Posts Tagged ‘Campgrounds’

Spring is here which means 2015 New Jersey Campground & RV Park Guide, according to an announcement from the New Jersey Campground Owners Association (NJCOA).

As the weather warms across the state, more than 90 New Jersey campgrounds and RV parks are getting ready to welcome campers for the 2015 season. Many campgrounds and RV Parks will open in April and all will be open by Memorial Day.

New Jersey campgrounds cover the state offering campers a wide variety of camping experiences.

Campers can enjoy tubing or canoeing down the Delaware River, hiking along the Appalachian trails, visit historic sites, stay minutes from the beaches and ride the rides in some of the largest amusements parks in America.

Most campgrounds are pet friendly. They also offer a wide variety of activities (hayrides, movies, dancing, tennis, and mini golf) and modern amenities such as cabin rentals, internet access, cable TV, swimming pools, and hot showers.

Many campgrounds offer daily, weekly and seasonal site rentals. NJCOA’s Website helps people find their perfect camping spots at www.newjerseycampgrounds.com.

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Cruise Inn campground networkA group led primarily by hospitality industry veterans is establishing the Cruise Inn campground network, a membership organization the goal of which is to sign up 120 campgrounds within the next three years in an effort to become “the largest brand in the outdoor facility space.”

“We are being very conservative,” said Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Cruise Inn RV Parks LLC “If we do all the things we expect to do, we think we will grow faster than that. Where the outdoor hospitality industry is today is where hotels were in the 1970s.”

Cruise Inn will roll out at the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) 2013 Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo Nov. 4-8 in Knoxville, Tenn., where the company had a booth and sponsored a cracker barrel session.

Anderson, named Cruise Inn CEO in September, formerly was president of Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, and Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Ga., and served as managing director of games services for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and as general chairman of the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistler Straights in Kohler, Wisc.

“I’m brand new to the industry,” Anderson said prior to the ARVC conference. “I don’t want people to think that we think we have all the answers. I’m going to ARVC to learn more than I am going there to talk.”

Corporate logistics — accounting, technology, marketing, purchasing and group sales — will be handled by Vantage Hospitality, Coral Springs, Fla., which already has about 1,000 independent hotels as members operating under the Americas Best Value Inn and Lexington brands.

“I couldn’t have possibly gotten this thing launched as quickly without having that support and infrastructure,” said Anderson. “The basic premise is simple; the implementation is not.”

The company is privately owned by seven investors, including Anderson; Ian Steyn, owner of Jellystone Camp-Resort in Larkspur, Colo.; Vantage Hospitality CEO Roger Bloss and COO Bernie Moyle; Alan Benjamin, CEO of Benjamin West, a furniture and equipment supplier to the hotel industry; Alan Tallis, a 30-year hotel veteran formerly with La Quinta hotels; and Adam Frisch, a retired Wall Street foreign currency specialist.

Campgrounds will bear the Cruise Inn name and be members of the organization, not franchisees and they will be asked to pay a flat fee based on the number of their sites. “As they grow, our fees won’t increase,” Anderson said, noting that fees will be based on a sliding scale.

Vantage also will establish a reservation system for Cruise Inn that is included in the fee.

As of late October, criteria to become a Cruise Inn member had not been finalized, but Anderson listed several general guidelines. “Maintenance is absolutely critical,” he said. “While a facility can be rustic in nature, it must be well maintained. And there must be some sort of water element — a pool, lake, river or ocean. Also, there must be good signage and graphics so that people will be able to find their sites at night.

“One of the things we found in talking to RV park users is they really don’t know what they are going to get when they arrive at a campground. It’s like opening a Christmas present — sometimes you’re happy and sometimes you’re disappointed.

“Our goal is to have the same level of consistency among our members without requiring a park to be a cookie cutter. They can have their own attributes and amenities, but they must have certain standards to be a Cruise Inn member.”

Requiring parks to be renamed Cruise Inn is critical to the success of the organization, Anderson said. “That’s the best way to communicate to a consumer that those standards are there,” he said.

“One of the things I love about the campground industry is the independence of the parks. Changing the name will be the easy part. The concept of their being part of a group will be the most difficult. If we can prove the business proposition, I don’t think changing their name will be a hindrance.”

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Land Between The Lakes KentuckyCampgrounds in Land Between the Lakes and other federally funded parks and wildlife refuges are closed. Signs and barricades are nearly everywhere through LBL.

Hillman Ferry and Wranglers Campgrounds and Clarks River Refuge are just a few facilities closed because of the government shutdown.

Most campers left their campsites, some stayed behind, and others are still in limbo.  One man was unable to camp and unable to get his camping equipment.

One small pad lock had a profound impact on a local man who said all he wanted was to go on vacation. Instead his stuff was trapped beyond the gate at Hillman Ferry and he said for days local law enforcement was no help, neither were the people who still live on the campground despite the fact the campground is closed.

Tom Daughhetee wants to buy a brand new camper but there’s a problem.

“It’s hard for a salesman to make a trade when they can’t see what you’ve got,” Daughhette said.

Daughhetee’s camper, truck, golf cart, and supplies were stuck at Hillman Ferry Campground.

He left two weeks ago, returned this weekend to get his property after hearing of the shutdown, but people still living within LBL wouldn’t give him the key to the gate.

“I understand the campground’s closed, we’re not asking for that, we’re just asking to get our property back,” Daughhetee said.

The instructions and number left on this door gave him hope, but he said the person on the phone was less than helpful.

So Tuesday he called, again.

We caught up with one man still living on the campground who said he and three others had permission to stay.

Daughhetee said it’s frustrating, because it’s impossible to ‘trade up’ when you can’t get your hands on your ‘trade in’.

Late Tuesday afternoon, a park ranger called Daughhetee to make arrangements to pick up his property.

Story Source

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