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CARVC Conference focuses on Campground Industry Boom

CARVC | Carolina Association of RV Parks and CampgroundsDonna and I just returned from the CARVC (Carolina Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds) conference in Myrtle Beach.  We enjoyed meeting a lot of CARVC members and talking to them about the challenges they face in operating their campgrounds, as well as the things that make each of them so great.   It is always great to see so many individuals in the same industry getting together to collaborate on ways to improve and grow their businesses.

Growth in the Campground Industry

Nichole Poisson, the Franchise Development Manager for Kampgrounds of America (aka KOA) delivered the CARVC keynote address and discussed in detail the trends that are taking place in the campground.   I’ll go into more of those details on another post, but the heart of her presentation is that the industry is booming and we should expect this trend to continue.  Some key takeaways include:
  1.  The growth of Millennials continues to drive the growth in camping with more than half of them (51%) planning to camp more often.
  2. Driven heavily by the influx of Millennials in the market, the demographics of campers continue to change and become more diverse.   For example, 30% of non-white millennials have begun camping within the last 3 years.
  3. Campers intend to camp more often with 36% of campers taking 3 or more camping trips in 2017.

    CARVC Conference Group Photo
    CARVC Conference Group Photo from the Flying Fish Restaurant in Myrtle Beach.

Discussions of an industry boom were also reflected when Mike Palicz, the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) Manager of Government Affairs, discussed the record sales numbers of RV’s.  There were a record number of RV’s shipped to dealers in 2017.  The totals were over 500,000 units compared with 430,691 in 2016 and 374,246 in 2015.  (Historical RV shipments by year.)   The more RV’s that are on the road, the higher the demand will be for campgrounds.

Plan Your Campground Exit Strategy

Another CARVC conference highlight from the guest speakers was Amy Wirtz, an Attorney and Certified Exit Planning Advisor.  Amy discussed business succession for campground owners.  Her discussion highlighted the importance of being ready for business succession now, rather than leaving everything to chance.  You never know when it will happen and proper planning is important.

Another presenter, Dick Deward of The Campground Connection discussed strategies for preparing your campground for sale that will allow you to maximize your price.  Just like Amy, he stressed that the time to prepare is now, not later.  Nothing will devalue the price you get for your campground like an emergency fire sale due to unforeseen circumstances.

Networking with Other Campground Owners or Vendors at CARVC Conference

Campground Accounting at CARVC
Campground Accounting’s booth at the CARVC Conference Vendor Fair

One of the great things campground owners can get out of attending events like the CARVC conference is networking with other campground owners and vendors.  Many campground owners are facing the same challenges.  The ability to come together and discuss the best practices for overcoming these challenges is invaluable.  There were lots of opportunities for this at the CARVC conference from the open session (known as a Cracker Barrel) for discussion, to the vendor fair or to breakaways during meals or the evening out as a group.

Campground Accounting iPad Giveaway at CARVC
Alesha Reeves was the winner in our iPad Giveaway!

 

At the vendor fair, Campground Accounting gave away an iPad to lucky attendee, Alesha Reeves from Norwood Campground on Lake Tillary.  Alesha is really looking forward to using her new iPad to help streamline the guest check in process at Norwood.

At Campground Accounting, we specialize in working with Campground and RV Park owners throughout the USA.  Our industry knowledge is focused on taking the headaches out of accounting and helping you grow your campground’s value.  Don’t you owe it to yourself to see how we can help you?  Schedule a complimentary chat with us today at www.campgroundaccounting.com/meet.

 

 

 

 

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