Are you ready for this?

The Top 10 things you must see/do in OKC
while you're in town for ARVC's Outdoor Hospitality
Conference & Expo!

#1: See the sights from Adventure Sky Trail
The best views of the city are from the top of the Sandridge Adventure Sky Trail—an 80-foot structure and the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world.

#2: Say "Howdy" to Buffalo Bill
The Buffalo Bill statue at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is one of the largest bronze sculptures west of the Mississippi and is surrounded by acres of beautiful landscape outside the museum.

#3: Gaze at 55 feet of beauty
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Dale Chihuly glass sculptures in the world, including the 55-foot Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick Memorial Tower in the atrium of the museum.

#4: Feed the animals at the OKC Zoo
Get an up-close encounter at the OKC Zoo when you feed the tallest animals in the world at the Giraffe Feeding Platform or make a splash when you feed stingrays at Stingray Bay.

#5: Go tropical at the Crystal Bridge
The Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory at the Myriad Botanical Gardens is a beautiful oasis downtown featuring multiple waterfalls and 750 varieties of tropical plant life.

#6: Chow down on the "Mother Tucker"
The fried onion burger is an Oklahoma original. Ask a local where to grab one and chances are they will tell you Tucker’s Onion Burgers. There, you can get a single, a double or, if you dare, triple the beef with the "Mother Tucker".

#7: Take a Bricktown Canal water taxi
Take a seat and enjoy the sites of OKC’s Entertainment District on the Bricktown Water Taxi. Boats run continuously every 10-15 minutes and tickets are all-day passes.

#8: Try the lamb fries ( . . . uh, the what?)
A trip to OKC isn’t complete without trying the lamb fries at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, Oklahoma City’s oldest continuously operated restaurant.

#9: Discover the fun at CurioCity
CurioCity gives families the opportunity to explore, play and create together with new discoveries around every turn.

#10: Visit the OKC Memorial and Museum
If you've never been inside the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, it's definitely worth a stop.

Experience all this and more at ARVC'S Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo November 5-8 in Oklahoma City. Click here to register today.


[PART 2] Using Social Media to Drive Revenue: Generating Interest with Instagram

Park Owner Erin Thiem Shares the Secrets of Her Online Success

Social media can deliver some pretty powerful revenue-generating opportunities for your park, but only if you know how to use it. We asked Erin Thiem, who co-owns ARVC member-park Inn Town Campground in Nevada City, Calif. with her husband Dan Thiem, to share a few of the secrets of her online success.

Even though Inn Town Campground has only been open for two years, Thiem honed her social media skills with the other business she and her husband own, the Outside Inn, also in Nevada City.

“Outside Inn is a remodeled 1930s motor court motel that’s been in the family for 20 years, but we've owned it for the last seven-and-a-half years. When we took over ownership, I decided that my creative outlet would be to write a blog for the motel on things to do in our area.“

“I think my most recent one was about a local craft fair,” she says. “The one before that was about an indoor climbing gym. It doesn’t really have much to do with the motel itself, but it helps draw people there.”

Thiem started blogging about their new campground while it was still in the construction phase. “I took all of those skills that I already had from being an active local blogger and using social media, and just applied them to telling the story about our campground.”


GENERATING INTEREST WITH INSTAGRAM

We live in a visual world, so social media channels like Instagram are enjoying massive popularity right now with campers.

It’s because of this that Instagram plays a big role in the Inn Town Campground owner Erin Thiem’s social media strategy.

“I think what's unique about our Instagram story is that it’s a really a fun visual platform. Because it took us three years to build our campground, we had the opportunity to share the process with people through our Instagram account.”

“It really helped create a unique community of people who are passionate about the project and find us real paying customers. It also helped educate people about what we were doing and what our campground was going to look like once it opened. I really utilized that tool to help get the word out.”

Now that the campground has been open for two years, Thiem uses Instagram to share what’s going on at the park.

“It’s a great way to show and remind customers or potential customers what we’re up to.”

Inn Town Campground’s recent Instagram posts showcased things to do at the campground as well as suggestions for side trips guests can take. Thiem also posted a video to tease “something fun” that they were soon adding to the park. Her followers quickly weighed in with guesses on what it could possibly be. A trampoline? A tee pee? Yurts? Time will tell, but with just a single post, Thiem was able to build interest and excitement and get her followers engaged.

“I never seem to run out of things to share,” she says.


This was the second story of a three-part series called “Using Social Media to Drive Revenue. “Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series, “Setting Priorities” or re-read Part 1 “The Power of Photos”.


Family Anthem to Entertain at the Awards of Excellence Dinner

Park Owner Erin Thiem Shares the Secrets of Her Online Success

Not only is Jory Rolf presenting our workshop at the Institute for Leadership Development, he’s bringing along his whole family to entertain us! Jory, his wife Tess and their six children, Banner, Nation, Anthem, Justus, Honour and Glorye form the musical group Family Anthem and they’ll be performing for us at the Awards of Excellence Dinner on Thursday, November 8. Their music includes a variety of bluegrass, gospel, instrumental, patriotic, folk, hymns and original collaborations.

Family Anthem has performed at RV parks across the United States.

“Seniors really love the kids and families love that other youth are playing music and working together as a family. It’s an opportunity to have some good old-fashioned fun with bluegrass instruments and to get to serve together as a family,” Rolf says.

“As a family team, we have lots of shared memories and experiences as we share our music and training at RV parks, communities, churches and venues across the U.S. and Canada,” Rolf says. “We believe our family is a picture of what the future of RVing will look like—families traveling, serving, working, playing, learning and experiencing shared memories that get passed down to future generations. Our children’s children will travel together with their families by RV into the future. RVing brings families closer together to make memories and moments that matter for a lifetime.”


Learn more about the Rolf family in the upcoming issue of The Voice, out this October!


ALABMA AND FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF RV PARKS & CAMPGROUNDS IDENTIFIES PARKS THAT CAN ACCOMMODATE HURRICANE FLORENCE EVACUEES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bobby Cornwell, Alabama and Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds
(850) 562-7151 or (850) 544-4472 (cell)
bcornwell@farvc.org 


ALABAMA AND FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF RV PARKS & CAMPGROUNDS IDENTIFIES PARKS THAT CAN ACCOMMODATE HURRICANE FLORENCE EVACUEES


JACKSONVILLE, FL., Sept. 13, 2018
— The Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds has identified campgrounds and RV parks with space available for Hurricane Florence evacuees.

“Most of Florida’s campgrounds and RV parks have availability at this time of year and are ready to accept evacuees,” said Bobby Cornwell, executive director of the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

“It would be advisable, if possible, to contact the park ahead of time to reserve a space,” he said, adding that people can visit www.campflorida.com for listings and descriptions of over 400 Florida campgrounds and RV Parks.

Many parks along I-95 and close to the Florida/Georgia state line have RV spaces and some cabin rentals for evacuees, Cornwell said. These include:

  • Flamingo Lake RV Resort, Jacksonville. 904-766-0672, www.flamingolake.com
  • Fleetwood RV Park, Jacksonville, 904-737-4733 or www.fleetwoodrvpark.com
  • Kelly’s Countryside RV Park, Callahan, 904-845-4252, www.kellyscountrysidervpark.com
  • Pecan Park, Jacksonville, www.sunrvresorts.com/resorts/south/florida/pecan-park/
  • Whitey’s Fish Camp, Orange Park, 904-269-4198, www.whiteysfishcamp.com
  • Bryn Mawr Ocean Resort, St. Augustine, 904-471-3353 www.brynmawroceanresort.com
  • Compass RV Park, St. Augustine, 904-824-357, www.compassrvpark.com
  • Cooksey’s RV Park, St. Augustine, 904-824-4016
  • North Beach Camp Resort, St. Augustine, 904-824-1806, www.northbeachcamp.com
  • Ocean Grove RV Resort, St. Augustine, 904-471-3414, www.oceangroveresort.com
  • Pellicer Creek Camground, St. Augustine, 904-458-7275, www.pellicercreekcampground.com
  • St. Augustine Beach KOA, 904-471-3113, www.koa.com/campgrounds/st-augustine-beach/
  • Stagecoach RV Park, St. Augustine, 904-824-2319, www.stagecoachrv.net

And off of I-75 near FL/GA State Line:

  • Jennings KOA, Jennings, (386) 938-3321, www.koa.com/campgrounds/jennings
  • E-Z Stop RV Park, Lake City, 386-752-2279
  • Lake City Campground, Lake City, 386-752-9131, www.lakecitycampground.com
  • Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, Lake City, 386-364-1683, www.musicliveshere.com
  • Traveler’s Campground, Alachua, 386-462-2505, www.travelerscampground.com

And further south:

  • Peace River Campground in Arcadia, 863-494-9693, www.peacerivercampground.com (Offering ½ price camping for anyone with a NC, SC, or GA ID)

Alabama:

  • Birmingham South RV Park, 205-664-8832, www.bhamsouthrvpark.com
  • Island Retreat RV Park, 251-967-1666, www.islandretreatrvpark.com

For more information on campgrounds and RV parks in Florida, please visit www.campflorida.com, or call Florida ARVC at 850-562-7151

For more information on campgrounds and RV parks in Alabama, please visit www.campinalabama.com, or call Alabama ARVC at 850-562-7151

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[PART 1] Using Social Media to Drive Revenue: The Power of Photos

Park Owner Erin Thiem Shares the Secrets of Her Online Success

Social media can deliver some pretty powerful revenue-generating opportunities for your park, but only if you know how to use it. We asked Erin Thiem, who co-owns ARVC member-park Inn Town Campground in Nevada City, Calif. with her husband Dan Thiem, to share a few of the secrets of her online success.

Even though Inn Town Campground has only been open for two years, Thiem honed her social media skills with the other business she and her husband own, the Outside Inn, also in Nevada City.

“Outside Inn is a remodeled 1930s motor court motel that’s been in the family for 20 years, but we've owned it for the last seven-and-a-half years. When we took over ownership, I decided that my creative outlet would be to write a blog for the motel on things to do in our area.“

“I think my most recent one was about a local craft fair,” she says. “The one before that was about an indoor climbing gym. It doesn’t really have much to do with the motel itself, but it helps draw people there.”

Thiem started blogging about their new campground while it was still in the construction phase. “I took all of those skills that I already had from being an active local blogger and using social media, and just applied them to telling the story about our campground.”


THE POWER OF PHOTOS

She also hired a professional photographer and staged a photo shoot to give future campers a good idea of what the campground would look like. “That has paid off so many times over,” she says. “Having that collection of really high-quality images was probably the best marketing tool I could have done.” She says having these images also made it easier for them to get coverage in local publications.

“Once we opened, I continued to share with people about the things to do at the campground, as well as things to do in our area.”

“I think I think what's unique about my perspective is I am really passionate about visual storytelling. I wouldn't call myself a professional photographer, but I have taken many, many photos for the blogs. I feel like that gives me an advantage to understand how to tell a story through visuals.”

She is careful about how she uses photos. “If I ever put someone direct center into the photo, then, generally speaking, I will ask their permission. But most of the photos, I try to not have it be up close to the camper. I also won’t post a photo of someone else's children without the parents’ permission.”

“As someone who takes her own photos, I'm also very aware of copyright infringement laws. You can't just do a Google search and find a photo to use in your marketing. It’s amazing how many other business owners don't know that small detail, that they should have permission to use images in their marketing collateral. I would hate for someone to get in trouble because they don’t know that.”

Thiem says that if you’re going to write a blog for your park, it’s important to set a regular schedule. “When I first started blogging for the Outside Inn, I did it two to three times a week. When we opened the campground, that became an unrealistic goal. So now I have a weekly blog, but I'm consistent about it.”

She writes a blog post for the campground once a month. Recent topics included Nevada City summer camping, kicking off the camping season, shoulder season camping and an introduction to the park’s new Riverside Retro travel trailer rental unit. She always includes plenty of photos in her blogs to help tell the story.


This is the first story of a three-part series called “Using Social Media to Drive Revenue”. Stay tuned for Part 2, “Generating Interest with Instagram” and Part 3, “Setting Priorities”.


Vornado Air Reannounces Recall of Electric Space Heaters Following Report of Death; Fire and Burn Hazards

Name of product:VH101 Personal Vortex electric space heaters
Hazard:The electric space heater can overheat when in use, posing fire and burn hazards.
Remedy: Refund, Replace -- Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled heaters and contact Vornado for instructions on how to receive a full refund or a free replacement unit.
Recall date: August 22, 2018
Units: About 350,000   

Consumer Contact:
Vornado toll-free at 855-215-5131 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at www.vornado.com and click on “Recalls” in the lower right corner of the homepage or www.vornado.com/recalls and click on the VH101 Personal Heater recall button for more information.


Click here to learn more about the Vornado Air Recall.


Confer Plastics Recalls Pool Step Systems Due to Entrapment and Drowning Hazard

Name of product:Curve in-pool step systems
Hazard:Children’s limbs can become entrapped in the side openings of the step systems, posing a drowning hazard.
Remedy: Repair--Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled pool step systems and contact Confer Plastics for a free repair kit. The repair kit will include additional panels to prevent entrapment and installation instructions.
Recall date: August 21, 2018
Units: About 100,000 (In addition, about 2,100 were sold in Canada)   

Consumer Contact:
Confer Plastics at 800-635-3213 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.conferplastics.com and click on “Curve Recall” for more information.


Click here to learn more about the Confer Plastics Recall.


Recreation Leaders Applaud Report Highlighting Role of Outdoor Recreation in Economic Health of Rural America

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ben Nasta
(202) 682-9530 | bnasta@recreationroundtable.org  


Recreation Leaders Applaud Report Highlighting Role of Outdoor Recreation in Economic Health of Rural America


Washington, D.C. (June 26, 2018)
— The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) today praised a report from Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Joint Economic Committee Democrats that emphasizes the importance of outdoor recreation to the economic health of rural America.

The report, Investing in Rural America, examines steps that can be taken to revitalize rural communities across the nation. The report concludes that making key investments in expanding outdoor recreation access will lead to growth in rural jobs, population, spending, tourism and income levels. In addition, expanded access to outdoor recreation will boost sectors such as lodging, food and beverage, and gas and oil.

“Outdoor recreation access is critical to reenergizing the economy in rural communities in the decades ahead. Our industry already comprises 2 percent of U.S. GDP, and commonsense outdoor recreation policies will lead to even greater economic and job growth for rural America,” said Thom Dammrich, ORR chair and president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “We are grateful to Senator Heinrich for being a leader on these issues and ensuring that investing in rural America remains a national priority.”

The report concludes that:

“Outdoor recreation, whether on federal public lands, state parks or private recreation preserves, drives economic activity in rural communities. The industry generated $374 billion in spending in 2016, which represents a nearly 4 percent growth from the previous year. This includes spending in retail sales, accommodation and food services, manufacturing and other sectors. More than 4 million Americans work in the outdoor recreation industry. Rural areas, especially those located near public lands, parks and national monuments, are major players in this industry.”

The release of Investing in Rural America comes just months after the outdoor recreation industry was included for the first time in the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ (BEA) U.S. GDP calculations. The BEA’s report, issued in February 2018, found that the outdoor recreation sector makes up 2 percent of U.S. GDP and accounts for $673 billion in annual gross domestic output. This impact exceeds that of key U.S. industries such as farming and computer manufacturing. In addition, BEA found the outdoor recreation economy grew by 3.8 percent in 2016, exceeding the 2.8 percent growth of the overall U.S. economy during the same period.

Investments in modernizing outdoor recreation infrastructure, such as improved campgrounds and marinas, new networks of trails and updated lodging facilities, will facilitate continued growth for the industry by generating additional visitors and spending in rural America.

The full Investing in Rural America report issued by the Joint Economic Committee Democrats can be found here.

The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable is the nation’s premier coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations. Please visit www.RecreationRoundtable.org and @ORRoundtable on Twitter for more information on the coalition.

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Cava Robles RV Resort Offers California Wildfire Respite

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lisa Harold, Regional Vice President
RV Resort Operations & Sales Sun RV Resorts | Sun Communities, Inc.
(248) 864-0323 | lharold@suncommunities.com  


Cava Robles RV Resort Offers California Wildfire Respite
Signature Sun RV Resort in Paso Robles, CA extends discount to fire victims


PASO ROBLES, CA (August 1, 2018)
— More than 18 wildfires continue to ravage California at press time, and the staff at Cava Robles RV Resort in Paso Robles wants to do something to help the thousands impacted by the fires. “We’ve received reservation cancellations from firefighter families whose vacation plans have been scuttled,” said Lisa Harold, vice president of resort operations and sales for the Signature Sun RV resort, “and many calls from travelers worried about maneuvering California during this frightening time.” Harold added that her team is also concerned about the thousands who are overwhelmed and fatigued from being in fire areas. “We want to give them a break,” she said.

The Cava Robles team quickly put heads together and developed a 20 percent discount being extended immediately to any guests impacted by the fires. “We just want to let them know we care,” she said. Harold notes that Cava Robles is hundreds of miles from any active fire areas, so guests can take comfort knowing they will be breathing clear air.

Cava Robles Resort offers a wide range of RV sites on oversized slabs for rigs up to 70 feet, including full hookups and plenty of room for slide-outs, along with stand-alone studio, one- and two-bedroom furnished cottages. Harold said that even though it is high season at the resort, there are RV site and cottage reservations available.

Reservations can be made online here and by using code 18CA20RV for RV sites and 18CA20VR for vacation rentals. Reservations may also be made over the phone at (844) 641-5093.

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Every State Needs An Immunity Law

Accidents happen at campgrounds all the time. Someone trips on a log while on a hike or burns themselves around the campfire. It happens. These are just some of the inherent risks of camping.

It’s what happens after an accident that can be a body blow to you and the future of your campground.

A few months later, an envelope arrives in the mail—it’s a notification of a lawsuit.

know your campground wasn’t negligent in any way, but now it’s too late—you’re the defendant in a lawsuit and a costly process begins.

This scenario happens with regularity all across the country and ARVC is focused on providing a solution for all our members. ARVC is fighting hard for campground immunity laws like the one successfully passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature in 2016.

“ARVC is focused on this as a member benefit because we see enormous value in stemming the tide of frivolous claims and lawsuits for accidents that are not the responsibility of our campground owner members,” says Paul Bambei, president and CEO of ARVC. “These lawsuits often range in the tens of thousands of dollars or more and are rarely won without the benefit of this type of immunity law.”

Bert Davis, owner of Badgerland Campground in Stoughton, Wis., says the immunity law in Wisconsin has given campground owners across the state peace of mind that a frivolous lawsuit won’t endanger their ability to provide a priceless experience for their campers.

“This law helps protect our parks in Wisconsin and by default also helps keep the quality time spent with family and friends a main priority to our owners and managers,” Davis says.

“Using the momentum from Wisconsin, ARVC has teamed up with lawyer Mark Hazelbaker, who played a major role in the immunity law’s passage in the state, to create a toolkit to help other states recreate the success seen in Wisconsin.

“What we’re trying to do is give campgrounds the ability to innovate and expand without the fear of being sued by campers when the campground owners have simply provided the experience the campers were looking for in the first place,” Hazelbaker says. “It’s like this. If you go into a boxing ring and put on gloves and someone punches you, you shouldn’t be able to sue them. That’s the experience you wanted when you stepped into the ring. These laws provide the same type of protections to campground owners based on the inherent dangers of camping.”

Davis says Hazelbaker’s knowledge of the law and how state governments work was a vital part of the success in Wisconsin, and mixed with the power ARVC has in numbers, he sees a golden opportunity in other states.

“Government is a very complicated animal. Most of us don't want to deal with it because we don't understand its complexity,” Davis says. “Good laws that serve a great purpose take time, following the correct procedure, and getting it to the right person to sponsor it. Those were the three big things I witnessed that had to happen to make it law in Wisconsin. So, having the ARVC toolkit is a huge leg up we didn’t have in Wisconsin. It’s great ARVC is taking what worked in Wisconsin and tailoring it to work in other areas.”

Pete Brown, owner of Lone Oak Campsites in East Canaan, Conn., is no stranger to frivolous lawsuits, so he jumped at the chance to help get immunity laws passed in Connecticut.

“Trial lawyers hate this law and have fought it successfully in New Hampshire recently,” Brown says. “Listen, we’re campground owners, we’re not lawyers. We need people like Mark Hazelbaker on our side. We need organizations like ARVC looking out for our best interests and advocating for us, but we have to get involved too. There is power in numbers when a law is on the table and a bunch of campground owners show up in support.

“There’s an old saying, ‘You’re either at the table, or on it,’ so sure I wanted to get this started in Connecticut. We’re learning from what worked in Wisconsin and what didn’t in New Hampshire. The process is in its infancy here, but it’s moving forward.”

Another benefit Brown sees coming down the road is lower insurance rates for campground owners.

“I could definitely see insurance rates going down in the future,” Brown says. “Less liability will bring the small insurance companies back into the market. More competition should drive down rates.”

There are numerous benefits, but ultimately these immunity laws allow campground owners to focus on what’s really important—the camper’s experience. “One of the bonuses of being in the campground industry is we provide a chance for family and friends to share quality time outdoors—it’s a priceless experience and as owners we help make that happen,” Davis says. “But camping brings with it some unforeseen hazards. This law greatly improves the odds of not getting sued.”

Hazelbaker is quick to remind campground owners that getting a law passed isn’t an overnight process.

“In Wisconsin we started drafting legislation in 2014 and it was finally passed in 2016,” he says. “It was two years of solid efforts focused on the bill from concept to passage.”

That’s why Brown isn’t wasting any time in Connecticut.

“I’ve already talked with my state rep, but it’s not an overnight deal. I know that,” he says. “It could take a year, maybe two, so the sooner we start the process the better.”

Interested in Getting Started in Your State?

The toolkit will be available this fall and will include step-by-step guidelines for working with state legislatures as well as draft legislation that can literally be handed to your state legislature representatives.

“ARVC has taken upon itself the cost and responsibility to work with Mark Hazelbaker who has the only track record in the country of establishing this legislation as a benefit to our members,” Bambei says. “ARVC would now like to assist every state it has a relationship with that wishes to pursue legislation on their own by making this toolkit available.”

To get involved in your state, you can start by contacting ARVC’s public affairs department, which is eager to help efforts to get a campground immunity law passed in as many states as possible. Contact Jeff Sims, senior director of Senior Director of State Relations & Program Advocacy, at jsims@arvc.org or 303-681-0401 x 110 to get started today.


CAMPGROUND OWNERS ALERTED TO CAREFULLY READ ALL INVOICES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Basler, Sr. Director of Marketing and Communications, ARVC
(303) 681-0401 x111
dbasler@arvc.org 


CAMPGROUND OWNERS ALERTED TO CAREFULLY READ ALL INVOICES
After questionable invoices pop up in states across the country, campground owners should be vigilant in inspecting all invoices before submitting payment


Denver (June 27, 2018)
RV park and campground owners in Maryland, South Dakota and other states have recently alerted the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) of a suspicious invoice being sent from a company, whose name is similar to a well-known national company and could potentially cause confusion, so ARVC is suggesting all campground owners nationwide carefully inspect all invoices before submitting payment.

The afore mentioned invoice is being sent from a company referring to itself as “Go RV Inc”, very similar to the GoRVing brand owned by the RV Industry Association (RVIA). On the invoice, the issuing company claims "Go RV acquired the Maryland Campground and RV Park Directory Inc. and SW Publications Nationwide”. Because many campgrounds employ SE Publications to create and publish their directories, this similarity could also be confusing to campground owners.

Because of this potentially confusing issue ARVC is communicating directly with its members and would appreciate any help communicating this to your readership in the RV park and campground community as well.

About National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC)

ARVC, a leader in the outdoor hospitality industry, is the only national association dedicated to representing the interests and needs of private RV parks and campgrounds in the US and Canada. We are deeply committed to providing our nearly 3,000 members exclusive access to continuing education, networking, business and marketing tools, member-only benefits and discounts, and advocacy at the local, state and national levels. For more information about ARVC, visit our website at www.arvc.org.

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The ARVC Foundation Practitioner Certificate for NFPA 1194® Program is on the Road

Save up to 15 percent on your park’s annual property and liability insurance coverage

If you haven’t gotten up to speed on the NFPA 1194® standard yet, you could be missing out on a pretty substantial savings on your property and liability insurance. The ARVC Foundation is making it even easier by bringing its Practitioner Certificate for NFPA 1194 program to a city near you in 2018.

As a member of ARVC, once you earn your Practitioner Certificate for NFPA 1194, you can also obtain an optional Risk Management Endorsement, which involves attending a classroom session and completing two online components. This endorsement may qualify you to receive a discount of up to 15 percent on park’s property and liability insurance through Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance Agency, the largest underwriter in the country for RV parks and campgrounds.

What is NFPA 1194, and why is it so important?

NFPA 1194 is a nationally-recognized standard developed, maintained and published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This standard provides construction requirements for safety and health for occupants using facilities supplied by recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds offering temporary living sites for use by recreational vehicles, recreational park trailers and other camping units.

“This document is extremely important for you as a park owner when working with your local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs),” says Jeff Sims, ARVC senior director of state relations and program advocacy. “It outlines minimum safety requirements for general design, fire safety, environmental health and sanitation, and establishes uniform definitions. It also includes valuable annex sections that address typical site plan safety, sanitary disposal stations, operational guidelines, detailed site layout drawings, examples of the variety of RV types and a comprehensive glossary of relevant terms. This is a great tool you can use to educate your local AHJs when they are developing regulations that will impact your park.”

Two ARVC members—Al Johnson (S.D.) and Wade Elliott (Wash.)—serve on the NFPA Technical Committee responsible for overseeing the NFPA 1194.

When and where is arvc hosting the program in 2018?

With ARVC hosting one-day programs in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania (see schedule below), you’ll have five opportunities in 2018 to complete the classroom portion of the coursework required to earn your ARVC Foundation Practitioner Certificate for NFPA 1194 plus Risk Management Endorsement. The program includes six components: Introduction to NFPA 1194 Standards, Water and Sanitation, Electrical, Fire Safety, Facilities and Assessment.

How much does the program cost?

The enrollment fee for the program is $300 for arvc members and $500 for non-members and includes a copy of the NFPA 1194 book.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the PRACTITIONER CERTIFICATE FOR NFPA 1194 Program?

If you have questions, contact Melissa Romsdahl, ARVC Education Coordinator at 303-681-0401, x121 or mromsdahl@arvc.org.

Coming to a City Near You!

Because education is paramount to arvc and the ARVC Foundation, we are proud to be offering the Practitioner Certificate for NFPA 1194 program in conjunction with industry events across the country in 2018. You can take advantage of this opportunity in one of these cities:

  • July 25 – Denver (National School)
  • September 11 – Tampa, Fla. (FARVC)
  • November 5 – Oklahoma City (OHCE)
  • December 2 – State College, Pa. (PCOA)

To enroll, visit arvc.org/NFPA.

To purchase an NFPA 1194: Standard for Recreational Vehicle Parks and Campgrounds 2018 Edition, visit HERE.


ARVC Staff Spends the Day at a Member Campground

Denver-based ARVC staff members spent the day recently at the Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park™ of Estes Park, CO owned by Rick and Shelly Spear. The staff toured the park, learned more about a typical day for campground owners, saw firsthand the challenges Rick and Shelley overcame following a major flood that ravaged their park, and finished the day with a fun game of laser tag.

Before touring the park, Rick and Shelly shared their personal story of disaster and how the ARVC Foundation’s disaster relief fund helped after a flood severely damaged their park in September 2013.

The couple showed a video taken as the flood waters were rising, and Rick recounted the events.

“The foothills of Colorado from Denver to the Wyoming border received 15 inches of rain over 7 days. After several days of soaking in moderate rain showers, one 24-hour period saw 6-8 inches of rain. With the ground fully saturated already the mountainsides began to erode away, and heavy flooding of local streams and creeks left a portion of nearly every canyon road washed away. The campground sites were washing away, retaining walls were compromised, and roads ended up with trenches 6 feet deep, and up to 15 feet wide in places. Every road that led to Estes Park was either blocked by mudslides or had sections completely washed away. As a result of the flooding, the campground had to close for the season one month early due to the damage on our property, but also because there were no roads left to get to us.”

He talked about how the disaster affected them emotionally and financially, and how the ARVC Foundation’s support helped.

“During the first several days of flooding I was out working with the volunteer fire department, leaving Shelly to take care of the campground as it was washing away. It was hard to be apart from family during the flooding, but there was nothing we could immediately fix at the campground, and everyone in the campground was currently safe, so the priority for me went to helping as a fireman. Once things calmed down we got a handle on the damage to the campground. We received word that the only way out of Estes Park was through Rocky Mountain National Park which took you four hours out of the way. We sent guests and our work campers on their way down the road. I remember standing in the driveway with Shelly (as it is still raining) as the last work campers pulled out, and we laughed and cried together knowing there was a lot of work ahead of us.

“We felt overwhelmed. The ARVC Foundation’s disaster relief program was easy to navigate and the money and support we received through the program gave us the feeling that we were not in this alone. Plus, fellow campground owners and Jellystone franchise representatives reached out to offer help, and our family members helped out and supported us.”

After hearing the Spear’s story, Rick gave the ARVC staff a tour of the campground. Following the tour, Rick and Shelly shared their thoughts on how ARVC can best serve members and talked about the family’s history in the industry (Rick and Shelly bought the park eight years ago from Rick’s parents Kathy and Tony Palmeri—ARVC members since 1994). Before wrapping up the day, Rick (and Rick and Shelly’s son) hosted a fun (and competitive) game of laser tag with the ARVC staff (Rick and his son won both rounds—big time!)

Ken Mowad, executive director of development for the ARVC Foundation, who coordinated the staff field trip, says events like this help bring the staff and our ARVC community even closer together.

“On behalf of the ARVC staff I would like to thank Rick and Shelly for their hospitality, dedication to the industry and for opening up their story to the ARVC team,” Mowad says. “We had a blast! The team enjoys getting out and meeting with members.”

“It was our pleasure to be able to spend time with you today,” Rick says. “It was so great to share ideas and stories. Our family is so lucky to have stumbled upon this amazing industry. We look forward to the next time we get together.”

About the ARVC Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund

In the fall of 2005, the country, specifically the Gulf region, and many of our ARVC members, suffered a tragic natural disaster when Hurricane Katrina made landfall.

At that time, the ARVC Foundation created a Disaster Relief Fund to directly help our member parks in the stricken states affected by Hurricane Katrina. Since that time, the fund has grown to help any ARVC member who has suffered a natural disaster disrupting their business—fires, floods, landslides, ice storms, etc. The loans and grants are not meant to replace insurance already in place at the parks but offer assistance in filling an immediate gap. When parks are hit not only does the park itself experience hardship, but so do employees, guests, and communities. If your park is ever affected by a natural disaster, the ARVC Foundation is here to help. You can apply for funding by visiting www.arvcfoundation.org and clicking DISASTER RELIEF.

If you are interested in donating to the Disaster Relief Fund, you can join the ARVC Foundation in helping provide these parks with much needed immediate financial support by visiting www.arvcfoundation.org and clicking DONATE.


ARVC Public Affairs Committee back on the “Hill”

On June 6, 13 ARVC representatives joined our coalition partners at RVIA and RVDA on the “Hill” in Washington, D.C. for RVIA’s Capitol Hill Advocacy Day. ARVC participated in 46 separate meetings with members of Congress and staff to raise awareness of issues affecting the industry.

Following a successful day on Capitol Hill the ARVC representatives joined fellow Advocacy Day attendees, members of Congress and administration officials for an evening reception recognizing the RV Caucus Members, our RV Champions on Capitol Hill.

ARVC members attending the event were: Al Johnson, OHE, ARVC chairman, of Mt. Rushmore/Hill City KOA in Hill City, S.D.; Adam Malsack, of Lake Arrowhead Campground, WI; Ann Emerson, vice president & publisher, of Good Sam Enterprises, CA; Jim Calderbank of Moonshine Creek Campground, NC; Joann DelVescio, executive director, New Jersey Campground Owners Association (NJCOA), NJ; Mari Garland, OHM, of Junction West RV Park in Grand Junction, CO; Scott Swanson of Gila Bend KOA, AZ; Steve Cross, CPO, OHC, of Cross Creek Camping Resort, OH; Tim Cartmell, OHM, Honesdale/Pocono KOA, PA; Wade Elliott, CPO, president of Utility Supply Group in Kingston, WA; Paul Bambei, ARVC president & ceo, CO: David Basler, ARVC senior director of marketing and communications, CO; and Jeff Sims, CPO, OHC, ARVC senior director of state relations and program advocacy, MO.

Full details in the next issue of ARVC's The Voice.


Lights, Camera, Campground!

Spending a few days or a few weeks at a campground or RV park is a refreshing way to celebrate the beauty of the great outdoors. Occasionally, your campgrounds, like many across the USA, may show movies for entertainment or to support special programs. ARVC reminds members that a public performance license is required under the U.S. Copyright Act when movies and other programs are shown to campers or programmed by guests. Recently, Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) reached out to ARVC members to provide information on the MPLC Umbrella License®, a comprehensive copyright solution covering more than 1,000 Hollywood and specialty producers. ARVC has worked with MPLC for many years to educate members about the need for copyright compliance. In addition, ARVC members enjoy significant savings on seasonal or annual Umbrella Licenses. For more information, please contact MPLC directly at (800) 462-8855 or online at www.mplc.com to learn more about the license and receive your ARVC member discount..


GE Lighting Recalls LED Tube Lamps Due to Shock and Electrocution Hazards; Sold Exclusively at Lowe’s Stores

Name of product:Cool White Universal T8/T12 LED tube lamps
Hazard: The pins on one end of the lamp can be energized during installation/removal, posing electric shock and electrocution hazards.
Remedy: Refund
Recall date: June 6, 2018
Units: About 46,000 packages of two tube lamps (92,000 individual lamps)   

Consumer Contact:
GE Lighting at 800-338-4999 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at lightingconcerns@ge.com or online at www.gelighting.com and click on “Product Safety Information” for more information.

Click here to learn more about the GE Lighting recall.


Harbor Freight Tools Recalls Chainsaws Due to Serious Injury Hazard

Name of product: Portland, One Stop Gardens, and Chicago Electric 14 inch electric chainsaws
Hazard: The power switch can malfunction and allow the chainsaw to continue operating after the operator moves the switch to the “off” position, posing a serious injury hazard to the operator.
Remedy: Replace
Recall date: May 14, 2018
Units: About 1,020,000   

Consumer Contact:
Harbor Freight Tools at 800-444-3353 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT, email at recall@harborfreight.com or online at www.harborfreight.com and click on “Recall Safety Information” on the bottom of the homepage for more information.

Click here to learn more about the Harbor Freight recall.


The Importance of Checking for Reverse Polarity

Starting with its next iteration in 2020, the NFPA 70 (National Electric Code) standard will require all newly-manufactured RVs to come equipped with a reverse polarity detector, but in the meantime, issues involving reverse polarity continue to challenge RV park owners and operators.

What is reverse polarity?
Simply put, it’s when the hot wire and neutral wire have been swapped. This can be caused by improper wiring of a pedestal, or if an RV with reverse polarity plugs into a pedestal—the latter of which could cause reverse polarity on all linked pedestals—and the result could be dangerous.

In a position paper requesting the standard, the RV Industry Association (RVIA) said “In a situation of reverse polarity, power is "fed" to the neutral conductor and a short in the wiring could energize the exterior skin or other metal parts, creating a shock hazard that could cause severe burns or possibly death.”

Because of this potential safety hazard, most RV manufacturers are not waiting until 2020, however, and have already started installing reverse polarity detectors in current new models.

How do I check for reverse polarity at my park?
It’s best to check for reverse polarity at the beginning of the season before campers start arriving, so you start with a clean slate.

“If you check for it at the beginning of the season, it just helps isolate the issue quicker if it does present itself,” says Wade Elliott, president of Utility Supply Group. “If you’ve identified that the park’s wiring isn’t the problem, you’ve isolated the issue to a visiting RV.”

Reverse polarity easily can be detected using an inexpensive tool—there are models specific to 30 amp and 50 amp services. If detected, it’s best to call a certified electrician or maintenance man to fix the issue.

Interested in learning more about NFPA standards?
ARVC offers a program called the Practitioner Certificate for NFPA 1194® which is designed to teach park owners and operators the in-depth knowledge of the current standards for RV parks and campgrounds. CLICK HERE to learn more. The next program is July 25-26 in Denver, with other programs being offered in 2018 in Tampa, Oklahoma City and State College, PA.



H-E-B Recalls Halogen Lightbulbs Due to Laceration and Fire Hazards

Name of product: GTC halogen light bulbs
Hazard: The halogen light bulbs can shatter while in use in a lamp or light fixture, posing laceration and fire hazards to consumers.
Remedy: Refund
Recall date: March 29, 2018
Units: About 2.5 million   

Consumer Contact:
H-E-B at 800-432-3113 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at www.heb.com and click on Product Recalls under the Customer Service heading at the bottom of the homepage for more information

Click here to learn more about the H-E-B recall.


Kidde Recalls Dual Sensor Smoke Alarms Due to Risk of Failure to Alert Consumers to a Fire

Name of product: Kidde dual-sensor (photoelectric and ionization) smoke alarms – models PI2010 and PI9010
Hazard: A yellow cap left on during the manufacturing process can cover one of the two smoke sensors and compromise the smoke alarm’s ability to detect smoke, posing a risk of consumers not being alerted to a fire in their home.
Remedy: Replace
Recall date: March 21, 2018
Units: About 452,000 in the U.S. (In addition, about 40,000 were sold in Canada.)   

Consumer Contact:
Kidde toll-free at 833-551-7739 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, or online at www.kidde.com and click on “Product Safety Recall” for more information.

Click here to learn more about the Kidde recall.


Briggs & Stratton Recalls Riding Mowers Due to Risk of Injury

Name of product: Snapper, Simplicity, and Massey Ferguson riding mowers
Hazard: The reverse-mow option switch can malfunction and allow the riding lawn mowers to unintentionally mow when being driven in a reverse direction, posing a risk of injury to bystanders.
Remedy: Repair
Recall date: March 20, 2018
Units: About 18,000 (In addition, about 300 were sold in Canada)

Consumer Contact: Briggs & Stratton at 800-227-3798 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, online at www.briggsandstratton.com and click on “Recalls & Warranty” for more information. Dealers can be found using the dealer locator at www.simplicitymfg.com, www.snapper.com , or www.masseylawn.com for more information.

Click here to learn more about the Briggs & Stratton recall.


Southwire Recalls Wi-Fi Switches Due to Fire Hazard

Name of product: WiOn Indoor In-wall Wi-Fi Switches
Hazard: The wi-fi switches can overheat, posing a fire hazard.
Remedy: Refund, Replace
Recall date: March 15, 2018
Units: About 24,000 (In addition, about 6000 were sold in Canada)

Consumer Contact: Southwire toll-free at 888-770-7156 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m to 6 p.m. CT or online at www.wionproducts.com or www.southwire.com and click on “Product Recall” for more information.

Click here to learn more about the Southwire recall.




 

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ben Nasta (202) 682-9530
  bnasta@funoutdoors.com 


Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Welcomes Government Recognition
of Industry as GDP Contributor

Inaugural Report Highlights Economic Influence of Outdoor Recreation Industry


Washington, D.C. (February 14, 2018)
– The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) today applauded the release of the first-ever government report recognizing the outdoor recreation industry as a significant economic contributor to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Released by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)—the government agency responsible for reporting U.S. GDP—the report calculated the outdoor recreation industry’s annual gross output to be $673 billion, surpassing other sectors such as agriculture, petroleum and coal, and computer and electronic products. The report marks a critical step forward for the outdoor recreation industry by formally recognizing its economic influence.

“Today’s report affirms what those of us in the outdoor community already know – outdoor recreation has a far-reaching positive impact across the U.S. and our economy,” said Thom Dammrich, ORR chair and president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “As an industry, we are proud to generate millions of American jobs and be a driving economic force from coast to coast, and we are grateful that BEA and the Department of Commerce have decided to recognize that. This report is further evidence of the need for sound public policy that encourages continued growth in the outdoor recreation industry.”

ORR was formed in February 2018 with the merger of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable, a coalition of America’s leading outdoor recreation trade associations, and the American Recreation Coalition, an organization of recreation interests that has had a significant and positive impact on outdoor recreation for more than three decades. ORR is committed to advancing the basic elements needed to grow this vital economic sector, including sound and sustainable management of U.S. public lands and waters, and updating infrastructure and technology on those lands to create quality experiences in response to changing recreation preferences.

In addition to reporting on the outdoor recreation industry’s annual gross output, the BEA’s initial findings report that outdoor recreation makes up 2.0 percent of the U.S. GDP. More importantly, the outdoor recreation industry's GDP has increased an average of 4.4 percent since 2012, significantly greater than the 3.6 percent average increase in the overall U.S. GDP. 

“This is a welcome signal of the critical economic role outdoor recreation plays in the United States,” said Paul Bambei, Arvc CEO and ORR Board member. “We are thrilled to represent a rapidly growing industry that helps keep America’s economy strong and brings enjoyment to millions of Americans. Given the right public policies, outdoor recreation will continue to be an American economic engine for years to come.”

The full report issued by ORSA and BEA can be found here.

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  Husqvarna Recalls Residential Zero Turn
Riding Mowers Due to Fire Hazard

Name of product: Residential zero turn riding mowers
Hazard: An incorrect routing of the fuel line can cause it to wear and leak, posing a fire hazard.
Remedy: Repair
Recall date: February 8, 2018
Units:
About 7,100

Consumer Contact: Husqvarna toll-free at 877-257-6921 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at recalls@husqvarna.com or online at http://www.husqvarna.com/ and click on “Product Recall” for more information.

Click here to learn more about the Husqvarna recall.