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Highlights from the 2023 Exposition for the Outdoor Hospitality Industry

Highlights from the 2023 Exposition for the Outdoor Hospitality Industry

Highlights from the 2023 Exposition for the Outdoor Hospitality Industry

The 2023 Exposition for the Outdoor Hospitality Industry was a resounding success, bringing together industry professionals, enthusiasts, and experts from across the nation to celebrate the great outdoors and the thriving outdoor hospitality sector. Hosted at the impressive Turning Stone Resort and Casino, this year's event was filled with exciting activities, innovative products, and valuable insights for those involved in this dynamic industry.


With the support of Camp New York, this event proved to be a hub of inspiration, knowledge-sharing, and networking opportunities for outdoor hospitality businesses. Here's a brief overview of what made the 2023 Exposition truly exceptional:


Exhibits and Product Showcases: The heart of the exposition was the tradeshow hall, where attendees had the chance to explore an impressive array of products and services dedicated to enhancing the outdoor hospitality experience. From branded gear to cutting-edge reservation software, the exhibits featured a wide range of solutions designed to make campground operators day to day more efficient and to provide customers with an overall better experience.


Educational Workshops: One of the highlights of the event was the lineup of cracker barrel style sessions. Industry leaders and experts shared their knowledge on a variety of topics, such as marketing strategies, legal and legislative insight, accounting essentials and so much more! Attendees had the opportunity to gain invaluable insights and practical tips to help their businesses thrive.


Inspirational Keynote Speakers: John Formica, popularly known as the "Ex-Disney Guy," is a highly regarded expert in the service industry. With a profound understanding of customer experience, team culture, and small business growth, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Over a decade of dedication at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., has provided John with invaluable insights into the intricacies of tourism, hospitality, and service industries.


As a former successful Disney Leader, including at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, John captivates audiences with his incredible experiences, sharing real best practices, and providing proven Disney success strategies. His presentations are not only highly informative but also exceptionally inspiring and entertaining. Attendees gained invaluable insights on how to create your own "Magical" Disney-like Customer Experience and cultivate a Positive Winning Team Culture. His stories and words of wisdom resonated with attendees, leaving everyone inspired and motivated to continue making a positive impact in the outdoor hospitality industry.


Networking Opportunities: Building connections within the industry is essential for success, and this exposition provided ample opportunities for attendees to network with peers, suppliers, and experts. The connections forged during the event are sure to lead to future collaborations and growth within the outdoor hospitality sector.


Camp Good Days: During the 60TH Anniversary Gala, CONY was able to present James McCauley from Camp Good Days a check for over $275,000. This money was raised by CONY member campgrounds over the course of a year. Our campgrounds went above and beyond in their efforts to raise funds for this fantastic cause. They organized a wide range of creative events, including the Camp Good Days Carnival, Chili Cookoffs, Bake Sales, Bottle Drives, Auctions, 50/50 Raffles, Motorcycle/car cruise, and even a thrilling Duck Race down the Little Salmon River in Mexico NY! We’re so proud of the campgrounds that have assisted in raising this money for such a wonderful cause. 


60TH Anniversary Gala and Hall of Fame Induction: The Gala, featuring a dinner sponsored by Brand Lab Gear, was an unforgettable night, brimming with exquisite cuisine, captivating entertainment, and a warm atmosphere of camaraderie. We extend a heartfelt congratulations to Don Bennett Jr., whose induction into the prestigious CONY Hall of Fame is truly well-deserved. His unwavering dedication to the industry has been a constant source of inspiration.


Don received accolades from esteemed individuals, including Jason Vaughn, Scott Brandi, Mark Dorr, and Deborah Stevens, who were all present at the event. Don also received a special proclamation from Livingston County, adding to the already well-deserved recognition. Notably, previous Hall of Famer Mark Anderson, along with Mike and Gina Lenhard and Randy Lehmann, were among those in attendance who also offered their congratulations and accolades. As a follow-up, we are thrilled to share that Ross Levi from I Love New York and ESD joins us in extending his heartfelt congratulations and accolades to Don.


Overall, the 2023 Exposition for the Outdoor Hospitality Industry was a fantastic gathering of outdoor enthusiasts, business owners, and industry professionals. It provided a platform for sharing knowledge, exploring innovative products and services, and fostering a deep appreciation for the outdoor hospitality experience.


As the outdoor hospitality industry continues to evolve, events like this exposition will play an essential role in shaping its future. The camaraderie and shared passion among attendees are a testament to the bright future of outdoor hospitality. We can't wait to see how the industry will continue to grow and thrive in the years to come.


Thank you to all who participated in this fantastic event. We look forward to seeing you at the next Exposition for the Outdoor Hospitality Industry, where we can once again come together to celebrate the beauty of the great outdoors and the opportunities it offers.


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