Dope on Cannabis for RV Park Operators

Dope on Cannabis for RV Park Operators

by Robert S. Coldren, Esq., RV Park Lawyer and Consultant

Many clients and friends are asking these days about cannabis in California RV Parks.
The law is brand new, allowing recreational use, effective January 1 of 2018, and so advice on the topic is somewhat sketchy until the courts figure out what the regulations mean. But since we operate RV Parks TODAY, we need to do the best we can. Here are a few bullet point sign posts to help you navigate issues concerning cannabis in RV Parks.

  • Can I legally prohibit pot smoking in my park? I take the position that you CAN lawfully prohibit the smoking of marijuana on RV park property. Some pot-smoking RVer may want to test our legal ability to prohibit marijuana use within the RV park, claiming for example that the Fair Housing Act allows use of “medicine”, and someone with a license should be able to smoke as a “reasonable accommodation”. Such an occupant may also argue that all RV park (as all mobile home park) rules must be reasonable and must be reasonably enforced, pursuant to statute, and it would be “unreasonable” to outright ban its use. Both of those arguments (regarding “unreasonable use”) I think would be “losers”. For example, “edibles” offer a drug delivery alternative that does not offend neighbors and other RVers. So, the take away here is that you should consider publishing a rule prohibiting smoking of cannabis within the park.
  •  If I don’t want to outright ban marijuana smoking, on my property, can I impose reasonable rules and regulations concerning its use? The answer to this is clearly yes. You can prohibit smoking in public view either on the RV space or off, in the common area, and you can prohibit any smoking within the RV itself to the extent the smoke is detectable by and offensiv

Peer to Peer – Wagons Ho!!

Peer to Peer – Wagons Ho!!

by Beverly Demetriff, Frandy Park

As we all want to make our campgrounds bigger and better, my hope was that in next 10 years to add cabins on our campground. But with cabins it created a good deal more work. We would have to get new permits and involve engineers because of our being on the Kern River – most of our campsites are in the 50 year flood zone.

I truly thank ARVC for the opportunity to act as a hostess for their National Conference, because it is there that I found the solution to a problem and opened a brand new door for Frandy Campground. It was at this years conference in North Carolina I met Jason Olson of Conestoga Wagons. Once I saw his information, I knew this was the perfect solution. They are movable so no engineering required but they are not trailers so no problems with licensing from the DMV either. They are moveable, unique “cabins”. They sleep up to six people but can also be made into a “honeymoon” suite. The wagons are so comfortable inside – with a king size bed and up to 4 bunk beds. They have an air conditioning/heater unit to provide further comfort to our guests. They also come equipped with outlets so that guests can use their electronics.

The wagons completely fit with not only our campground but with also with Kernville’s western heritage. According to Jason from Conestoga Wagon Company, Frandy is the first campground in California to offer this unique pioneer stay to their guests.

Every President’s Day weekend, Kernville has their annual celebration – Whiskey Flat Days – which can  bring up to 60,000 people to our area. We are going to roll two wagons thru the Parade – one with the cover down and one with cover up showcasing the beds with banners telling folks to reserve their stay now. Being in the parade is free and what better wa…

New Law Restricts Immigration Enforcement at Worksites

New Law Restricts Immigration Enforcement at Worksites — What You Need to Know

As of January 1, California employers must comply with strict rules passed under the new Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450), which protects workers in the state from immigration enforcement while they’re on the job. Under AB 450, all employers, regardless of size, must limit Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents’ access to both the worksite and employee records, and they must follow new notice obligations.

The Labor Commissioner and the Attorney General have authority to enforce the Act’s provisions. And if you aren’t prepared, missteps can result in varying fines.

Given the potential for conflicts with federal law — as well as the federal administration’s statements that it intends to increase worksite enforcement actions in 2018 — only time will tell what legal challenges this new law may bring. In the interim, however, employers will need to comply.

Here are the basics of what you need to know.

Warrants or Subpoenas Required

Under the Immigrant Worker Protection Act, an employer can no longer voluntarily consent to ICE’s request to enter nonpublic work areas or to access public records. Instead, ICE must present legal documentation in the form of a warrant or subpoena before you allow access.
• Employers cannot voluntarily allow a federal immigration enforcement agent to enter any nonpublic areas of a business without a judicial warrant. You can take the agent to a nonpublic area to verify the warrant, as long as no employees are present and you don’t provide consent to search nonpublic areas in the process.
• Employers cannot voluntarily allow agents to access, review or obtain employee records without a subpoena or judicial warrant, with the exception of For…

Diversify Your Media Outreach

by Jeff Crider

In my latest column, I talked about how the Internet fuels our need for instant gratification by giving us practically anything we want when we want it.  Social media feeds into this by giving everyone the ability to share their “news” and photos whenever they want, instantly.  It goes without saying that social media is a very effective tool to raise awareness about campgrounds, RV parks and resorts. Park operators who encourage their guests to follow them on Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms tell me they can use these tools keep their guests up to date and encourage bookings with special promotions.

But Facebook and other online platforms haven’t yet replaced traditional news organizations, which continue to serve as “thought leaders” that drive public discussion of everything from politics to restaurants and travel destinations.  That’s because social media platforms like Facebook simply share news, both real and fake, that someone else has produced, while traditional news organizations like newspapers and magazines continue to independently research and write their own articles.  In fact, stories produced by traditional media set the agenda for other news organizations and the topics they cover.

I have yet to see Facebook staff produce a single “news” story on their own. And even if they did, who knows how credible their “reports” would be? So for the foreseeable future, I see Facebook being used to carry a mix of legitimate news from established news organizations as well as fake news or fiction.  This will continue to make Facebook both incredibly popular and highly suspect as a “news” source.

So what is a park operator to do?

I know many park operators love social media because they can see the results it generates fo…

David Strait Receives Camp-California President Award

David Strait of Strait Answers was awarded the Camp-California President’s Award at the recent CalARVC RV Park Day at Benbow KOA. David has been instrumental in the development of the new website. Using Google Analytics, David redesigned the entire navigation system for the visitor content. Key words and tactics have been employed enhancing usability.

“My first encounter with CalARVC (then CTPA) was on the phone with Judy Miller in 1993, while I was Director of Marketing at Campland on the Bay. Being new to the industry I was skeptical of the cost of membership. After a long chat with Judy I decided the marketing value was good so I renewed membership,” said David Strait.

“Since then I’ve been both a customer and a vendor to CalARVC, and I have continued to be an advocate for the strategic value of membership in the organization. My company, Strait Answers, became a trade member in 1995. For much of my career, I’ve been in sales positions, and I’ve learned how hard it is to sell something you don’t believe in. However, it’s easy to ‘sell’ the idea of CalARVC membership because it’s something I believe in.”

David Strait (‘David’) is the sole proprietor of the company Strait Answers®–a marketing company in California that focuses on hospitality industry marketing, specializing in RV campgrounds and resorts throughout the U.S.A. David has been employed full time in the RV camping industry since 1993, and in the hospitality industry since 1979. Recently David has joined the Gorin Cohen Consulting group as Senior Consultant for Marketing.




CalARVC Leadership at Work

CalARVC’s Fall Board Meeting concluded the 2015-2017 strategic session. Board members Darrell Sisk, President; Randy Hendrickson, Vice President; Jon MacKenzie, Sec/Treas; Pamela Jensen, Past President; John Grant, Ryan Uhles, Erik Gothberg, Daniella Faita and Cole Sampson, oversaw the following goals and work plan:

  • Successful launch of the password-protected
  • Legal Advice Hotline
  • Transition to free removal and eviction forms for all members
  • Independent state and national membership options
  • Development and implementation of a in-house communication plan tracking tool
  • Implementation of an in-house task management system
  • 95% completion of a custom inhouse database system
  • 95% completion of the new

Changing of the Guard
The board said good-bye to Directors Erik Gothberg and Pamela Jensen.  Erik Gothberg, Regional VP for corporate owned KOAs served CalARVC for the past six years with great insights and tons of practical business suggestions. The board most appreciated his unflappable pragmatic view of the strengths and weakness of the RV park and campground industry. Thank you Eric for engaging in honest assessments of our industry.

Pamela (Hintz) Jensen as President from 2013-2015 oversaw the transition from a 17-member board to a 9-member board. She managed virtually an entire new team of directors and with an ever-present positive outlook pushed and pulled the members into a productive board giving guidance and direction for the future of CalARVC for at least a decade.

Pamela was also critical in the launch of CalARVC’s RV Park Days. With a dwindling attendance at conventions, Pamela without trepidation supported a new meeting concept suggested by staff. Today CalARVC’s RV Park Day…

Presidential Musings Farewell

By Darrell Sisk, Pismo Coast Village

By the time you read this, I will be wearing yet another new hat: Past President of CalARVC, the best RV park and campground association in the country. It’s hard to believe that two years have already passed since my fellow board members chose me to take the reins of this fantastic organization. It was an honor I never expected four years ago when I offered to help the association if the opportunity arose in the future.

Less than a year after that offer, I got an email letting me know about an upcoming board vacancy and inquiring about my availability and interest. After checking with my bosses, I reaffirmed my interest and availability. A few months later at a board meeting in Plymouth, I was sworn in as a board member of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. It was a surreal moment, because over the course of 20 years at Pismo Coast Village I had of course known about CalARVC, but my direct involvement to that point had been minimal.

I had heard reports from my coworkers when they would return from board meetings with updates on current issues, their potential impact on parks all over our state, and what actions CalARVC was taking. I attended the National RV Park Institute, back when it was run by former CalARVC Executive Directors Tug and Judy Miller, getting my first formal education in RV park operations beyond the one department I supervised. I attended a CalARVC convention and got exposed to a much bigger world than just our single park. I remember sitting at cracker barrels or the dinner table absorbing every bit of knowledge and wisdom from veteran operators whose names I recognized from around the state. I felt like I had graduated from the kids’ table and was finally sitting with the grownups. Compared to these highly ex…

Spring RV Park Day Focuses on Disaster Planning

On Feb. 28, CalARVC will host the campground industry’s first day-long educational event focusing on disaster planning and emergency situations involving everything from hurricanes and wildfires to Amber alerts, human trafficking, hazmat emergencies and threats involving homeland security. The event will take place at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula.

CalARVC started to organize the disaster planning event in June — months before hurricanes struck Texas and Florida — but the severity of the storms underscores the value of disaster planning.

“We think it’s important for the private park industry to address disaster planning much more thoroughly than we have in the past,” Sipe said. “It’s ironic that we have been working on this session since June and is so absolutely relevant given the hurricanes and wildfires that RV parks have been coping with this past summer. With this in mind, we anticipate that our daylong disaster planning workshop will not only be of interest to park operators in California, but park operators across the country.”

CalARVC has partnered with Hytopy Reverse Disaster, a disaster planning firm headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., to plan the day-long disaster planning event.

Attendees will not only learn about disaster planning, but about other types of emergencies and how to prepare for them and respond to them, such as Amber alerts, situations involving human trafficking, hazardous materials spills and threats to homeland security.

“Our speakers will include law enforcement agents and specialists in everything from kidnapping and human trafficking to emergencies involving hazardous materials and other emergencies,” Sipe said.
Sipe said CalARVC selected Feb. 27-28 as the dates for the workshops so that they do not c…

CalARVC Offers Reservation Software Session

The California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (CalARVC) today announced a day-long educational events Feb. 27, 2018 that will take place at Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula.

The Campground Reservation Management Software Session, the first of its kind in the campground industry, will feature four software vendors who will provide product demonstrations, question and answer sessions and roundtable discussions that will enable park operators to understand the unique capabilities of each software system so that they can determine which product best fits their needs.

The 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. software event will feature product demonstrations by representatives of Astra by Campground Manager; Sunrise by Campground Automation Systems; ReserveAmerica; and RMS North America.

“There is a very strong park operator interest in learning more about reservation software. It’s tough to compare the different software options. But Attendees at our day-long software education event will learn how to prioritize their park’s needs and match those needs against the different reservation software solutions that are available,” said Debbie Sipe, CalARVC’s executive director and CEO.   “We have created a score card that will allow each attendee to evaluate the features of each reservation system fairly and consistently,” she said.

Tentative Agenda:
9:00 AM – Registration
9:45 AM – Welcome & Introductions
10:00 AM – Software Selection Tips & Tools
Selecting the right front office software and reservation system for your park can be overwhelming. Learn how to prioritize your park’s needs against the different software solutions. Understand the jargon software companies use to describe their different features and how those features …

Survived the Summer!

Survived the Summer!

Greetings once again. By the time you read this, Labor Day, traditionally viewed as the end of the “season,” will have passed. And since you are reading this, you’ve obviously survived another summer. For that, each and every one of you deserves a very big “Congratulations!”

Folks in the restaurant business have to deal with some pretty good rushes on most nights, but I doubt any of them could handle a peak that lasts two or three months, so well done my friends. And to those of you whose seasons aren’t even close to being over, another big “Well done!” for having such a successful operation.

For our park, it’s time to switch into “group mode,” as all the clubs start descending on us now that the summer crowds have dissipated. For you operators in the warmer climates, it’s probably time to start getting ready for the big influx of snowbirds soon to be arriving. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed your off season and are rested, refreshed, and ready. And for those of you in the higher elevations, it’s probably time to start winding things down and getting your park ready for an extended nap. I’m envious of your upcoming cooler weather, changing leaves, and prolonged break.

The changing season brings only a small change of pace for us here, but I do get to at least change my hat for a while. As with all of you in this industry, I wear a few different hats (yes, that IS me under the Smokey Bear hat above), often a few at the same time. I just put on my “Time to Get Away for a bit” hat and made my plans to head up to Garberville in October for our next RV Park Day. It’s going to be a fair drive to get there, but the area looks stunning and I’m going to take a little extra time there to relax and explore a bit. From conversations with others, it sounds like a lot of you are planning to do the same, so I look f…