The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association commissioned an Economic Impact Study on the RV industry, released on June 7, 2016. The study found that the RV industry contributes about $49.7 billion in economic output or 0.28 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Through its production and distribution linkages, the industry impacts firms in 426 of the 440 sectors of the United States economy.
Nationwide, the industry is responsible for 216,170 jobs, both directly and inderectly, creating an economic impact of $37.5 billion. The full study results, along with each individual state and congressional district's economic impact is available on the website by clicking here .
Mon Aug 22, 2016
James Pakkidis, manager of the Wytheville KOA Holiday in Wytheville, Virginia, knew there weren’t many activities to do in the area during the cold winter months. So he reassessed his campground’s resources and provided a much needed – yet unusual - activity for his campers and the community: a bowling alley.
“We had our enormous fun center building that was being under utilized,” Pakkidis says. “We thought, 'What can we do to benefit the community and get some locals into the campground?' We had the building and the space. It was a natural fit. There are no bowling alleys in the area.”
The project took a total of about five months to complete from conception to finish.
The installation started in March and opened in time for Memorial Day Weekend.
“We already had the existing building, which put us ahead of the curve,” Pakkidis says "
The entire project cost about $200,000, even with the existing space available. Pakkidis hired additional employees to run the six-lane bowling alley, as well as additional staff to extend the hours of the campground’s “AOK Café."
The bowling alley came on the heels of campsite renovations, which made sites able to accommodate most any RV big rig and provide full hook ups.
“After renovating the campsites we thought, 'What else can we do?'” Pakkidis says. “Camping is changing. People don’t want to sit around the campsite all day long and play in the woods. They want Wi-Fi, activities, stuff for rainy days.”
The campground employees hope the winter months will see more business this year because of the bowling alley and prove to be a profitable addition.
“We did a lot of studies and research. There are no bowling alleys near us. We have to drive a minimum of an hour away to get to the nearest one,” Pakkidis says. “The reaction from campers and locals has been pretty good. We had a 72-year-old lady who hadn’t bowled in more than 30 years, but when she saw the bowling alley she said she had to do it for old times sake.”
Bowling costs $3 per game and $2 for shoe rentals. The bowling alley includes automatic scoring.
“I really believe nowadays you have to diversify and find things that work in your area,” Pakkidis says. “This is working for us. It may not work for somebody else, but we looked at something a bit outside of the box that will appeal to more people.”