Randy Hendrickson, co-founder of Westlake Village, Calif.-based Horizon RV Resort Development, reports that he is seeing a large increase in inquiries and interest in new RV resort development projects.
“We’re seeing a dramatic increase in calls about ‘greenfield’ RV resort projects from all over the United States in prime locations. It is no secret there has been plenty of money that has been on the sidelines, and it’s great to see that forward-thinking investors are now finally looking to put their land, and capital, to work,” Hendrickson stated in a news release.
David Simms, another of the co-founders, is seeing several major trends in development including:
- RV resorts as family outdoor recreation destinations. “These facilities are in locations close to large population centers, are high-end in nature and have extensive entertainment and recreation complexes that provide a draw for those seeking a cost effective get-away for the entire family,” says Simms.
- Native American casinos also appear to be examining adding RV resorts on the casino properties. According to Simms, “In a very competitive environment, casinos are looking to add RV facilities in order to attract new customers that typically have a high demographic profile and will actively use the casino facilities.”
- RV parks as affordable year-round living. “We are seeing a number of markets throughout the United States where there is a need for affordable living for both workers and retirees who want to stay in a nice facility at a budget price. These properties have complete but value oriented facilities that are very attractive.”
- RV parks in oil and gas shale regions that serve as facilities for extended stay workers. “Workers are looking for a comfortable and affordable solution to their housing needs as they spend extended periods of time on the job.”
Simms adds that the key to maximizing any RV development is to exhaustively understand the market, and build a facility that fills an underserved niche and provides an attractive alternative to the area competition. Of course, the projects always have to provide an attractive rate of return based on attainable, conservative and achievable assumptions.
Tony Caputo, the third co-founder, has an extensive background as a developer of RV resorts. He stresses that it is important to always “right-size” the RV facility and balance the density of sites with development costs.
“The type of RV facility greatly influences the actual design features,” said Caputo. “For example, RV check-in staging and pull through sites are important at RV resorts that have a high proportion of transient traffic. That is not as important in properties that cater to long-term renters or that sell deeded RV lots. Unless you have a background in RV resorts and thoroughly understand the market, there are a lot of mistakes that can be made in design such as the width and length of the RV site, the angle of the site to the street and the proper location of the utilities. Coordination with the engineers is also critical to ensure a good outcome for an RV resort.”