The Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds of Michigan (ARVC Michigan) 2015 Spring Conference & Expo, March 23-25 at Saginaw Valley State University, was “outstanding,” officials said. Woodalls Camground Management, sister publication to RVBusiness, reported that the three-day event featured speakers, seminars and exhibitors.
“We had a marvelous show this year,” said ARVC Michigan Board President Dave Cordray of White River RV Park and Campground in Montague. “The educational seminars were second to none — probably the best we’ve ever had in my participation with ARVC Michigan. Paul Bambei was here from ARVC national and it was kind of special to have him in attendance. And we had a very nice turnout with our exhibitors at the trade show. I think everybody enjoyed it.”
This was the first year the event was held at Saginaw Valley Sate University, and Cordray had nothing but praise for the venue. “I’m sure we’ll take a serious look at coming back,” he added.
Lori Tews, ARVC Michigan’s executive director, said one of the best comments she heard was when a campground owner, who attended previous conferences only to visit with vendors, told her she saw the seminar lineup and made a point to participate in all that the conference had to offer.
Cordray said campground owners traditionally use the spring conference s a kick-off to the year’s camping season, which in Michigan is traditionally Memorial Day weekend. “It’s an energizer for us. It’s kind of like our batteries are dead right now, but we know we have a season coming so we use this to recharge ourselves to get ready,” he said, and added that his campground has seen a welcome increase in advance reservations that began in January.
As Cordray mentioned, one of the speakers was Paul Bambei, president of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), who provided an overview of the many benefits ARVC members can take advantage of as well as the advocacy it provides and education the organization makes available.
He also touched on how ARVC connects members with each other as well as preferred vendors, which provide significant savings on products and services such as music and movie licensing, propane and office equipment.
Bambei touted a number of recent improvements to a number of ARVC services, including an easier-to-navigate consumer website and stepped-up marketing efforts that had camping enjoy 43 major media placements, including USA Today, Yahoo Travel and a cover story in Parade magazine.
Also, ARVC’s efforts with a coalition of others helped provide a “huge, huge victory” in the recent park model RV issue, in which the U.S. Department of Housing the Urban Development (HUD) reversed an earlier decision to include porches when determining a unit’s square footage.
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