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Opinion: In praise of CONY

Opinion: In praise of CONY

By Art Lieberman
President, MCPS for Campgrounds

At the end of next week we will be on the way to upstate New York to attend the 53rd annual exposition for the Campground Owners of New York.

Held in the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, N.Y., this convention is, in my humble opinion, one of the best state shows in the industry. I have several reasons for this opinion.

First, it is one of the few conventions that draw state officials. I am NOT referring to politicians here, which especially at this time of year and this particular year, but rather I am referring to officials from the tourism industry and various other representatives of state activities and interest.

The conference takes place much closer to New York’s wine country than it does New York City, but there are trips available to various places in the state during the conference.

Perhaps it is the details that really impress, starting with the badge holder. It is a nylon pocket which, on the front holds the actual badge and on the back has pockets for business cards and pens.  There are a variety of meetings, seminars, luncheons, dinners, scavenger hunts, gatherings and social opportunities unrivaled by any other trade show I have attended – and MCPS has been to dozens over our 10 years in the campground industry.

But, if the purpose of these conferences is education and conducting business, then CONY scores the highest for our company.

Last year, as I mentioned in an earlier article, MCPS made the best business connection with a state association in our history. Although we have some wonderful agreements with CalARVC, Colorado and, of course our own Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association, the business we were able to conduct at last year’s CONY show had a dramatic impact on both CONY and MCPS.

We became CONY’s own credit card provider, and the processor for both campgrounds owned by CONY Chairman Gregg Nichols and CONY President and CEO, Donald Bennett, Jr.

During the conference MCPS became a member benefit provider for the entire association and reached an agreement with CONY’s own reservation program Adventure Systems, which has been expanding during the past year.

The designer of the software for Adventure Systems, Corporate Communications, also reached an agreement with us and currently is setting up the complete integration of the chip card/EMV processing method into their software. They are one of the first in the industry to do so.

This past year, our relationship with CONY has served both companies. We have signed over two dozen new CONY members with special CONY rates and now have 52 customers from New York State, second only to customers in our home state of Pennsylvania.

We certainly are excited about this year’s conference for several reasons. First, of course, this time we will be going to meet and greet our newest customers in person, which is the most important benefit of attending a trade show. Secondly, we have arranged meetings with potential new CONY members who are not yet our customers which is always exciting for a business.

All of the above occurred and has happened for many years because of the diligence of the CONY officials, staff and members. There have been few times where we could hardly wait to get in our van and drive to a conference.

Turning Stone Resort & Casino is the perfect venue for a show of this nature and the season is right as the landscape changes make the drive a pleasure. So, next week we are off again to Verona, N.Y.

This is gonna be fun!

MCPS is a credit card processor sponsored by Woodforest Bank NA.  Company President Art Lieberman has been in the industry for more than 18 years and has been conducting free webinars online and seminars on credit cards in many state and regional association conventions.  He can be contacted at 877.858.9010 or at

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