Monday, February 20, 2012


(Shown in photo above from front left is B&R staff Kathi Wahl and Sam Edwards and owner Bob Wolf II, kneeling are happy winners John & LuAnn Vantine of Butler, and from right to left are campground owners Denny & Kathy Quigley of Yogi Bear at Kozy Rest Kampground in Harrisville, Tim Chilson of Meadville KOA (Formally Brookdale Campground), Rick & Deb Yeager from Rose Point Park in New Castle, Ed Tanski of Buttercup Woodlands Campground in Renfrew, and Chuck Rupp of Nautical Mile Campground and Marina.)

Butler, PA: The $500.00 winner of the 2011 Very Special Camper Contest drawing was John & LuAnn Vantine of Butler, PA!  John and his wife, Luann were presented $500.00 in free camping gift certificates on Thursday at B& R RV in Butler! 

This year’s winner, LuAnn Vantine said, “This is amazing!  We’ve never won anything before!  Why wouldn’t everyone buy an RV from these dealers?  They should.  We camped all summer at half price because we bought a new RV from B&R because of the VSC program coupon!  We’re just thrilled that we won another $500.00 of camping for this next year!  In addition, B&R presented us with another $100.00 gift certificate.  This is just unbelievable and wonderful!” 

Campgrounds and RV dealers from Western PA partnered together to provide potential new RV owners over $500.00 of free camping when they bought a new RV from one of the 7 participating dealers in 2011!   

The participating Western PA RV dealers for 2011: Hufnagel & Majors in Harmony, Fame RV Center in Saegertown, Clem’s Trailer Sales in Ellwood City, Starr’s Trailer Sales Brockway, Boyer RV Center in Erie, Brooks Camper Sales Connellsville, B & R Campers Sales in Butler.

The participating Western PA campgrounds were Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest Kampground Harrisville, Kalyumet Camping & Cabins in Cook Forest, Rose Point Park Cabins & Camping in New Castle, Meadville KOA at Brookdale Family Campground in Meadville, Vacationland Campground in Sandy Lake, Farma Family Campground in Greenville, Shenango Valley RV Park in Transfer, Pineview Campground in Linesville, Nautical Mile Campground & Marina in Templeton, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Mill Run, Buttercup Woodlands Campground in Renfrew, Campers Paradise Campground in Sigel, Sparrow Pond Family Campground in Waterford, Bear Run Campground in Portersville, Peaceful Valley Campground in                       West Sunbury, River’s Edge Camping & Cabins in Connellsville, Harts Content Campground in Beaver Falls, Harecreek Campground in Corry, and Friendship Village Campground in Bedford.

The program, according to the program organizer Denny Quigley of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest Kampground, is continuing for its fourth consecutive year in 2012.  Quigley stated, “We’ve added even more campgrounds to the offer!  If you are planning to purchase an RV in 2012, you can get more information from any of the participating dealers who will be proudly displaying the VSC Contest Flyer for 2012, or any of the PCOA participating campgrounds from Regions 1 and 2 which can be found at” 

In 2012, each purchase of a new RV from one of the participating RV dealers entitles the new RV owner to one free night of camping for their family of four, from all of the 23 participating Western Pennsylvania Campgrounds and RV Parks.  That’s an over $600 value in free camping being offered! 

In addition, any camper who stays at 8 or more of the 23 participating Campgrounds and RV parks and submits their entry, will be entered in a drawing to receive an additional $500.00 in Pennsylvania Campground Owner’s Association (PCOA) Gift Certificates, which can be used at any campground across the state! 

Next year’s winner’s photo could be your family if you buy an RV in 2012 from one of the participating dealers listed above, camp at least 8 of the 23 participating campgrounds, and then submit your completed entry form for the drawing!  It could be your family that wins another $500 in free camping for 2013! 

By Robyn Chilson

Tim & Robyn Chilson own and operate Meadville KOA.  Robyn can be reached at 814-789-3251 or at 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

RV Shows & RV Dealers Report Continued Growth for Third Year!

In a September 2009, Marketplace radio show transcribed in The Daily RV Industry article, "Experts Look to RVing as Economic Indicator”, Mac Bryan, Vice President of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association stated, “When you look at traditional leading economic indicators such as housing starts, money supply, that’s about where you find the recreation vehicle sales begin to turn. And that’s both going into and out of recession.”   

RV Shows have posted record attendance increases over the last three years.  Could this be an indication that the economy has turned the corner and improvement in on the horizon?

According to the Ohio RV Super Show Terry Messersmith, the January show attendance in 2011 was up over 32% from 2010!  2012 was up another 6% again from 2011!  Making 2012 the third year in a row that the show has posted increases in attendance.    

The Original Pittsburgh RV Show posted record attendance numbers it’s opening weekend of the RV Show according to promoter Rob Young.  “The Pittsburgh RV Show set opening weekend attendance records!”  Rob stated, “We had over a 36% increase in attendance over last year’s opening weekend, which also makes it a record-setting first weekend's attendance!  Overall, the RV Show attendance was the best in years!”  

According to the owner of Anderson’s Brochure Distributions Joe Tice, “Reported attendance is up again and sales of RV's seem to be brisk, according to dealers. The camping public still seems to be concerned about gas prices - the enthusiasm is still there, but the ability/desire to travel longer distances is tempered by the price of gas. We are getting more questions about Seasonal Campsite prices this year.  Distribution is again very strong and all shows have been excellent in regard to distribution.  New to the schedule was Toronto and Atlanta - and both were fantastic. We did Atlanta for free because it was new (to Anderson's) and somewhat experimental - the result was attendance at roughly 17,000 and distribution above expectations.  Another new show for Anderson's is Boston and I received a text this morning that said the line to enter the show is stretching around the block with an estimate of 30,000 expected in 4 days.  In my opinion, the light at the end of the recession tunnel can be seen, which bodes well for the campground community.

According to Tom Shearer of Erie Promotions reported that like the other reports, the Erie RV Show at the Bayfront convention Center posted an increase in attendance in 2011 as well.  2012 was even with 2011, despite a snow storm that crippled travel with multiple accidents that closed I79 North and other highways on Saturday.  Shearer said, “We believe that this show continues to grow because the setting is perfect for families.  Parking is free, and the low entrance fee makes it affordable for people to attend and bring their children with them.” 

Randy Giancola of Clem’s RV & Trailer Sales in Ellwood City, RV reported in 2010 that his sales had increased 45% from 2009.  In 2011 Giancola reported another increase of 30% from 2010.  2012 sales were up 20% too or more! 

We also asked Dick Bidwell of Fame RV Sales in Saegertown, PA if they had any similar experiences.  Bidwell reported, “Our demographics in the last couple of years shows an increase of younger families purchasing RVs.  It appears to be a growing trend.  People are buying smaller, lighter weight RVs that affordable to buy and tow.” 

Both Bidwell and Gianola reported that they were seeing good results from the free camping offer that resulted from the Western PCOA Campgrounds partnering with RV Dealerships to provide new RV buyers up to $800.00 value of free camping when they purchase a new RV from one of the participating dealerships in 2012!  Bidwell went on to add that when they review the details of the free camping offer to the buyers, that they are thrilled with the added benefit of the program. 

According to Dennis Quigley, Owner of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Kozy Rest Kampground and VSC Contest Organizer, “The program has worked very well at both promoting sales at the participating dealerships and at bringing campers to the participating campgrounds!  It’s a great way for us to introduce our parks to new RV buyers or to thank our existing campers for their continued patronage of our campgrounds!”  (Details of the free camping giveaway offer can be found at:

When asked about why the attendance at RV Shows and sales of RV’s appearing to be up over the last couple of years, Tim Chilson, PCOA Region 1 Director and Owner of Meadville KOA stated, “People are getting the message that family camping experiences are both fun and affordable.  Camping provides a fun family experience that families don’t get with their hectic work, school, and sports schedules.  Chilson went on to add, “Families are increasingly trying cabin camping.  As the number of people camping in cabins increases, they quickly realize how much fun and how affordable camping is, and that it doesn’t require “roughing it”.  Many campgrounds are now offering full service cabins which provide luxury vacations at family affordable prices!  Cabins sell people on owning an RV of their own.”

Whatever the reason may be, RV sales were up in 2010, 2011, and it appears that they are  even better in 2012!  That continues to be a good sign for the economy, RV dealers, Campgrounds, and the families we serve.          

By Robyn Chilson
Tim & Robyn Chilson own and operate Meadville KOA.  Robyn can be reached at 814-789-3251 or at