With the addition of three more parks recently, the roster of independently owned premium RV parks affiliated with the Best Parks in America marketing network has reached 13, but there’s more to come.
Negotiations are in the works with several others, according to David Gorin, a consultant and campground industry lobbyist who founded the organization last year.
All Seasons RV Park in Arlington, Texas, Peculiar Place RV Park in the Kansas City suburb of Peculiar, Mo., and Victoria Palms Resort in Donna, Texas, are the most recent additions, reports Gorin, who has drawn together a nucleus of some of the nation’s premium RV parks. Gorin is the former president of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
Also new to the Best Parks in America marketing program this year is the development of camping and RV vacation packages at each park that, not unlike vacation offerings at some hotels, include lodging-camping, dining, area tours and use of recreation facilities – all grouped into one vacation package at one price.
“This is one of the biggest trends – discount packaging to make vacations easier,” Gorin said. “This is very important to the future of this sector.”
Lake in Wood RV Resort in Lancaster, Pa., and Cherry Hill Park in Washington D.C. are the first of Best Parks to offer the vacation packages.
In addition, Best Parks is seeing rapid growth in its Best Guests program, which was rolled out in September and already has about 800 members. Members receive benefits such as reduced rates at all Best Parks, as well as reward points to be used toward camping and merchandise purchases.
“I’m amazed at how quickly this is catching on,” Gorin said.
When the guests stay at any of the member resorts the program is free but offers special benefits and surprises, including:
* Upgrades to the best available site at check-in.
* Express check-in or special check-in area reserved for Best Guests.
* A 20% discount on Best Parks in America merchandise in the park store.
.* A complimentary newsletter.
Best Parks in America member parks are independently owned premium RV parks and campgrounds, offering the best in facilities, amenities and services found in RV parks and campgrounds, Gorin says. Some of the standard features at the park include complimentary local telephone calls, high-speed Internet access, a welcome treat at check in and a dedicated pet play or exercise area.
“We have 300-plus years of experience in this industry among our park owners and operators. These are the best in the business,” Gorin said.
Best Parks affiliates pay membership fees of $4,000 to $5,000 per year, depending on the size of their resort, plus a one-time initiation fee of $3,000. In return, the parks receive national marketing exposure, including advertising, outdoor signage and nontraditional advertising and promotional campaigns as well as logos, which they can use with their ads.
Members include Ozark Travel Park, Ozark, Ala.; Rincon Country RV Resort, Tucson, Ariz.; Cherry Hill Park, College Park, Md.; Sundermeier RV Park, St. Charles, Mo.; Chocorua Camping, Chocorua, N.H.; Skyway Camping Resort, Greenfield Park, N.Y.; Lake George Escape; Lake George, N.Y.; Drummer Boy Camping Resort; Gettysburg, Pa.; Lake in Wood Resort, Lancaster County, Pa.; Austin Lone Star RV Resort, Austin, Texas; All Seasons RV Park, Arlington, Texas; Peculiar Place RV Park, Peculiar, Mo., and Victoria Palms Resort, Donna, Texas.
In addition to the aforementioned benefits, Best Parks has partnered with Friend Communications Inc., to enable member parks to offer real-time, online reservations directly through their websites.
“It is crucial for those parks to be the best technologically as well as to meet the growing needs of todays consumers,” Gorin said. “Thats why weve made online services a prerequisite for membership.”