'Arizona ARVC' Focused On Growing In 2019 (1/8/2019)

Story by Woodall's Campground Management
Jo Ann Mickelson

Editor's Note: This article was written by Terry Hughes-Lazzell for WOODALLSCM.com.

The Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (Arizona ARVC) started 2019 with change and a drive to grow the association.

Executive Director Jo Ann Mickelson is now joined by new co-Executive Director, David Schenck, who recently retired from the recreation insurance industry and was a supplier member in Arizona ARVC and on the board for 16 years.

Mickelson believes having co-directors will allow for more park visits and the ability to reach out to both members and non-member parks.

Currently, Arizona has around 300 parks, she added, and about one-third belong to Arizona ARVC, plus 22 supplier partners. Mickelson said there has been a great deal of turnover in Arizona RV park and campground ownership, as well as new parks that don't know the association even exists.

One of the main priorities for 2019 is ensuring that park owners and operators know the benefits of association membership. Arizona ARVC leaders are also participating in three trade shows in 2019, including its own Arizona ARVC Spring Convention in April.

Working conventions and trade shows helps the association and associations in other states, as well as the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), to show park owners and operators that there is strength in numbers, especially when it comes to legislation and regulatory threats that could be detrimental to the industry, according to Mickelson.

In 2018, Mickelson said there were 200-plus bills in the state that mentioned RV parks or camping within them. The association was able to follow these, along with ARVC. This year looks to be lighter and nothing looming is on the horizon, she said, adding that they will continue to watch legislation.

One thing the association would like to see is national standardization for RV parks, for things such as sewer and water connections. Mickelson said Arizona is in the beginning process of doing just that.

These types of issues are just one of the reasons that Mickelson believes RV parks and campgrounds should be involved with the association. Another reason is just to share knowledge, especially for new park owners since, she said, seasoned campground owners are more than willing to share their experience.

In addition, RV parks and campgrounds can gain attention and be found through the Arizona ARVC Annual Directory. Last year, Arizona ARVC's directory was recognized as the National Medium Association Directory of the Year.

“It's great for advertising and helps members understand their benefits,” Mickelson said. “We send the directory to all parks and 50 chambers of commerce and visitors centers in Arizona. Last year, we gave out 35,000 copies – we ran out.”

The association also puts a digital copy of the directory on its website at www.gocampinginarizona.com, where it can be downloaded. Mickelson said the association still gets about 25 requests a week to have the directory mailed.

That's an incredible amount of exposure for the 90 member parks, she added.

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