“The PCOA board has made the decision to leave OHI (formerly ARVC) at the end of the 2024 year. You will need to have a separate membership with OHI if you choose to join for your campground,” PCOA revealed in a Tuesday convention recap.
The announcement came at the association’s 60th annual banquet held on December 5.
According to Jason Vaughan, PCOA’s executive director, the decision to leave OHI comes as the association feels its mission and vision no longer align fully with the national organization’s goals.
However, PCOA emphasized they plan to continue working alongside OHI on important legislative and industry issues. Paul Bambei, president and CEO of OHI, echoed this statement. He said the national association will continue supporting members in Pennsylvania and across the country through various services and advocacy efforts.
“Our members are our most valued asset, and OHI (formerly ARVC) exists to serve and support our members in Pennsylvania and across the country today, tomorrow, and for years to come,” Bambei said.
He also indicated that as PCOA evaluates its path forward, OHI is doing the same.
Bambei explained that OHI’s approach is intended to serve private RV park and campground owners while also being inclusive of a wider range of outdoor hospitality businesses. “Our progressive approach to the future detailed in our mission, vision and strategic plan, is intended to continue to serve our core constituents of privately-owned RV park and campground owners, and also to be inclusive of a wider net of outdoor hospitality businesses to advance the industry as a whole.”
“OHI is prepared to advance our industry to meet not only the demands of the ever-changing demographics of the camping consumer, but also the challenges of an evolving industry landscape,” Bambei added.
Further, he recognized the importance of state associations such as PCOA to the success of the industry.
He went on to share that OHI values these organizations and their contributions and that the national association welcomes continued collaboration.
“We value these organizations and their contributions, and recognize that regardless of their relationship with OHI, we are all working for the shared benefit of our members and industry. OHI welcomes continued collaboration with these organizations even if future relationships may look different. At the end of the day, our focus is the success of our members,” Bambei said.
While ending their official membership, PCOA’s commitment to serving campground owners and operators in Pennsylvania remains strong. The association announced several new member benefits at the convention and plans to continue pursuing additional advantages to membership.
PCOA also unveiled new mission and vision statements reflective of their focus on education, marketing, advocacy, and supporting the growth of Pennsylvania’s campground industry now and in the future.
The association’s new mission reads: To empower, unite, and support campgrounds in Pennsylvania through education, marketing & advocacy.
As for PCOA’s vision: Encourage and promote campgrounds in Pennsylvania to flourish and navigate challenges in all aspects of outdoor hospitality now and in the future.
Despite departing the national trade organization, PCOA expressed excitement for the future and bringing new opportunities to their members across the state. The association remains dedicated to uniting and empowering campground owners through benefits, advocacy, and promotion of camping in Pennsylvania.
In addition to unveiling the plans to leave the national trade organization, PCOA recognized several board members for their dedication and service to the association and industry namely Stephanie Vargas, Dave Mull, Valerie Medina Stahl, and Eileen Vaughan.
PCOA also highlighted successes over the past year such as growth in membership, increased distribution of their campground directory, and the addition of employment opportunity listings on their website PACamping.com. The association manages the annual York RV Show which was noted as another success.
With a refined strategic focus, enhanced educational programs, and advocacy, the PCOA is poised to continue to influence the future of camping in Pennsylvania. As the landscape of outdoor hospitality continues to transform, campground owners and operators can rely on the PCOA as a reliable, state-specific source for knowledge, resources, and community support.
Featured image from PCOA.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with quotes provided by Paul Bambei, president and CEO of OHI, in response to PCOA’s decision to end its membership with the national association.