- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 8, 2002

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Officials with two tourism-related groups say the president of the Virginia Campground Association misrepresented their groups' position on the bond issue to improve state parks.
Representatives of the Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia and the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association say they are neutral on the $119 million bond issue on the Nov. 5 ballot.
"As a board, we are not politically active. We have no opinion on this," said Rebecca Lindway, president of the Bed and Breakfast Association.
Steve Albrecht, president of the campground association, apologized for saying the two groups joined his organization in opposing the bond issue.
"We didn't do it with any malice," he said. "I don't think there's any hard feelings between the organizations. We're humans, and we make mistakes."
If voters approve the bond issue, the state plans to borrow the $119 million to build new facilities and renovate existing ones. Money from the bonds also would be used to acquire 10 natural-area preserves and property surrounding 11 state parks, as well as land for three new parks.
Danny Mitchell, executive vice president of the Hospitality and Travel Association, said his group is neutral on the bond issue, but concerned about the state's plan to build new campgrounds where they would compete with private ones.
"We, as an association that represents private-sector parties, were not too particularly keen on government unfairly competing with us," Mr. Mitchell said.
Gary Waugh, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, said some state campsites are cheaper than private ones because they have more limited offerings.
For instance, only one state park offers sewer hookups for recreational vehicles.
Two other groups Mr. Albrecht said oppose the bond initiative are in fact against it. They are the Virginia Taxpayers Association and the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.


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