The latest edition of the campground industry’s largest sourcebook, the 2007 Woodall’s North American Campground Directory, will be released in December to campers, distributors and retailers across the continent.
The 71st annual edition contains 14,000 listings and numerous enhancements plus more than 280,000 changes from the 2006 edition. Included is instant Internet & Wi-Fi information, hundreds of locations of RV sales/service dealerships in addition to fun attractions to visit while traveling. At-a-glance charts indicate whether a campground welcomes big rigs, is Internet-friendly, welcomes pets and allows easy online reservations at www.woodalls.com. Detailed maps and “Rules of the Road” for each state and province are also available in the 2,000-page directory covering the U.S., Mexico and Canada
“I can’t imagine there is a park we go to and we didn’t make some change from the 2006 Directory,” reports Ann Emerson, associate publisher, who oversees the year-long effort to produce the huge directory. “Parks are constantly upgrading and changing,”
Thirty husband-and-wife “field rep” teams begin gathering data each February by visiting and inspecting every private campground listed in the directory.
“They begin in the Sunbelt states and work through August, visiting all the campgrounds, RV dealerships and travel and tourism accounts,” she explained. “Around Labor Day, we ’close’ the directory. We spend September and October getting the files ready and send it to the printer in November.”
Quebecor World, in Hazelton, Pa., prints all 300,000 copies of the directory.
“Woodall’s keeps evolving and growing just like the travel segment our publications target,” adds Joe Daquino, vice president and group publisher for Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) and AGI Interactive. “Field inspections really keep us in touch with the campgrounds and the customers they serve. Through these on-site visits, we are uniquely positioned to assist the RVer and camper with current information that creates a more enjoyable experience.”
Perhaps the most interesting result of those field inspections is the Woodall’s assignment of two separate ratings to each privately owned campground/RV park – one for a park’s facilities (sites, roads, service buildings, restrooms, hookups, etc.), the other for recreational aspects including on-site and nearby recreational opportunities. While both ratings range from 1 “W” to 5 “W,” there’s an additional rating that’s a composite of all factors.
“Ratings depend on the quality and quantity of our criteria elements,” said Daquino. “The more “W” symbols a park has generally reflects the presence of more development at the park, and usually more facilities.” However, the maintenance of the campground weighs heavily in all ratings assignments. Cleanliness is a major factor in determining if the RVer or camper will have an enjoyable vacation. The maintenance level at a park must meet or exceed the recommended ratings or the rating cannot be assigned at that level.
Meanwhile, there are some new wrinkles to the 2007 edition.
Some 10,000 editions include a fully searchable CD-ROM, each featuring all the information contained in the directory in a searchable format that does not require an Internet connection to use.
The 2007 directory also offers a special editorial section, “Road Map to Pursuing Your Passion!” This special section, organized by region and then by state or province, explores some of the activities that RVers are passionate about — fishing, hiking, golfing, geocaching, shopping, historical areas and much more.