History of RCRA

The Resort and Commercial Recreation Association was established in 1981 by a group of recreation professionals seeking to create a network to exchange programming ideas. This original group of professionals formed committees; which later expanded to include education workshops, program exchange services, a directory of professionals and eventually a job fair to attract new student memberships. Within 6 months, the association was in full stride and finished the year by holding the first National Conference at Amelia Island Plantation in Florida.
RCRA has continued its growth in both membership and services over the years and it now represents recreation and amenity managers in resorts, hotels, sports clubs, campgrounds, theme parks, special event companies, cruise lines, community developments and colleges / universities.
The National Conference (which consistently takes place in November) and the Regional Conference are both significant events for RCRA. They continue to offer a quality experience for students seeking internships or entry-level jobs. The conferences also offer professionals and educators a chance to network with colleagues, meet students and rejuvenate for the coming year.
RCRA, along with its industry, continues to grow and expand. As with most associations, RCRA has seen its share of challenging times but it continues to emerge as a dominant force within the field of commercial recreation and the leisure industry. RCRA’s success is driven by its active membership and guided by an elected Board of Directors. This Board is comprised of a Past President, President, President Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and four Director at Large positions. It is the purpose of the Board, and of RCRA to further this field by providing appropriate services to professionals, educators and students; and to help increase the profitability and efficiency of its members’ programs.
Founding members of RCRA
October 1981
From left to right:
Loren Van Orrdt, Director of Recreation, Kiawah Island Resort, SC; Debbie Regnone, Social Director, South Seas Plantation, FL; Butch Trellue, V.P. of Recreation, Fripp Island Resort, SC; Leslie Cashdollar, Membership Director, Fripp Island Resort, SC; Frank Oliveto, Recreation Director, Seabrook Island Resort, SC; Katherine Zachry, Director of Member Services, Sea Palms, GA; Stephen Shawler, Director of Activities, Sawgrass Resort, FL; and John DePass, Assistant Professor, East Carolina University, NC.


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Resort and Commercial Recreation Association


Accounting office:

231 route 6A #803

Yarmouthport, MA 02675


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