A new marketing approach called Best Parks in America (BPA) is being spearheaded by former National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) head David Gorin and he said the response by park operators so far has been terrific.
Gorin, a park consultant who was ARVC’s president, has formed a cooperative marketing group that aims to brand “premium level RV parks and campgrounds” in key U.S. markets under the Best Parks in America logo.
“I think there is a need to create niches in this industry,” maintains Gorin. “Best Parks in America will provide an umbrella brand under which independent parks can build business.”
Gorin said the concept of a marketing cooperative designed to enhance revenues and develop systemwide repeat business was well received by campground operators attending recent industry forums, including ARVC’s and RVIA’s national conferences.
“The reaction has been terrific,” Gorin said, adding that he plans to focus on membership recruitment during the first five months of 2003, and to launch his initial advertising and website campaign in June. As part of the branding approach, member parks receive Best Parks signage and logos for use in promotional materials and listings in print and Internet directories of Best Parks member campgrounds.
Gorin, a regular columnist in Woodall’s Campground Management, a sister publication of RVBUSINESS.COM, hopes to recruit about 20 to 30 parks to join BPA by June, with membership eventually growing to about 100 parks during the next two years.
The annual cost of membership to Best Parks will depend on the size of the facility. However, Gorin says, the maximum first year commitment will be $7,500, and the maximum continuing cost will be $5,000 per year.
In addition to posting high ratings in the major campground directories, qualifying parks are expected to pass muster on biennial BPA visits, utilize consistent systemwide amenity packages, maintain a minimum number of short-stay sites, offer a quality website and active e-mail and participate in a systemwide, 24/7, real-time reservation system once it becomes available.
The amenity package will include items such as complimentary newspapers and free local phones, coffee and donuts, firewood and manager’s parties.
An advisory board of five member-owners selected by the affiliates will oversee budgets and operational rules and recommend advertising and other promotions.