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American Recreation Coalition
Washington, D.C.
Dedicated to the protection and enhancement of everyone's right to health and happiness through recreation
Recent Activity
All participants who have not already done so are encouraged to fill out and return a copy of the evaluation distributed at the conclusion of Partners Outdoors 2012. All responses are greatly appreciated and will be used to improve future Partners Outdoors events. Please email your completed evaluation to tgeorgevits@funoutdoors.com. Download Evaluation 2012 (Note: Presentations will not load in Internet Explorer.) Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
Leaders from the recreation industry and federal agencies met at Partners Outdoors 2012, held January 8th to 11th at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia. The conference focus was Funding Recreation Opportunities and the gathering marked the 21st year of the invitation-only meeting of top public and private sector recreation leaders. Participants discussed current funding strategies for federal land managers, including disadvantages and opportunities for future improvement. Discussions focused on current and potential funding mechanisms for recreation infrastructure and operations, including use of fee receipts, special taxes, concessions and permit strategies, partnerships and more, that will help the recreation community meet... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
On Sunday, January 8th, American Recreation Coalition President Derrick Crandall welcomed Partners Outdoors participants to Williamsburg, Virginia. He touched on the history of Partners Outdoors, which began with discussions at Mount Rushmore in 1990. The meeting remains an opportunity for representatives of federal agencies and private partners to discuss strategies to serve seamlessly visitors to public lands. Mr. Crandall told the group that Partners Outdoors is the premier opportunity for innovators and problem solvers in the outdoor recreation community to come together and talk about shared interests and goals, discuss problems and address changes in technology, the American public and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
Sunday’s reception and dinner showcased Great Outdoors Month, held annually in June. The hallway leading to the reception featured Great Outdoors Month gubernatorial proclamations and informational posters on annual events like National Get Outdoors Day, National Trails Day, National Marina Day, National Fishing and Boating Week and the Great American Backyard Campout. James Bedwell, Director of Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources for the U.S. Forest Service, and Derrick Crandall, President of the American Recreation Coalition, spoke during dinner about upcoming opportunities for June 2012. Mr. Bedwell reminded participants that Great Outdoors Month is a chance to focus efforts to connect... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
Robert Ratcliffe, Deputy Assistant Director of Renewable Resources and Planning for the Bureau of Land Management, welcomed participants to the second day of discussion on the morning of Monday, January 9th. He set the stage for the panel on The Recreation Fee Program Today: Accomplishments and Challenges, which discussed the current recreation fee program, how it is successful and where problems lie. He encouraged panelists to imagine an ideal fee system, but to consider appropriate future alternatives that would best serve the American public. Mr. Ratcliffe asserted that if the Federal Lands Recreation Act (FLREA) sunsets in 2014, fees will... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
Kevin Kilcullen, Branch Chief of Visitor Services for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, moderated the program titled The Recreation Fee Program Tomorrow: Strategies and Tools for 2014 and Beyond. He asked panelists to identify strategies and tactics that effectively address the funding challenges of the future. He also asked panelists to address three challenges: 1) identify the role of the recreation fee enhancement program in offering visitor services; 2) identify ways agencies track what they’re doing; and 3) identify barriers and issues to address to be more consistent in offering quality programs. Craig Crutchfield, Branch Chief for Interior in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
Margaret Bailey, Senior Vice President at CHM Government Services, moderated the session on Creative Strategies for Meeting the Financial Needs of Public Recreation Programs. Ms. Bailey pointed out the need to agree to common terms and goals for the public and private recreation sectors. Both sectors offer services and opportunities but approach investments and operating costs in different ways. Public recreation managers are at a disadvantage in that they operate on a fraction of the money that competing private industries have access to. She also called for budget processes of federal land management agencies to be clarified. John Flood, Chief... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
Jane Moore, Fee Program Manager for the National Park Service, and Mary Coulombe, Chief of Natural Resources Management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, provided participants with an update on improvements in Recreation.gov. The website is a key objective of the President’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative and seeks to be the federal portal to recreation. The federal team operating the website is looking ahead for better ways to keep its information updated and provide better reservation capabilities when offers for a next generation contract are solicited in two years. Recreation.gov is starting to provide photos of sites to give... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
Robin Carson, General Manager of Kingsmill Resort, gave participants a briefing on Kingsmill and a quick marketing pep talk. She shared insider knowledge on how to manage an operation under financial pressure – a situation she sees replicated on many federally managed sites. She advised managers to think about what their sites have that nobody else offers – whether that is a special spirit, ambiance or the night sky. Ms. Carson cited the James River and historic Williamsburg as two of the major benefits of the Kingsmill location. She also emphasized understanding the visitor market, how that market changes and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
The Monday afternoon session included an off-site education tour of Colonial Williamsburg and Colonial National Historical Park. Staff members of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation welcomed participants to the Visitor Center in Williamsburg, which provides a centralized ticketing, orientation and transportation center for visitors. Tourists can gather information on regional attractions like Jamestown, Busch Garden and the Colelge of William and Mary and orient themselves on all Williamsburg has to offer. The Center also provides transportation to regional attractions to 1.5 million visitors annually, including 30,000 guests per year to Colonial National Historical Park. The briefing also covered marketing and pricing... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
Jim Kurth, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, gave the keynote speech at dinner on Monday evening. He discussed the importance of federal agencies developing partnerships with private and nonprofit organizations to keep Americans in the great outdoors. Mr. Kurth pointed out that when Americans are welcomed into places like national wildlife refuges and use and enjoy public lands in a compatible way, federal agencies enlist them in future public land support. He referenced “Conserving the Future: Wildlife Refuges in the Next Generation,” a conference the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
Frank Peterson, President and CEO of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF), started Tuesday morning off with a session on Transforming Information About Fishing and Boating into Knowledge. He gave participants an inside look at how RBFF works to get more people interested in fishing and boating. The first trick, he said, is to reduce barriers that keep people from experiencing the outdoors. Many people don’t know what to do in the outdoors or how to do it, which is why RBFF has compiled an online resource called Fishopedia that compiles information on where and how to boat and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
Andrew Leider, Senior Program Manager at the Institute at the Golden Gate, moderated Tuesday morning’s session on New Resources: Health and the Great Outdoors. “I’m here to help you understand you are all in the health care business,” he said. Mr. Leider went on to say that connecting health and the great outdoors can be a marketing challenge, but that reminding people to take care of themselves and look after their health can be a great way to push them into the great outdoors. Mr. Leider then introduced Jason Urroz, Director of Kids in Parks at the Blue Ridge Parkway... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
Rich Weideman, Assistant Director of Partnerships at the National Park Service, moderated the session on New Resources: Education and the Great Outdoors. He emphasized the importance of partnerships to developing educational programs, and described his experience developing educational programs at Alcatraz Island. Partnerships with outside organizations were imperative to developing educational programs on human rights and current prison systems at the site – and area children benefitted dramatically from their exposure to the park and to programs. He told participants that fee demo money was used to create some program exhibits. Frank Peterson, President and CEO of the Recreational Boating... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
Before Tuesday’s closing reception, three action teams presented their summaries to develop real-world strategies in the three areas below. Recreation Fees: Learning from the Past, Sharing Ideas for the Future: How fees can be used and where fees are retained vary among agencies, and fee needs are unique for every agency. The team agreed that land managers need to be more transparent in reporting their use of fees and avoid confusing the public in their program implementation. Piloting New, Sustainable Funding Strategies on Public Lands and Waters: The team recommended that land managers develop and strengthen friends groups and focus... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
The conference ended with a champagne toast and reception sponsored by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, owner of Kingsmill Resort. Ruth Coleman, Director of California State Parks, shared personal reflections on why recreation will continue to be a force for good in America. California has slashed recreation budgets in the last two years, and California State Parks are struggling to remain open, yet Ms. Coleman shared evidence that she and her team remain positive as they wrestle with these challenges. A great deal of hope has come from Californians themselves – communities are rallying together to pool time and resources to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2012 at Partners Outdoors
The full Partners Outdoors 2011 report PDF is available to you. Thank you for reading and sharing it within your organization. Download Partners Outdoors 2011 Report.doc Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2011 at Partners Outdoors
February 16th was a very important day for recreation in America. The day's signature event was President Obama's release of the report on the America's Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative. Derrick Crandall, President of the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), said, "The Administration deserves praise for the report. The AGO process activated a broad coalition of interests, and Administration officials worked hard to produce a report that shows the fingerprints of traditional and new Great Outdoors constituents while offering a blueprint for conservation efforts in the 21st century and a new, concerted effort to connect people with the Great Outdoors." Download News... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at Partners Outdoors
Download ARC Submits Ideas for AGO IdeaJam Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at Partners Outdoors
Download AGO-Executive-Summary Download Presidential Memorandum -- America's Great Outdoors _ The White House To read the AGO two-page recreation summary, click here. Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at Partners Outdoors
The White House released its America's Great Outdoors Initiative yesterday. "A great day for recreation in America," said Derrick Crandall, President of the American Recreation Coalition. Download Presidential Memorandum -- America's Great Outdoors _ The White House Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at Partners Outdoors
Leaders from the recreation industry and federal agencies met at Partners Outdoors 2011, held January 23rd to 26th at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas. The dual themes were Health and the Great Outdoors and Getting More Americans into Their Great Outdoors. It marked the 20th year of the invitation-only meeting. Organizations in attendance are centrally involved in efforts to link Americans to the outdoors. Participants discussed key public and private efforts to connect the American people to the outdoors at the national, state and local levels, including the Obama Administration's new America's Great Outdoors initiative. Discussions built on the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at Partners Outdoors
The White House America's Great Outdoors Initiative (AGO) was the topic covered by Will Shafroth, incoming Acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks and a prime player in the Presidential effort to chart a new blueprint for conservation and connect Americans to the outdoors. He said the AGO report would be issued in February, linked to the President’s FY2012 budget proposal. "This is a non-partisan issue – everyone shares a passion for the outdoors," he said, and described AGO as a huge catalyst for the outdoor health and recreation movement. "AGO is going to be... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2011 at Partners Outdoors
Partners Outdoors 2011 participants heard from Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate and Gaylord Enterprises Senior Vice President and Gaylord Texan General Manager John Imaizumi. Grapevine, located just north of DFW airport, lies between Dallas and Fort Worth and has capitalized on its location as an urban recreation destination. The city sought the right partners to make the "best overall use of the land," said Mayor Tate, who has served as Mayor for more than 30 years. The results today are a big project with big benefits. Grapevine’s lakes and marinas attract two million visitors annually; 25 miles of trails have... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2011 at Partners Outdoors
Monday’s program featured Frank Peterson, President of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF). He spoke about partnership efforts of federal agencies, state agencies and the recreation industry to sustain and grow boating and fishing participation. He told participants that boating and fishing are the top "gateway activity" to outdoor recreation. Forty-eight million people take one boating or fishing trip a year. Of that total, 3.2 million people (18%) are new participants, but retention is a big problem. An equal number (18%) do not return. To address this issue, RBFF has moved from awareness building with its feel-good "Take Me... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2011 at Partners Outdoors