Calif. Parks See Upturn in Snowbird Bookings
RV resort operators across Southern California anticipate a strong winter season, with reservations and occupancies running ahead of last winter’s figures.
“Reservations are looking very strong this winter,” said Daniel Wright, general manager of the Springs at Borrego RV Resort in Borrego Springs, which added 53 RV sites last winter to accommodate rising demand.
But even though Wright increased the size of his park by 60%, he still has more snowbirds than he can accommodate. “We are already in a waiting list situation for February for stays of 30 days or more,” he said.
Paula Turner, who owns and operates Shadow Hills RV Resort in Indio, said her park would be filled up with snowbirds this winter. “We’re completely booked,” she said, adding she’s also gearing up to accommodate guests attending the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals in the spring.
Winter bookings are also up at Newport Dunes RV Resort in Newport Beach as well as Campland by the Bay in San Diego. “We are way up at both properties,” said Michael Gelfand, who manages both resorts. “2012 has been approximately 5% better than 2011 and (winter) reservations at both parks are up over 7%.
La Jolla-based SunLand RV Resorts, which owns and operates seven RV resorts across Southern California, also anticipates a strong season. SunLand’s properties include Golden Village Palms RV Resort in Hemet and Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert.
Park operators throughout Southern California attributed the growth in business to improvements they’ve made to their parks as well as the growing array of activities that are now available at many RV parks and resorts that are frequented by snowbirds.
Golden Village Palms, for example, recently added four pickleball courts and remodeled its exercise room and equipped it with new exercise equipment as well as a large flat screen television.
Springs at Borrego RV Resort has added a large amphitheater to accommodate large outdoor events. The resort is also offering massages for couples as the latest amenity from its on-site spa and wellness center.
“Over the summer, our pool and spas were completely replastered and the pool deck was resurfaced, so the pool area is like brand new,” Wright said, adding that he is also adding a propane fire pit near the pool area that will create a cozy gathering place on chilly winter evenings.
“Another thing that some RVers may be interested in is the configuration of our new ‘Fairway Sites,’ which border right on the 2nd and 5th fairways of the golf course,” Wright said. “These ultra-deluxe 40-by-80 RV sites are double-loaded, meaning power, water, cable TV and sewer are located on both sides of the 18- by 70-foot concrete slab, allowing folks to park a motor home headed in or backed in, their choice.”