Premier RV Resorts Grows In Pacific Northwest
Partners Paul Williams and Terry McMullen ventured into the RV park and campground business with the idea of providing quality parks along I-5 in California and up into the Pacific Northwest.
Incorporating as Premier RV Resorts LLC, they began by buying a “hobo” park in Redding, Calif., in June 2000 and turning it into a top-rated facility in the views of both the Woodall’s and Trailer Life directories. Plans called for locating subsequent parks about a day’s drive apart on the premise that “if we could make people happy, they would travel up and down I-5 and come to our parks,” McMullen said.
Premier RV Resorts added its second park in 2001 in Eugene, Ore. And while it wasn’t in much better condition than the one in Redding, McMullen said, major improvements were made and it ultimately gained a superior rating by both directories as the old park’s footprint was erased.
Williams and McMullen have added three additional parks since then, in Salem, Ore., Clarkston, Wash., and, on Feb. 13, in Lincoln City, Ore. All but the resort in Clarkston follow the model of being on or close to the I-5 corridor. The five parks offer a total of 525 sites, soon to grow to 580 after remodeling at Granite Lake and Redding is completed this year. All are year-round Good Sam parks.
The five parks today are:
All of them take a very modern approach to hospitality. “We specialize in large spacious sites, fully landscaped, with paved or concrete pads,” McMullen told Woodall’s Campground Management. “We cater to the Class A big rig traffic as well as the smaller towables and Class C’s. We offer free continental breakfast, free morning paper delivered to the doorstep, free at-your-site Wi-Fi, fitness centers, tiled bathrooms, hot tubs, pet-friendly exercise areas, 50-amp sites, etc. It is all about the customer service and the amenities.
“If we have the nicest RV park on the planet, the nicest sites, but don’t deliver superior customer service, we will not be successful. Our bread and butter is giving the guests an experience they don’t get anywhere else. If we can give them the feeling they’re getting something no one else is getting, they will love you for it.”
“Each of our parks has the highest rating of any park in the area,” McMullen said. “We go into a park knowing that is our goal.”
McMullen, director of operations for the partnership, and Williams, the managing partner, have been working together for 13 years. Prior to their entry into the RV sector, they owned and managed motels and assisted living facilities.
The most recent acquisition, in Lincoln City, fulfills Premier’s desire to own a park on the Pacific Ocean. McMullen stumbled upon it while attending an Oregon Campground Association meeting there in 2007. “The coast is packed from May 1 to Oct. 31,” McMullen said. “There are way more RVs than RV sites, everybody is bursting at the seams. We had made offers on three to four coastal parks, but the purchases fell through.”
The park is now closed for remodeling and is scheduled to reopen Aug. 1. As the existing 94 sites are being pared back to 84, five 100-amp sites are being set up and the public areas are undergoing a major overhaul.
To build loyalty among guests, a Premier Family Club holds monthly drawings for free nights, and campers who stay at all four resorts for two nights get their last night free. A newsletter, in turn, goes out to members three times a year.
McMullen, meanwhile, anticipates a good year for Premier.
“Every time you obtain another park, you get another cross-referencing for the other parks. We can send people north, south, east or west to one of our parks. It helps all the existing parks,” he said