RVC Completes ‘Garden of the Gods’ Upgrade

April 17, 2013 by · Comments Off on RVC Completes ‘Garden of the Gods’ Upgrade 

Garden of the Gods RV Resort

RVC Outdoor Destinations, a leading provider of U.S. outdoor resort properties, announced today (April 17) that it has completed the renovation of Garden of the Gods Campground in Colorado Springs.

Now operating as Garden of the Gods RV Resort, the facility offers 173 RV sites, including six new executive pull-through sites, and 29 upgraded lodging units. In addition to renovating all of the buildings, various improvements and amenity additions include a new lobby, the Midland Trail gateway, a bark park and a fully remodeled Garden Studios & Suites. Other upgrades are a new pool deck, new fencing, road and landscape upgrades, upgraded Wi-Fi, a new business center and new picnic tables. Also, a new base camp area has been created that includes upgraded bunkhouses and family suites that surround a community campfire and grill.

After purchasing the property in 2012 and investing over $800,000 in improvements over the last year, Garden of the Gods RV Resort is one of the “most attractive outdoor hospitality properties in the region,” said RVC. The property’s logo, website, social media presence and signage have also been updated to better reflect the improvements.

“There is a lot of excitement about this renovation and I’m looking forward to all of the smiles the improvements will bring to our guests,” said Ian Horgan, General Manager of Garden of the Gods. RVC President Andy Cates added that “Garden of the Gods RV Resort is one of the strongest properties in the western United States. RVC is upgrading it from an already attractive and well located campground to an RV Resort by adding the right amenities and improvements.”

In addition to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, RVC currently operates outdoor destinations and RV resorts in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.



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Thousand Trails Announces ‘Camping Contest’

April 1, 2013 by · Comments Off on Thousand Trails Announces ‘Camping Contest’ 

Thousand Trails is giving outdoor enthusiasts a chance to get out and camp with the “Gear Up and Camp” sweepstakes. According to a press release, one camper will win a free week of camping and a camping gear package, with a combined value of $1,100. Sweepstakes entrants will also be entered for a chance to win one of four second place prize packages, and one of 30 third place prize packages daily.

The sweepstakes grand prize includes a week-long camping trip for the winner at any participating Thousand Trails or Encore RV resort campground. In addition, the winner will receive a package of camping gear, including the following: Rand McNally’s RV-specific GPS device – the RVND 7720 LM; $100 gas card; Strongback Chair; Coghlan’s Camper’s S’mores Grill and Corn Popper; Coleman Lantern; $50 gift certificate; Thousand Trails sweatshirt, umbrella, window cling, backpack, blanket and travel mug; and a Duck Harbor Cool Weather Sleeping bag.

Four additional winners will be selected each week of the promotion to receive a second prize package that includes a week-long camping trip at any participating Thousand Trails or Encore RV resort campground and a package including a Thousand Trails backpack, blanket, travel mug, and window cling.

Thirty winners will be selected at the end of each day of the promotion to receive a Thousand Trails camping pack, which includes a backpack, blanket, travel mug and window cling. All in all, 35 prizes will be awarded throughout the course of the Thousand Trails Gear Up and Camp sweepstakes.

To enter, visit the Thousand Trails Facebook page at Entrants are also encouraged to invite their Facebook friends to enter for additional entries. All official terms and conditions can be found on the Thousand Trails Facebook page. The contest will run through April 30.

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ELS Plans to Expand ‘RV Footprint’ During 2013

January 30, 2013 by · Comments Off on ELS Plans to Expand ‘RV Footprint’ During 2013 

Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. (ELS), the nation’s largest operator of RV parks and manufactured housing communities, is seeking to expand its RV footprint this year.

During a conference call to investors on Tuesday (Jan. 29), ELS President Marguerite Nader said the company’s RV footprint “appeals to both the Baby Boomers who are just considering retirement and those who are well under way into retirement.”

She said ELS, which serves RVers through its Encore and Thousand Trails resorts, has “an extremely loyal and vibrant customer base ranging from members who had been with us for more than 20 years to annual customers who have spent a decade with us to the RV customer who is just starting out exploring the RV lifestyle. We can meet the demand of the RVers for a quality, affordable vacation experience.”

Nevertheless, the data show these sites are underutilized, she implied.

Its right-to-use membership continued a four-year decline in 2012 and totaled 96,687 at year-end, down from 105,850 in 2009. Company guidance projects the number to decline to 95,000 this year. Members enter into right-to-use contracts with the company, which entitle them to use certain properties on a continuous basis for up to 21 days.

Paul Seavy, CFO, noted that membership dues revenue in 2012 was 4.4% less than 2011 and approximately $500,000 below company guidance. “We continue to see net attrition in the member base,” he said.

Right-to-use annual payments dropped to $47,662,000 in 2012, down about $3 million from 2009.

“Increasing utilization can be achieved by increasing our annual customers, increasing our member count and promoting additional transient business,” Nader said. “I believe in order to realize this increased utilization, it is necessary to expand our customer base through deeper relationships with distribution channels, to increase marketing campaigns for our properties and to focus on the younger customer demographic.”

This effort will encompass determining the best ways to communicate with customers from social media to grass root efforts and understanding the amenities that drive their decisions to stay at a particular property, she added.

At the same time, ELS sold approximately 10,200 Zone Park passes during the year, including approximately 1,200 membership activated as a result of the RV dealer program, which was launched in 2012.

The Zone Park Pass program, which allows access to up to four zones of the United States and requires annual payments, started in 2010 with 4,487 members. The program grew to 10,198 members in 2012 and is expected to reach 12,000 this year.

At the end of December, ELS acquired two RV resorts in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas for $25 million, or approximately $14,000 per site.

Also, ELS sold the former Cascade property in Washington State, which yielded a sale price of $49,000 per RV site. The high return prompted one investment caller to ask Nader whether the high return made the company management think its RV resorts might be more valuable than first thought. Nader implied “no,” because the sale “was a unique situation.”

Nader said there are no other RV park sales currently in the pipeline “but we certainly look at offers as they come in.”

Earlier, ELS reported favorable results for the fourth quarter and year-end 2012. Fourth-quarter funds from operations or FFO were $50.3 million, or $1.11 per share, up from $44.8 million, or $0.99 per share in the year ago quarter.

Net income available to common stockholders totaled $24.3 million or $0.58 per share, compared to a net loss of $200,000 for the same period in 2011.

Total revenue for the fourth quarter increased to $171.93 million from $162.32 million in the year ago quarter. Property operating revenues, excluding deferrals, were $167.9 million, compared to $161.1 million in the same period of 2011.


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Best Parks Reports Strong Holiday Bookings

May 25, 2012 by · Comments Off on Best Parks Reports Strong Holiday Bookings 

Best Parks in America affiliates are ready for the camping and RVing season reporting overall enthusiasm for getting outdoors is improving over 2011.

According to a press release, the Memorial Day holiday beginning May 25 kicks off the summer season with campers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts booking reservations at Best Parks in America RV parks and campgrounds. Many of the 66 Best Parks in America affiliates report that bookings for RV sites and cabin rentals are ahead of 2011. And with Memorial Day weekend indicators of high occupancy at many parks, it looks like consumers are anxious to get outdoors.

Anaheim Resort RV Park near Disneyland in California still has a few sites left for the long weekend and Pine Acres Resort in Oakham, MA reports the Memorial Day weekend is nearly at capacity and that bookings for the summer season ahead of last year. Gas prices haven’t dampened enthusiasm for camping with Holiday Trav-L Park in Virginia Beach, Va., and Keen Lake Camping and Cottage Resort in Waymart, Pa. Both resorts are reporting campers are coming from closer locations and staying longer.

“Trends at Best Parks affiliates clearly indicate that the consumers are anxious to get outdoors and spend quality time with family and friends, enjoy the natural environment found at RV parks and campgrounds, and enjoy leisure time closer to home . . . and we encourage leisure travelers to contact Best Parks when planning their vacation”, says David Gorin, president of Best Parks in America.

Best Parks in America is a national network of 65 outdoor hospitality properties. For more information, visit or call 714-698-9509.


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Florida City Considers Proposal for RV Resort

May 21, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Don’t call it a trailer park. What developers want to build in northern Cape Coral, Fla., is being pitched as an upscale RV resort appealing to owners of high-end motor coaches.

The Fort Myers New-Press reported that the multi-million dollar project, which would be the first of its kind in the city, is in its infancy. The public feasted their eyes on some maps and designs for the first time Friday (May 18) during Cape Coral City Councilman Kevin McGrail’s town hall meeting at the Northwest Regional Library.

“Anyone who’s seen it pretty much knows the area,” McGrail said. “They’ve already handled a lot of the brush in the area. Right now, it’s basically a cleared field with barbed wire and a lake.”

Now it’s time to get feedback from residents, he said. Their aim is to create a self-contained area for motor coaches, cottages and villas, not a campground. Those living there would get use of all the facilities, including a clubhouse, tennis courts, pool and possibly paddle boats.

The property’s zoning, now agricultural, will need to be changed after approval by the City Council.

“Unless this is handled correctly anyone with a flat piece of land can open a trailer park,” McGrail said. “The job of staff is to craft land-use and zoning terminology to move this forward without opening up a can of worms.”

But he said the timing is right, coinciding with plans for a Burnt Store Road expansion in 2014-15. He sees the resort as a positive driving force for a commercial corridor in that part of the city.

Those who’ve been prepping the property are calling the development The Resort at Burnt Store Lake. They want the atmosphere to maintain a relaxed environment for families.

Stella Peters, president of the Northwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association, said it was premature to speculate but looks forward to finding out more about the resort at this morning’s meeting.

“We’re anxious to hear what they have to say,” Peters said.

The resort is expected to connect to Charlotte County utilities until the city of Cape Coral is ready to service it.

For almost a year, those involved have been assembling properties that equal an estimated 200 acres, said Henry Albrecht, broker and owner of Cape Coral’s Gulf Gateway Realty, which has been working with the developer.

“That lake up there was a quarry but also the largest (lake) in the entire city of Cape Coral,” Albrecht said. “It’s a great location given Burnt Store is going to be widened … we’re really trying to be specific with the language to make this a high class place that draws people from all over the country.”

Their hope is for the resort to contain 350 to 400 units.

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RVC Acquisition Supports Long-Term Strategy

May 14, 2012 by · Comments Off on RVC Acquisition Supports Long-Term Strategy 

Long before Andy Cates established RVC Outdoor Destinations in 2007, he solidified his commercial real estate background at Trammel Crow Co.

The experience has helped Cates grow his Memphis-based operation of upscale, resort-like campgrounds for the last five years. For Cates, outdoor hospitality and commercial real estate have plenty of business parallels, The Daily News, Memphis, reported.

“Ultimately, the land valuations, land development and property management absolutely directly carries over,” he said. “That commercial real estate skill set is clearly helpful and required in this.”

RVC claims to have created the “outdoor destination” hospitality model – providing a variety of lodging options such as RV sites, cottages and yurts, all set within unique natural environments.

“We really weren’t and haven’t been banging the drums on telling our story until really the last year,” Cates said. “We’ve spent that timeframe building our culture and our operating platform, and obviously developing properties. Now, we are aggressively spreading the word about what we’re doing and seeking to expand as we redefine an industry that really hasn’t changed significantly in decades.”

For example, RVC recently announced its acquisition of the Garden of the Gods Campground in Colorado Springs, Colo., marking the company’s seventh location. The 200-site property has been the top RV and outdoor lodging destination in the region – with views of Pikes Peak, the most visited mountain in North America – but has been under bank ownership since 2010.

RVC paid all cash, closed quickly and is investing a significant amount of money into the property – an initial $200,000, as well as that much more and then some during the “reflagging process.”

“It was as much of a renovation analysis as understanding what that property already does in the market,” Cates said. “The fact that it had a large database and a strong, very loyal customer base, was both attractive and also a challenge in that we need to communicate quickly with that group of customers that the property is being revitalized.”

That process also entails bringing Garden of the Gods up to RVC standards. RVC currently operates six properties in Arkansas, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina. Amenities offered in those communities include concierge service, a “bark park” off-leash area for dogs, modern swimming pools, boating and fishing rentals, coffee, beer and wine bars, free Wi-Fi and cable, and a gift shop.

In many ways, Cates said, RVC is attempting to create another product class within commercial real estate. His goal is similar to what was done with self-storage some 20 years ago, when the concept itself grew dramatically and scaled, or when Kemmons Wilson launched Holiday Inn in Memphis in the early 1950s.

“It effectively created full-service hotels as a specific segment of the commercial real estate world,” Cates said. “You had the Holiday Inns and the Hiltons and the Marriotts and those brands take what had been a mom-and-pop lodging business and create consistency and high standards and strong marketing to drive traffic. And that’s not happened in outdoor hospitality.”

Cates said RVC would like to eventually have an outdoor destination property in Memphis, but as with commercial real estate, the economics and the timing have to make sense.

“I think that it’s our backyard and our home and I think there’s a high likelihood that we’ll have a presence here, but it’s got to be the right fit for everybody,” Cates said. “We’re hopeful we’ll have something to talk about here in the next year or so.”

Because with fluctuating fuel prices, RVC doesn’t see as much reduction in travel or planned vacations as it does with the scope of vacations and the distance to that location.

“A lot folks are focused on what’s within three to four hours of the specific vacation market,” Cates said. “And there’s absolutely a more demanding value proposition by the consumer – everybody in the United States is demanding more for their dollar than they ever have. We welcome that because we feel passionately that we can provide a phenomenally good experience for a very reasonable amount of money.”

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RV Resort Developer Proceeds Amid Backlash

May 11, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

The Elks Club was packed with citizens for the Greater Pine Island Civic Association (GPICA) meeting last week. The majority were there to hear from Robert “Smokey” Smeja about his plans to develop 57 acres on Pine Island in South Florida into a Class A motorcoach resort, Windjammer RV Resort, the Pine Island Eagle, Bokeelia, reported.

“We’re here tonight to hear his presentation,” said Phil Buchanan, legal consultant for GPICA. “There is currently an approved plan to build 300 condos on the property, which predates the Pine Island plan. Smokey is seeking to change that to 200 high-end RV lots and include amenities such as a clubhouse and lake. That’s still a lot of density for this property. I’m sure the audience will have lots of questions.”

Smeja began his presentation noting he was a long-time resident of the island who had purchased the land along with approved plans for 300 condominiums including duplexes and seven three-story buildings.

“It has occurred to me,” he told the crowd, “that a better use would be for a destination RV resort using the same road layout and proposed lake. The RV lots would be sold individually. Development of the condominiums would take a long time whereas this project could be completed in 1 to 3 years.”

Smeja went on to explain his concept and showed a 12,000-square-foot clubhouse, walking paths, conservation lands and buffer zones on a concept plan.

“I’m even going to put a couple beaches on the lake, which are not shown on this plan. If you offer the amenities, these people will come.” he said.

“I’m here to find out if you, as an island, want to be involved in a 305-condo project or an RV resort project,” he continued. “I have so much invested, I have to build something and I think the resort is a much better fit for Pine Island.”

The ensuing comments and questions covered concerns ranging from skepticism about Smeja’s claim that affluent RVers would buy the lots and come for just winter months, to questions about septic and water use, traffic issues, having the proposed RV resort degenerate into “a Pink Citrus” and potential impact on property values in adjacent communities such as Pine Island Cove and Pine Island Village.

GPICA President Roger Wood had his gavel in hand and used it on numerous occasions when comments became heated.

Throughout the discussion period, Smeja reiterated that he had to build “something” by August of 2013 and thought the RV resort was a better use of the acreage.

Debbie Iannucci, president of the Pine Island Village Homeowners Association, noted that her members had voted not to support the building of Windjammer RV Resort, primarily because they did not believe it was compatible with nearby residential uses and because of the impact on the community from traffic.

After some 45 minutes of questions, comments and discussion, a motion was made from the floor that the Greater Pine Island Civic Association not approve the re-zoning request at this time. The motion passed with 45 supporting and 1 against.

After the meeting adjourned, Smeja indicated he would be proceeding with the project, noting, “I had hoped to convey to my neighbors that I had a far better plan than the one I purchased. I need to follow up with the adjacent communities to see what they want. So far, it’s just been a concept.”

GPICA member Buchanan pointed out, “It’s a long way from over. We need to look at more plans and have future meetings, but convincing the neighbors it’s a good idea doesn’t look too likely to me. But despite the neighbors’ objections, I do suspect something will be built there sooner or later. That’s just the way things work.”

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‘Best Parks in America’ Releases 2012 Directory

April 18, 2012 by · Comments Off on ‘Best Parks in America’ Releases 2012 Directory 

Best Parks in America, a national network of 65 of the highest rated RV parks and campgrounds in America, announced the availability of its newest affiliate directory, RVing & Camping at the Best Parks in America. The directory is available free at all participating parks and can be ordered from the website, according to a news release.

The easy-to-read directory format and size makes for easy traveling with the directory. In addition to the park listings, the directory features a selection of camping recipes courtesy of From s’mores to grilled salmon, there’s a recipe for every taste and place.

“We are pleased to provide a convenient way for avid outdoor enthusiasts to plan their leisure vacation trips,” said David Gorin, president of Best Parks in America. “For years, the camping vacationer has had to ‘guess’ whether the park would have the experience they were looking for. We are taking the guesswork out of vacation planning by providing a resource of highly rated RV parks and campgrounds that focus on great camping experiences.”

The directory also offers information on Best Guests in America, the complementary loyalty and rewards club for travelers who enjoy visiting the best parks as they travel. Membership in Best Guests is free always and members receive special VIP treatment whenever they check in at one of the Best Parks. Readers can join Best Guests immediately by visiting and clicking on the Become a Best Guest tab.

For more information contact Deb Kohls, vice president of Best Parks in America, at (714) 269-1264.



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Woodall’s ’12 Campground Directory Released

February 2, 2012 by · Comments Off on Woodall’s ’12 Campground Directory Released 

Woodall’s Publications has released its 2012 Woodall’s North American Campground Directory. According to a press release, the 2012 directory contains information for more than 8,000 privately owned and 6,000 public parks across North America.

The directory features 310,003 changes and updates from the 2011 edition, including over 14,000 detailed listings of campgrounds, RV dealers and service centers and attractions, GPS coordinates, physical addresses and detailed campground information. It also features full-color state and provincial maps, at-a-glance charts showing parks that welcome big rigs, have internet access (including Wi-Fi), welcome pets, and parks and campgrounds that are considered “green-friendly,” based upon the criteria of the National Association of Campgrounds and RV Parks (ARVC) in conjunction with “Leave No Trace.”

Included in the 2012 edition is exclusive new editorial on “One Tank Trips,” which guides readers to amazing trips using only a tank of gas. Also new is the use of QR codes allowing RVers and campers to connect with the campgrounds, RV parks and resorts found in the directory. Located throughout the directory, these QR codes can be scanned by smart phones and will connect users to exclusive content.

Woodall’s also redesigned its Travel Section for 2012, and filled it with tons of tips and recommendations about each local cities and attractions within each specific state. Another added benefit to the directory are Camping World coupons, placed within its pages, which are good at any Camping World SuperCenter nationwide, providing savings to Woodall’s readers.

In conjunction with the release of the new 2012 directory, Woodall’s Publications is also releasing its list of top-rated privately owned RV parks and campgrounds in North America through its 5W/5W rating system. Of the 8,000 privately-owned parks listed in its 2012 North American Campground Directory, 363 parks earned the highest and most coveted designation in the Woodall’s rating system.

“Privately owned campgrounds and RV parks covet the 5W Woodall’s rating, valuing it as the industry’s long running standard and most respected rating system,” said Ann Emerson, vice president and publisher. “We are very proud of the 363 campgrounds that have achieved a 5W rating for 2012.”

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Best Parks In America Adding 3 Affiliate Resorts

January 27, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Best Parks in America (BPA), a national marketing and business development network serving the RV park, campground and outdoor recreation destination industry, announced the affiliation of Normandy Farms Family Campground, Foxboro, Mass.; Lakewood Camping Resort, Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Twin Fountains RV Park, Oklahoma City, Okla.

“The addition of these terrific parks to the Best Parks network of outstanding parks is a major step towards the national expansion of Best Parks and its ability to meet consumer demand for high quality outdoor recreation destinations and travel parks,” said BPA President David Gorin.

“With the expansion of the Best Parks program in late 2011, starting off 2012 with the addition of these resorts is an indication that we are heading into a period of new growth for the network. We look forward to expanding the network this year and working with many park operators of highly rated parks who would benefit from affiliation,” said Gorin.

Amenities offered at the new affiliates include:

• Normandy Farms is a luxury camping destination established in 1971. The resort offers a peaceful setting, an extensive and exciting activity program, spacious full service campsites, deluxe, onsite cabin and yurt rentals. The resort’s five star amenities include a 20,000-square-foot recreation lodge with adult and activity lofts, arcade, a heated indoor pool, sauna, and fitness Center. Guests also enjoy three outdoor pools, three jacuzzis, a gift shop, camp store, business center, complimentary WiFi, a snack bar, two large playgrounds, a stocked fishing pond, an 18-hole disk golf course, as well as bocce, basketball, and volleyball courts, soccer field, nature trails, and two softball fields.

• Lakewood Camping Resort is a family owned and operated resort located along a half-mile stretch of sandy beach in Myrtle Beach. Lakewood Camping Resort has been in business for more than 50 years. Lakewood Camping Resort was named Mega Park of the Year for 2010-2011 by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. Established in 1959 by Carl and Marion Perry, the resort offers 2,000 campsites and 135 rental villas and more than 790 villas owned by individuals from all over North America and Canada. All sites feature electrical hookups, free Internet connections, free cable, 14 full-service bath houses and onsite laundry facilities. Lakewood also offers guests a wide range of amenities including an indoor pool with spa, an Olympic size outdoor pool, two kiddy pools, five stocked fresh water lakes, golf cart rentals, beachfront playground, conference center and meeting facilities with a full service kitchen and catering.

• Twin Fountains RV Park: Owned by Dow McCarty, Twin Fountains RV Park was began development in 2004, making it the newest Best Parks affiliate. Opened in October 2006 with 81 sites, the park was immediately successful and has been expanding at a rate of 10% to15% each year and now offers 152 full service RV sites. In 2010, Twin Fountains added an exercise room with additional storage area to the 7000-square-foot building which houses the office, recreation room, store, rally room, and a pizza parlor. In addition to the physical fitness center, the park’s expanded amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub, children’s play deck and water falls. The spring of 2012 will see the construction of a new miniature golf course. And plans are for the addition of a pet exercise area in the near future.

For information, please contact Deb Kohls, vice president, Best Parks in America at 714 269 1264, or


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Upscale RV Resort Proposed for San Luis Obispo

January 16, 2012 by · Comments Off on Upscale RV Resort Proposed for San Luis Obispo 

The San Luis Obispo, Calif., County Planning Commission last week unanimously approved a 130-space residential vehicle resort north of Paso Robles that its owners said would attract an upscale clientele.

The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported that the resort, described by backer Bruce Jordan as “state of the art,” is targeted for the site of the former Almond Blossom restaurant, which closed in 2008.

The developer, Siempre Adelante LLC, intends to convert an existing building into a clubhouse, as well as add a building that would incorporate an office, convenience market, laundry facility, exercise room and restroom. The resort also would include two swimming pools, a playground and a barbecue area.

Jordan said the park will include 130 RV spaces with full hookups to include electrical, water, sewer and Internet connections. It will have 19 pull-through spaces and 111 pull-in spaces. Jordan said he expects the park to draw upscale, semi-retired people, “mostly in their 50’s, whose average stay is likely to be three and a half days.”

That description of the campers drew concern from some nearby residents, who said visitors could include tourists visiting local wineries who might drive back to the resort while intoxicated.

Others said they worried about traffic at the intersection, as well as water. Commissioners said the developer and planning staff had addressed those worries adequately.




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Study: RV Resort Sales Register Rebound in ’11

January 5, 2012 by · Comments Off on Study: RV Resort Sales Register Rebound in ’11 

Representatives from BowStern, an integrated marketing firm specializing in the RV industry, released today (Jan. 4) its recent study examining the RV real estate industry performance in 2011.

The study looked at sales from 17 RV resorts representing seven states, which tracked average number of lots sold, price points and square footage for 2011. The numbers show a strong rebound in 2011 compared to other segments of the real estate market.

Recreational vehicle resort real estate sales appear to have positively spiked in 2011. According to self-reported data from 17 properties across the nation, year-end sales are up significantly from 2010. A quick snapshot of this market showed:

• Reporting properties sold an average of 27 sites in 2011. This reflects an average of 44.75% increase among reporting properties.

• The average size of the sites was 3,500 square feet with the smallest reported site at 1,200 square feet and the largest site at 5,000 square feet.

• The average price of the sites was $130,593 with the lowest reported price at $42,000 and the highest price at $419,000. Sales prices were not up significantly from 2010.

The data, which includes new construction as well as resales, represents a wide range of product from new resorts such as Heritage and Bella Terra on the Gulf Coast in Alabama to long-established projects such as Pelican Lake in Naples, Fla., and Motorcoach Country Club in Indio, Calif.

“From a marketing perspective we are seeing an increase in inquiries across the board,” said Tom Derzypolski, president at BowStern. “Response to print, online, social media and direct mail indicate the consumer is starting to really explore ownership opportunities. The difference is that the period of time between first inquiry and closing is taking a little longer than we experienced in the years prior to the current economic downturn.”

Baby Boomers by an overwhelming majority represent those who purchased in 2011.

“Boomers took a hit to their investment portfolio, but I believe they have decided it’s time to get out there and live again. These folks are not just going to sit in their rocking chair and get older – these are the folks that put a man on the moon and went to Woodstock, you can’t slow them down,” said Derzypolski.

While BowStern’s expertise is in the world of integrated marketing, they conducted several focus groups at the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) convention last August to better gauge the mindset of the consumer. In addition, they completed their online consumer survey in December. The survey can be viewed at This recent real estate study was an attempt to gather information on behalf of their clients.

“We have seen a nice uptick in 2011,” said Tripp Keber, COO Bella Terra Realty Holdings LLC. “Our properties weathered 2010 and look to have had a really nice 2011. Being able to see the collective trends of the marketplace is helpful in making business and marketing decisions across the board. The kind of information BowStern provides is a helpful snapshot for us and other properties across the nation.”

The self-reporting study was not paid for or underwritten by any organization and was an attempt to gather data on this niche real estate segment. To learn more about BowStern please visit:



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Florida Condo RV Park Goes on Auction Block

August 19, 2011 by · Comments Off on Florida Condo RV Park Goes on Auction Block 

The Wilderness RV Park Estates, a 234-site condominium RV park in Silver Springs, Fla., near Ocala, will be auctioned off in a foreclosure sale starting at 1 p.m. EST on Sept. 21.

According to a news release, the park is located at 10313 East Highway 40 and is adjacent to the Ocala National Forest and has access to the Ocklawaha River.

The amenities sit on 22 acres and include a restaurant, convenience store, social hall, sales office, four log cabins remodeled as a bath house, fitness room, recreation game facility, laundry facility and a community pool/hot tub. Four park models, golf carts and mowing equipment are included with the sale.

The property is located along the Florida Greenway and is less than a mile from the entrance of the 383,000-acre Ocala National Forest, a mile to the Silver River State Park and five miles from Ocala.

An inspection of the property may be made on Sept. 9, starting at 11 a.m.

For more information contact David Bradshaw of Tranzon Driggers, (877) 374-4437,, visit or click here.

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Holiday Trails Resorts Debuts New B.C. Park

July 21, 2011 by · Comments Off on Holiday Trails Resorts Debuts New B.C. Park 

Campers now have a new year-round vacation spot in the Sunshine Valley near Hope, British Columbia.

Holiday Trails Resorts has opened a new 20-acre RV resort with 10 deluxe camping cabins. There are 110 RV sites which have 50-amp electrical service, water and fire pits. The one- and two-bedroom chalets are fully furnished with electricity, plumbing, a wood stove and full kitchen, the Hope Standard reported.

“The Sunshine Valley is a unique area and we wanted to be a destination,” said owner Kevin Demers. “It’s just a super deluxe resort. The RVers of today, but more importantly the RVers of tomorrow, want all the bells and whistles when they stop at an RV resort. All of that is going to be provided to them.”

The facility cost over $5 million to build and offers an on-site convenience store, laundromat, 17,000-square-foot clubhouse and fitness center. There are also several hot tubs and indoor and outdoor pools.

Nearby Manning Provincial Park offers seasonal skiing, snowboarding and hiking. ATV trails directly accessible from the resort turn into snowmobile trails in the winter. In addition, waterways provide swimming and canoeing throughout the summer and natural skating rinks in the winter.

A grand opening celebration is planned this Saturday (July 23) for Sunshine Valley RV Resort & Cabins, from 2-4 p.m. There will be an official ribbon cutting ceremony, facility tours, and refreshments and sandwiches.

Holiday Trails Resorts owns six RV resorts in British Columbia two in Alberta and one in Washington state. The company was also recently awarded the contract to operate Coquihalla Campground in Hope.

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Campgrounds Eye Impending ‘Tax Gap’ Closure

May 6, 2009 by · Comments Off on Campgrounds Eye Impending ‘Tax Gap’ Closure 



David Gorin

David Gorin

Federal tax issues are taking the forefront for small businesses, including campgrounds and RV resorts, according to consultant David Gorin, former CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).

“The last few years, you can imagine most of the activity here in Washington has been centered around defense, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terrorism,” Gorin told state campground leaders attending ARVC’s 2009 National Issues Conference last week in Washington, D.C. “While all that continues … tax issues are becoming more and more important, and they affect small business in a lot of ways.”

Gorin said the IRS, in particular, is attempting to close what is known as the “tax gap” — the amount of taxes the IRS expects to receive each year versus what is taxpayers actually send to the government.

“(The IRS) claims a good part of that gap is directly related to small businessmen … who under-report income and over-report their expenses,” said Gorin, who operates David Gorin and Associates and oversees the Best Parks in America marketing group.

“As you deal with large deficits and the need to generate more and more revenue to cover all the initiatives that are on the table now being paid by stimulus money going forward, how do we raise tax revenue? One of the ways, of course, is to increase taxes. The other way is to reduce the tax gap, and make sure there is increased compliance with tax laws.”

Besides increasing the tax burden, IRS efforts to close the tax gap will result in more paperwork, he said.

“There are some very scary discussions about what they are planning on doing to track down the tax-gap individuals, Gorin said. “It has to do with huge amounts of paperwork for small businesses, particularly.

“Instead of giving (IRS form) 1099s just for people who work for you, you will have to give 1099s to everyone that you make payments to, no matter who it is. Having, for example, FedEx send to you a 1099 for every nickel you spend with them, they are then going to report that to the government so there are ways to match expenses to reports.

“There are a lot of things going on in that area. We really have to be careful.”

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