Last week, the RV Industry Association convened a meeting of select leaders from the RV and campground industries to discuss how through working together across industries they can find common ground and synergies to significantly improve the consumer's camping and RVing experiences. The meeting, held outside Denver, CO, was a kick-off for future discussion, and provided a forum where attendees shared ideas on opportunities and challenges, and thoughts on how the group can work together more effectively.
Paul Bambei, President & CEO, National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC)
Bobby Cornwell, President & CEO, Florida & Alabama RV Park & Campground Association
Nick DiBella, Senior Vice President of Operations & Sales, Sun RV Resorts
Amir Harpaz, CEO, Harp Development
Al Johnson, ARVC Past Chairman and Operator, Mt. Rushmore/Hill City KOA
Dyana Kelley, CEO &President, CampCalNow
Michael Moore, General Manager, Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO)
Steve Mulvaney, Moderator
Toby O’Rourke, President & CEO, KOA
Jeff Rutherford, President & CEO, Airxcel and Chairman, RV Industry Association
Lori Severson, Executive Director, Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners (WACO)
Matt Zimmerman, Group Manager, THOR Industries and Chairman, RV Industry Association Campground Task Force
RV Industry Association Staff:
Craig Kirby, President & CEO, RV Industry Association
Jay Landers, Vice President of Government Affairs, RV Industry Association
Bill Baker, Senior Director of Membership & Research, RV Industry Association
Chris Bornemann, Director of Government Affairs, RV Industry Association
"More people than ever before are enjoying all the benefits that RV travel and camping provide," said RV Industry Association President & CEO Craig Kirby. "Creating an outstanding campground experience for them is central to our continued growth and a priority for our industry organizations and members. This meeting started the process to identify immediate areas where we can work to do this and establish a strong foundation for continued progress."
Over the past several years, there has been a sizeable influx of new campers and RVers, each bringing new and different expectations for the outdoor experience. The group agreed they need to learn more about these new consumers, as well as what opportunities and resources were available in the marketplace. The group discussed how the overall size and scope of the campground ecosystem is not clearly defined, and that the RV Industry Association has partnered with CHM Government Services to field the industry's largest ever campground study. The study will examine the campground inventory and facilities available at private campgrounds as well as public campgrounds at the federal, state, and local level.
"This meeting kickstarted engaging conversations on how we can work as partners on the crucial issues that impact all of us," said National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds President & CEO Paul Bambei. "I’m excited and optimistic about what can be accomplished.”
“Having state campground associations is critical to these discussions. This provides the framework to consider important state and local regulations regarding RV parks and campgrounds and the capability to better scale approaches and programs to a regional level,” said CampCalNow President & CEO Dyana Kelley.
"Coming together in this forum was an incredible opportunity to learn more about our respective organizations, to share information, and to discuss opportunities and challenges," said Sun RV Resorts Senior Vice President Nick DiBella. "We were all encouraged by the progress in this inaugural meeting to create a unified industry approach to deliver a high-quality camping experience."