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Alberta RV Parks Report Spurt in Summer Business

June 5, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Most people only dream of a lakeside vacation home, but a growing number of RVers are discovering they can afford that summer cabin experience  – and they don’t have to travel far to get it, according to The Edmonton (Alberta) Journal

Buying a spot or renting one long-term in an RV resort is becoming increasingly popular, said Doug Ross, general manager of Grove RV and Leisure, a dealership in Spruce Grove. “People like to get away from the city, but the cost of towing and gas prices and everything sometimes makes it a little more expensive.” 

Now, however, holiday playgrounds where RVers can leave their units year-round are popping up within easy driving distance of Edmonton, Ross says. Among them are Lake Arnault RV Resort, an hour west of the city, and Allan Beach Resort on Hubbles Lake in Stony Plain, 30 minutes from Edmonton. 

“This way, they can drive in their car out to where their recreational vehicle is set up,” said Ross. “They can have everything all set and ready to go the minute they arrive.” 

That’s the kind of person developer Pablo Galvez hopes to attract to Allan Beach Resort, which will start pre-selling lots on spring-fed Hubbles Lake this summer. 

“People are just so busy, and they don’t have time to drive three or four hours to a cabin on a lake,” Galvez said. “Imagine: Get off work at five o’clock on a Friday, and by 5:30 you’re at your cabin with a glass of wine on the deck.” 

Property prices in the four-season resort will start at about $145,000. Owning land in an RV retreat is attractive for another reason, said Galvez. “RV condos like this are the cheapest form of lakefront ownership,” he said. 

Don Dobing, owner of Lake Arnault RV Resort, agreed. Pre-sales have begun for lots in his project. Prices range from $60,000 to $100,000. 

“It’s a nice alternative (to traditional lakefront property),”Dobing said. “You own your property, and if you want to give it to your family or you want to sell it, you have title to it. So you’re going to get your investment back.” 

And then some, said Arnie Lank, sales manager for Gleniffer Lake Resort and Country Club, southwest of Red Deer. The popular vacation spot started out as an RV resort 20 years ago. The gated community has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a hot tub, fitness center, golf course and swimming and boating on Gleniffer Lake. When it first opened, lots sold for $12,000 to $18,000. Lank says a property for sale now in an older part of the park has an asking price of over $200,000. 

The final phase of the resort is restricted to cabins and recreational park trailers or park model RVs, but the only time the huge units move is when they’re towed to a permanent or semi-permanent site. 

A number of resorts close to Edmonton rent spots for the entire summer. 

At Hubbles Lake RV Resort on Hubbles Lake in Stony Plain, seasonal rates start at about $1,800. Customers can store their units at the resort over the winter for $150. 

“It’s a cottage atmosphere,” said park owner Laurie Zimmer. “We’re (within) proximity to Edmonton here. People can just quickly run out with the van or a small car.” 

Many rental places are so popular, spots are snapped up even before the season starts. That’s the case at Hilah-Ayers Wilderness RV Park on Mulhurst Bay at Pigeon Lake, an hour’s drive from Edmonton. 

There are no spots left for this year, said spokesperson Charlene Dawson. Spaces are rented for a one-year period. Rates start at about $2,100. 

The Whitemud Creek Golf and RV Resort in southwest Edmonton has monthly rates from about $750. 

“In Edmonton, you only have so many RV spots, so we’re busy,” said Manager Jo-Ann Ruff.

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