Private campgrounds and RV resorts are collectively moving ahead with plans to spend millions of dollars in capital improvement projects this year, despite the recession, according to private park operators and industry officials.
“The recession is temporary, and most campground and RV resort operators believe that it behooves them to move forward with their improvement plans if they want to remain competitive with other travel and tourism options,” said Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
As a result, she stated in a news release, many private park operators are investing in new facilities and amenities this year, which include everything from cabins and yurts to miniature golf courses, skate parks and waterslides.
The push by private park operators to improve their facilities has been going on for many years. In fact, three-quarters of private park owners made an average of $147,508 in improvements to their parks in 2007, according to a national survey by the Arizona Hospitality Research & Resource Center at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
Profaizer cautioned that not every park is investing in capital improvements this year, and some may hold until later this year until they get a better sense of where the economy is heading.
Some resort chains are also upgrading facilities, including Chicago-based Equity LifeStyle Properties which spent more than $13 million in improvements to its 170 RV resorts last year.
“We expect to continue to demonstrate to our customers that we care about our properties by investing in them,” said Ellen Kelleher, ELS’s executive vice president of property management, adding that ELS will spend millions of dollars again in improvements this year.