On June 4, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) hosted its first workshop specifically designed for prospective campground owners. The online format of the one-day Prospective Owners Workshop (POW) made it easy for participants across the country to tap into the knowledge of industry experts on a wide range of topics and acquire valuable information they can use as they move forward in their planning process.
Topics covered during the workshop included industry trends and insights, the importance of building strong relationships with local agencies that write and enforce codes, the NFPA 1194®, the national standard that provides minimum construction requirements for the safety and health of occupants at RV parks and campgrounds; park development, operational expertise, insurance, marketing, reservation systems, franchise options and financing.
The presenters for the workshop were Paula Horwitz, ARVC’s executive director of education and events, Jeff Sims, ARVC’s senior director of state relations and program advocacy, Ron D. Beard of Ron D. Beard and Associates, Mike Beckelhymer, Roberts Resorts; Paul Bosley, Business Finance Depot; Larry Brownfield, KOA; Lisa Courtney, LSI/Jellystone; Chris Hipple, Leavitt Insurance; Todd Sabo, NewBook; and Brian Searl, Insider Perks. The format of the workshop was fully interactive to make it easy for participants to get their questions answered by these industry experts.
Angela Christensen of Centralia, Wash. was one of the attendees.
“We are just going to begin building,” she says. “We already own a mobile home park, so we’ve already gone through some of the business aspects like loans. But the workshop really gave me a different perspective on some things like financing and operations. It was really comprehensive. It was nice being able to ask things and get our questions answered. Many of the questions people were asking were the same things I was thinking.”
She also appreciated the convenience of the online format.
“I honestly I liked having it at my house. I didn't have to drive anywhere, and the expense was minimal. The amount of time was nice, and I really did enjoy all the speakers.”
She says she appreciated learning about the importance of building strong relationships with local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) and the value of having the NFPA 1194 standard to refer to if any issues should arise.
Devin Huffines, senior associate for the private equity and commercial development firm Four Rivers in Dallas, Texas, also found the workshop to be very informative.
“Paula and Jeff, I want to thank you for the GREAT job on the workshop,” he says. “It was very beneficial! Our group is getting closer and closer to pulling the trigger on developing our first RV resort. ARVC has been crucial in giving us the confidence needed to start this new division.”
If you missed POW, there are two ways to get the content. You can purchase a recording of the full workshop on through the ARVC portal here: Purchase POW Recording. The recording is $299 for members and $599 for nonmembers. Due to the success of this initial online workshop, plans are underway to offer another POW session in the future. So if you’re a prospective owner who is considering buying or building an RV park or campground, be sure to visit arvc.org for updates so you can make plans to attend the next Prospective Owners Workshop (POW) when the date is finalized.