The California Outdoor Hospitality Association started in 1975 as the California Travel Parks Association (CTPA) when 30 park owners joined together and separating from the Western MH Association. That first year, a volunteer committee was formed to begin work on Title 25 updates, and another committee planned and printed 100,000 Camp-California guides. They even had a picnic table raising and built 200 picnic tables in 2 days!
In the beginning, it was volunteer managed with part-time paid staff. Its first official Executive Director was John Imler, owner of Campers Inn RV Park in Dunnigan, soon to be followed by Tug & Judy Miller, owners of the Auburn KOA in 1981. After 23 years, Tug and Judy Miller retired, and Debbie Sipe assumed the role of Executive Director. The next chapter of CalOHA began in 2019, with Dyana Kelley as the new President and CEO.
What started out as the CTPA, became the California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (CalARVC) in 2008, then transitioned to the CampCalNOW RV Park and Campground Alliance in 2019. In 2022 CampCalNOW reexamined its branding and how that measured up with the associations goals for the future, taking into account the complexity of today’s advocacy efforts and the importance of unity within our industry, and settled on today’s name, the California Outdoor Hospitality Association.
Throughout its more than 45-year history, CTPA/CalARVC/CampCalNOW/CalOHA has successfully protected RV parks at the state capitol, passing two sets of Title 25 rewrites, legalizing park model RVs, allowing for the submetering of electricity, the RV Occupancy Law, and reducing time-stay limitations, among other legislative and regulatory actions.
In 2002, CalARVC spun off the marketing benefits into a for-profit subsidiary known as Camp-California Marketing. Simply known as CampCal, the organization has carried on the 48-year tradition of printing its annual camping guide promoting its member RV parks and campgrounds. One of the first consumer-facing camping websites in the country was launched in 1981. Since then, CampCal has added social media platforms and a robust public relations campaign. Today’s President and CEO makes regular appearances on television promoting the RV lifestyle, and CalOHA’s publicist, Jeff Crider, has become known as a crucial camping resource for all forms of media outlets.