Chariot Eagle Sells 30 Park Models to Resort
Tropical Palms Resort, a vacation destination near Walt Disney World in Kissimmee, Fla., is capitalizing on the nation’s growing park model “camping” trend. The property’s new management company, Royalty Resorts, has ordered 30 new park model cottages that arrived in December from Chariot Eagle Inc., based in nearby Ocala.
“This type of long-term destination camping has really taken off, especially among Baby Boomers,” Bob Holliday, president and founder of Chariot, stated in a news release. “I have been building RVs for 25 years and, despite the economy, park model popularity has never been higher.”
Park model builders like Chariot constructs units under 500-square feet for the Florida market to maintain a classification as a recreational vehicle, “although many buyers increase their living space by adding an outdoor deck, or screened-in Florida Room,” said Holliday. The cottages look like a small home and, depending on costs, come outfitted with a wide range of finishes that go from rustic to upscale and modern.
“These new cottage-style models we just ordered are about the same size as a large hotel suite, equipped with full-sized kitchens and bathrooms," said Tim Deputy, Tropical Palms regional director. "And, since these are freestanding units, our guests don't have anyone making noise above or below them like in a hotel." Plus, many retirees and nature-lovers enjoy camping’s relaxed atmosphere and social interactions.
“A park model is like staying in a private suite in a campground. Our guests think it is the best of both worlds,” said Deputy.
Another factor that appeals to campers is the ability to bring along their adult toys on extended trips. Unlike a hotel, Tropical Palms can accommodate motorcycles, bikes, jet skis and fishing equipment. and assure that these items are safe when guests are off property.
“Considering these trying economic times, camping remains an affordable vacation alternative compared to airline or cruise vacations,” continued Deputy.
Tropical Palms has also identified a growing market for park models as seasonal homes. "Our guests find that these units so comfortable and the resort so convenient, they wind up wanting to purchase a cottage as a vacation home,” said Deputy. “Depending on size, exterior and interior appointments, prices range from $40K to $80K for a second home at Tropical Palms.”