Phoenix RV ‘Village’ Attracts Unique Clientele
It’s Wednesday afternoon, and Pat Valsvik is playing party host. She is sipping on her Seagram’s 7 Crown and Diet Pepsi and joking about husband Lee’s shirt, which reads “If at first you don’t succeed, look in the trash for the instructions.”
As reported by Phoenix-based The Republic, when Pat, 73, and Lee, 77, used to picture retirement, they knew exactly what they didn’t want.
“We always used to drive around on the highway with our Cadillac going 80 miles an hour and these people with those RVs are tooling around at 50, and I said, ‘I’m never doing that,’” she said, laughing.
So when it came their turn, they spent a few years traveling and staying in apartments. But “in apartments, people go in, shut the door and they’re done for the night,” Pat said. So they bought an RV and a yellow Labrador puppy, Harry, and set out to find a park that would allow both.
That was eight or nine years ago. Pat, Lee, Harry and now Max, their black Scottish terrier, have found their niche at Desert’s Edge RV Village in Phoenix, an RV park unlike most.
The village is home to a population of transient travelers, unlike the typical trailer park’s older, more-permanent demographic.
The majority of RV parks in Arizona are age restricted, allowing only visitors who are 55 or older. The majority also allow park models or double-wides, the relatively permanent housing generally associated with trailer parks.
Desert’s Edge is all-ages and does not allow park trailers, a pairing of rules that lends itself to a diverse mix of visitors.
While the park sees its fair share of snowbirds, regulars include men attending the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute just down the street or students at Midwestern University’s Glendale campus and the Westwind School of Aeronautics in Phoenix.
Nurses stay at the park while working at the nearby Mayo Clinic Hospital. Visitors come for a week at a time for the Barrett-Jackson car auction, the Fiesta Bowl and spring training. And there are a good lot of Canadians year-round.
“RV parks are great equalizers,” said Saundra Bryn, co-owner and managing partner, “because you can always talk about sewage.”
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