Arizona Park Offers Cooler Alternative
A Phoenix-based RV group is planning on converting and reopening the Wagon Master RV Park near Heber, Ariz., under a new name later this month.
The name will be changed to the Heber RV Resort, according to the White Mountain Independent, Show Low, Ariz. Owner Grant Stoaks said the park will adapt to serve the needs of the new-generation RV customer.
"We are improving all the sites, making them larger and increasing the available power to each one," he said. Stoaks said many RV customers now are using motorcoaches, toy haulers, park models and other large vehicles. He said the increase in space and power availability, from 30 amps to 50 amps, will greatly appeal to those customers.
"All we're doing is providing a bigger playground so they can launch all their toys," he said.
Stoaks added they are also planning on providing a communitywide Wi-Fi system, a leash-less dog park and an active social program for the 60-site resort.
Stoaks and his partner, Charles Irion, own seven other RV resorts in the Southwest. He said he learned about the property's availability in March, as the former owner was looking to sell. He said the sale was closed in June and they have been hard at work since.
The restaurant that accompanied the RV park will be kept intact, although it will also undergo a name change, as well as a change in cuisine. Stoaks said the restaurant, formerly known as Chaparral Cafe, will become the Great Smokey Mountain BBQ Co., a restaurant specializing in barbecue ribs, chicken, pork and other dishes.
Stoaks is a Phoenix resident, but he makes frequent 120-mile trips to the Heber area and its 6,000-foot elevation to escape the heat. He said in that sense, he knows the exact kind of RV customer he is catering to.
"We track like our customers track," he said.
Stoaks said he has been looking at the area for some time now for a project like this. With rising gas prices, he said he expects vacationers to continue to escape the triple-digit summer temperatures of Arizona’s Valley, but traveling more within the state rather than going to places like California, Utah or New Mexico.
"We saw a need a couple years ago with the increase in gas prices and population increases in Phoenix," he said. "(People are) just becoming more efficient with their traveling. It's all about saving money on gas."