In an exciting new tradition, the Florida and Alabama Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (FRVCA) kicked off its inaugural awards banquet on Wednesday. The event was a highlight of the association’s annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo held in the sun-kissed city of Daytona Beach.
The evening was dedicated to recognizing excellence within the outdoor hospitality industry. Awards in several categories were presented, including Best Park and Best Supplier.
A special award was also made in honor of the late Allan R. Wallace, a stalwart of the outdoor hospitality industry and a long-serving member of the association’s board. His unwavering dedication and instrumental role in the association’s growth and development made him a beacon in the industry.
So, what does it take to be crowned the Best Park?
The criteria set by the association are stringent, reflecting a dedication to quality, customer service, and innovation. The parks must demonstrate not only high standards in business operations and customer relations but also a commitment to maintaining their facilities, providing top-notch amenities, and showing a consistent track record of guest satisfaction.
Moreover, embracing technological advancements and making recent improvements to enhance the overall guest experience are also essential factors in the selection process.
Among the winners this year was Twin Lakes Camp Resort in DeFuniak Springs, clinching the Best Park award in the small size category. Nestled among the trees, this 66-site park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering everything from RV sites to luxuriously furnished glamping tents.
The park’s unique offerings, including boat and kayak rentals, an activity center with kitchen facilities, and a visually stunning bathhouse, truly set it apart.
In the medium size category, the award went to Bay Bayou RV Resort in Tampa, a property owned and operated by Evanston, Ill-based Jennings Realty. With 300 sites, a heated swimming pool, a fitness facility, and a calendar full of organized activities and special events, it’s a vibrant hub for vacationers.
The Tides RV Resort in Palmetto won in the large size category. A newcomer to the scene, this luxury RV Resort opened its doors in January 2020. It boasts 389 sites sprawled across a 95-acre property, complete with a stocked fishing lake, heated resort-style swimming pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and an array of recreational amenities, truly a testament to large-scale luxury in the outdoor hospitality industry.
The Allan R. Wallace “Mark of Excellence” Award celebrated individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry. The recipient of this year’s award was Pat O’Neill of Twin Lakes Camp Resort.
With a legacy stretching back to 1995, Pat has left an indelible mark on the RV park business. His unwavering commitment, innovative approach, and willingness to share his wealth of knowledge have earned him respect within the industry.
His impressive track record includes serving on the boards of both the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and the Florida and Alabama RV Park and Campground Association.
O’Neill’s service with ARVC, likely spanning from 2006 to 2012, was marked by key roles such as treasurer and as a member of ARVC’s Council of Delegates, where he represented both Florida and Alabama.
A dedicated member of the Florida association’s board for over 20 years, he served as its chairman in 2013 and 2014, and currently holds the position of treasurer. This wealth of experience and dedication made him an undoubted choice for the Allan R. Wallace “Mark of Excellence” Award.
Another award, the Best Supplier Award, recognized those who have consistently provided quality products and services that enhance RV parks and the camping experience. This year, the accolade was bestowed upon Newbook, a company providing front desk management solutions for the hospitality industry.
As the night came to a close, the industry’s commitment to excellence was palpable. For those eager to stay abreast of the latest trends in campgrounds, RV parks, and resorts, the Florida RV Park and Campground Association offers a wealth of information.
With resources like CampFlorida.com and a free printed camping guide, the association helps both private campground owners and operators navigate the thriving outdoor hospitality industry.
Truly, the industry’s dedication to improving and celebrating its best and brightest remains unwavering, as showcased by this remarkable event.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated from its original version. The original article stated that Pat O’Neill’s service with ARVC began in 2012 and lasted for six years. Upon further verification, it has been updated to reflect that his service likely spanned from 2006 to 2012.