Top

Gorin Refocuses Business, Leaves The VCA

September 8, 2014 by · Comments Off on Gorin Refocuses Business, Leaves The VCA 

David Gorin

David Gorin

David Gorin Associates LLC (DGA), a leading consulting company exclusively serving RV park and campground investors, developers, owners and buyers, announced a refocusing of the company to better enable it to meet the increasing demand for high-level professional consulting in the park industry — a move that includes David Gorin stepping aside as executive director of the Virginia Campground Association (VCA).

“As the RV industry, the accommodations sector and all related outdoor hospitality and recreation sectors experience significant growth, the interest in the industry has expanded dramatically,” said Gorin, founder and president of the company and columnist for Woodall’s Campground Management. “To meet the growing demand for services, it’s necessary to refocus attention on the most important segments of our business – consulting with investors and developers who are eager to explore opportunities in the park business.”

In the first two refocusing steps, Gorin announced that he and DGA are ending its 12-year management relationship with the VCA and simultaneously announced that Jayne Cohen, a long time campground owner and former president of Adventure Bound Camping, is joining DGA as a senior consulting associate.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 11.41.57 AM“It’s been a pleasure being associated with the Virginia Campground Association and we’re going miss the day-to-day relationships with many great Virginia park owners,” said Gorin. “Serving as the VCA executive director was an honor and I hope we were able to be of help in growing and developing the association. There will be a smooth transition to a new executive director who will take over the management of the association on October 1,” said Gorin.

Gorin said he expects that the association will be managed by Derek Dick, a former membership services associate with the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC) in Evergreen, Colo. Dick recently moved with his wife to Virginia.

“Jayne Cohen has a strong and creative background in all phases of park operations, management and marketing and will enhance DGA’s ability to provide to quality services in these areas. Jayne will continue to operate her own consulting firm, Jayne Cohen Associates, while serving DGA clients with special needs for her services,” said Gorin. “Jayne is a dynamic individual with energy and enthusiasm and experience in the park business and will add a new dimension to DGA associates.

“These two steps, moving away from association management and bringing on a new senior associate with deep operational experience, will enable DGA to respond more effectively to our growing client base and new opportunities in the industry,” said Gorin.

Cohen joins with other senior consulting associates at DGA including Donald Westphal, a veteran land and site planner based in the Detroit, Mich., area with more than 30 years experience in RV park and mobile home community planning; Douglas Campbell, an architect with Perkins Eastman who has assisted DGA in the design and planning of many RV parks over the last 12 years; and Jack May, a CFP with Lara May LLC, a financial and tax planning firm that provides fiancial planning services to DGA clients as needed.

“I anticipate additional announcements about the refocusing efforts to further strengthen our ability to respond to the growing interest in the RV park, campground and outdoor hospitality business,” said Gorin.

David Gorin Associates and David Gorin can be reached by email at david@davidgorinassociates.com and by phone at (703) 448-6863. The company maintains offices in McLean, Va., and Longboat Key, Fla., and serves clients throughout the United States. For more infomation, visit www.davidgorinassociates.com.

VCA Responds To Thursday’s Tornado

July 25, 2014 by · Comments Off on VCA Responds To Thursday’s Tornado 

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 9.43.57 AMKarl Littlman, president of the Virginia Campground Association (VCA), and David Gorin, executive director of VCA, sent out a message to members following the fatal tornado that struck a Virginia campground Thursday (July 24). Their message is below:

By now many of you have heard about the tornado that ripped through a part of Cherrystone Family Campground about 8:30 this morning (Thursday, July 24). The latest reports indicate that 2 people were killed and at least 20 injured in the park. There was considerable destruction of campers and RVs, cabins, cars and of course trees in much of the park.

I know all of the members of the VCA join in extending our condolences the families of those killed. And we offer our fervent prayers for speedy recovery of all those injured. Additionally, VCA stands ready to assist Cherrystone in any way it can to respond to this terrible event, to assist their campers as necessary, and to help assure that this outstanding camp resort might possibly get back on track at least partially to serve some of the thousands of visitors who were planning on vacationing at Cherrystone through the end of this summer. We’ve no doubt that the Ballard family that owns the park and managers James Hopkins and Mabel Harrison and the entire Cherrystone family will pull together to get Cherrystone back in business and serving its loyal guests as soon as possible.

This event surely underlines the need for park owners to be certain that they have an emergency plan in place, that employees are trained and drilled to implement the plan, and that the park has a system for monitoring weather on a regular basis and alerting campers of any potential weather issues. And of course, reviewing park insurance coverages is always a good idea.

Tornadoes are not frequent occurrences in this area but are devastating as we see today. Tracking weather and alerting campers of any possible problems is the best way to try to avoid or reduce the personal devastation, deaths and injuries. Expect the unexpected is the best rule of thumb when it comes to being prepared.

The VCA is scheduled to hold its Fall Convention and Trade Show at Cherrystone in September – the first time we were heading to the Eastern Shore. It would be great for all members of VCA to attend the convention as a sign of support for Cherrystone and its campers. In addition, the meeting will open on Sept. 21 at Tall Pines Harbor Campground, about 45 minutes from Cherrystone; Tall Pines recently had its own natural diseaster being hit big time by hurricane Sandy in 2012. Hope we’ll see everyone there September 21 to 23 in a show of solidarity and support for the VCA members on the Eastern Shore.

VCA Awarded $5,000 Tourism Marketing Grant

August 20, 2013 by · Comments Off on VCA Awarded $5,000 Tourism Marketing Grant 

The Virginia Campground Association (VCA), in partnership with the Virginia State Parks, Virginia Beach Tourism, Anderson’s Brochure Distribution and Fish Virginia First, has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corp. for the purpose of promoting camping in Virginia at two of the nation’s largest RV and camping shows – the Largest RV Show in America at Hershey, Pa., and at the Tampa Super Show in Tampa, Fla.

The grant is matched by the partners and the funds will be used to sponsor a large display with the theme Virginia is For Camping Lovers at the two most prominent RV and camping shows along the East Coast, according to a news release. The goal of the exhibits is to build awareness of the varied camping opportunities throughout Virginia and to promote the scenic, historic, cultural and recreation found in all corners of the state.

“These two shows attended by more than 100,000 RVers and campers are great places to present our state and to build RVing and camping nights in Virginia. We are proud to have partnered with the Virginia State Parks and our other partners to work together to show off the beautiful Commonwealth of Virginia and to open our doors to RVers up and down the East Coast,” said VCA Executive Director David Gorin. “We expect that both the Hershey show and the Tampa show in January will be great successes and we hope to be able to secure future grants to continue to be present at both of these events.” he said.

“Virginia’s a great tourist destination and a great place to camp. We want to grow the camping market and showing off the diversity of places to camp, places to recreate and places to enjoy the great outdoors will surely attract more and more campers from the northeast, mid-Atlantic region and the southeast,’ said VCA President Karl Littman. “Bringing together all the key camping partners strengthens our ability to reach out throughout the region,” he said.

The first exhibit will be at America’s Largest RV Show, Sept. 11-15, at Hershey.

 

Several Key State Association Confabs in April

March 4, 2013 by · Comments Off on Several Key State Association Confabs in April 

At least five state campground associations will hold spring meetings in April, highlighted by a big meeting at the end of the month in Texas.

Brian Schaeffer, president of the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO), anticipates between 75 and 100 campgrounds will be represented at the TACO conference, which is scheduled for April 28-30 at the Inn of the Hills Convention Center in Kerrville, Texas. The trade show will feature 40 vendor booths.

Guest speakers include Lori Severson, executive director of the Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners (WACO), and Casey Erick, TACO’s attorney, who will discuss topical issues affecting campgrounds.

“We plan to have rapid-fire roundtable discussions featuring various vendors and TACO staff, which will cover a myriad of topics from social media to Wi-Fi to credit card processing to marketing,” Schaeffer told Woodall’s Campground Management (WCM).

Schaeffer said TACO moved up its convention from the traditional May dates to April to allow visitors to the Texas Hill Country to enjoy spring temperatures and the beautiful wildflowers.

On the legislative front, Schaeffer reported that TACO is introducing a bill in the Texas Legislature to clarify the definition of an RV park, specifically to remove the reference to RV parks in Texas Property Code 94, which deals exclusively with manufactured home parks.

“We are tightening up previously passed legislation that has to do with utility companies billing RV parks for actual commodity usage and not per-site administrative fees or commodity allocations,” he said.

Further, TACO is opposing legislation that would move the first day of school in Texas public schools from the fourth Monday in August to the third Monday in August.

Finally, TACO will be opposing various attempts to raise taxes and support various attempts to reduce taxes on small businesses.

TACO also will sponsor a fundraising auction during the convention to support its Government Affairs program, hold board elections and hand out awards to the best small, medium and large campgrounds. New awards this year are “Best Special Event” and “Best Welcome Package.” TACO will be raffling a golf car and several other significant prizes during the convention.

Arizona ARVC Creates Jack Denton Award

The Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (Arizona ARVC) has a busy agenda for its convention scheduled for April 24-25 at the Rincon Country West RV Resort in Tucson.

Special guest speakers include Paul Bambei, CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), and Mark Maciha, chairman of the board of regents of the National School of RV Park and Campground Management.

Arizona ARVC Executive Director Jo Ann Mickelson anticipates an attendance of 80, including 20 vendors. The state’s top parks (small, medium, large and mega) will be honored, new officers will be elected and four educational seminars will be offered.

In a related development, the association’s board has created the “Jack Denton Memorial Award” to be presented for the first time in 2014 to recognize any park, campground, owner, manager, supplier partner or legislator who has helped further camping and RVing in Arizona.

The award is in memory of Denton, who died in August 2012. Denton was known as the “father of camping in Arizona.”

“He was a pioneer who went beyond the call of duty to further projects in Arizona such as the Visitor Centers, Scenic Byways and state parks,” Mickelson told WCM. Denton built, owned, and operated his own KOA in Flagstaff for more than 40 years.

More information on applying for the award for 2014 will come out later this year.

Any parks or campgrounds in other states are welcome to attend, Mickelson said. Members of other state associations may attend at Arizona member prices.

Maine Meeting in Tandem with Portland RV Show

The Maine Campground Owners Association (MECOA) will be holding its annual trade show and annual meeting on April 5 at the Fireside Inn & Suites in Portland, Maine.

“Because the event is being held in conjunction with our annual RV show (April 6-7) at the Portland Sports Complex, we expect that between 50 and 70 campground owners will be present throughout the day,” said Kathy Dyer, MECOA administrative manager.

The one-day event, beginning at 9 a.m. is filled with educational seminars and guest speakers such as Lisa Roy, the Maine director of licensing, and Rick Abare, MECOA’s executive director, who will give a legislative update on key issues such as water rights, lodging taxes and local option tax.

An award ceremony is planned during the membership lunch and an auction is planned in which proceeds will go into the MECOA scholarship fund.

The trade show, running from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is sold out with 33 booth spaces reserved, Dyer said.

The annual MECOA meeting will begin at 5 p.m. and five new members will be elected to the board.

Scharder Speaking At Virginia Meeting

The Virginia Campground Association (VCA) will hold its first-ever spring meeting April 9 to 11 at Yogi Bear Jellystone Park in Gloucester Point, Va. About 25 to 30 parks are expected to be represented.

The convention and trade show, featuring 15 vendors, had to be rescheduled after Hurricane Sandy hit the Atlantic shores and Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia on the original dates of the convention in October, VCA Executive Director David Gorin explained.

The spring meeting will feature guest speaker Bud Styer of Wisconsin; a special seminar on family outdoor programming led by the Director of Environmental Education for the Virginia State Parks; and a seminar wrap-up on the 2013 Virginia Legislative Session and planning for 2014 legislation led by Lauren Schmitt of The Hillbridge Group, VCA’s Richmond representatives.

VCA members also are looking forward to an update on national campground association activities from Jeff Sims, ARVC’s director of state relations and program advocacy, and a report on a new social media benchmark study being conducted by Evanne Schmarder of Roadabode Productions.

Another feature of the event will be a lobster cookout sponsored by Evergreen Insurance.

South Dakota Marks 50 Years on April 19

The South Dakota Campground Owners Association (SDCOA) is the smallest of the April gatherings but it will still be memorable, as SDCOA is marking its 50th anniversary April 19 in Rapid City with an evening dinner.

The SDCOA is contacting former campground owners to attend and talk about their fondest memories, reported Cherrylee Bradt, SDCOA executive director. She hopes a third of the SDCOA will attend this event.

 

2013 Virginia Campground Guide Published

January 25, 2013 by · Comments Off on 2013 Virginia Campground Guide Published 

The Virginia Campground Association (VCA) has announced the availability of the new 2013 Virginia Campground Directory.

The new directory features 66 parks in seven regions around the state.

The directory also includes a pull-out map of Virginia showing the locations of each park, main interstate highways and the different regions around the state, according to a news release.

Virginia offers campers a wide range of experiences including:

  • The beaches along the Atlantic Ocean in the Tidewater and Hampton Roads areas.
  • The Chesapeake Bay renowned for outstanding crabbing, sailing and fishing.
  • The great Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Historic areas tied closely to the founding of our nation and the civil war battlefields.
  • NASCAR racing in Richmond, Martinsville and Bristol.
  • The northern Virginia region that’s the perfect place to visit when going to Washington, D.C.

The directory is available on line at http://www.virginiacampgrounds.com, by phone at (703) 448-6863 or can be downloaded from the website in a pdf format. Campers and RVers may also order a complimentary copy of the directory at the same website. The directory is also available at no charge at many RV shows along the East Coast of the U.S. throughout the winter and spring.

Virginia Campgrounds Win in State Legislature

March 30, 2012 by · Comments Off on Virginia Campgrounds Win in State Legislature 

VCA makes mark at state legislature.

Virginia campgrounds will benefit from a successful legislative session that concluded on March 14. Spearheaded by the lobbying of the Virginia Campground Association (VCA), two legislative achievements of considerable importance to the park industry made this year’s session a success for the park industry, according to a VCA news release.

The Virginia code now specifically permits campgrounds to submeter electricity, bringing uniformity to the practice across the state. Prior to the enactment of this new provision in state law, the 11 utilities serving Virginia could make their own rules regarding submetering. In a recent instance, one utility threatened to cut off service to a campground unless they removed all of their meters and ceased the practice of charging monthly guests for electric use. The new legislation clearly states that submetering of electricity is permissible in campgrounds across the state.

In a second important victory, VCA played a leading role in lobbying to defeat an effort to change Virginia law and enable school districts to start school prior to Labor Day. Current law in Virginia will remain, requiring schools to open after Labor Day. VCA members testified before legislative committees on the measure and actively lobbied in both the House of Delegates and the state senate.

In another important development on the legislative side, VCA is carefully monitoring discussion and possible future legislative action in the next session that might lower camping and other fees in the state parks. During the recent session, legislators were asked to support a bill to raise fees and prohibit the state parks from expanding campsites. Those opposed to this proposed legislation were preparing bills to call for lowering camping fees in the parks. The bill to raise fees was withdrawn and action deferred until 2013.

VCA is working in partnership with the Virginia State Parks to assure that the established level playing field is maintained and improved, that both the private and public parks work together to grow camping in Virginia. A public/private task force is being formed to address the issues raised in the proposed legislation and to prepare for the 2013 session.

The Virginia Campground Association government affairs activities are supported active members, the VCA board of directors and by The Hillbridge Group, a Richmond-based lobbying firm that provides guidance and lobbying for VCA.

 

Virginia Association Expounds on State Park Relationship

February 7, 2012 by · Comments Off on Virginia Association Expounds on State Park Relationship 

Editor’s Note: The following letter from the leadership of the Virginia Campground Association (VCA) is in response to the Letter to the Editor from Bill Small, a campground owner in Virginia, that was published in the February issue of Woodall’s Campground Management. This VCA response did not come in time to make the deadline for the March issue of WCM but will be published in the April issue. Click here to read an earlier story about Small’s contentions that was posted on www.woodallscm.com.

To The Editor of Campground Management:

On Jan, 23, 2012, the Board of Directors of the Virginia Campground Association considered the legislation that Bill Small has been promoting demanding that the state stop building camping sites and cabins. The board discussed the bill at length and adopted the following motion:

VCA does not support SB 571 as written. It is the intention of the Virginia Campground Association and the Virginia State Parks to continue to develop and nurture a public/private partnership to uncover new ways to work together for the benefit of our businesses and the state, and to address issues in a timely fashion that may arise and requires cooperation and compromise from both the public and private sectors for the larger good.

This motion passed unanimously with one abstention. Two board members were not present to vote.

Mr. Small asserts that the state parks pay “grossly discounted dues,” for a presence in the Virginia Campground Directory, published by the VA Campground Association. Mr. Small would know if he was a member of the association that in October 2010, the VCA Board voted that only full dues paying members of the association were eligible to be included in the directory. This action preceded by a number of months ARVC’s campaign to enroll state parks. During the summer of 2011, the Virginia State Parks enrolled six parks in VCA at the full, undiscounted membership fee that includes membership in both VCA and ARVC. No discounts. No free months. No special privileges. Only those six parks are included in the 2012 Virginia Campground Directory and are full members of both the state and national associations. We anticipate that the number of state parks retaining membership in VCA and ARVC will grow in the coming years.

The ”fruits of collaboration” with the State Parks began several months ago with the creation of a Marketing Task Force comprised of public and private members of VCA. The purpose of this committee is to pursue new ways for the public and private sectors to work together to increase camping and RVing visitors to Virginia and to encourage more and more Virginians to enjoy camping and RVing in the state. Recent issues of the VSP E-Newsletter to some 30,000 readers included promotion of the VA Campground Directory and future issues will contain featured park articles focusing on a private campground in Virginia. In addition, the private and public camping sectors in VA intend to work closely together to urge the Virginia Tourism Corp. to increase promotion, focus and publicity about camping in Virginia in all of their tourism promotion efforts within the state and in the region.

And we know that there are many other “fruits of collaboration” to be harvested in the future by working cooperatively.

Finally, whether or not Virginia campgrounds agree with the Executive Director regardless of who may hold that position is irrelevant. The Virginia Campground Association is run by an active and engaged Board of Directors who are empowered by the association’s bylaws to make decisions in the best interest of the members they represent. The leadership of the association are successful business people who take the time and make extra effort to voluntarily serve the industry throughout the year. The association board has a broad vision for the future growth of the park industry in Virginia. That vision includes an on-going partnership with all of the campgrounds and RV parks in Virginia, a partnership with the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, an active marketing program that increases RVing and camping in Virginia, and a public affairs program that encourages positive regulation and legislation that benefits the park industry and protects the industry from unfair or unnecessary regulation and legislation.

VCA invites all Virginia campgrounds to support the association, become actively involved in its activities and governance, and join with the 68 current VCA members who are working together for the common good.

(Signed)

Karl Littman, president of the Virginia Campground Association and owner of Candy Hill Campground, Winchester, Va.

Steve Albrecht, chairman of the Virginia Campground Association and owner of Walnut Hill/Staunton KOA, Staunton, Va.

Ray Barker, vice president of Virginia Campground Association and owner of Tall Pines Harbor Campground, Sanford, Va.

Phil Upton, treasurer of the Virginia Campground Association and owner of Holiday Trav-L Park, Virginia Beach, Va.

Kristina Crall-Wagner, secretary of the Virginia Campground Association and operations manager at Bethpage Camp Resort and Gray’s Point Camp, Urbanna, Va.

Newspaper Sides with State Parks Against Private Campgrounds

February 3, 2012 by · Comments Off on Newspaper Sides with State Parks Against Private Campgrounds 

Editor’s Note: The following editorial appeared in the Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va. Click here to read an earlier news story on this issue.

By introducing legislation that would require Virginia state parks to augment their fees and limit their facilities, the General Assembly has chosen to place itself in the middle of a family feud among private campground owners.

The legislation, sponsored by Republican Sens. Bryce Reeves of Spotsylvania and Tom Garrett of Louisa, would require Virginia state parks to set their fees at or above those of nearby privately owned campgrounds. It would also limit the development of new state park campsites and amenity offerings. Louisa Republican Delegate Peter Farrell has filed a House version of the bill.

The general reaction is this: What are these lawmakers thinking about? State parks are something Virginia does quite well, supplying it an impressive bang for the taxpayer buck. For a $17 million annual investment, the parks generate an estimated $175 million in economic activity for their surrounding communities. It is one of Virginia’s fun facts that Virginia ranks generally among the bottom three states in park funding, but enjoys perennial top awards for its parks and facilities.

The legislation’s goal, for business-friendly Virginia, is to level the playing field among state and private campsite providers, so that the taxpayer-supported state parks don’t undercut private, for-profit campgrounds.

But there are numerous circumstances that suggest this is a solution looking for a problem. For example:

The Virginia Campground Association, which represents the private campground owners, is on record against the legislation, preferring to pursue a refreshing air of cooperation between state and private operations. The legislation is the result of complaints by 14 campground owners. There are 65 members in the VCA.

There are more than 10,000 campsites owned by VCA members, plus thousands of other private campsites run by non-VCA members. Virginia state parks offer 1,800 campsites, and they are often filled to capacity well in advance. State parks officials routinely provide information about nearby private campgrounds to callers when state park sites are booked.

Virginia state park campsite fees are already among the nation’s highest, a reflection of the lack of state funding and a common source of complaint among survey responders who note the lower fees in neighboring states.

In many cases, rates for state park sites and private sites are very competitive. At Lake Anna State Park, for example, a site with water and electricity costs $32 a night. At the private Christopher Run Campground on Lake Anna, a site with water and electricity costs $33. Private campgrounds with significantly higher rates often offer their customers amenities such as cable and Wi-Fi that state parks don’t. The legislation could result in allowing the private campgrounds — freed from the yoke of competition — to raise their rates, forcing increases in state park fees.

The whole idea behind Virginia’s constitutionally mandated state parks is to provide spaces for people to enjoy the state’s magnificent natural settings. The commonwealth has been committed to doing that at the most reasonable price it can. Is that something Virginia lawmakers are truly prepared to jeopardize? Perish the thought, and the bills.

VCA Hires New Government Relations Firm

January 4, 2012 by · Comments Off on VCA Hires New Government Relations Firm 

The Hillbridge Group, a Richmond, Va.-based government relations firm, has taken on the Virginia Campground Association (VCA) as its newest client.

VCA is a statewide trade association that represents a combination of private and public parks and campgrounds throughout the commonwealth. The VCA serves as a resource to campground owners and promotes the plethora of camping and RV opportunities in Virginia, according to a news release.

The Hillbridge Group will represent the association in all matters pertaining to legislative and regulatory policies. This new partnership will enable the VCA to build a strong government affairs program that will better position them in the legislative process. The Hillbridge Group will work to help pass policies that encourage and protect small businesses and defeat measures that would harm members’ ability to manage successful campgrounds and parks.

“We are eager to educate decision-makers and the public on the significant economic contributions parks and campgrounds bring to our tourism industry,” said Aimee Perron Seibert, founder and president of The Hillbridge Group. “Camping is an affordable and attractive vacation option for Virginia families and we look forward to ensuring the Commonwealth remains a small-business friendly environment for campground and park owners.

The Hillbridge Group represents a variety of clients, including membership organizations, non-profits and small businesses. They are dedicated to representing clients who contribute to Virginia’s economy and the well being of Virginia’s citizens.

This week’s announcement will not alter VCA’s relationship with its executive director, David Gorin.

Gorin told Woodall’s Campground Management, “I actually led the discussion to add a lobbying firm in Richmond to step up VCA’s government affairs activities to round out the VCA program. With a strong state marketing program in place, strong member benefits through affiliation with ARVC, a valuable state convention and trade show, and now a strong Richmond presence to pursue some legislative and regulatory objectives, VCA is looking to grow its membership and strengthen its role representing the park industry in Virginia.”

He added, “Several years ago VCA instituted a fund-raising auction to raise funds for an expanded government program. The state association has done well financially and is a financially secure organization and it was time to expand this aspect of the state’s program.”

The association has 65 members that offer 10,925 camping sites to campers and RVers. VCA publishes the annual Virginia Campground Directory, conducts educational and training programs for members to improve businesses and guest services, offers a number of member benefits to help members save money and increase revenues and monitors state and national government activities to keep members up to date on legislative and regulatory actions impacting park businesses.

Park Owner Raises Alternative Viewpoint in Virgina

December 9, 2011 by · Comments Off on Park Owner Raises Alternative Viewpoint in Virgina 

Editor’s Note: William E. Small, owner of Small Country Camping in Louisa, Va., provided this Letter to the Editor on an opposing viewpoint on the contentious issue of state park campgrounds joining private RV park and campground associations. On Oct. 13, Small delivered a petition to Gov. Bob McDonnell and his secretary of commerce and trade, James Cheng, calling for a halt to expansion and construction of all campgrounds, cabins, marinas and other facilities that compete with private industry. The petition was signed by several Virginia campground owners

Dear Editor:

Not all is as cozy as it may seem from your article in the Nov. issue (ARVC Clarifies Controversial State Park Position…). In Virginia, for example, a number of private campgrounds — including 14 members of the Virginia Campground Association (VCA) and a group of Kampground of America members — have sent petitions to the Governor demanding that the state stop building camping sites and cabins.

David Gorin tends to walk lock step with ARVC without considering the interests of many of the VCA members. Unfortunately, a large group of Virginia campground owners recognize that the state parks are building an unsustainable empire. They build and build and then can’t keep up with repairs and they demand more and more personnel to service them. VCA has not benefitted from state park membership…in fact the state parks take advantage of VCA in their directory and grossly discounted dues.

So, please don’t lump Virginia with the states that are “enjoying the fruits of collaboration” with state parks. Obviously not all Virginia campground owners or VCA members agree with the Executive Director.

Sincerely,

William E. Small, owner

Next Page »

Bottom