Hello Heartland Owners Club Members,
Summer camping season is in full swing. Have you been out with your Heartland yet this year? I hope you have.
Goshen Rally Report
This past June, Julie and I and a team of amazing volunteers put on the 10th Anniversary of the North American Heartland Owners Rally in Goshen, Indiana. What a hoot! We had 468 Heartland Owners Club members in 228 Heartland rigs join us, representing 38 U.S. states and 3 Canadian provinces. The top 3 represented were Texas at 23 rigs, Michigan at 21 rigs and Ontario at 17 rigs. The top 4 brands represented were Bighorn at 82 rigs, Landmark at 65 rigs, Big Country at 34 rigs and Cyclone at 17 rigs.
Pre-rally attendees spent time catching up with their Heartland family members, touring Amish country, taking pre-rally tours, eating at Amish homes and getting all settled in for the rally.
Rally attendees had the opportunity to attend nearly 40 lifestyle and technical seminars, enjoy 5 catered meals and a catered dessert, enjoy two evenings of professional entertainment, shop from a large variety of vendors in the Heartland Marketplace, go through 10 new display coaches courtesy of Tiara RV, tour the new Heartland service center, tour several Heartland plants, tour the RV museum, ask questions of the Heartland corporate team, receive free minor service work from Heartland RVs and more. It was an amazing time. All of our North American Rallies are fun but the Rally in Goshen is extra special due to the access we have to the supplier base, our factory and our service team.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the ‘Heartland Gives Back’ initiative (HGBi). This year, the HGBi was Heartland Baby Blessings (HBB). Once again, Judi Barnett coordinated the HBB activity and event. What an amazing impact Heartlanders made on Elkhart County for babies and mothers. See the article in this Newsletter for details. Thank you Judi and everyone who made or purchased baby items or donated cash to this worthy cause.
Thank you to all who made it and thank you once again to all the volunteers who helped us produce a great event.
Getting the word out
Many of you know that for years now, inside the blue bag of manuals in each new coach, we’ve been inserting a double-sided flier advertising the Heartland Owners Forum on one side and the Heartland Owners Club on the other side. Now, in addition to this flier, each of our plants is placing a door hanger-style Heartland Owners Club post card on the knob of one of the kitchen cabinet doors. It’s our goal to create more awareness about the club with new owners.
At each North American Heartland Owners Rally, I host a meeting of all Leadership (Club, Forum and Newsletter) in attendance at the Rally. At the Goshen Rally, I hosted a meeting with 30+ Heartland Owners Club Leadership couples. The purpose of the meeting is to get feedback from Leadership about the Club and the Forum. Julie and I take that feedback and use it to make the Club and Forum better. This year, we also had something we wanted to run by Leadership and I want to share this with you too. While the Club has continued to grow each year, the net growth rate is very low and it does not track Heartland sales growth. All Leadership would like to see our Club growth rate improve. As a collective, we discussed many ideas. One of the impediments identified was “lack of awareness” (of the Club) on the part of the majority of Heartland product owners. Another impediment identified the perceived value versus the cost of Membership. In the coming months, Julie and I will be working with the entire Leadership to develop a plan to address both of the above impediments. In the mean time, I would like to ask each of you to continue to reach out to all Heartlanders you encounter in your travels at campgrounds and RV shows. Be sure to ask them if they’re Club Members and if they’re not, encourage them to learn more about it by sending them to www.heartlandowners.org and clicking on the Owners Club link, as seen below.
2016 North American Heartland Owners Rally
At the NAHOR Rally in Goshen, we announced that our plans are firm to hold the 2016 North American Owners Rally in Las Vegas, NV. Primary camping will be at Oasis RV Resort (125 rigs) and we hope to be able to accommodate up to another 75 rigs at other area campgrounds. It is our hope to secure off-site meeting rooms to hold all attendee events. Nancy and I will be in Las Vegas this November to nail down some of the details for this event. To keep up to date with the planning for this Rally, subscribe to the 2016 Las Vegas Rally discussion thread by clicking this link.
Future of the Heartland Highlights Newsletter
As you’ll note in Erika’s article, she is retiring from her position as the Editor of Heartland Highlights. As we consider our options for the Newsletter and a new editor — everything is on the table. If you have ideas for what you feel the Club Newsletter should be, what should be in it, how it should be published, how often etc., kindly drop me a line.
On the road again
As I write this article in late July, Nancy and I are in the Pacific Northwest. We’re here to attend Washington and Oregon Rallies. When we get back home, it’s off to a half dozen more Chapter Rallies. Happy Trails, Heartlanders. Keep making memories with your Heartland RV and “we’ll see you down on the road!”
by Jim Beletti,
Heartland Owners Club President