Industry Icon George O’Leary Donates $1 Million to Fund Scholarships to ARVC’s National School
The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) is excited to announce it has received a generous gift that will fund full scholarships to its annual National School of RV Park and Campground Management in perpetuity.
The gift of $1 million, given by George O’Leary, a past member of the ARVC Board of Directors and longtime owner of award-winning ARVC member-parks Rincon Country East RV Resort and Rincon Country West RV Resort in Tucson, Arizona, will allow ARVC to fully fund scholarships to its National School providing valuable professional development to the future of our industry.
“George has experienced so much as a campground owner and has been sharing his expertise with members of this industry for decades,” says ARVC President and CEO Paul Bambei. “This gift is an exceptional extension of his generosity and it will ensure that the education and experience of National School will be more accessible to those in our industry for years to come. This is a game changer for our industry and to say we are grateful is an understatement.”
Bambei announced O’Leary’s gift in front of a captive audience during the ARVC Awards of Excellence ceremony on November 11 at the Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo in Raleigh, North Carolina and also shared that the National School will be renamed and rebranded to honor O’Leary with naming rights.
O’Leary then shared his passion for educating the future of our industry as his reason for giving the gift ARVC’s National School.
“From early on, I learned the importance of education in this industry and that’s why I am doing what I am doing. It’s to ensure the future of our industry has the opportunity to get educated about the business,” O’Leary told the audience. “I’m near the end of the trail now, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I hope that what I am doing to help the [National] School will help young people on the road to success.”
O’Leary, who was born on a farm near the town of Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland, sailed from Ireland in 1956 and opened Rincon Country East RV Resort in November of 1979.
A year later, all 460 sites were rented. In 1983, he began a new venture which became the 1,100-site Rincon Country West RV Resort on Tucson’s southwest side.
Since then, the O’Leary family has continuously modernized both resorts to keep them up to date with state-of-the-art facilities and amenities, and after more than four decades in the outdoor hospitality industry, O’Leary recently sold Rincon Country RV Resorts.
The next National School is scheduled for February 20-24, 2022 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. O’Leary’s gift will begin funding scholarships for the 2023 National School. For more information about the event, or to apply for a scholarship, visit www.arvc.org/National-School-of-RV-Parks-and-Campground-Management.