Carefree Communities is Growing RV Footprint

August 16, 2013 by · Comments Off on Carefree Communities is Growing RV Footprint 

Dave Napp

David Napp is on the road again, looking for choice RV parks and manufactured housing communities to add to the growing portfolio of Carefree Communities Inc., a new company formed on June 2 when Centerbridge Capital Partners LP purchased Napp’s National RV Communities LLC (NRVC).

Woodalls Campground Management reported that the veteran of the RV park and campground sector who, with partner Colleen Edwards, had already been doing business under the Carefree RV Resorts brand, has fresh backing and appreciable capital to pursue an expansion strategy for his regenerated company — and to become an even more potent player in the RV park and campground business.

“Our mutual goal is to grow the business’s assets to $1.5 billion over the next three years,” said Napp, That’s more than double the present size of the company — which, with the acquisition of four parks earlier this month, now oversees 65 properties with 18,500 sites in seven states and Ontario.

Those holdings, according to Napp, make Carefree Communities Inc. the nation’s second-largest RV park owner-operator behind Chicago-based Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. The new company will operate under the Carefree RV Resorts and Carefree Communities brands.

Napp remains CEO while Edwards is still president. The two co-founders owned approximately 23% of NRVC prior to the Centerbridge investment, which, Napp contends, is a positive signal and “validation” for the industry in general.

Napp and Edwards in 2005 established NRVC, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company that historically had sought properties in key destination vacation spots with a proven record of attracting both leisure travelers and retirees seeking warm-weather destinations. NRVC since then had grown to become the 10th-largest owner/operator of destination RV and MH communities in the U.S. and Canada.

Napp all along had been open about his company’s long-term game plan, even announcing last summer that his firm was seeking to finance an aggressive acquisition plan by tapping the private equity market for up to $400 million in new capital. Once the capital was secured, Napp said a year ago, he planned to expand Carefree’s portfolio with an eye toward a “priority list” of potential acquisitions in locales like Florida, California and Arizona as well as the Eastern Seaboard — looking for “great opportunities” in popular tourist areas like Myrtle Beach, Cape May and Cape Cod.

Now Napp, by all appearances, is making good on that pledge.

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