The Northeast Campground Association’s (NCA’s) 53rd Northeast Conference on Camping and Trade Show wrapped up Saturday evening (March 18) in Nashua, N.H., after three days of solid turnout by campground operators from Maine to Maryland and all points in between.
In all, more than 310 people attended the conference at the Radisson Hotel Nashua, the third year for the event at that venue. Of those attending, 180 were campground owners and operators and 130 came from the 70 exhibitors at the show, according to NCA Executive Director Cyndy Zbierski, who oversees the annual gathering. And despite heavy snows earlier in the week, the Northeast Conference itself saw sunshine throughout the event.
Friday night’s auction, one of the highlights, raised $18,630 for NCA, which, with dues of only $10 per year, relies heavily on the auction to support the advocacy efforts of the “association of associations.” NCA’s board consists of representatives from campground associations in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and the group is friendly to the newly activated Rhode Island association.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm here,” said Art Lieberman of Merchants Choice Payment Solutions (MCPS) for Campgrounds, who has been attending the trade show for years. “I think the fact that RV sales are up is helping people’s attitudes. The freakish weather we’ve had here in the Northeast has probably caused a lot of people to get cabin fever.
“Overall there’s a lot of optimism in the whole industry. There’s a lot of new ideas out there. There’s a lot of people helping other people,” Lieberman said. “It’s the hospitality industry, and you can’t find more hospitable people than those here. They’re always smiling, always laughing and having a good time.”
Lieberman’s company was one of more than 50 returning vendors who were joined by a variety of new ones at the busy trade show, which ran Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.