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Woodall’s Releases 2012 Campground Directory

February 2, 2012 by · Comments Off on Woodall’s Releases 2012 Campground Directory 

Woodall’s Publications, publisher of trusted and reliable RV and camper resources, has released its 2012 Woodall’s North American Campground Directory.

Trusted as the industry leader for RV and camping information since 1935, Woodall’s meets the needs of today’s RVers with its dual-rating system, comprehensive listings and informative editorial, according to a news release. The 2012 directory contains information for more than 8,000 privately owned and 6,000 public parks across North America, ensuring RVers find the most enjoyable and appropriate site for their individual travel plans.

The directory features 310,003 changes and updates from the 2011 edition, including over 14,000 detailed listings of campgrounds, RV dealers and service centers and attractions, GPS coordinates, physical addresses and detailed campground information. The directory also features full-color state and provincial maps, at-a-glance charts showing parks that welcome big rigs, have internet access (including Wi-Fi), welcome pets, and parks and campgrounds that are considered “green-friendly,” based upon the criteria of the National Association of Campgrounds and RV Parks (ARVC) in conjunction with Leave No Trace. Included in the 2012 edition is exclusive new editorial on “One Tank Trips,” which guides readers to amazing trips using only a tank of gas.

Included in the 2012 Woodall’s Directory is a whole new way for RVers and campers to connect with the campgrounds, RV parks and resorts found in the Directory — QR Codes. Located throughout the directory, these QR codes can be scanned by smart phones and will connect users to exclusive content. Woodall’s redesigned its Travel Section for 2012, and filled it with tons of tips and recommendations about each local cities and attractions within each specific state.

Another added benefit to the directory are Camping World coupons, placed within its pages, which are good at any Camping World SuperCenter nationwide, providing savings to Woodall’s readers.

In conjunction with the release of the new 2012 Directory, Woodall’s Publications is also releasing its list of top rated privately owned RV parks and campgrounds in North America through its 5W/5W rating system. Of the 8,000 privately-owned parks listed in its 2012 North American Campground Directory, 363 parks earned the highest and most coveted designation in the Woodall’s rating system.

“Privately owned campgrounds and RV parks covet the 5W Woodall’s rating, valuing it as the industry’s long running standard and most respected rating system,” said Ann Emerson, vice president and publisher. “We are very proud of the 363 campgrounds that have achieved a 5W rating for 2012.”

View the complete list of 5W/5W Parks at www.woodalls.com/2012TopRatedParks/.

The 2012 Woodall’s North American Campground Directory is now available at bookstores, RV dealers, Camping World SuperCenters, and online. To purchase or receive more information on Woodall’s and its publications visit www.woodalls.com.

Woodall’s Directory Marks 75th Anniversary

February 14, 2011 by · Comments Off on Woodall’s Directory Marks 75th Anniversary 

Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, Woodall Publications Corp. is launching a host of new digital products and services to complement its industry-leading campground directory and website.

“It’s cool to be celebrating 75 years,” said Ann Emerson, vice president and publisher of Woodall Publications Corp. “It’s not only 75 years as a print title – Woodall’s North American Campground Directory — but look at all the digital stuff we’re doing today? The RV lifestyle lends itself to the technology that’s coming out now. It’s all about the digital world.”

“It’s very exciting. There are some incredible statistics out there about how many people own cell phones and are texting. The younger demographic is ripe for the digital channel and we are ready to deliver it,” she said.

For example, Emerson noted that in 2010 Woodalls had 277,000 people visit woodalls.com via mobile devices. In 2009, that might have been around 5,000.

Virtually all Woodalls’ readers have cell phones and 79% own two or more. Average age is 57, average income is $85,000, average nights annually spent in parks is 57. And those campers, on average, spent $1,500 on their last RV trip.

“We had a 33% increase in the number of visitors to our website in 2010,” said Emerson. “We get 15 million page views in a year, twice as much as our nearest competitor gets. That’s why we’re doing the mobile version of our website.”

Emerson and her staff rolled out plans for the 2012 Woodall’s North American Campground Directory and a host of related programs at their annual “rep” conference, a term referring to the teams that travel North America visiting campgrounds on behalf of Woodall’s, which was held Jan. 17-20 at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel.

The company officially marked its 75th anniversary at a closing banquet attended by an array of industry leaders.

The 27 rep teams, some of whom began their data collection in the field on Feb. 1, were introduced to a host of new cutting-edge digital programs at the Woodall conference to better serve Woodalls’ “affluent, active and tech-savvy” customers, 54% of whom own web-enabled mobile phones.

Packaging its digital assets – mobile and online – is a focus for Woodall’s, allowing consumers to find RV parks and campgrounds through multiple channels and touch points. Many of the enhancements offered on woodalls.com are also available on the mobile application, often optimized for this emerging channel, explained Emerson.

Woodall’s will roll out its first mobile application this spring, which will be available for the iPhone (including the iPad and iPod Touch). This free app will allow RVers to search for campground listings geographically, by name or by nearby attractions. Some of the campground products and features available on the mobile app include:

  • Website Link: A direct link from the application right to your website.
  • Digital Photos: Up to five digital photos with one’s Listing Details Page.
  • Banner Ad: A mobile version of a listee’s state/provincial banner found on the Search Results Page of the application.
  • Front of the Line Exposure: Exclusive Woodall feature that “jumps” your listing to the top of the iPhone Search Results Page in a city of your choice.
  • Video – A video of your park, optimized for viewing on the application.
  • Digital Spotlights: Your story in your own words.
  • Visual Tour: This interactive slideshow is located on the Listing Details Page and “paints the picture” of the camping experience you offer guests.
  • The above-mentioned products will also be available on woodalls.com, as well as:
  • Digital Web Ads: A digital version of a print ad in the campground directory can be activated from the Search Results and Listing Details Pages.
  • Instant Email: Customers can e-mail a campground directly from the Listing Details Page.
  • Social Media: Accesses a campground’s Facebook and Twitter links from the Listing Details Page
  • Rotating Banners: Rotating State/Provincial Banners found on both the Search Results and at the footer of a campground’s Listing Details Page.
  • Blogging Opportunities: Three blog posts to draw readers to a given area.
  • E-newsletter Editorial Features: Reach the inbox of Woodalls’ most engaged users by telling a story in your own words. Campgrounds may choose the months.

“We are so excited and our rep teams are excited to go out and talk to our campground customers about this technology and marketing possibilities we can all learn together,” said Emerson.

The traditional print directory will include full-color state and provincial travel maps, GPS coordinates and physical addresses on select listings and “One Tank Trip” ideas, among other helpful information for campers.

A scannable QR (Quick Response) Code placed in a campground’s ad connects RVers from their offline print ad to their online Visual Tour via their mobile phones.

The 2011 edition also marked the first year advertisers were able to incorporate an industry-first, four-color process in the listing section advertisements in the Woodall’s directories. “It’s breathtaking, the colors really pop,” Emerson said. “We know for the 2012 edition there will be even more parks that want to do that.”

The 2012 directory will contain ratings of more than 8,000 privately owned and 6,000 public parks across North America.

Woodall’s is the official directory of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), Family Campers & RVers, Camp Club USA and Camping World President’s Club. The Escapees RV Club and the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) are also partners with Woodall’s, while Camping Life is its affiliated family camping magazine.

“We are very optimistic it will be a good year for the industry and for Woodalls,” said Emerson, noting that the deadline for data collection for the 2012 directory is Aug. 31. The directory comes off the presses the week after Thanksgiving.

For information, call (800) 323-9076 or visit www.woodalls.com.

Lake Rudolph Receives Top Directory Ratings

April 27, 2010 by · Comments Off on Lake Rudolph Receives Top Directory Ratings 

Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort, Santa Claus, Ind., received high ratings in two of the camping industry’s top publications, Woodall’s North American Campground Directory and Trailer Life Campground Directory.

Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort is one of only 307 parks listed in the 2010 Woodall’s North American Campground Directory to attain Woodall’s highest rating in both the facilities and recreation categories. On a scale of 1W to 5W, Lake Rudolph scored 5W in both categories. This select group represents less than 4% of the privately owned parks included in the 2010 edition.

Trailer Life Campground Directory also listed Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort as one of the top-rated parks for 2010. The RV park was graded on a scale of 1 to 10 in the following categories:

  • Completeness of facilities, including roads, sites, services, hookups and recreation.
  • Cleanliness and physical characteristics of restrooms and showers.
  • Visual appearance and environment quality, including building maintenance, trash disposal, park setting and site layout.

Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort earned a score of 9.5 in all three categories. Of the more than 12,000 parks in the network Lake Rudolph placed in the top 300.

“It is wonderful to be so highly recognized by these two publications,” says Philip Koch, owner of Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort. “We work very hard to be a leader among our industry and it is nice to know that we are accomplishing that.”

The closest camping and lodging to Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari, Lake Rudolph features 216 family lodging options including rental RVs and cabins. The campground also offers 200 full-hookup RV sites, including 100 sites with concrete pads. The resort also includes 40 tent sites with water and electric.

Lake Rudolph Campground RV Resort, located in Santa Claus, Indiana, opens daily starting Friday (April 30). Reservations are being taken for the 2010 season. Call toll free 1-877-4RUDOLPH (1-877-478-3657) or (812) 937-4458. For more information or to make online reservations visit the campground’s website at www.LakeRudolph.com

ARVC Salutes ‘Green Conscious’ Campgrounds

April 13, 2010 by · Comments Off on ARVC Salutes ‘Green Conscious’ Campgrounds 

As the nation celebrates Earth Day, there will likely be calls for increased investments in energy and water saving technologies as well as other environmentally sustainable practices, several of which are already in use at the Flagstaff KOA, according to a news release.

In addition to having two windmills, which supply 10%-25% of the electrical hookup needs for its 200 campsites, depending on the season, all of the park’s outdoor lighting is solar powered, while it uses energy efficient light bulbs inside its buildings. The park also uses six 55-gallon barrels to capture rainwater, which it uses to irrigate its native landscaping. Last year alone, the park captured about 5,000 gallons of rainwater, which was significant given that 2009 was a drought year. The park also sells only environmentally friendly holding tank products.

“We started in 2009 by trying to be as green as possible,” said Janyel Pitman, the park’s manager, adding that the windmills are “worth their weight in gold.”

“After all the tax rebates and credits, they didn’t cost very much,” she said, adding that the campground has used the land around the base of the windmills to create an “eco park” with educational displays that inform visitors about various recycling facts as well as things people can do in their homes to lessen their environmental impacts.

While the green initiatives undertaken by the Flagstaff KOA are exemplary, the park is actually one of a growing number of private campgrounds across the country that are making investments in a variety of energy, water and natural resource saving programs. Some are doing so on their own initiative, while others are doing so with active encouragement from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) in Larkspur, Colo., which launched a green parks initiative three years ago called “Plan-it Green.”

“Industry research shows that consumers like to go to parks that are environmentally friendly, which is an additional benefit to parks that invest in green practices,” said Linda Profaizer, ARVC president and CEO.

Profaizer added that the association has launched a new program with the Woodall’s North American Campground Directory that recognizes parks that adopt at least nine of 18 green initiatives with a “Green Friendly” icon next to their park listings on the GoCampingAmerica.com and Woodalls.com travel planning websites as well as the 2011 print edition of the Woodall’s campground directory.

Here’s a sampling of some of the things campgrounds and RV parks across the country are doing to help the environment:

  • Carlsbad KOA in Carlsbad, N.M.: This park has installed a 2.4-kilowatt wind turbine, which helps power the campground’s office, store, restaurant, bathrooms and laundry. The park has also installed a solar water heating system for its swimming pool, which paid for itself during the first season, said park co-owner Susan Bacher. The park also sells environmentally friendly holding tank products in its camp store.
  • Crossroads RV Park in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa: Park operator Jeff Krug built this park with green initiatives in mind, including compact fluorescent light bulbs, motion detector light switches and a tankless water heater. “We also don’t use any paper products in our bath and shower rooms,” Krug said. “Instead, it’s electric hand dryers.” He also installed geomat under the park’s gravel roadways. “This strengthens, firms and holds a solid sub-base so the rock will not be lost in the mud,” he said. This year, Krug plans to provide his guests with separate bins so that they can sort their glass, plastic and paper waste for recycling.
  • Hill Country Jellystone in Canyon Lake, Texas: This park recently added two energy-efficient cabins that it purchased with R-19 insulation, dual pane glass, a metal front door and R-30 roof insulation. The park also uses electronic confirmations and recently started using an online brochure, which should cut down on the park’s printing costs and use of paper.
  • Jellystone Park Camp-Resort, Williamsport, Md.: This park has received awards from the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corp. as well as ARVC last year for its successful recycling initiatives involving local charity organizations. The park recycles all of its aluminum cans through Star Community, a local non-profit community for people with developmental disabilities. The park also collects plastic and cardboard on behalf of ARC Inc. of Washington County, which works to improve the lives of people of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Park owners Ron and Vicki Vitkun have also invested in motion activated lights and programmable thermostats and are exploring the merits of solar power for water heating and power generation.
  • Normandy Farms in Foxboro, Mass.: This park is landscaping its grounds with plants and flowers that require less water. It’s also using pressure reducing shower valves and waterless urinals to eliminate flushing and reduce water waste. In terms of its electrical consumption, the park has replaced all of its lights with fluorescent bulbs and installed motion lights in its common buildings. The park also offers single sort recycling stations, which combine cardboard, glass and aluminum into one receptacle.
  • Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach, S.C.: This park received a “Plan-It Green” award from ARVC last year for its successful iCare Program, which encourages guests to sort their trash into recycling containers, to properly dispose of pet waste and even to pick up trash along the beach, thereby lessening the environmental impact of the guests and the campground itself. Last year, Ocean Lakes guests and employees recycled more than 59,000 pounds of waste using five iCare stations currently available at the campground. The park plans to install additional recycle stations this year.
  • Pinewood Lodge in Plymouth, Mass.: This park has installed low wattage fluorescent lighting in its buildings and street lights as well as electric light timers. The park has also equipped its restroom facilities with low-flow toilets and solar panels. “The cleaning products we use to clean these facilities, as well as our rental units, are low in harsh chemicals,” said park owner Kim Saunders, adding that the park also tries to reduce its carbon footprint by having its employees use electric golf carts for transportation around the campground as well as for transportation to and from work for those employees who live nearby.
  • Sacred Rocks Reserve in Boulevard, Calif.: Park owners Sharon and Dimitri Courmousis recently received a “Plan-It Green” award from ARVC for various environmentally friendly initiatives, including removing nearly 80 tons of trash from the 163-acre property when they acquired the park in 2003; recycling 850 abandoned trees that had been discarded on the property; and rescuing hundreds of 400-year-old oak trees that were vulnerable to insect infestations. The park also invested in solar powered park models, which it uses as rental accommodations and sells to individuals and families, who can place them on leased sites at the park and use them as a weekend retreat or vacation cottages.
  • Sandy Pines in Hopkins, Mich.: This 2,220-site park recently invested in geothermal heating and cooling systems, which it uses to heat and cool the park’s laundry, store, beauty shop and donut shop in addition to heating water for use in the park’s car wash. The park has also converted two of its swimming pools from chlorine to salt water filtration systems. But the green initiatives didn’t stop there. This year, Sandy Pines plans to add geothermal heating and cooling to two more buildings while adding saltwater filtration systems to two more swimming pools, said Managing Director Max Gibbs. The park has also recently installed T-8 florescent lighting and other high-efficiency lighting systems in 20 buildings, and added three instant hot water systems to its buildings, he said.
  • Sugar Loafin’ RV Campground and Cabins in Leadville, Colo.: “We have always been a green park – even before green was in,” said park operator Don Seppi, adding that he has solar panels on a service building, which help with heating. The park also has native plants and grasses throughout the campground. Seppi also promotes and sells Eco-Save holding tank products to his guests.
  • Vineyard RV Park in Vacaville, Calif.: This park has engaged in various green initiatives in recent years, including requesting water and power audits from its local utilities and investing in more efficient water and power fixtures. The resulting savings enabled the park to recoup its investment in one year. The park also uses only recycled content paper and eco-friendly paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning products. The park’s owners plan to redevelop the entire property to green standards during the next two to four years. “During that time, we expect to rebuilt all buildings on the property and retrofit them with extensive solar installations,” said park owner Meaghan Bertram, adding that she will apply for LEED certification for all her new buildings, whose interiors and exteriors will be designed to green standards. “The office buildings and clubhouses will be primarily powered by solar and the pool will be heated by a solar hot water heater,” she said. Bertram also plans to landscape the property with native plants, and irrigate them with weather sensitive irrigation controllers, which automatically adjust their watering schedules as weather conditions change. “Our goal is to achieve LEED platinum certification for the buildings, but of course this will depend on budget and timing,” she said. LEED certification is the green standard set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Affinity Gives New Look to Woodalls.com Website

October 1, 2009 by · Comments Off on Affinity Gives New Look to Woodalls.com Website 

woodalls-logoAffinity Group Inc. (AGI), the nation’s largest provider of outdoor recreation clubs, services, media and events, today (Oct. 1) unveiled a new look for Woodalls.com, an online resource providing relevant RV and RV camping information to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

Woodalls.com is specifically designed to help users make informed decisions in several key areas — locating private and public campgrounds that suit their RV and tent camping travel needs, locating RV rentals both on-site and over-the-road, staying informed and entertained with destination articles and finding interesting things to see and do while camping, according to a news release.

The result of this new website enables visitors to easily access Woodall’s impressive database of campground information without a log-in.

“It’s easy to get lost when looking for the right campground, whether you’re a fulltime RVer or new to the lifestyle. Our intuitive, user-friendly search tools make finding what you’re looking for quick and easy. From driving directions using Google maps to on-site amenities, Woodalls.com is the one-stop site to find what you need for your next trip,” said Ann Emerson, vice president and publisher of Woodall Publications and Affinity Guest Services. “While our North American Campground Directory has been a resource to RVers for nearly 75 years, we feel that giving our customers direct and online access to this great information in the age of technology shows we are committed to serving our customers in multiple mediums.”

Woodall’s also sets itself apart from all other campground directories by having a unique dual rating system. One rating is assigned to the facilities at the park. The other is assigned to the availability of recreation. This unique system is especially important to those enjoying the RV lifestyle with lengthy big rigs that require larger spaces at campgrounds. Weekend family camping trips are also easier to manage as far as searching for recreation is concerned. The more Woodall “W’s” means more recreational development.

This re-launch is just the beginning of a phased approach to a more robust website that is scheduled to roll out over the course of the next 6-12 months. While Woodalls.com provides a completely free service, registering as a Diamond Club member allows visitors to save their searches, access money-saving areas of the site, and receive special pre-publication and product offers. Soon Diamond Club members will also be part of a new online RV and camping community.

Woodall Publications, Woodall’s Campground Management and www.woodallscm.com are AGI holdings.

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