Listen to this story
DENVER — Each year, at its annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo (OHCE), four park owners take the stage to accept the ARVC Park of the Year award, the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) reported.
One award is given in each of four park size categories:
- Small (1-100 sites)
- Medium (101-250 sites)
- Large (251-499 sites)
- Mega (500 or more sites)
“The awards are given to recognize each park’s commitment to excellence. It is an honor well worth pursuing,” said Paul Bambei, ARVC president.
“The nominated parks are evaluated by the judges based on criteria such as guest experience, customer service, marketing and industry involvement,” he added.
Certified park owner (CPO) Gary Quigley agrees. He is the owner of ARVC member-park Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest in Harrisville, Pa. and four-time winner of the Park of the Year Award.
“It has helped on many levels,” he explained. “It motivates our returning staff and new staff to try to continue to accomplish the goal of being the best possible campground that we can be as a team from both the service excellence side and making sure the facilities are always outstanding. They always want to try to win that award again.
“It has also been huge to be able to advertise it on both our brochures and website to generate interest in seeing what makes us a four-time winner of the most prestigious industry award,” Quigly added. “I also believe it has made some of our guests even more loyal being able to say they camp at the four-time Park of the Year.”
Mike Gurevich, owner of ARVC member-park Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Md., is a three-time winner of the Park of the Year Award.
“The Park of the Year Award validates our operation with our employees, with our community, with other local businesses and with our decision makers,” he explained.
“As an achievement it is substantial. It confirms with people that we are among the best in what we do,” he added. “It is great for employee morale, retention and recruiting. It also helps with our standing in the local community.
“As owners and decision makers, we use the Park of the Year award as motivation,” said Gurevich. “The award pushes us not just to maintain the same level of facilities, amenities and services that allowed us to achieve it in the first place, but to improve our operation wherever possible. If we succeed in that, then the business will grow.”
Nominated parks must be current, active members of ARVC that have been in business for at least one year, and it’s acceptable for owners to nominate their own parks, the release noted.
The deadline for submitting nominations is Aug. 31.
There are two things you can do to help make sure your nomination application is as strong as it can be, ARVC noted. They include:
- Be as descriptive as possible. For example, instead of simply stating that your park has a strong commitment to customer service, describe the specific training and programs were put into place at the park to achieve that goal.
- Support any statements made. Upload photos, videos and/or PDF documents that can really help bring a park to life for the judges.
In addition to the four Park of the Year Awards, two Plan-it Green awards are also presented in the small/medium and large/mega categories. They are awarded to ARVC member-parks that demonstrate a strong commitment to running a green park.
A Supplier of the Year Award is also presented to honor an industry partner that exemplifies excellence in product solutions, innovation, customer service and support, the release explained.
Nomination forms for all categories are now available at arvc.org/awards.