A membership campground is a private campground and/or RV park open only to members. Members typically pay a one-time membership fee and annual dues (membership fees) for the right to use the campground. A membership campground can operate independently, selling memberships to customers who have access only to that individual property, or they can operate as part of a system, in which case members can buy access to multiple campgrounds. Membership campgrounds tend to be geared toward the owners of recreational vehicles, but often offer rental accommodations and spaces for tent camping.
A recreational vehicle park or caravan park is a place where people with recreational vehicles can stay overnight, or longer, in allotted spaces known as "sites" or "campsites". They are also referred to as campgrounds, though a true campground also provides facilities for tent camping; many facilities calling themselves "RV parks" also offer tent camping or cabins with limited facilities.
A tent is a shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over, attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using guy ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs. First used as portable homes by nomads, tents are now more often used for recreational camping and as temporary shelters.
Camping is an outdoor activity involving overnight stays away from home in a shelter, such as a tent or a recreational vehicle. Typically participants leave developed areas to spend time outdoors in more natural ones in pursuit of activities providing them enjoyment. To be regarded as "camping" a minimum of one night is spent outdoors, distinguishing it from day-tripping, picnicking, and other similarly short-term recreational activities. Camping can be enjoyed through all four seasons.
In 2008, Thousand Trails, a company which owns membership campgrounds in the United States and Canada, claimed to operate "the world's largest network of private membership camping resorts."It was merged with its principal competitor, NACO (National American Corporation), another membership campground company, in 1991. The total combined membership of Thousand Trails and NACO was 128,000 in 1996. American companies such as Coast to Coast Resorts (formerly Camp Coast to Coast) and Resort Parks International offer memberships to networks of private campgrounds owned by multiple companies.
Thousand Trails is a membership campground company operating private campground resorts in the United States and Canada. As of 2010, the company claimed to have 130,000 "member families" and over 80 preserves in 22 states and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Members typically pay a one-time membership fee and annual dues to use Thousand Trails campgrounds, which tend to cater to the owners of recreational vehicles. Over the years, Thousand Trails has offered different types of memberships. Some memberships allow members to stay for more continuous days at a campground and grant access to a greater number of total campgrounds.
Both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times published articles on the growth of membership campground companies in 1980s. In each case, the coverage noted criticism of the industry and compared membership campgrounds to timeshares.
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper which has been published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It has the fourth largest circulation among United States newspapers, and is the largest U.S. newspaper not headquartered on the East Coast. The paper is known for its coverage of issues particularly salient to the U.S. West Coast, such as immigration trends and natural disasters. It has won more than 40 Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of these and other issues. As of June 18, 2018, ownership of the paper is controlled by Patrick Soon-Shiong, and the executive editor is Norman Pearlstine.
In an article entitled "Newest RV Phenomenon has Campgrounds Going RSVP" in the November 28, 1980, edition of the Los Angeles Times, staff writer Ted Vollmer characterized "membership-only resort parks catering to recreational vehicle owners" as "either about the smartest investment or the most ridiculous scheme ever served up to the camping public— depending on who's doing the talking." The same report noted that, "Unlike time-sharing schemes involving resort-area condominiums, the campground site is never owned by the camper who buys into a membership park. This fact alone has prompted some private campground owners and campers to question the wisdom of signing up at fees as high as $7,000."
A resort is a self-contained commercial establishment that tries to provide most of a vacationer's wants, such as food, drink, lodging, sports, entertainment, and shopping, on the premises. The term resort may be used for a hotel property that provides an array of amenities, typically including entertainment and recreational activities. A hotel is frequently a central feature of a resort, such as the Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island, Michigan. Some resorts are also condominium complexes that are timeshares or owed fractionally or wholly owned condominium. A resort is not always a commercial establishment operated by a single company, but in the late 20th century, that sort of facility became more common.
To invest is to allocate money in the expectation of some benefit in the future.
A condominium, often shortened to condo, in the United States of America and in most Canadian provinces, is a type of living space similar to an apartment but independently sellable and therefore regarded as real estate. The condominium building structure is divided into several units that are each separately owned, surrounded by common areas that are jointly owned. Similar concepts in other English-speaking countries include strata title in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the Canadian province of British Columbia; commonhold in the United Kingdom; and sectional title in South Africa.
On June 22, 1986, the New York Times ran an article entitled "Campgrounds that Double as Clubs," explaining that "membership campgrounds tout themselves as destination resorts, where families can get away for a weekend or longer in an atmosphere that is a mixture of natural retreat and private country club." The same article reported that Thousand Trails, Inc., had revenues of $128 million the previous year. It also noted that "Like time-share resorts, many of the membership campgrounds do mass mailings to invite people to tour their facilities. The trade press has sharply criticized them for badgering prospective customers with high-pressure sales techniques, or offering nonexistent prizes in promotions."
A country club is a privately owned club, often with a membership quota and admittance by invitation or sponsorship, that generally offers both a variety of recreational sports and facilities for dining and entertaining. Typical athletic offerings are golf, tennis, and swimming. A country club is most commonly located in city outskirts or suburbs, and is distinguished from an urban athletic club by having substantial grounds for outdoor activities and a major focus on golf.
Advertising mail, also known as direct mail, junk mail, mailshot or admail, is the delivery of advertising material to recipients of postal mail. The delivery of advertising mail forms a large and growing service for many postal services, and direct-mail marketing forms a significant portion of the direct marketing industry. Some organizations attempt to help people opt out of receiving advertising mail, in many cases motivated by a concern over its negative environmental impact.
Membership Campground Companies
A campsite or camping pitch is a place used for overnight stay in an outdoor area. In UK English, a campsite is an area, usually divided into a number of pitches, where people can camp overnight using tents or camper vans or caravans; this UK English use of the word is synonymous with the US English expression campground. In American English, the term campsite generally means an area where an individual, family, group, or military unit can pitch a tent or park a camper; a campground may contain many campsites.
Forest River Inc., is a US manufacturer of recreational vehicles, cargo trailers, utility trailers, pontoon boats, and buses.
Allegan State Game Area is a 50,000-acre (200 km2) forest attracting campers, hikers, bikers snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, horse trail riders and hunters. It is located in west-central Allegan County, Michigan. One gateway is just west of the city of Allegan. It is more commonly referred to as Allegan Forest.
Assateague Island National Seashore is a unit of the National Park Service system of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Located on the East Coast along the Atlantic Ocean in Maryland and Virginia, Assateague Island is the largest natural barrier island ecosystem in the Middle Atlantic states region that remains predominantly unaffected by human development. Located within a three-hour drive to the east and south of the Richmond, Washington, Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia major metropolitan areas plus north of the several clustered smaller cities around Hampton Roads harbor of Virginia with Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. The National Seashore offers a setting in which to experience a dynamic barrier island and to pursue a multitude of recreational opportunities. The stated mission of the park is to preserve and protect “unique coastal resources and the natural ecosystem conditions and processes upon which they depend, provide high-quality resource-based recreational opportunities compatible with resource protection and educate the public as to the values and significance of the area”.
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is a themed camping resort located in the Magic Kingdom Resort Area at the Walt Disney World Resort. It officially opened on November 19, 1971. The resort is adjacent to Bay Lake and Disney's River Country, a now-defunct water park. The resort is also located near Disney's Wilderness Lodge.
Emma Wood State Beach is a California State Beach in Ventura, California. It is located on the Santa Barbara Channel on the west side of the Ventura River estuary and south of the railroad tracks of the Coast Line and the US Highway 101 freeway.
Airstream is an American brand of travel trailers which are easily recognized by the distinctive shape of their rounded and polished aluminum coachwork. This body shape dates back to the 1930s and is based on designs created by Hawley Bowlus, who had earlier overseen construction of Charles Lindbergh's aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis.
Hendy Woods State Park is a state park of California, USA, located in the Anderson Valley of Mendocino County. It is known for its old-growth coast redwoods and also provides camping facilities near the wineries of the Anderson Valley. It is named after Joshua Hendy, who owned the land and stipulated that it be protected; it passed through several owners after Hendy without being logged, before becoming part of the California State Park system in 1958.
Big Meadows is a recreational area of the Shenandoah National Park in Madison County and Page County, in the US state of Virginia. The meadow is located on the Skyline Drive at Milepost 51 and contains the park's Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center, a lodge, camp store, and camping area. Several hiking trails can be accessed from Big Meadows, including the Mill Prong Trail which leads to Rapidan Camp on the Rapidan River, the fishing retreat of President Herbert Hoover from 1929–1933, which is now restored to its 1930s configuration.
Camping World Holdings, Inc. is an American corporation specializing in selling recreational vehicles (RVs), recreational vehicle parts, and recreational vehicle service. They also sell supplies for camping. The company has its headquarters in Lincolnshire, Illinois. In October 2016 it became a publicly traded company when it raised $251 million in an IPO. Camping World operates 120 retail/service locations in 36 states, and also sells goods through mail order and online. It claims to be the world's largest supplier of RV parts and supplies. Recently, it has become the title sponsor of the Camping World Stadium, as well as the Camping World Bowl, which is played in the same stadium. It’s also the official presenting sponsor of MLB’s League Championship Series.
Peninsula State Park is a 3,776-acre (1,528 ha) Wisconsin state park with eight miles of Green Bay shoreline in Door County. Peninsula is the third largest state park in Wisconsin, and is visited by an estimated one million visitors annually.
Ponderosa Campground is a United States Forest Service campground in the high country of Big Sur, on the central coast of California in the Los Padres National Forest. The campground has 21 sites set in a high valley adjacent to the Nacimiento River, featuring a canopy of Ponderosa Pine, Oak, Madrone, and California Sycamore trees. Each site includes a picnic table, fire ring, and pedestal grill. The campground is on the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.
Good Sam Enterprises is a provider of membership clubs, as well as subscription-based products, services and publications, targeted toward recreational vehicle and other outdoor enthusiasts in the United States and Canada. Additionally, the company operates 82 stores of Camping World, a leading RV-related specialty retailer, and RV.net, an RV-focused website.
Pismo State Beach is a beach on the Pacific coast in the U.S. state of California. It is approximately 17 miles long and fronts the towns of Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, and Oceano in San Luis Obispo County. It is managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
Mohican State Park is a 1,110-acre (4.5 km2) Ohio state park in Ashland County, Ohio, United States, about 5 miles (8.0 km) south of downtown Loudonville. The state park sits on the south shore of Pleasant Hill Lake and is surrounded by the 4,525-acre (18.31 km2) Mohican-Memorial State Forest. Mohican State Park is located along Ohio SR 3 and Ohio SR 97. The Clear Fork of the Mohican River flows through the park carving a narrow gorge and joins the Black Fork about a half-mile east of the park to form the Mohican River. The park is open for year-round recreation including camping, hiking, boating, mountain biking, fishing, and picnicking.
Roaring Run Resort, a former Boy Scout camp dating back to the 1920s, is a private-membership recreational campground and RV park located in the Laurel Highlands area of Southwestern Pennsylvania, between Seven Springs and Hidden Valley Golf & Ski Resort. The resort was featured in USA Today and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and parts of its history have been documented in the Journal of Economic History and Pittsburgh Press. Roaring Run has the distinction of being one of the original Pennsylvania Boy Scout camps, as well as originally housing one of the oldest blast furnaces in Pennsylvania.
The Good Sam Club is an international organization of recreational vehicle (RV) owners and the largest organization of RV owners in the world. It is focused upon making RVing safer and more enjoyable, and to save members money through club-endorsed benefits and services. It states that it has over 2.185 million members. It was founded in 1966, and is currently owned by the Good Sam Enterprises. The organization is affiliated with RV parks and campgrounds.