Until his death on March 28, he had continued to participate in the business in Tacoma with his son Michael and grandson Mike. Born in Tacoma on December 4, 1926, Baldasare joined the Navy at the age of 17 and earned the Purple Heart in defense of his country. He then founded SouthSide Motors with his brother Phil. He was active in Tacoma civic organizations, including the Elks Lodge and Tacoma Yacht Club. Donations in his name may be made at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma.
Washington Parks Expand
New cabins at Kitsap Memorial State Park are among the improvements announced recently by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission under its Centennial 2013 Plan geared toward celebration of the park system’s establishment in 1913.
The new cabins sleep five with a bunk bed and futon and include kitchenettes with mini-refrigerators and microwaves. Bathrooms and showers are nearby. Rental is $50 per night. For information, visit www.parks.wa.gov/rentalplaces. The phone reservation number is (888) CAMPOUT.
New yurts have been added at Seaquest State Park in a wooded area within walking distance of the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center. Each unit sleeps six and rents for $45 per night.
Other improvements include new viewing platforms, pathways and exhibits at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park, an upgraded reservation system for Fort Worden State Park and Conference Center, and a new mandatory boater education program. Details on the boater program can be found at www.parks.wa.gov/boating/boatered.asp.
RVIA Adds New Speakers
Authors Carol and Phil White and professional bowler Walter Ray Williams have been added to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s list of spokespeople.
The RVIA, which represents the RV industry, designates representatives to speak to the media about the benefits of RVing.
The Whites, who live in Wilsonville, Oregon, were chosen to represent the growing number of baby boomers who are becoming RVers. The Whites took early retirement and toured the U.S. in a motorhome in 2004. That experience resulted in a book, Live Your Road Trip Dream, which recounts their travels and offers advice on planning a long road trip. The Whites will represent RVIA at the National AARP convention in Boston in September.
Williams, who has won more titles and earned more money than any player in the history of professional bowling, will promote RVing during the pro bowlers tour. He credits traveling to tournaments in a motorhome with having a positive impact on both his game and his family life.
Continuing as spokespeople for RVIA in 2007 are David Woodworth, an RV historian, and Brad and Amy Herzog, who travel in an RV with their two young sons and have written several travel books.
RV Repair Business Grows
What began as an RV repair business at an RV sales center in Sumner, Washington, in 2001 has grown to become Buckley RV Repair in Buckley, just east of Sumner.
Buckley RV Repair moved to its new location next to Buckley Pond last year. It is an authorized repair facility for many manufacturers and insurance companies, handling repair and maintenance work on appliances, furniture, roofs, windows, siding, plumbing, awnings and accessories. The business also offers parts and supplies and carries a full line of Interstate trailers for hauling recreational equipment and other cargo.
Buckley RV Repair is located on Highway 410. For information, see www.buckleyrvrepair.com.
Coachmen Explores Alternative Energy
Coachmen Industries of Elkhart, Indiana, has teamed up with Natural Source Energy Systems of Wheeling, Illinois, to explore ways of using solar power and biodiesel fuel in RVs.
As a first step, Coachmen is providing Natural Source Energy Systems with a Sportscoach Class A diesel motorhome, a Coachmen Class C diesel motorhome and a Coachmen fifth wheel trailer. Solar panels will be installed on the units, and the RVs will be tested using solar energy and biodiesel fuel.
Rick Lavers, chief executive officer of Coachmen Industries, said it is too early to discuss when the technology might go into production, but the company is “excited about the prospect of improving the energy efficiency of our product offerings.”
Trail Volunteers Sought
The Continental Divide Trail Alliance is seeking hundreds of volunteers to help complete the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico. Sixty projects are planned this year at locations in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico at elevations ranging from 4,000 to 13,000 feet.
Congress established the trail in 1978. A volunteer trail building program began in 1995, and has involved more than 8,500 volunteers. This year volunteers are needed to build and repair the trail, scout planned routes, and serve as cooks for the crew. Prior experience is not required, but the work can be challenging. For information, visit www.cdtrail.org/getinvolved or call (888) 909-CDTA.
Sky City Named Historic Site
New Mexico’s Acoma Sky City, which dates back to 1150 and is the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, has been designated a National Trust Historic Site.
The designation will give the Pueblo of Acoma tribal community access to advice on preservation and conservation, grant funds and marketing programs of the National Trust. Acoma Sky City sits on a sheer-walled, 370-foot sandstone mesa 60 miles west of Albuquerque. About 15 families live year-round on the 70-acre mesa, which holds adobe houses, plazas and the San Esteban del Rey Mission Church. Hour-long tours of Acoma Sky City are offered throughout the year. For information, visit www.skycity.com.
Acoma Business Enterprises is scheduled to open a new RV park near the Sky City Hotel Casino this spring. The park will have hookups for 42 RVs in over-sized spaces. Amenities include a clubhouse, whirlpool spa, showers, laundry facilities and outdoor barbecue and patio. For information, visit www.skycity.com.
Patrick Industries Expands
Patrick Industries, which makes products for the RV, manufactured housing and marine industries, has agreed to acquire Adorn, which supplies laminated wall paneling, cabinet doors and other components to the RV and manufactured housing industries. Both companies are located in Elkhart, Indiana.
Adorn had about $240 million in revenue in 2006, and Patrick Industries reported revenue of $348 million.
Affinity Adds RV Shows
Affinity Group through its AGI Events Division has acquired five RV and sportsmen’s shows from Industrial Expositions of Denver, Colorado, and the Madison, Wisconsin, Boat Show from MAC Events of Spirit Lake, New Jersey.
The acquisitions bring the number of shows under control of AGI Events to 35. The newly acquired RV and sportsmen’s shows are in Colorado and Kansas.
RVers Undeterred by Fuel Costs
A survey of owners of motorhomes, travel trailers, boats and motorcycles by Nationwide Mutual Insurance shows that fuel prices would have to go through the roof before the owners would abandon their recreational pursuits.
Nationwide polled 2,518 owners to gauge their attitudes toward fuel costs. The study found that gasoline would have to reach $4.14 per gallon before travel trailer owners would give up RVing and $6.27 a gallon before motorcyclists would give up their vehicles. Smaller increases in gas prices could cause some people to cut back on trips, but 70 percent said higher prices would not impact their vacation plans this year.
RV Quality Is Major Concern
The Good Sam Club’s RV Owners Advisory Council, which was appointed this year to identify concerns of club members, has found that the quality of RV manufacturing and competent RV service are at the top of their list.
The council polled members to determine how they ranked nine issues in importance. Ranked just below RV quality and service was lemon law protection.
Tom Gonser, chairman of the advisory council, said RVers seem to be saying, “build it right, and if you don’t, get it fixed the first time. And if you fail on the first two, I want lemon law protection.”
Some states offer no protection to consumers; others have lemon laws that vary widely in the amount of protection they offer. Gonser said there should be uniform, reasonable protection, balancing the interests of the RV industry and RV owners.
Other issues listed in the top five concerns were high fuel costs and local parking ordinances. The survey was undertaken to help the council draft recommendations to the Good Sam Club management on matters of policy and legislative priority.
Nevada to Showcase Adventure
Twenty athletes from 13 states and Washington, D. C., will compete May 7 to 12 in “The Nevada Passage,” an annual television event sponsored by the Nevada Commission on Tourism to spotlight the state’s outdoor attractions.
The competition will include a 10-kilometer desert run in Valley of Fire State Park, an ATV competition at Amargosa Dunes 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, cycling outside the mining town of Tonopah, and back-country skiing at Mt. Rose, near Reno. The events will be filmed for a one-hour show that will run on television stations across the country, starting in August. The show also will be available early next year on the Internet at www.nevadapassage.com. The shows from 2005 and 2006 are already available online.
The competitors are grouped by occupation into two-person teams. The occupations include accountants, pilots, Realtors, computer programmers, physical therapists, attorneys, journalists, engineers and physicians. Ages range from 25 to 63.