Orlando, FL – May 15-17. The Florida and Alabama RV Park and Campground Association hosted their annual Florida and Alabama Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo in Orlando, FL at the Hilton Orlando. By all accounts it was a great event and very well attended. Below are a few of the highlights worth recapping.

Total attendance was approximately 440 people with over 140 Campground and Industry Businesses represented and 92 Exhibitors/Suppliers. The conference has seen record attendance and growth for the past 5 years. The 2024 conference had attendees from 12 different states, and while the majority are from Florida and Alabama, the conference is a true regional show. Bobby Cornwell, the Association’s President and CEO, refers to the conference as “The Biggest and Best in the Southeast”. However, Cornwell continues by stating, “though we are very proud of our record-breaking attendance, it’s far more than just numbers that make our annual event special. I’ve been told by many that what sets our conference apart is the welcoming and positive atmosphere, the relevant content and fun events, and most importantly it’s our attendees who are engaged and eager to learn and network with each other and our vendors.”

Throughout the conference many Association benefits and services were discussed, including strong on-going legislative programs, new discounts for members, and enhanced music and movie licensing programs. However, the most talked about initiative was the Association’s exploration and possible formation of a “captive” group insurance program for their members. The association is in the beginning stages, and there is still a lot of work to be done, but the preliminary reports are positive. Both Cornwell, and Thomas Sparrow, the Association’s Chair of the Board, stated that forming a captive is a major undertaking and a big financial investment, but considering the need and positive feedback from our members, the Board voted to move forward with the required feasibility studies. The Association is just now in the “trial” stages, but once the findings are presented, the board along with independent professional third party actuaries, will decide whether it’s in our member’s best interest to move forward. The hope and goal of the association is to bring some financial relief and insurance stability to their members,

A few of the educational highlights from this year’s conference included: industry trends and forecasts, glamping, protecting your assets, hiring and retaining workers, using AI and new technology to attract new customers, perfecting your registration forms, waivers, and rental agreements, park acquisitions and sales, Wi-Fi, and RV Park design, and construction.

At the Annual Awards Dinner, along with the great entertainment provided by “Them Sweeney Boys”, and a fun auction, awards were presented for the Best Park(s) of the Year and the Supplier of the Year. The 2024 winners were:

Another major highlight of the 2024 event was our Chairman’s Lunch where Thomas Sparrow recognized and thanked the association’s major PAC fund contributors. The PAC awards were followed by a valuable legislative update and presentation by Association lobbyist, Marc Dunbar, and an appearance by the past President of the Senate and Florida Congressman candidate, Mike Harridopolos, who recognized the importance of the RV Park and Campground Industry and our Association. The enthusiasm for our legislative efforts in Florida and Alabama continued throughout the day and night and concluded with 21 members donating a total of $45,000 to our Florida and Alabama PAC funds.

The 2024 conference was a success and made possible in large part due to the support of their many supplier members, including their 23 valued sponsors. Premier Sponsors: Vacavia, AccessParks, and Electrical Works; Titanium Sponsors: Newbook and ResNexus; Platinum Sponsor: Plainscraft Covered Wagons; Diamond Sponsors: Staylist and Utility Supply Group; Gold Sponsors: VISIT FLORIDA and RVshare; Silver Sponsors: It’s All About Satellites, Symbiot Services, and RVIA; Bronze Sponsors: Wilcor and Southeastern Resort Development; Contributing Sponsors: The Surf RV Resort, RV Life, GoodSam, AGS, Leavitt Group, Southern Sands RV Resort, J+Americas, and John Russel Magic.

Special appreciation and recognition also goes to Rob Moorman (park owner and professional photographer) for capturing all the fun and excitement. To view the 2024 Conference Photo Gallery, please click on this link: https://moormanphotographics.shootproof.com/gallery/FRVCACon24

Planning has already begun for the 2025 Conference, so please plan now to attend. Specific dates and the location will be announced soon.


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