About 60 park operators and industry vendors attended Wednesday’s (April 3) Spring RV Park Day, organized by the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC).

The day-long event at 49er Village RV Resort in Plymouth, Calif., included informal roundtable meetings with more than half a dozen experts on a variety of business topics of interest to park operators.

CalARVC Board President Randy Hendrickson also used the occasion to present Debbie Sipe with an award recognizing her decades of service as executive director of CalARVC and CEO of Camp-California! Marketing. Sipe plans to resign from both positions in July.

Dyana Kelley, a life-long RV enthusiast, backpacker and former REI outdoor travel guide, will assume Sipe’s duties at CalARVC on June 1. Kelley joined CalARVC last June to manage the association’s marketing, and was selected to replace Sipe after a nationwide executive search.

While CalARVC’s RV Park Day event took place Wednesday, the event was preceded by two educational workshops Tuesday afternoon.

Scott Charter of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based MorePro Marketing Inc., talked about the growing incidence of lawsuits being filed against park operators for having websites that are not easily accessible to people with disabilities, both during a pre-RV Park Day seminar on Tuesday, as well as during roundtable discussions on Wednesday.

He said close to 2,250 lawsuits were filed in 2018, which targeted business websites over their compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), up from 800 in 2017.

“A cottage industry has sprung up with serial litigators,” Charters said, adding that attorneys are hiring ADA activists to test websites for their compliance with ADA guidelines, as if the websites were an extension of the business.

Websites can be modified to work with screen-reading devices such as JAWS, which scan text and visual images for people with visual, hearing and other disabilities, Charters said.

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