RV-Friendly Businesses Awarded Top Honors for Service to RV Owners
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Affinity Group, Inc.
Monday April 26, 2004
(Ventura, CA.) – The Good Sam Club, the world's largest membership organization of RV owners, announced its award winners for the Third Annual Welcome Mat Awards.
Good Sam introduced its Welcome Mat Award to recognize those businesses that know how to accommodate RVs and offer good service to the growing number of RVers. Nearly 1 million members were eligible to vote for the winning businesses that go out of their way to recognize the needs of RVers. The voting process for the 2004 awards took place over several months.
“This has turned out to be a good experience for the Good Sam Club and for our Welcome Mat Award winners,” said Good Sam Club executive director Sue Bray. “We’ve been able to help each other grow while providing some of the best service and products to our members. Several companies are repeat winners, which is an indication that their level of service to our members is still at an all-time high.”
Three-time winner Cracker Barrel representative, Rip Coggins, says, “this market is very important to our company. We see more and more RVers in our restaurants everyday. There is no doubt in our minds that this travel segment is growing in leaps and bounds.”
Walt Disney World is another three-year winner. Taylor Meringolo, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground Marketing Director has attended past events as an award recipient and exhibitor. She says, “families of all shapes and sizes are discovering the joy of camping making the RV market a top travel growth market in the United States. Our campground resort is full nearly year-round with RVers. They are fabulous guests.”
According to a 2003 Highways reader study, average daily expenditures while RVing are $83.57. “We want to recognize these businesses that put a great deal of effort in recognizing and accommodating the special needs of RV owners,” continued Bray. “Our members definitely have a strong attachment to the businesses receiving these awards.”
The 2004 Welcome Mat Award Winners!
Good Sam Park: America's Best Campground in Branson, MO
Dinghy Vehicle: Saturn
Tow Vehicle: Dodge
Motor Oil: Pennzoil
RV Show: Quartzsite
Fast Food Restaurant: Wendy's
Gas Station: Flying J
Propane Station: Flying J
Restaurant: Cracker Barrel
Outlet Mall: Prime Outlets
Golf Course: Pebble Beach
NASCAR Event: Daytona 500
Shopping Center: Wal-Mart
Tourist Attraction: Walt Disney World
State to Fish: Texas
Pet Supply Store: PetsMart
Craft Store: Michaels
Casino: Circus Circus , Las Vegas, NV
State to visit in RV: Oregon
Province to visit in RV: British Columbia
U.S. ownership of RVs has reached record levels, reveals a 2001 University of Michigan study commissioned by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Nearly 1 in 12 U.S. vehicle-owning households now own an RV. Approximately 7.2 million RVs are on the nation's roads, according to the Michigan study. RVIA estimates nationwide there are as many as 30 million RV enthusiasts, including RV renters.
Thousands of recreational vehicle owners, better known as RVers, will be traveling to Hutchinson, Kansas, for the Great North American RV Rally. For information about the Great North American Rally go to www.rv.net/rally/ or call (877) 749-7122 or (805) 667-4422.
The Good Sam Club
The Good Sam Club, www.goodsamclub.com, is the world’s largest RV owner’s organization with nearly one million member families. Founded in 1966, the Club offers its members a wide variety of services, including the Continued Service Plan, Emergency Road Service, RV financing and insurance, as well as member discounts to parks, campgrounds and RV events. Good Sam Club members also receive a subscription to Highways, the Club’s popular RV travel magazine. Additionally, the Club represents more than 2,000 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together from similar geographic regions for group camping excursions. Extremely committed to its RV members as well as to the environment, the Club is a founder of the annual National Cleanup Day program and an advocate of public land access, Adopt-A-Highway programs and Adopt-A-Park programs, to name a few. The Good Sam Club is headquartered in Ventura, California, and is a subsidiary of Affinity Group Inc.
Contact: Sue Bray, Executive Director, Good Sam Club
Julie Calzone, CEO/President, Calzone & Associates
337.235.2924 ext. 3, firstname.lastname@example.org