aol.com
David Gorin, president and CEO of Best Parks in America Inc., has announced the national network's latest addition to its collection of unique, independent and highly rated RV parks and campgrounds.
"We are thrilled to announce that Bethpage Camp Resort, Urbanna, Va., and Grey's Point Camp, Topping, Va., have become a part of Best Parks in America national network. Both of these facilities are among the highest rated parks in Virginia with both being rated 5/5 and 9.5/9.5/10 with Trailer Life," Gorin stated in a news release.
"The parks are situated along the Chesapeake Bay and offer RVers and campers an exceptional array of facilities and amenities. Both feature direct access to the Bay, state-of-the-art water parks, and a full range of activities and events throughout the spring, summer and fall. Bethpage is a former winner of the ARVC Mega Park of the Year and it wouldn't surprise anyone if they or Grey's Point were to receive that high honor again," said Gorin.
Both parks are owned by Walt Hurley, a long time active leader in the Virginia campground industry. Hurley and his staff have worked tirelessly for many years to keep both parks up to the highest standards of customer service, facilities and amenities, Gorin stated. Both parks compete with the mega parks located in Virginia Beach, along the North Carolina coastal beaches and down to Myrtle Beach and Hurley has added all of the necessary recreational activities to keep RVers from the mid-Atlantic area returning to his Virginia parks.
"With the addition of Bethpage and Grey's Point, together with the recent Best Parks affiliation of Holiday Trav-L-Park in Virginia Beach and Luray RV Resort Country Waye in Luray, Va., Virginia now has four outstanding Best Parks in America affiliates for RVers and campers coming to the Atlantic Coast area. With the 150th observance of the Civil War taking place in Virginia this year, RVers and campers from across the U.S. can enjoy the Best Parks in America during their visit to the state," said Gorin.
In addition to these new Best Parks affiliates, the group recently also welcomed Big Timber Lake in Cape May, N.J., Frontier Town in Ocean City, Md., and Point Sebago Resort in Casco, Maine, as well as four parks that are part of RVC Outdoor Destinations.
"Best Parks continues to attract the most successful independent parks that comprise the highly rated and higher end segment of the park industry. For the first time," Gorin said, "the industry has a new and broad brand that is attracting both parks and consumers who identify with the upper end of the market in terms of service, facilities and amenities."
With 80 affiliates and growing throughout the U.S., Best Parks in America is a marketing solution for independent, modern outdoor resorts that want to remain independent, offer a unique sense of place, and have ownership and management that want to run their own show but at the same time wants to be part of larger marketing distribution network.
The Middlesex County, Va., Board of Supervisors unanimously defeated a proposal to implement a 2% transient occupancy tax on visitors to the county.
Located along the Chesapeake Bay, the rural county has approximately 50 hotel rooms, several bed and breakfasts and more than 1,000 campsites located in two RV and camping resorts, according to a news release. The proposed tax revenue was to go into the county's general fund.
A committee of the board of supervisors was formed to explore how the county could raise additional revenue through new taxes. This effort followed a recent property tax increase that many felt could be avoided or rescinded if other revenue measures were implemented. The committee recommended the transient occupany tax and a meals tax as potential revenue sources. The occupancy tax could be implemented by the Board of Supervisors but imposition of the meal tax will require a referendum that is on the ballot for November. The meal tax referendum has been defeated twice before by voters.
The effort to defeat the occupancy tax was spearheaded and coordinated by Walt Hurley, the owner of Bethpage Camp Resort and Grey's Point Camp, both located in Middlesex County. Hurley was concerned that in the current economy RVers and campers are very price-sensitive and have many options on where to camp along the Middle Atlantic coast including Virginia Beach, the outer banks of North Carolina, Maryland and Delaware beach areas and all along the North Carolina coast to Myrtle Beach.
Hurley coordinated opposition to the tax among business owners throughout the county who were concerned that the tax could hinder growth of the area's tourism business — the No. 1 industry in Middlesex County. Hurley, a long-time member of the Virginia Campground Association (VCA) and the and the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC), brought those organizations into the effort together with the Bed & Breakfast Association and the Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association (VHTA).
He also brought in attorney Greg Davis of Kaufman & Canoles PC, in Williamsburg, Va. Davis represented a number of business and land owners in the county. Working together, Hurely, the associations and Davis provided the county supervisors with economic data on tourism impacts on business and taxes in the county and pursuaded the Supervisors that implementing a tax might have a negative impact and put the economic activity of the county at risk. In addition, Davis pointed out that taxes are levied on a broad base of citizens and businesses but this tax would especially penalize Hurley's campgrounds that are by far the largest contributors to the county's tax and economic base.
At the Public Hearing held on Tuesday (Aug. 17) before the board of supervisors, Attorney Davis, VCA Executive Director David Gorin and Katie Hallebush, director of government affairs for the VHTA, all presented strong opposition to the tax. The hearing room broke into applause when the Supervisors voted against imposing the tax.
"This is a very good example of how the system works best," said Gorin. "Walt Hurley took on the fight, organized the local and industrywide opposition to the tax, coordinated a letter-writing campaign and visited face to face with the supervisors. A combination of local activists, industry representatives and strong supporting documentation to oppose the tax all contributed to the success of the effort," Gorin said. "Walt and his father before him, has been a backbone of the business community in the county for a long time. He's active in civic affairs and his involvement over the years on many issues of importance to a variety of interests in the county, made him a voice to be listened to on this issue," Gorin concluded.