Campground Arena Icon David Gorin Faces Health Issue
David Gorin, a longtime lobbyist, campground industry consultant, and RV and manufactured housing Hall of Fame recipient who helped establish the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (National ARVC) as the voice of the North American campground industry, has been diagnosed with cancer and is now receiving hospice care at home.
“I was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic and liver cancer in late February,” Gorin, 78, told Woodall’s Campground Magazine, a sister publication of RVBusiness, adding that he recently made the decision with his wife, Susan, 70, to receive hospice care at home after receiving a series of chemotherapy treatments and consulting with various oncologists.
“One of them finally said to me, ‘There’s nothing more we can do for you. You can do more therapy, cell therapy. But we don’t think it’s really going to help you,’ ” he said.
Gorin said he and Susan hope to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary on July 3. He said they made the decision jointly that the best strategy moving forward was simply to receive hospice care at home. “My wife and I decided it’s time to have the best possible life we can for as long of a period as we can have it,” he said, adding, “I have very good nurses. I’m up and around. Right now, on a day-to-day basis, I feel OK. My only issue is walking and being careful not to fall down.”
When WCM caught up with him, Gorin said he was looking forward to visits from his two sons, including Daniel, 34, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., and Jesse, 38, who resides in Oakland, Calif.
Gorin said he effectively retired in 2018, a year after being inducted into the RV and Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., selling his home in McLean, Va., moving to Longboat Key, Fla., and turning over his consulting business to Jayne Cohen, another longtime campground industry consultant and park operator. Gorin said he has set up an account through a website called CaringBridge.org, which enables him to send and receive and share messages with people who contact him through the website.
“My wife writes a journal and we get comments on that. I’ve had notes from Al Daniels and Dan McConnell, who I worked with very closely for years. Some I hear from when they’re in town,” he noted.
Gorin said he continues to enjoy the friendships he developed with people across the campground and RV industries, which he considers unique because of the friendliness of the people involved in these businesses.
“I never met anyone I wouldn’t enjoy going out and having dinner with,” he said. “I value all of the friendships I had in the industry. I look forward to being around maybe a few more years to rekindle some of those relationships.”
Gorin is nationally known for his pioneering work beginning in the late 1980s to transform the fledgling National Association of Campground Owners (NCOA) into the free-standing and financially solvent National ARVC, representing and promoting commercial park industry interests in government affairs, education and marketing across the U.S.
Gorin was the association’s chief executive from 1987 to 2001, during which time he helped establish an industry-wide Model Code of national building code standards for campgrounds and RV parks. The standards were initially outlined in the American National Standards Institute Code Section 1194 and subsequently added to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes.
Gorin’s other major accomplishments included establishing the National School of RV Park and Campground Management in Wheeling, W.Va., to provide professional instruction and training for campground and RV park owners and operators and their staff. Gorin also led the launching of GoCampingAmerica.com, one of the first websites to promote privately owned and operated campgrounds nationwide.
Gorin established David Gorin Associates LLC in 2002 and served as CEO of the Virginia Campground Association from 2002 to 2011, a client of his firm He also continued to work for National ARVC for many years as a lobbyist and legislative affairs consultant while also building his consulting work with private park operators, developers and investors nationwide.
Gorin has been a leading proponent of luxury RV resorts and has consulted for numerous developers who have built high-end RV resorts in Florida and other Sunbelt states that sell their sites to RV owners. He and a business partner developed Holiday Cove RV Resort in Cortez, Fla., in 2007 and 2008.
In his younger days, Gorin was a teacher in New York City for five years before becoming the regional director for the Conservative Synagogues of America, based in Washington, D.C. and serving 45 affiliated synagogues in the Mid-Atlantic States. During the 1976 presidential campaign, he worked for President Ford’s re-election in a special role targeting the Jewish community. Gorin subsequently became a lobbyist for the American Jewish Congress and later the Solar Energy Industries Association before joining the National Campground Owners Association (NCOA) in 1987.