Last week, the RV Industry Association’s Manager of Government and Public Policy Samantha Rocci attended the inaugural National Summit for Gateway Communities. The Summit, presented by The Conservation Fund in partnership with Scenic America, celebrates the role of gateway communities in the stewardship of America’s public lands and identifies opportunities to help them thrive.

The RV Industry Association was a sponsor of this first-of-its-kind summit, which took place at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, W.VA.,  which brought together gateway communities, their partners, experts from the conservation community and economic development, recreation and tourism, planning and other related fields to highlight success stories, lessons learned and engage in robust discussions to develop specific actions to invigorate the future of gateway communities.

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Rocci participated on a panel entitled Building Political Will for Gateway Community Initiatives, along with Halle Czechowski of the Southeast Tourism Society, Destry Jarvis of Outdoor Recreation and Park Services, LLC, Kalene Griffith of Visit Bentonville, and August Carlino of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.

In her presentation, Rocci focused on practical ways to enhance advocacy efforts, drawing attention to two sources of data attendees may not have known about. Specifically, she highlighted the RV Industry Association’s RVs Move America Economic Impact Study and the recent Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account as two resources available to gateway communities to enhance their advocacy efforts and asks for financial and programmatic support. Additionally, she stressed the numerous opportunities for partnerships between gateway communities and the outdoor recreation industry and its components.  

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Attendees left with two new resources in their pocket and several ways to enhance any existing advocacy efforts. The Association also set up a table at Wednesday night’s “Share Fair,” where attendees could learn more about the RV Industry Association’s policy positions and available resources.

The RV Industry Association proudly sponsored the Summit and looks forward to continuing to be a partner with gateway communities nationwide.