Bentsen Palm Village in Mission, Texas, has received the campground industry’s highest honor, the “Park of the Year Award” from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
The 250-site campground won the award in the medium size park category, which is based on several criteria, including customer service, employee training, operational excellence, national directory ratings and community service, according to a news release.
Bentsen Palm Village General Managers Guy and Juanita Carvajal received the award during a Nov. 30 ceremony at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, which was hosted by ARVC.
Built 10 years ago by developer/builder Mike Rhodes and his wife, Lori, Bentsen Palm Village is located next to Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and has a lot of visitors who come to enjoy the resort’s native plants, which host butterflies and birds.
“Our guests love to come bird watching and butterfly watching,” Juanita Carvajal said, adding that the park also has two miles of frontage along the Rio Grande River.
“We have pontoon boats that take people on the river for bird watching and nature tours,” she said.
Although Bentsen Palm Village was built from scratch, the owners planted native trees and shrubs, which are becoming more beautiful each year as they mature, Carvajal said. The park was designated by Texas Parks & Wildlife as a certified wildscape and is the largest of its kind in Texas.
Texas Wildscapes is a habitat conservation plan for rural and urban area. It enables Texans to contribute to wildlife conservation by developing wildlife habitats where they live, work and play.
But while Bentsen Palms has a scenic setting, Carvajal said it’s the park’s exemplary customer service that results in high ratings.
“The majority of our business comes from referrals,” she said. “I get a lot of calls from people and the first thing they say is, ‘We have some friends and they recommended your park.’”