Bank of America, The Schneider Group and the America Outdoors Insurance Program and Morrison Printing Are Major Sponsors of the America Outdoors Conference in December
Many thanks to The Schneider Group and the AO Insurance Program, to Morrison Printing Company and to Bank of America (formerly LaSalle Bank) for agreeing to sponsor the America Outdoors Marketing and Management Conference (Confluence) in December. This is the 20th anniversary of the event and we have planned the most dynamic and beneficial program ever with custom programming for all the outfitting industry.
Why This Year’s Event Is Very Special
You’ll benefit from the investment in customized industry-related programming. One special program features the results of a year long mystery shopping study of the industry from the reservation to the trip with video and audio reactions from real customers on ranch, rafting, cycling and international ecotourism vacations. A marketing expert will address the issues that make these trips sell and what should be changed to make them more attractive to consumers.
20th Anniversary Reunion and Celebration
We are inviting some of the industry’s founders to join us for the Thursday night party. Participants and founders of outfitting businesses prior to 1980 from all over the country are expected at this event.
When to Arrive and Depart
Arrive in Knoxville on December 2nd. TYS is the airport symbol and the cheapest fares can usually be found through kayak.com Some of the best programming is scheduled for the afternoon of December 5th, so plan to stay through Friday night and depart no earlier than December 6th. If you want to spend a day in area, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, golf, retail, colonial era Jonesboro, and many other attractions are nearby. America Outdoors has a special $86 rate at the downtown Hilton. To make reservations go to the special Hilton website for the convention.
Did Your Business Benefit from Families Taking Trips Close to Home?
Is your business up this year because travelers stayed close to home? America Outdoors is working with a reporter on a story about “Stay Vacations”. If you benefited from this trend send an email to email@example.com by August 26th. Some outfitters with lower cost trips close to urban areas are reporting that their business is up for the year.
Forest Service Fire Fighting Budget Out of Control?
The Forest Service has spend a record $1.9 billion this year on fire suppression— a 59 percent increase over last year’s budget. Ironically, this year ranks only sixth among acres burned as of July 31st. One could say the agency’s fire budget is out of control and threatens to consume the rest of the agency’s budget.
Chief of the Forest Service Abigail Kendall recently told agency employees, “We are withdrawing funds from regions, stations, area and the national office to be able to pay for fire suppression. We are ‘scrubbing’ and digging, looking for any source of relief. And we’ll continue to scrutinize fire expenditures at all levels.” Most likely recreation fees are also being used to fight fires.
The growth of the fire budget is remarkable in light of the fact that this was not a record year for fires. Although California and some other states experienced dramatic fires, NOAA has this to say about the fire season. “As of July 31st, there have been 53,769 wildland fires and more than 3.5 million acres burned so far this year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). This year to date now ranks sixth in quantity of acreage burnt — down from second at the end of May and third at the end of June. Between January 1st and July 31st, both the number of fires and acreage burnt fall near the 1999-2008 average. Five hundred seventy–one large fires have been contained to date in 2008.”