Writer Theorizes on Origins of Camping. Hmm

August 29, 2013 by · Comments Off on Writer Theorizes on Origins of Camping. Hmm 

Early cave drawing. Credit: Pichugin Dmitry/Shutterstock)

Editor’s Note: The following column by Carole Cloudwalker appeared in the Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise.

As I watch the camping season wind down toward Labor Day, I’ve been mulling over the strange impulse that made people want to be campers in the first place.

Why ever did they leave their comfortable, safe homes to go do battle with Nature, missing their favorite weekend sports on television?

Actually, I think it began as far back as the First Wapiti Cave Woman.

Yes, it’s true. (Or it could be. Truth sometimes is in the ear of the listener.)

The Cave Woman likely began to nag her husband (the first Wapiti Cave Man) with complaints like, “You never take me anywhere anymore.”

To preserve domestic tranquility, he probably sighed deeply, rolled up their bed of predator furs, filled a gourd or two with water, sharpened a couple of arrows, and dragged Cave Woman off by her ponytail to a nearby scenic lake for a couple of days of caveman R&R.

That likely became a common summer experience for the cave couple, so long as her head of hair held out. A change of scene was good for both of them.

But then, I believe, Cave Woman began to complain about conditions at the lake, such as rain getting their sleeping furs all wet and the presence of so many mosquitoes, not at all like back home in their safe, smoky cave.

So Cave Man likely took some strips of sinew and sewed a few tanned hides together, with a flap of hide for an entrance, and even sewed in a floor to keep rodents away. Voila, the tent was born.

That probably worked pretty well for a time, until Cave Woman began nagging that it was so much work to gather all their camping gear each time they went to the lake and then stuff it into heavy backpacks and trudge over hill and dale to get to their favorite campsite. (Besides, she was getting a terrible migraine from being dragged off by the ponytail every week or so.)

Since Cave Man had no knowledge of divorce (though that also could have been inspired by early-day camping trips), he likely snarled at Cave Woman and began thinking of ways to make camping easier for her. He was not too verbal, but also not totally without sensitivities.

He probably built a platform of small saplings, invented the wheel out of stone (Fred Flintstone wasn’t far off, there) affixed one round on each side of the platform, added two shaft poles in the front, and pulled the new camping rig to the lake. But since Cave Woman had to help push this early version of a trailer up hills, she soon wearied of all that convenience. Or so I speculate.

With a little bit more nagging, Cave Man or one of his descendants probably was goaded into inventing the internal combustion engine, one of which he built onto his Caveman Camper so it would be self-propelled.

Meanwhile, the Cave Man’s neighbors were no doubt watching all this progress and soon began copying the designs, building their own campers to shut up their own nagging wives. As they followed the original manufacturer down to the lake, they found that they enjoyed camping in a group, and thus all became the first Good Sam Club, most likely.

Early camping

Further wifely nagging likely resulted in the invention of television, the VCR, generators, air conditioning, tow bars for family vehicles, chainsaws to cut up firewood, All-Terrain Vehicles to go to the other side of the lake more quickly, fermented brewski, and even the first chocolate bars, marshmallows and Graham crackers so they could have S’Mores around the campfire. These are all the things modern campers seem unable to live without.

Youza. And it all happened because of a nagging Wapiti wife who wanted to get out and get away from the cave every now and then.

So present-day wives everywhere can probably thank early Wapiti residents for their Winnebagos and their modern, cushy camping experiences. (Husbands everywhere, on the other hand, can cuss out that first Cave Man for giving in to his wife’s grumbling).

But the inventions didn’t end there. Once Cave Man got back home, he decided he needed to get away from his nagging wife, whom he had tried so hard to please.

So he went out back and began digging into a hillside, inventing – you guessed it – the first Man Cave.


Camping at Ky. KOA is Growing in Popularity

August 26, 2013 by · Comments Off on Camping at Ky. KOA is Growing in Popularity 

“The economy is driving people to camping or to RVing, because you can RV anywhere for about 500 bucks a month,” said Corey Huetter, who is staying at the Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) campground in Bowling Green, Ky.

The campground manager told WBKO-TV, Bowling Green,  she’s got a lot more reservations this year than last.

“Friday I’ve got about 45 reservations already coming in. Plus, we can have a lot of walk-ins too. And then Saturday, we’ve got about 30 coming in for Saturday for the holiday weekend,” said Rhonda Lawrimore.

That’s proof of a TripAdvisor survey that reported 33% of Americans plan to travel this Labor Day — 6% more than last year — and 63% of them are driving.

Lawrimore said she thinks it’s because gas prices are lower this year.

She also said more people are choosing RV and campground life over hotels.

“I think they like the outdoors. Plus, they can go in and out better than being at other places,” she said.

One Nebraska man said he’s traveled all over the country in an RV for five years for his business, and overall, RVs are easy to get around in.

“It depends what part of the country, it’s much harder to go through mountains and up hills, but it’s relatively flat down here so it’s not too bad,” said Huetter.

He said it’s easy to stop at places like Walmart if you need a rest while on the road.

He said he enjoys the atmosphere the most.

“It’s kind of like boating. Have you ever boated before? You pull up on the sandbar and within five minutes you’re best buddies with the guy next to you. And RVing is pretty much the same way.”

And he’s had “neighbors” from all around the world.

“It’s real safe. I’ve never had one thing stolen, and I never lock anything up.”

Lawrimore said that no matter where visitors are from, everyone loves Kentucky, and the Corvette Museum and area events are probably why they’re choosing Bowling Green for their Labor Day.


Bass Pro Shops Partnering with RURAL RADIO

August 13, 2013 by · Comments Off on Bass Pro Shops Partnering with RURAL RADIO 

Bass Pro Shops, an outdoor retailer specializing in hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor gear, has inked a deal with RURAL RADIO to be the title sponsor of “Bass Pro Shops Fishing, Hunting and Conservation Hour,” which airs every Saturday morning.

According to a news release, this one-hour live show, hosted by longtime conservation leader and Redhead pro hunter Rob Keck, features high-profile guests who share their outdoor tips and stories. The show is broadcast throughout the U.S. and Canada every Saturday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Eastern time) on RURAL RADIO, found exclusively on SiriusXM channel 80.

Bass Pro Shops operates 77 retail stores and Tracker Marine Centers across the U.S. and Canada that are visited by more than 116 million outdoor enthusiasts every year. Each store is designed to reflect the local area’s outdoor traditions and offers an authentic outdoor shopping destination.

“Bass Pro Shops Fishing, Hunting and Conservation Hour” will draw upon outdoor experts from across the country, including those within the Bass Pro Shops family. Keck, Bass Pro Shops’ director of conservation, and his guests will provide listeners with the latest information about hunting, fishing and wildlife conservation.

“Bass Pro Shops Fishing, Hunting and Conservation Hour” rounds out a great weekend line up of active and engaging content for our listeners. The show features a continually fresh line up of new experiences meaning that it’s never stagnant,” said Randy Bernard, president and CEO of Rural Media Group, Inc. “I’m most excited about the localized outdoor adventure and tourism aspect of this. It’ll be great hearing from Rob Keck and other Bass Pro experts as they talk about their tips for where to go fishing, where to launch your boat; all the little tips and aspects about a place or product that makes for a much better experience.”

Rob Keck

“Bass Pro Shops Fishing, Hunting and Conservation Hour” is expected to become one of the largest outdoor enthusiast radio shows in North America with more than 27 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada able to tune in to RURAL RADIO on SiriusXM channel 80.

Keck said, “This is a great way for us to showcase the talent and expertise of the great folks who work at our stores across the country and in Canada as well as our conservation partners. We like to say that Bass Pro Shops is as close to the great outdoors as you can get indoors, and now this experience is being perfectly translated with our RURAL RADIO broadcasts on SiriusXM channel 80.”


RURAL RADIO is a 24/7 international satellite radio station devoted to serving rural needs and interests. RURAL RADIO is slated to launch in the U.S. and Canada on SiriusXM channel 80. Broadcast operations for the station are located in Nashville, Tenn., and corporate headquarters are in Omaha, Neb. The channel is affiliated with Rural Media Group Inc. RURAL RADIO’s program schedule revolves around original productions focused on agriculture, equine, hunting, fishing, western sports, and living the country life in small towns and on acreages. Details on SiriusXM at Facebook: and Twitter @RURALRADIO80

RVIA’s ‘Media Buzz’ Distributing Major Stories

June 6, 2013 by · Comments Off on RVIA’s ‘Media Buzz’ Distributing Major Stories 

Each month, MediaBuzz, a service of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), delivers top RV news stories in print and broadcast straight to your email inbox.

The latest “Buzz” shows in a consolidated way how much the RV manufacturing and park and campground industries have hit the media “airwaves” during recent weeks in an significant way.

To read an entire article or to watch a broadcast clip, simply click the article’s title. To keep up with RV news hits in between issues of MediaBuzz, visit RVIA’s newsroom. You can also subscribe to receive e-mail alerts via RVIA’s RSS feed by following the instructions on <>.

RV Campers On Road For Comeback (Video) <>
ABC World News
Monday, June 3, 2013
Family vacations could include mega campers made in America. David Muir and ABC News made a visit to Winnebago Industries Inc.’s Forest City, Iowa facilities. Motorhome sales growth continues to out-pace the industry.

RV Comeback Drives Hiring Boom In Indiana Town <>
NBC Nightly News and “The Daily Nightly”
Thursday, May 23, 2013
When you see an RV on the highway or in a campground, there’s a good chance it came from this area of north-central Indiana: Almost half of RVs on the road today were made in Elkhart County. As the economy recovers, sales have come roaring back, rebounding 72 percent from 2009 to 2012.

Recovery, Boomers Send RV Sales Roaring Back <>
U.S.News and World Report
Friday, May 31, 2013
RV sales have boomed during the recovery, and demographics will be on the industry’s side for years to come.

Motor Home Sales Rise In Hopeful Economic Sign <> (Money)
Monday, May 20, 2013
If you find yourself on the road this Memorial Day weekend, you might want to keep track of the recreational vehicles you see. While not exactly a surefire economic bellwether, RV sales have been coming back after a disastrous recession for the industry, and they may be another indicator of a strengthening economy.

Summer Travel Forecast: Better, But No Blowout <>
Associated Press
Friday, May 24, 2013
The hunt for inexpensive vacations is helping companies that recreational vehicles, too. Traveling by RV means families don’t need to pay for hotels and can cook most of their meals. At El Monte RV, one of the country’s largest RV rental companies, summer bookings from domestic customers are up 20 to 25 percent compared with last year.

8 Ways To Hit The Road In An RV <>
CNN Money and Fortune Magazine
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
RV’s are a $10 billion industry, with 80 manufacturers and 3,000 dealers. More baby boomers are moving into retirement, and buying an RV is one of the ways they reward themselves when they do.

Winnebago Rolls As America Rediscovers The RV (Video) <>
CNBC “Behind The Wheel”
Friday, May 31, 2013
As the summer vacation season kicks into high gear and you head out on the road, expect to see a familiar sight. Recreational vehicles and motor homes are experiencing a rebirth. That’s welcome news for Winnebago Industries, which has survived one of the roughest periods for the RV industry.

Airstream 2 Go Offers RV Rentals With Retro Flair <> (Travel)
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Launched earlier this month, offers the first-ever rentals of the distinctive “silver bullets” that have been icons of the highway for more than 80 years. “Everybody recognizes them,” said Al Hesselbart, historian at the Recreational Vehicle Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Ind. “If it’s a bright aluminum trailer with rounded curves, it’s got to be an Airstream.”

RV Numbers Keep On Moving Up <>
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Based on the April figures released Tuesday by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, wholesale shipments of all RVs were up 10.8 percent over March and were 19 percent better than April 2012. Last year was the third straight year of increased RV shipments, and April marked the 16th consecutive month of increased shipments compared with the same month a year prior.

Northeastern Arizona  <>
Phoenix Magazine
Friday, May 31, 2013
The Navajo Nation is famous for its scenery and ancient ruins. For its hotels, not so much. Why not take an RV?

Guide To RV Trailers  <> and Sunset Magazine
Friday, May 31, 2013
Summary: Should one of these be your next hotel room? Find your camper style.
Best Of The Midwest Travel Picks 2013 <>
Midwest Living
Friday, May 31, 2013
Plan your best vacation yet! 25 scenic drives.
Bring Your Home On Wheels To These RV Parks In The Hills (Video) <>The River Cities Sunday Tribune, Marble Falls, TX
Friday, May 31, 2013
Whether you plan to stay a few days or several months, RV parks offer lots of flexibility and many of the comforts of home. With the right recreational vehicle, you can experience the Highland Lakes at your own pace and with your own place.

Bret Michaels Revs Up For Debut Of RV Travel Show <>
Monday, May 27, 2013
After decades in the spotlight as a glam metal frontman, 50-year-old rocker reality star Bret Michaels is throwing a new skill into the mix — tricking out RVs and rocking the open road.

RV Sales Rolling Up From Major Downturn (Video) <>
WBIR-TV Knoxville, TN
Monday, May 27, 2013
RV sales are rolling along the road to recovery, following a big slump during the economic recession.

Camping On RV Lets You See The Nation <>
The Gazette, Colorado Spring, CO
Monday, May 20, 2013
Four years ago, Bill Turner came home from his job as a bank CFO and announced to his wife that he was tired of sitting at a desk crunching numbers. How did she feel about early retirement and full-time RVing?

Plug Into Comfort With An RV <>
The Bellingham Herald, Bellingham, WA
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Yup, it’s all about comfortable camping, and it’s easy in Idaho where there are so many places to plug in your RV and enjoy fishing, boating and other activities. It’s fun to explore places across the state and just take your home with you whether you have a tent trailer, pickup camper, trailer or luxury motorhome. RVs sure make traveling across the state a lot easier.

RVs: Past, Present and Future (Slideshow) <> (Auto)
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
A historical look at RVs through the years.

RV Dental Clinic To Help St. Martin Students <>
KATC Lafayette, LA
Monday, May 13, 2013
St. Martin Parish students are eligible for dental care through a mobile clinic that’s scheduled to hit the roads this summer.

Schensul: Camping’s Not Just Roughing It Anymore <>
Sunday, May 12, 2013
In my recent sampling of campgrounds near the Jersey Shore, three out of four were places so full of activities and recreational possibilities that I couldn’t help but think “Club Med in the Pines.” I could see why some of the campers at these resorts were “seasonal,” setting up trailers or park model accommodations and staying the entire summer. The industry has coined a new term for the phenomenon: destination camping. As in the campground is your destination, like, say, Sandals would be in Jamaica.

RV Industry Rebounds From Recession <>, Gloucester, MA
Friday, May 10, 2013
The recreational vehicle market, hit hard by the prolonged recession, is making a strong comeback, industry officials reported Thursday in this RV capital of North America.

RV Fans Like Leaving Home Without Leaving Home Behind <>
Southern Maryland Newspapers
Friday, May 10, 2013
A weekend getaway doesn’t have to mean leaving behind the comforts of home. A whole pack of Southern Marylanders takes home on the road in recreational vehicles. For RV enthusiasts, just about any trip can become a camping trip.

Newly Opened RV Sprouts Delivers Gardening Supplies For RV Users <>
Friday, May 10, 2013
There are many joys that come with taking a Recreational Vehicle (RV) out on the open road to see the country. Healthy, inexpensive and nutritious eating isn’t usually on that list, however. Many RV enthusiasts are looking for a better option but don’t know where to turn. One new store currently celebrating its grand opening has the answer. RV Sprouts, recently established by entrepreneur James Crawford, is an Internet store that features home gardening supplies, seed starting supplies, and vegetable seeds and plants that are perfect for RV users.

RV Industry Power Breakfast Draws 400 Industry Folks Together In Elkhart <>
Elkhart Truth, IN
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Recreational vehicle manufacturers, RV suppliers, RV dealers, campground owners and area officials sat down together in the heart of the RV industry for an inaugural industry event, the RV Industry Power Breakfast.

Elkhart Hosts First RV Industry Power Breakfast <>
WSJV-TV FOX 28, Elkhart, IN
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Elkhart hosted the first RV Industry Power Breakfast at the RV Hall of Fame on Thursday. This is the first event to bring together the leadership of major RV-related companies, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association executive staff, economic experts, and government leadership for a special conference in the RV industry Capital of the World.

Industry Push Better Than Expected Says RVIA Head <>
Elkhart Truth, IN
Thursday, May 9, 2013
With the recent growth in the industry, manufacturers and suppliers are already having a tough time keeping up. “It is better than I thought it would be, but I think they’re running into spotty shortages now. If the industry continues at the pace they’re continuing before the season’s out, there will be some difficulties in keeping up,” said Coon.

‘Fancy Nancy’ RV Tour Coming To Tulsa Bookstore Tuesday <>
Tulsa World
Monday, May 6, 2013
Robin Preiss Glasser, illustrator of the popular “Fancy Nancy” children’s series, will swing through Tulsa on her RV tour to promote the newest picture book in the series, “Fancy Nancy: Fanciest Doll in the Universe.”

Family Vacation <>
Parents’ Resource Guide
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Spring is the perfect point to start thinking about family vacations. But with air fares and fuel prices shooting for the stars, financing a family-friendly getaway can be a colossal challenge. It’s time to put your home on wheels. Today’s Recreational Vehicles (RVs) are solving the economical and logistical challenges facing today’s active families. Available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, RVs are easily customized to fulfill your family’s vacation dreams.

Illinois Dealer Sees Camping Renaissance

April 12, 2013 by · Comments Off on Illinois Dealer Sees Camping Renaissance 

Kamper’s Supply logo

RV camping is enjoying a renaissance.

Marvin Oetjen, owner of Kamper’s Supply in Carterville, Ill., said a number of factors, including the costs and hassles associated with air travel, are driving interest in recreational vehicles. Oetjen also noted that RV camping is a lifestyle, according to a report by the Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale,

“A lot of younger families are finding out the RV lifestyle is great for family life,” he said. “They are doing things in nature. They are enjoying the things they should be enjoying.

“My wife and I started camping in 1968. Our boys grew up in a campground. They still communicate with some of the kids they met back then. It’s a great family thing. When you’re in a campground, you know your kids are in the campground. They’re not running the streets somewhere.”

Oetjen said anyone who enjoys the great outdoors is a potential RV camper.

“I’d say for someone to really enjoy RVs and camping, they would have to first of all like nature and the outdoors and being around people,” he said. “When you go to a motel room and close the door, you don’t see anyone until the next morning. That’s not the case in a campground.

“It’s totally different than going to a restaurant every night, or going on vacation and going into a motel every night. This is a totally different environment. “

Kamper’s Supply has been in business 38 years. The size and quality of campers has changed dramatically over the years. Oetjen said most families can find a vehicle that suits their taste and fits their pocketbook. Intermediate range trailers have been the best sellers in the past couple years.

“You can go from a very primitive camping unit to a very luxurious, full-time living vehicle,” he said. “We have washers and dryers. We have fireplaces. They aren’t wood burning, but they produce heat. They have changed a lot since we started in the business.”

To read the full article click here.

7 Good Reasons to Hit the Road in an RV

March 14, 2013 by · Comments Off on 7 Good Reasons to Hit the Road in an RV 

Gas might not be cheap, but that shouldn’t keep you off the road come vacation time.

As reported by, that was just one of the things the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) Director Bill Sheffer had to say when we called him up, just a few days before the Perani and Event Center’s RV show kicks off. Our question: In today’s economy, with gas prices what they are, is there really any point in buying an RV.

The short version: Yes, said Sheffer.

Below is the longer version, seven reasons from Sheffer you might want to rethink that plane ticket.

1. Gas prices shouldn’t deter you.

Yes, he was being serious.

“When you start to run the numbers,” he said, it might add up driving a vehicle that only gets 10 miles to the gallon isn’t actually as expensive as it sounds when you start to add up what an alternative choice involves: plane tickets, hotel room, restaurant food, and car rentals among them.

“A family of four can go easier on their pocketbook (in an RV) rather than getting on a plane and going to a resort,” he said.

2. You can camp at your favorite resort destinations.

“There’s lots of campgrounds around Disney World. Now, it’s going to be a little bit longer … but if you’ve got the time and the option to do that with a family, it makes for a pretty special trip,” Sheffer said.

3. More people are doing it.

Sheffer said RV sales have grown 16 percent over the last year.

“I’m even surprised by that,” he said.

4. RVs might be more more affordable than you think.

There will be 90 RVs at this year’s show, and you can essentially pay whatever you like. Sheffer said the prices range from about $7,000 to $90,000, adding that you can get a nice RV paying about $200 a month.

5. If you’re still worried about gas, you don’t have to drive very far.

If Disney World isn’t in the cards, or even if driving out of state isn’t an option, Sheffer said there are a lot of campgrounds throughout Michigan — even mid-Michigan — that are worth checking out.

“We don’t drive our RV to work every day so it’s not like it’s a big fuel buster because we only use these for vacations,” he said. “You can travel really quite close to home and still travel with your RV.”

6. You’re taking your home with you.

If you’re creeped out by wondering who slept on the hotel room bed last, that’s not a problem in an RV. And the sandwich you’ve been thinking about is never far away.

“When you lay your head on your pillow, it’s your pillow,” Sheffer said. “You have your own stuff, you take what you want. When you ant a snack or a sandwich you don’t have to worry about what restaurant you’re going to.”

7. Make it a group activity.

Sheffer said it’s common for families to hit the road together, often renting campground spaces next to each other.

“Being outdoors is something special,” he said. “When you can get together around a campfire, that’s special.”

And sure, he admitted, you can travel together in hotels, too. But the campground experience is different.

“When’s the last time you went to the person in the hotel room next door and said, ‘hey you want to come over for a s’more?’” Sheffer said.

The RV show takes place this year from March 14-17. Hours are weekdays from 2-9 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Go to the event website for more information.



KOA: Record Revenue Makes 2012 Memorable

January 25, 2013 by · Comments Off on KOA: Record Revenue Makes 2012 Memorable 

KOA President Pat Hittmeier speaking at the 2012 KOA convention.

Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) set a record for revenue in 2012, and enjoyed its second-best year ever in camper night growth since the company began tracking all of its locations on a centralized reservation system in 2005.

Short-term camper nights in 2012 at the nearly 490 KOA campgrounds in North America increased by 3.3% over 2011 final figures. Campground registration revenues were up nearly 6% over 2011, according to a news release.

“It was a good year for camping,” said KOA President Pat Hittmeier. “We added 18 great new camping locations in some wonderful spots, and our campers proved, once again, that they love the camping lifestyle and they love KOA.”

Results were strong in nearly all areas. KOA’s Value Kard Rewards program, which now has 351,000 members, experienced a 7.5%t increase in card sales in 2012.

Kampgrounds of America’s hugely successful Deluxe Cabin program continued to grow in 2012, and campers continued to flock to this luxury camping option.

Interior of a KOA Deluxe Cabin, which recorded significant growth in 2012.

Deluxe Cabin camper nights were up nearly 21% in 2012. A portion of that growth was driven by the addition of nearly 250 new Deluxe Cabins at KOA campgrounds. In total, the KOA system now has more than 2,100 Deluxe Cabins at more than 300 KOAs in North America.

Even use of the traditional log KOA Cabin, first introduced into the KOA system in 1980, saw growth in 2012. Basic KOA Cabins have electricity, but no kitchens or bathrooms.

“We saw a 2.5% growth in the use of our basic KOA Cabins in 2012,” Hittmeier said. “That’s particularly interesting, in that we really haven’t added more units to our 4,500-unit inventory of those Cabins. That growth was driven strictly by increased use by campers.”

KOA is celebrating its 51st Anniversary in 2013.

Report: 37% More Campsites in Yosemite Park

January 9, 2013 by · Comments Off on Report: 37% More Campsites in Yosemite Park 

Yosemite Falls

A reading frenzy was kicked off Jan. 8 when a massive draft plan for managing the wild and scenic Merced River through Yosemite National Park was released, a plan park officials hope will end years of litigation over visitor impacts on both the river and the Yosemite Valley, National Parks Traveler reported.

A review of the park’s preferred alternative shows it would set a daily visitation cap of 19,900 to the Yosemite Valley, roughly equal to current levels. Additionally, the preferred alternative calls for a 37% increase in campsites in the valley, a 5% increase in day-use parking areas in the valley, and a slight, 2% increase in valley lodging.

To read the entire story from National Parks Traveler, click here.



Best Parks Announces Two New Affiliates

November 8, 2012 by · Comments Off on Best Parks Announces Two New Affiliates 

Best Parks in America has announced the addition of two new affiliated resorts, both in strategic locations in the U.S.

The new affiliates are The Great Outdoors RV Resort in Franklin, N.C., and Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert, Calif. Going into 2013, there are currently 68 affiliated properties in the Best Parks in America network, according to a news release.

“Best Parks in America is thrilled to add two new affiliates in these two outstanding vacation destinations,” said David Gorin, president of Best Parks. “The Great Outdoors RV Resort is the first Best Park affiliate in North Carolina and the addition of Emerald Desert brings the number of California parks to four including parks in key markets including Anaheim, Palm Springs/Palm Desert and the northern California wine country around Plymouth.

“Adding Best Park affiliates in both of these markets is another step forward for the Best Parks network. Coming on the addition of four new parks in Connecticut, Florida, California and Arizona announced in late September, we hope these latest new Best Parks will catch the attention of park owners in other key markets.”


Ron and Mary Blake

Owned by Ron and Mary Blake, The Great Outdoors RV Resort is their first RV park venture. Not new to hospitality, the Blakes have a long history in the industry having owned country inns in Australia and in Vermont, winning accolades and awards for excellence.

Located in the western North Carolina mountains in popular Franklin, the resort earned recognition in the top 300 RV parks of over 12,000 inspected by Trailer Life in the U.S. The resort is known for its friendly staff and panoramic vistas of the beautiful Smoky Mountains and is big-rig, motorcycle and rally group friendly.

“With years of experience in the hospitality business, Mary and I know the value of being part of a national brand that represents the quality of facilities and services we provide at the Great Outdoors RV Resort,” said Ron Blake. “I know that the affiliation will help RVers quickly and easily identify our resort as the “go to” place to stay when visiting the Franklin and Smoky Mountain areas in North Carolina.”

Emerald Desert Resort is a premier destination resort for Sunland RV Resorts, an outdoor hospitality company featuring seven sophisticated RV lifestyle resorts throughout Southern California. Located in Palm Desert, in the heart of the Coachella Valley, Emerald Desert is known as the place to be for experiencing the year round luxury RV lifestyle.

Emerald Desert RV Resort

The resort features 251 beautifully landscaped RV sites, 10 one- and two-bedroom villas and 48 climate controlled RV storage garages. The 33-acre gated community includes lakes, tropically landscaped pools with cabanas, lighted tennis courts, two outdoor and one indoor spa, a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment and plentiful green space with putting greens, bocce ball, and enclosed pet runs.

The multi-million dollar clubhouse is home to an array of entertainment, dinner dances and social gatherings. The resort’s commitment to superior customer service along with the beautiful RV sites and recreation facilities make Emerald Desert a new jewel in the Best Parks in America

Sunland Vice President of Operations Greg Sidoroff affiliated Emerald Desert with Best Parks to expand its reach across the U.S. and into the international market.

“As the resort has gone from a winter seasonal operation to being a year round destination, Best Parks is an important opportunity for us to reach a national audience of vacation, large groups, rallies and leisure travelers coming to the California desert vacation playground,” said Sidoroff.


RVIA Readies to Host 2nd World RV Conference

October 24, 2012 by · Comments Off on RVIA Readies to Host 2nd World RV Conference 

RV World Conference brochure

Following a four-year hiatus since its inaugural run in Düsseldorf, Germany, the World RV Conference will conduct its second edition on American soil as the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) serves as host for the Jan. 17-20 gathering at the Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina in Tampa, Fla.

“The genesis for the conference stemmed from our good relationship with Germany’s industry association,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. “We invited them to our annual meetings and vice versa, and at some point we came up with the idea to put together a global forum where the significant players could share ideas about the RV industry. The mission is to provide a better understanding about the sizes of the different markets around the world and the types of products being produced.”

Initially scheduled to run every two years, the conference was canceled in 2010 “when the bottom fell out of the economy,” Coon said. “We hope to get back on that original schedule.”

Coon reported in early October that confirmed attendance for the Tampa conference stood at 150, noting that RVIA was anticipating around 250 people.

“Next to the U.S., China and Europe represent the largest contingencies,” he said. “But we have a nice cross section, including places like South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The key thing is that it’s a who’s who of the real players across the globe – primarily upper management from the OEM and dealer sectors along with representatives from the various associations. We are also hoping to see more involvement from the campground community.”

Marco Annunziata, keynote speaker

Expanding from the one-day format in Dusseldorf, which attracted around 200 attendees, the Tampa event will feature daily plenary sessions augmented by a full roster of breakout workshops. Marco Annunziata, GE chief economist and executive director of Global Market Insight, will deliver the convention’s keynote address during a lunch on Jan. 18.

“We will be addressing a lot of topical issues in the breakout sessions,” Coon said. “I think one of the more interesting programs will be the World Product Standards seminar. The hope is that we can form a centralized group to improve the accessibility to standards information and how everything works in the various countries. We will also be offering a seminar that looks at the different facets of the Go RVing campaign and why it has been so successful.”

Other workshop topics include: world campground standards; RV/caravan rental business; an RV/caravan CEO-chairman panel discussion; and newest emerging RV/caravan markets.

Capping off the conference on Saturday will be an optional tour of Lazydays RV Center in nearby Seffner, Fla. “We think that will be a big draw,” Coon said. “We’ll tour Lazydays then head to the Florida State Fairgrounds for the Florida RV SuperShow where the Florida RV Trade Association will be hosting a barbecue dinner and party. I think it will give people a real hands-on look at how far our industry has progressed.”





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