ARVC Awards of Excellence Nominations Open
Nominations for All Awards due Sept. 13
One of the crown jewels of the year is the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds’ (ARVC) Awards of Excellence dinner at the annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (OHCE). The Awards of Excellence honor standout parks and individuals, rewarding ARVC members for outstanding accomplishments, shining a light on those who go above and beyond in efforts in the outdoor hospitality industry.
The awards are part of a nomination and judging process, running throughout the year, which provides parks and businesses an excellent opportunity to tout accomplishments and highlight their commitment to excellence. Winning one of these prestigious awards will help a business earn peer recognition and promote the quality of the park to campers on a local and national basis.
The highlight of the Awards of Excellence are the four park owners who get to accept the prestigious ARVC Park of the Year award. One award is given in four park size categories: 100 sites or less (Small), 101-250 sites (Medium), 251-499 sites (Large) and 500 or more sites (Mega). Additionally, there are several awards that go to individuals who have made significant commitments and contributions to the outdoor hospitality industry and to the ARVC Foundation. These awards include the Campground Partner of the Year, Chairman’s Award, Pioneer Award, Stan Martin Award, Herb Strauss Awards and more.
The Park of the Year awards are given to recognize each park’s commitment to excellence. The nominated parks are evaluated by a team of peer judges based on criteria such as guest experience, customer service, marketing and industry involvement. New this year is a refined nomination and judging process, designed to allow for a more user-friendly application process for campgrounds. One major change is that the winners of the 2019 or 2020 Park of the Year awards in each category are not eligible to win the awards again in 2021 and will instead have their representatives join the judges panel to help provide a fresh perspective.
It’s an honor well worth pursuing, says Gary Quigley, CPO, owner of ARVC member-park Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest in Harrisville, Pa., and five-time winner of the ARVC Park of the Year award:
“It has helped on so many levels! It motivates our returning staff and new staff to try to continue to accomplish the goal of being the best possible campground that we can be as a team from both the service excellence side and making sure the facilities are always outstanding.
“It has also been huge to be able to advertise it on our brochures and website to generate interest in seeing what makes us a four-time winner of the most prestigious industry award. I also believe it has made some of our guests even more loyal being able to say they camp at the five-time Park of the Year!”
Mike Gurevich, CPO, OHE, owner of ARVC member-park Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Md., is a three-time winner of the Park of the Year award.
“The Park of the Year award validates our operation with our employees, with our community, with other local businesses and with our decision makers,” he says. “As an achievement it is substantial. It confirms with people that we are among the best in what we do. It is great for employee morale, retention and recruiting. It also helps with our standing in the local community.
“As owners and decision makers, we use the ARVC Park of the Year award as motivation,” he adds. “The award pushes us not just to maintain the same level of facilities, amenities and services that allowed us to achieve it in the first place, but to improve our operation wherever possible. If we succeed in that, then the business will grow.”
Parks that do their part to protect the environment are also honored, as there are two winners each year (categories Small/Medium, Large/Mega) for the Plan-It Green Park of the Year. The award is given to the parks that can demonstrate they have taken steps and actions to become more eco-friendly. Applicants are evaluated on overall impact of changes made, commitment to environmental practices and efforts to educate guests about support of Plan-It Green practices.
The Supplier Council Award is presented to an industry supplier that exemplifies excellence in product, customer service and support. It honors the supplier that goes the “extra mile” for its customers and the industry.
So . . . could you or your park be the next winner? Here’s what you need to know:
Nominations for the Park of the Year, Plan-It Green Park and Supplier of the Year are open now. Nominated parks must be current, active ARVC-member parks that have been in business for at least one year. It is perfectly acceptable to nominate your own park. The deadline for submitting nominations is Sept. 13, 2021, but don’t wait until the last minute!
There are two things you can do to help make sure your nomination application is as strong as it can be:
- Be as descriptive as possible. For example, instead of simply stating your park has a strong commitment to customer service, describe the specific training and programs you have put into place at your park to achieve that goal.
- Support your statements. Upload photos, videos, employee and/or camper interviews, and/or PDF documents that can really help bring your park to life for the judges.
Nomination forms for all categories are now available on arvc.org/awards. Good luck!