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Maryland’s Cabin Rentals Site A Success

August 21, 2015 by · Comments Off on Maryland’s Cabin Rentals Site A Success 

The decision whether or not to maintain standalone “Cabins & Cottages” content seems to be a question that is often on the minds of executive directors of state campground associations, Pelland Advertising said in a written announcement. Will members embrace (or balk at) the opportunity to participate, what are the costs, and will the venture prove profitable for participants? These are all important questions.

Pelland Advertising has been the website development and hosting services provider for the Maryland Association of Campgrounds since 2009. According to MAC Executive Director Deborah Carter, “The Maryland Association of Campgrounds is a small organization, with an equally small budget. We volunteer our time, and we work together as a team to promote our industry.” With only about two dozen members, there was nonetheless an interest in exploring this new direction in late 2014. Eight of the members ultimately participated in the program in its first year, and a bit of brainstorming and technical creativity were required to find ways to minimize costs.

The MAC website was built with a custom-programmed, searchable member database. Listings of campground members in any of the state’s six tourism regions were already generated through navigational shortcuts, and only a minor database revision was necessary to trigger a list of members with cabins or park models who chose to participate in the new program.

The search shortcut added to the site’s navigation was mdcamping.com/search.html?Rentals=yes. To increase awareness of the new program, Pelland Advertising also designed a four-color rack card that included the new MDCampingRentals.com address that redirects to the search shortcut. The result was both simple and inexpensive to implement.

Carter continued, “Peter and Josh Pelland worked with us to put the card together, came up with the layout, and made all of the technical aspects work.”

The lingering question was whether, despite the minimal costs, the new project would prove to be effective. According to Peter Pelland, CEO of Pelland Advertising, “Thanks to the use of click tracking in Google Analytics, we were able to uncover some impressive results. Since the new content was introduced on Dec. 12, 2014, there have been 8,238 page views from 5,588 unique users, spending an average of 3:17 of time on the ‘Cabins & Cottages’ data output page. Within that time period, this page has accounted for 5.68% of the MAC website’s overall traffic. In fact, the rentals page is the site’s fourth most popular content.”

He continued, “What is even more interesting is that the eight parks that participated in the Cabins & Cottages program all ranked among the top 10 recipients of outbound click traffic, which is a very healthy measurement of performance. This could be coincidental, but it is a likely conclusion that participation in the program helped to enhance these statistics.

“Each of these participants received anywhere from 1,046 to 1,930 clicks. If only 10% of that highly pre-qualified traffic is converted to reservations, and if a typical two-night stay generates an arbitrary $100.00 in income,” Pelland continued, “participants in the program realized roughly $10,000 to $20,000 in income from the MAC website alone. It is fair to say that the parks’ membership fees and the small added fee to participate in the Cabins & Cottages program were easily recovered many times over.”

According to Carter, “One of the best business decisions we’ve ever made was to work with Pelland Advertising. Peter created our very first website, and the company maintains updates and re-energizes the latest incarnation of our website to this day. His company also produces our ARVC-award-winning print directory. Having Peter Pelland on speed dial is just like having an easy button.”

MAC Director: Campgrounds Are Hard Work

July 29, 2014 by · Comments Off on MAC Director: Campgrounds Are Hard Work 

MAC_Logo_Effects_256It’s the middle of the busy summer season in Maryland, reported Deb Carter, excecutive director of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds (MAC), in the August Northeast Campground Association newsletter.

“Summer and its accompanying heat and humidity has arrived in Maryland. School is closed. Snow is a distant memory,” Carter said.

“If you own a campground in our beautiful state, odds are you’re super busy, tired and maybe a bit grumpy by now. Clearly we love what we do, but there’s not doubt that it can be trying,” she wrote.

Carter recommended that fellow campground operators should take advantage of as many opportunities as possible through state, regional and national campground associations.

“I’ve learned the value of cooperation and understanding. Being in this industry humbles me because I see how hard everyone works, how they genuinely care about their campers and see the sacrifices they make to stay in business,” Carter wrote.

Maryland Association Mulls Google ###s

March 18, 2013 by · Comments Off on Maryland Association Mulls Google ###s 

Deb Carter, MAC executive director

Peter Pelland

Editor’s Note: The following report on the Maryland Association of Campgrounds (MAC) spring conference comes from Deb Carter, executive director.

Our spring MAC meeting was held on March 4 at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Dover, Del., on the day prior to the Mid-Atlantic Conference to help boost attendance at the conference. The meeting was well attended (13 campgrounds were represented) and everyone is anticipating a good season ahead.

I took an informal survey of the members present – the average number of years they had been in the campground business was 44 per campground. That’s pretty amazing to think that we are small businesses, with all of the economic challenges we face. One of our associate members, Silvertop, has been in business for 66 years. And the newest MAC member, Bryleigh Irons from Ole Mink Farm, just turned seven weeks old.

The MAC Facebook has been online since September 2012. We are working on ways to increase viewership on the page. Several of our members have staff dedicated to increasing social media penetration and participation.

Peter Pelland, Pelland Advertising, prepared an extensive four-page report on our Google Analytics from our website, mdcamping.com. Some of the highlights:

  • Total of 68,322 unique people (out of 84,151 visits) spent an average of 4.18 minutes on the site between  March 1, 2012 and Feb. 28, 2013.
  • Average visitors viewed 3.35 pages of content; approximately 80% were new visitors.
  • 98.14% of the traffic came from within the United States, followed by 1.06% from Canada.
  • Demographically the states leading the traffic in order were Maryland, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Virginia, New York and New Jersey.
  • Increased viewership: Michigan (92.61% increase); Illinois (up 58.82%); Wisconsin (up by 61.68%) and Iowa (increase of 141.67%).
  • Numbers suggested MAC could benefit through greater promotion in the Midwest.
  • Drops in traffic from California, Texas, Maine and Oregon.
  • Total of 560 direct clicks from listings to email inquiries.
  • 61,094 clicks from the website listings to external websites over the past year. These numbers alone justify membership fees.

MAC Praises ARVC

Our members are very happy with the work being done at ARVC, and praised ARVC President Paul Bambei, Board Chairman Rob Schutter, Past Chairman David Berg, the ARVC Board and the support staff that works very hard to fulfill their mission of promoting the success and growth of RV parks, campgrounds and the Outdoor Hospitality industry. We discussed the number of ARVC benefits, both old and new.

Huge thanks to Jeff Sims, ARVC director of state relations and program advocacy, and all that he does for state associations across the country. The use of State Net is a very valuable tool for a small association like MAC.

In February a conference call was held with our Executive Director, Deb Carter, Bambei, Sims and other ARVC staff members. This is part of a new affiliated state association contact effort initiated by ARVC. We discussed marketing and membership – trying to find ways to work more closely together. The call was very insightful.

Maryland Legislation

A discussion of the bills before the Maryland General Assembly, now in Session until April 8 included:

  • Proposed increases in taxes/fees to aid with transportation funding.
  • Study to move the school start date back until after Labor Day.
  • Third Crossing of the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Offshore Wind Energy.
  • Swimming Pools: Automated External Defibrillator.
  • Admissions and Amusement Tax.
  • Gun Restrictions.
  • Death Penalty.
  • Tables games in casinos.

Other Concerns

We are looking forward to the CAMP meeting and National Issues Conference in May.

We continue to work closely with the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, the Maryland Tourism Council and the Destination Marketing Organization of Maryland. In Maryland, at least 43% of our residents participate in outdoor recreation each year. That generates $9.5 billion in consumer spending, generating $2.8 billion in wages and salaries and $686 million in state and local tax revenue.

 

‘Great’ Fall Meeting for Maryland Association

December 10, 2012 by · Comments Off on ‘Great’ Fall Meeting for Maryland Association 

Woodall’s Campground Management encourages all state executives to submit reports on association activities to WCM. We will report them on a timely basis.

The Maryland Association of Campgrounds (MAC) convened its fall meeting on Dec. 6 at Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Md. This was a makeup meeting because Superstorm Sandy struck the state the week of the originally scheduled meeting.

The Dec. 6 meeting drew 28 people representing 17 campgrounds, three associate members and one representative from the Maryland State Park Service, reported Deb Carter, MAC executive director.

“We had a great meeting – lots of ideas and conversation and friendship.  We encourage a very open, flexible schedule that seems to work well for us,” Carter reported.

Elections were held and the following are the new officers:

  • President Linda Gurevich, Cherry Hill Park, College Park.
  • Vice President Harold Decker, Frontier Town/Fort Whaley, Ocean City.
  • Treasurer Debbie Irons, Ole Mink Farm, Thurmont.
  • Secretary Mike Gurevich, Cherry Hill Park, College Park.

Mike Gurevich reported on the just-concluded National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) conference in Las Vegas. Linda Gurevich reported on the presidents’ meeting and Deb Carter reported through Skype.

MAC members discussed:

  • Being sure their ARVC park profiles are completed to take full advantage of the GoCampingAmerica website.
  • The importance of participating in the Northeast Campground Association (NCA) Scholarship fund and voted to contribute again this year.
  • The glamping seminar ARVC held on line.
  • The pending dues increase from ARVC. “Members understand that dues increase. While none of us want them, they have to occur sometimes,” Carter reported.
  • Production of the 2013 MAC Directory. The association will increase quantity from 40,000 to 45,000, due to increased print ad requests.
  • The upcoming Timonium RV Show and MAC’s participation.

MAC will again conduct the full Anderson Distribution in 2013 and will split the cost with the Maryland Office of Tourism Development.

Looking Ahead

The upcoming 2013 General Assembly Session is sure to include bills on gas tax increases, which will be dedicated to transportation funding, it was reported.

“Our group is excited about ARVC conference being held in Knoxville, Tenn., in November 2013 and anticipate it will be more ‘camper friendly,'” Carter said.

The 2013 National Issues Conference will be held in May and meetings of Campground Association of Management Professionals (CAMP) will be held before and after. All meetings will be at Cherry Hill Park.

 

 

Maryland Parks Report Their Irene Stories

August 29, 2011 by · Comments Off on Maryland Parks Report Their Irene Stories 

Editor’s Note: Members of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds (MAC)  feared Hurricane Irene would deal them a fatal blow when it struck over the  weekend. But, fortunately, damage was light. Thanks to MAC Executive Director  Deb Carter of Buttonwood Beach Campground who collected and then shared the  following member comments:

From Mike & Debbie Irons, owners Ole Mink Recreation Farm in Thurmont, Md. (western shore of Maryland):   “We just have little limbs down. Lost power at 1:00 AM and it returned about 10:30 AM. We are fine!”

From Ron & Vicki Vitkun, owners, Yogi Bear Jellystone Park in Williamsport, Md. (western shore of Maryland): “We were definitely on the outskirts of the storm – just some rain and a little wind. We had no damage and the weekend went on as usual.”

From Lisa Crouse, marketing manager, Sandy Cove Campground in North East, Md. (eastern shore of Maryland): “We’re doing ok at Sandy Cove – some trees down and loss of power.”

From Mitch Parker, owner, Frontier Town, Ocean City, Md. & Fort Whaley, Whaleyville, Md. (eastern shore of Maryland): “We too escaped with little damage. We are cleaning up branches and leaves today (Monday) and will reopen tomorrow (Tuesday)”

From Patti Pepper, manager/owner, Roaring Point Waterfront Campground, Nanticoke, Md. (eastern shore of Maryland): “We feel incredibly fortunate. We lost our pier in Isabelle. We did not lose it this time!! We had standing water in spots, one screen room damaged and that was all we have found. Our park is higher than surrounding area. Again, we really didn’t know if we would be in business after this. VERY GRATEFUL!!!!”

From Louise at Maple Tree Campground, Gapland Md. (western shore of Maryland): “We were lucky here at Maple Tree, over the mountain, just got some good rain, no damage.”

From Judi and John Durham, Hagerstown KOA, Williamsport, Md. (western shore of Maryland).  After passing along their concerns for everyone else – this was their response: “Thanks to Irene we had a great weekend, lots of hurricane refugees for 3 nights and our restaurant was booming too.”

Mike Gurevich, at Cherry Hill Park, in College Park, Md. “We made it through with all of our trees intact and no damage, but have limited power. We are still running generators for the office, store and conference center.”

From Deb Carter, Buttonwood Beach Campground, Earleville, Md. (on eastern shore of Maryland): “We asked our campers to evacuate Buttonwood starting Thursday. Most did (many grudgingly), about a dozen stayed at the last minute. We had lots of trees down, power/water off for about 12 hours. About 30 units with minor damage and of course roads/storm drain areas needed some work, and of all things it blew down our dumpster fence (because I finally “beautified” it this year – at least that’s what our maintenance crew is telling me!). We were blessed – especially when the storm took a westerly turn and pulled the water out of the Bay instead of forcing it forward. So our boats on dry land made out really well.”

Responses to ARVC State Park Membership Offer Vary

August 22, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Private park associations in at least two states — New York and Missouri — have said “no” to a plan by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) to offer free memberships for the remainder of this year to state parks.

The objections to ARVC’s plan surfaced in an informal survey conducted last week by Woodall’s Campground Management. Other states apparently are leaning against backing the plan as well.

Ironically, the associations in those two states are headed by men who sit on the ARVC board of directors.

ARVC’s Executive Committee and board of directors sanctioned the six-month trial membership offer to all non-members in early June. ARVC CEO Paul Bambei subsequently announced the ARVC plan.

“Times are changing, and we need to look to the public parks not as competitors, but as industry partners since we are typically viewed as one in the same by camping consumers and we also share many of the same marketing and government affairs objectives,” Bambei stated in a July 8 news release.

ARVC bylaws have permitted public park membership for many years, and while some states, such as Maine, California and Vermont, have aggressively pursued public park membership, the national association remained relatively quiet. In June, however, ARVC launched a mail campaign designed to attract non-members to the association by hailing its multiple benefits, and many have taken notice, ARVC noted in a news release.

“We’ve already received several inquiries from both non-member private parks as well as public parks that see the value of ARVC membership, and we plan to make ARVC membership available to them on a six-month trial basis,” Bambei said, adding that the offer has been warmly received by top representatives of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD).

Opposition Surfaces Quickly

However, within weeks, private park owners in New York and Missouri expressed their disapproval of the plan.

Donald G. Bennett, New York

During a conference call in the third week of July, the 19-member board of the Campground Owners of New York (CONY) voted not to honor the ARVC request, said Donald G. Bennett Jr., CONY executive director. CONY’s bylaws do not allow for a state park to become a member in any class of membership, Bennett said.

Beyond that, from a practical standpoint, Bennett noted, the last half of the year is when many private state associations assemble their campground directories for the coming year. Any state park that would join for the second half of this year would be added to the printed directory for 2012 and would be in that directory all year, even if the park subsequently decided not to re-up for the coming year.

“It’s easy to put someone on a website and then take them off. Once they’re in a printed book, you can’t take that back,” he said.

Bennett surmises that, aside from conference calls, few state associations have had a chance to meet or poll their members on the ARVC plan.

In Missouri, the executive committee of the Missouri Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (MOARC) voted not to accept state and federal parks into their association. The 11-member board subsequently concurred during an early-August conference call. The board studied MOARC’s bylaws and found no provision for allowing in public parks.

Larry Helms, Missouri

“The MOARC board stands behind our mission statement to serve the special needs of RV Parks and Campgrounds in Missouri in order to provide the public with the highest quality camping experience,” Larry Helms, MOARVC president and owner of Boiling Springs Campground in Dixon, Mo., stated in an e-mail dated July 24 sent to Bambei and other ARVC officials.

“We support all private parks in Missouri and we believe MOARC can benefit the state more effectively by helping private parks improve and expand as privately owned businesses in the tourism industry.”

Helms said the matter will continue to be studied at the board level.

Meanwhile, Helms said he plans to meet with the Missouri state parks director and discuss the matter.

To change its bylaws, Helms said, MOARC will have to take the matter to its general membership, which doesn’t meet until next spring.

“It’s not a quick fix,” he said. “The starting point is to take a look at the bylaws.”

Other states respond

Many state associations don’t hold formal meetings during the summer months so a formal decision by many other states has yet to be made.

However, from the WCM survey come these comments:

Mary Arlington, Kansas

From Mary Arlington, president of Kansas ARVC:

“At this time KansasARVC doesn’t permit membership by public parks. Given the changes within the state of Kansas, and now with the new discussions between ARVC and the NASPD, KARVC members will be re-evaluating the issue of public park membership at its next scheduled meeting. How the vote comes out will be seen in February 2012.”

David Gorin, executive director of Virginia Campground Association:

David Gorin, Virginia

In October 2010, the VA Campground Association voted to extend full membership to any Virginia State Park campground that wishes to join VCA and ARVC under the same terms and conditions that commercial parks are invited to join the associations. VCA no longer differentiates between public and private campgrounds in terms of membership. At this time, we expect that seven Virginia State Park campgrounds will be joining VCA/ARVC and we hope that in the coming years more of the state campgrounds will become members.

Our objective is to grow the market – increase the number of Virginians who camp and increase the number of campers and RVers from other states that choose to camp in Virginia. As the market grows, everyone in the campground business will benefit. State parks and commercial parks generally offer different experiences and our further objective is that no matter where a family camps, they have an appropriate and enjoyable experience so that they will continue to repeated and frequently camp in Virginia.

VCA will continue its practice of distributing its bimonthly e-mail newsletter to non-members in Virginia including state park managers and we will continue to invite all non-members to our annual convention (with a registration differential). By exposing non-members to the association, we hope to eventually win them over to membership.

As in all states, there are members in VCA who would take a different approach to state park involvement in their associations, but I don’t think there’s any disagreement over the objective of growing the number of people who have experienced and enjoy camping and RVing in Virginia. And the state parks do bring some powerful outreach capabilities to that objective.

Deb Carter, Maryland

From Deb Carter, executive director of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds:

Our by-laws, written many years ago, do not permit “government” parks. That’s an issue we’ve discussed before, specifically when Fort Meade Campground wanted to join MAC, and instead had to join ARVC directly. It’s definitely something that will be on our fall agenda.

However, it must be noted that we have an exemplary relationship with our state parks. In fact, I am appointed to the Governor’s State Park Advisory Committee. We work together shoulder to shoulder at trade shows, meetings and tourism events in Maryland. We even provide a free color ad to the Department of Natural Resources in our MAC directory annually and they list MAC’s website/address on their website.

When state parks are full (which often happens), each park manager knows the local private campgrounds, and refers their overflow to us. Unity in our industry is important to our Maryland campground members, so whether state parks join ARVC directly, or through MAC, we will work together to serve our customers, those who camp in Maryland. I should also note that representatives from Fort Meade, and the Superintendent of Maryland State Parks or a representative, almost always join our meetings.

From Jay and Marji Otto, New Jersey Campground Owners Association:

Jay and Marji Otto, New Jersey

“Our members do not consider the state parks as viable competition since there are only 1,300 campsites in their system and none with hookups. Mostly tenters go to the state parks. Therefore we do not object to the ARVC offer. We have a good relationship with the state parks and they distribute thousands of our guidebook and we give them a free page in our guide listing the state parks with camping facilities.”

From Dana Gabriel, president of the Carolinas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds:

Dana Gabriel, Carolinas

“Our association bylaws state that we are an association of privately owned parks. Working with the state and municipal parks in North Carolina and South Carolina is something that gets discussed quite often, but it is something that has never gotten past the discussion stage. I am afraid we would have to be another ‘No’ vote at this time, and could not allow state and municipal parks membership without putting the issue before our membership and voting for a bylaws change. I am sure that there are other state associations that have bylaws restrictions similar to ours. It is certainly something ARVC should take into consideration and research before moving forward with this proposal.

Maryland Campgrounds Discuss Shows/Directory

March 15, 2011 by · Comments Off on Maryland Campgrounds Discuss Shows/Directory 

The Maryland Association of Campgrounds’ (MAC) Spring Meeting, held March 7 at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, Dover, Del., featured updates on the well-attended Timonium RV Show at the Maryland State Fairgrounds and the MAC 2011 Directory, which was prepared for the first time by Peter Pelland, Pelland Advertising, Haydenville, Mass.

“Everyone was delighted with the product,” Deb Carter, MAC executive director, told Woodall’s Campground Management. “It’s very popular at shows and has a newly designed facility chart and front inside page layout. Justinn Irons, our executive assistant, worked very hard with all of our members to try to make this directory our best yet and he succeeded.”

The spring meeting attracted 30 people from 14 campgrounds.

“The facilities at Dover Downs are lovely, the staff great and the food is fantastic (thank you Evergreen USA for sponsoring our lunch),” said Carter. “I can’t say enough about the location. We held our meeting the day before the Mid-Atlantic Conference started, so many of our members stayed and participated in that conference. We have very lively, well attended, highly participatory meetings. We truly recharge our batteries at our meetings.”

The legislative front has previously been fairly quiet, according to Carter, but is starting to heat up.

“At the top of the list of course is the budget,” she said. “We put a lot of effort into assisting the Maryland Tourism Council, Maryland Office of Tourism Development, etc., in lobbying efforts to keep funding for tourism. Tourism is the fourth largest employer in Maryland. Weekly conference calls are held with the Maryland Tourism Council to discuss all bills relative to tourism and small business, from the day session opens until sine die in mid-April.”

President Sue Wendlandt, Sandy Hill Family Camp, Quantico, presided over the meeting. Past MAC President Mike Irons, Ole Mink Farm, Thurmont, is the current president of the Northeast Campground Association.

Other discussion topics were benefits from membership in the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and the upcoming ARVC conference in Savannah, Ga.

Mike Gurevich, owner of Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Md., gave a class on “Going Green.”

“As the winner of the ARVC Going Green Award (at ARVC’s convention) in Las Vegas, Mike, his wife Linda and their staff have done an incredible job to make their park green, including being wind powered,” Carter said. “It was particularly interesting to have one of our own tell us how they did it.”

The next MAC meeting will be held at Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Md., on Nov. 1.

Maryland Park Owners Address Ash Borer Threat

November 1, 2010 by · Comments Off on Maryland Park Owners Address Ash Borer Threat 

Where members of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds (MAC) gather, the mood is always upbeat, according to MAC president Sue Wendlandt, owner of Sandy Hill Family Camp, Quantico, Md.. MAC just held its fall meeting Oct. 26 at Ole Mink Farms Recreation Resort in Thurmont, Md., with seven campgrounds represented by around 15 people.

Representatives from Silvertop Manufacturing, Evergreen and a local firewood distributor were on hand. Joe and Jessica Tice introduced themselves as new owners of Anderson’s Brochure Distribution.

Guest speaker Cindy Ecaer, western region park manager with the Department of Natural Resources, gave updates on Maryland state parks.

Guest speaker Joseph Vukovich, United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) plant health specialist, educated guests on the emerald ash borer, an ash tree-killing insect from Asia that has found its way to the United States.

“He brought some ash wood for us to see the different trails the insect leaves and gave us some educational information to hand out to the public,” Wendlandt explained.

According to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, to date, the emerald ash borer has only been detected in the U.S. in Michigan (2002), Ohio (2003), one county in Maryland (2003, 2006), Indiana (2004), Illinois (2006), Pennsylvania (2007) and West Virginia (2007).

MAC held its regular business meeting during which most of the focus was on changing the MAC brochure.

“We also had a couple of campers who had attended the Northeast Campground Association Conference on Camping and Trade Show in March and the Great Escape Event in September, and they gave us an update on those events,” Wendlandt said.

The next MAC meeting will be held on March 7 in Dover, Del., in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Conference.

Maryland Campground Owners Review Pet Policies

March 4, 2010 by · Comments Off on Maryland Campground Owners Review Pet Policies 

Representatives from 14 campgrounds attended the spring meeting of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds (MAC) Feb. 23 at Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Md.

Speakers from the state’s Department of Natural Resources spoke about the firewood restrictions currently in force in Maryland’s state parks, according to Sue Wendlandt, MAC president.

The DNR spokesmen, Robin Melton and Darryl Anthony, also reviewed a new park alcohol policy for 2010 which bans the consumption of alcohol in state parks. However, alcohol consumption is allowed inside motorhomes, Wendlandt said.

Cheryl Smith, education director from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), also spoke, outlining new features of the GoCampingAmerica website and reviewing performance licenses that campgrounds need to show movies and play recorded music.

Smith also provided an entry to ARVC’s InSites Convention and Outdoor Hospitality Expo, which will be held Dec. 1-4 in Las Vegas, Nev. The donated item was then auctioned off and purchased by Cherry Hill Park owner Mike Gurevich for $500.

In an open discussion, MAC members discussed the pet policies at their respective parks. The DNR representatives were very interested in the parks’ comments, as the state parks are seeking to ease some pet policies to make their parks more pet friendly, she said.

A representative of Frontier Town Campground near Ocean City noted that the campground will be selling T-shirts this year with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

Gurevich and Cherry Hill Park have hosted the annual MAC meeting for many years and Cherry Hill also is the site for the annual CAMP meeting in April.

MAC will hold its fall meeting Oct. 26 at the Queen Anne’s County Exploration Center.

Maryland Association of Campgrounds Holds Fall Meeting

October 30, 2009 by · Comments Off on Maryland Association of Campgrounds Holds Fall Meeting 

Editor’s Note: Deb Carter, executive director of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds (MAC)) filed this report from the MAC Fall Meeting held Tuesday (Oct. 27) at the Queen Anne’s County Exploration Center in Chester, Md.

 

Judy Deegans (owner, Anderson's Brochure Distribution Service); Justin Irons, Ole Mink Farm; Deb Carter, Exec. of MAC and Skip Deegans (owner, Anderson's Brochure Distribution Service).  Anderson's was receiving recognition for being an Associate Member of MAC.

In this photo provided by Anderson's Brochure Distribution Service, owners Judy Deegans (left) and Skip Deegans (right) received recognition as being associate members of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds from MAC members Justin Irons, Ole Mink Farm, Deb Carter, MAC executive director.

“We had a great turnout – more than we’d planned for – which is always a wonderful problem to have. The following campgrounds were represented: Little Orleans, Holiday Park, Ramblin Pines, Ole Mink, Sandy Hill, Buttonwood Beach, Double G, Frontier Town, Fort Whaley, Castaways, Cherry Hill, Yogi Bear, Morris Meadows, Roaring Point and Camp Merryelande.

“We also had three of our supplier members present: SilverTop, Anderson’s Brochure Distribution and our newest members, All Pro Kustomz Golf Cart Sales/Rental – a total of about 35 people (and two golf carts) in attendance.

The association elected two new officers, Sue Wendlandt of Sandy Hill Family Camp, president, and Warren Glotfelty, Double G RV Park, vice president. All other officers remained the same.

“We went over the statistics from Google Analytics for our website traffic (our website is handled by Peter Pelland of Pelland Advertising). Our mdcamping.com website had 56,441 visits during the past year, an increase of 15.35% over the prior year.

“Interestingly, June 29 was the best day of the year, when 440 people went to the site (making July 4th plans, we assume). Most of our traffic is sent from Google (over 52%), with the top referring site Go Camping America which sent over 1,700 visitors our way. We also received referrals from several of our member campgrounds, PCOA, NCA, Pelland Advertising, TACO and Evergreen USA as well (we appreciate the support of our friends!!). We’re sure the addition of Google Mapping and a ‘click able’ directory pdf, both via Peter Pelland, were a big factor in increasing our traffic. From my personal viewpoint, it is a joy to have a real mapping feature for our prospective clients to use, vs. my trying to locate a campground close to a location they want to visit.”

Other topics of discussion:

  • Members agreed to participate in all of the Anderson Distribution shows for 2010, as well as in co-op Northeast Campground Association (NCA) participation in the Tampa Florida RV Supershow in January and ad renewal for five issues with Camping Life.
  • Members also discussed the upcoming ARVC Insites Conference, Mid-Atlantic Coastal States Conference March 8-9 in Dover, Del., and NCA’s Northeast Conference on Camping March 16-19 in Springfield, Mass.
  • “One real note of interest, our friends Mitch Parker and Harold ‘Deck’ Decker from Frontier Town/Fort Whaley sold clothing this past summer supporting Breast Cancer Awareness. The clothes feature a black background, with “fight like a girl” in pink on them. They had great success with selling the line and donated the proceeds to the American Cancer Society. MAC has agreed to work on a project to sell the same type of garments in many of our member campgrounds next season and hope to see the trend spread.”

Carter added this encouraging note at the end of her report: “I have to tell you – I know there’s much about our economy to frown about, but the energy, enthusiasm and summer season success stories heard at our meeting, gave all of us the incentive to start making plans for next year. I find our time together such a positive experience – maybe because we find we’re all in the same boat – crazy for being campground owners but not wanting to do anything else.”

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