Posts Tagged ‘RV Park’

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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Pennsylvania RV ShowAmerica’s Largest RV Show, held in Hershey, Pa., is preparing for another record breaking year, the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association reported today.

“I am pleased to report that space sales at the time of this year’s show drawing has not only exceeded last year’s show drawing, but total space sales from the 2012 show,” said Rebecca Lenington, PRVCA executive vice president, at the 45th annual show drawing. The event, which gives manufacturer and booth vendor representatives the opportunity to select their company’s location in the show, was held May 8 at the Hershey Lodge.

Forty-five manufacturers and 149 booth vendors have purchased 769,011 square feet and 35,155 square feet of space, respectively, which is 19.8 percent more than space sold at the 2012 show drawing and 7.9 percent more than last year at show time.

“There is a very limited amount of manufacturer space available, and all of the booths for public days are sold out inside the Giant Center,” Lenington reported. “This year we extended manufacturer exhibit space into the parking lot and added additional booth space outside to accommodate the show’s growth.”

America’s Largest RV Show incorporates both industry and public days to create a true hybrid show. Industry Days provides dealers and manufacturers the opportunity to connect and concentrate on building relationships while the Public Days allows dealers to sell the new products to consumers.

“We here at Lance are very excited for this year’s Hershey RV Show,” said William Hill, of Lance Camper Manufacturing. “We look forward to being part of many more to come!”

The show is often the first to debut new 2014 RV products.

“Industry Days allows all of my staff to see the new product,” said Dan Saltzgiver, show chairman and general manager of Camping World of Hanover. “By sending half of my staff on Monday and half on Tuesday, everyone get a chance to see what’s new.”

“The show also provides sales training opportunities,” added Nick Palm, of Tiffin Motorhomes.

Affordable education programs provide an in-depth look at various aspects of the RV industry including:

  • A full-day of RV technician training by Lippert Components and Gary Motley
  • RV technician distance learning lead by Don Bray
  • A full-day parts manager clinic by Chuck Marzahn, of Marzahn and King.
  • A seminar on the latest RV park trends by David Gorin
  • The Red Carpet Breakfast is returning to Chocolate World with a motivational message by NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson who will also be available for a meet and greet and autographs.

The annual industry party will be held on Monday evening at enjoy everyone’s favorite Hersheypark where exhibitors and attendees can enjoy rides, a variety of heavy hors d’oeuvres, Pennsylvania’s own Yuengling Lager and assortment of wines. The party, which is held from 4 to 6 p.m., gives participants plenty of free time in the evening for networking, taking in the sites or just relaxing, said Lennington.

America’s Largest RV Show, which is sponsored by the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association, will take place at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., from Sept. 9 to 15. For more information visit www.largestRVshow.com.

 

A decades-old RV park on Barton Springs Road in Austin, Texas will soon be a thing of the past. Many have lived in the Manor Mobile RV Park for decades, back when some would say “Keeping Austin Weird” was more than just a slogan.

At the end of the month, every one of the trailers will have to find a new place to park. The owner brokered a deal to develop this property. Appraisal records show the land carries a $3 million price tag.

“They raised the taxes so high on this property the owners had to develop it into something else,” Resident David Sloan said. “From what I understand, they are not selling it, they’re going to lease the property to the condo people.”

“It’s something they had to do, but it’s sad in a way because you’re moving away from all your friends you have had for years,” resident Edna Gunn said.

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