SORP 2020 Webinars:

Webinar: Maximizing Earned Income and Managing Visitor Expectations in Outdoor Recreation

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
11am - 12:30pm PDT


The pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges in managing parks and outdoor recreation facilities for visitor use. Please join our esteemed panel for a discussion around maximizing earned income and managing visitor expectations. We'll dive into recent visitor patterns and consumer travel preferences. The discussion will cover operations planning for consistent service quality, safety, sanitation, and sustainability, and opportunities for generating new revenues to offset budget reductions.


Eric Flanigan, Vice President, Retail, Aramark
Eric Flanigan is Vice President, Retail for Aramark Hospitality Management and supports over 100 retail locations in Parks and Cultural Attractions.  He brings more than 30 years of experience in retail operations and buying and merchandising to this role. He is skilled in visual merchandising and store design. His prior experience includes three years as Executive Vice President at Event Network, LTD., where he operated the company’s international business and set up operations in the U.K., Germany, Denmark, France, and Portugal; 10 years as Vice President of Stores for Event Network with revenue at $150 million; and 15 years as District Manager/Regional Manager for Drug Emporium. Inc. Eric has a B.A. in history from Ohio State University and studied city and regional planning post-graduation.

Warren Meyer, President, Recreation Resource Management
Warren Meyer is owner and president of Recreation Resource Management (RRM), a private operator of approximately 150 public parks, campgrounds, and recreation facilities in 9 states.  He is also president of the National Forest Recreation Association and a board member of the California Parks Hospitality Association. Warren has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a mechanical engineering degree from Princeton University. He is a frequent speaker on public-private partnerships in public recreation. He has written a novel called “BMOC” and has a second book in the works.

Brian Stapleton, Vice President, Food and Beverage, Aramark
Brian Stapleton is Vice President Food & Beverage for Aramark Hospitality Management and supports the entire Parks and Conference Center portfolio.   His background includes The Ritz-Carlton Company where he was Sous Chef at the Atlanta Ritz-Carlton, AAA four-diamond, Mobil four-star hotel, in 1987. Over the next 10 years, he held a series of Chef positions at Ritz-Carlton properties as his talents continued to be recognized and rewarded. He became Executive Chef at the four-star, four-diamond Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis in 1991, and two years later was honored as the St. Louis Chef of the Year. In 1994 he was named Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach, Florida, a AAA five-diamond, Mobil Five-Star hotel. Brian turned his career in a slightly different direction in 1995, leaving the world of large, national hotel organizations for The Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As Executive Chef, he quickly made the AAA four-diamond hotel restaurant, Il Palio, one of the most popular fine dining venues in the Research Triangle (Raleigh, Durham,and Chapel Hill) area. Along with receiving recognition in regional and national magazines, Il Palio in 1999 was named Restaurant of the Year, and Brian was honored as Chef of the Year in the Triangle. Brian continues to appear on local and national television and for countless charity events in North Carolina, as well as traveling throughout the country performing demonstration cooking and representing North Carolina in various food and wine events. He is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.

Jared Zucker, Concessions Program Manager, California State Parks
Jared Zucker is the Concessions Program Manager for California State Parks.  Jared oversees the development of concessions and the management of ~200 concession contracts throughout California generating more than ~$150 million in gross annual revenue.  California State Parks’ concession portfolio includes a variety of businesses operated by private and nonprofit entities including restaurants, marinas, retail stores, campgrounds, conference centers, equipment rentals, and more.  Collectively, concessions contribute ~$20 million to California State Parks in rent and capital improvement projects.  Jared has been in his current role since 2016, but has worked for California State Parks in several capacities since 2008 under the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division and the Division of Boating and Waterways.  Jared has a Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration from California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo and a Master of Science in Recreation Administration from California State University Sacramento.  Jared loves the outdoors and enjoys promoting memorable outdoor experiences.