Florida RV Parks Get Upgrades
The economy may be mired in recession, but that hasn’t stopped three Florida entrepreneurs from investing millions of dollars in new and upgraded RV resorts.
Bill Harvey spent $15 million on the 512-site Silver Palms RV Village in Okeechobee, the first phase of which opened this week. The park, which is open to towable and motorized RVs and park models, is selling sites from $55,900 to $77,900, has already sold one third of the 167-sites in the resort’s first phase, Harvey said in a news release.
“We’re wary in this economy as any prudent business would be. But we’re still seeing strong demand for our RV sites and we’re continuing to make sales,” Harvey said of his resort, which will include a private members lounge, a 9,000-square-foot clubhouse, a 300-person capacity ballroom, a resort-size pool and Jacuzzi, and a 1,000-square-foot fitness center in addition to tennis, pickleball, volleyball and shuffleboard courts.
And Harvey’s investments in RV resorts don’t stop there.
Four years ago, he spent $1 million improving and expanding Cross Creek RV Resort in Arcadia. The expansion work included boosting the park from 400 to 525 sites, upgrading the park’s water and sewer system and building a second 4,000-square-foot clubhouse. “We are trying to appeal to both traditional snowbirds and Florida residents, and we are finding that even in this economy, people will pay to stay in quality RV resorts.”
David Gorin and his partner, Ed Rymer, who spent $1.4 million renovating the 115-site Holiday Cove RV Resort in Cortez, have a similar perspective.
“Our demand is being driven by our upgrades and the quality of the park and, most of all, our location,” he said, adding that his February revenue was up 14% compared to the same period last year.
Improvements Gorin and Rymer have made at Holiday Cove are extensive, and include installing 50-amp electrical service at every site, repositioning the water and sewer connections at each site, installing brick paver pads and patios at every site, paving all roads, remodeling the park clubhouse and offices, building a new laundry and fitness center building, changing to a salt water swimming pool and adding new landscaping.
“The economy may be down, but many campgrounds and RV resort operators are moving ahead with plans to open new parks or to make improvements or expansions at existing parks because they know the recession is only temporary and that RV enthusiasts are always looking for attractive places to stay,” said Bobby Cornwell, executive director of the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.