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Polk County highlighted through Camping World, Coleman

Eliminating any prior connotations, two new RV resorts have opened in Polk County – and redefined the marketplace.

If you stop by either the Cabana Club RV Resort and Cottages in Auburndale or the Resort at Canopy Oaks in Lake Wales, you’ll be greeted by beautiful swimming pools and the kind of high-end amenities not normally associated with RVs.

You’ll also see plenty of visitors.

“Everything just came together at the right time,” said Mark Jackson, the director of Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing. “Polk County traditionally is strong in the outdoors and RV market, and research prior to the pandemic saw that marketing remaining strong.”

As the pandemic struck and the tourism economy cooled, staff fell back on its extensive research to guide the ship out of troubled waters.

“We were ready when the pandemic-fueled RV boom hit,” said Kris Keprios, the senior tourism sales and marketing manager for PCTSM. “With a plan in place, and partners aimed at the cutting edge of the market, it was kismet.”

Included in that plan was an extensive marketing deal with Camping World and Coleman, two of the largest names in the outdoor activities market.

“This enabled us to put Polk County’s great outdoors as an RV destination on the map on a national scale,” said Keprios.

Included in the deal is decals on the doors of the more than 170 Camping World locations nationwide, the majority of which are east of the Mississippi. Digital advertising as well as other forms of marketing were also included.

“We expect more than 13 million impressions,” said Keprios. “And at the middle of it is a chance to win a stay at the Cabana Club. We expect more than 20,000 entries in this alone. And with those entries comes valuable marketing data for us and our partners.”