California RV Resort Makes Remarkable Turnaround
When John Croce led an investor group to purchase Ramblin Rose RV Resort near Crescent City, Calif., four years ago, it was one of most poorly maintained parks he had ever seen.
“I couldn’t even find the campsites because it was so overgrown,” Croce said in a news release, adding that the park, which was in foreclosure, had so many code violations that the state Department of Housing and Community Development had not only terminated its operating license, but initially refused to allow local utilities to turn on the power after Croce acquired the property.
“We had to use generators to test the power lines and make the necessary repairs before we could even have the power turned on,” Croce said.
But Croce persevered, brought in construction crews, renamed the park The Redwoods RV Resort and succeeded in securing a new operating license. He and his fellow investors have since spent more than $1.2 million in improvements, effectively transforming the park into a thriving resort that caters to tourists and seasonal campers alike. Croce added that guests at his park patronize local businesses, providing a significant economic multiplier effect for the community as well as thousands of dollars in tax revenue.
“We’ve begun a new chapter in the history of this park,” Croce said of the 123-site park, which includes 19 mobile home sites and five park model cabin rentals.
And the improvements are continuing. “Right now, we have a commercial modular building that will eventually become our formal store and office. We also plan to add a dump station and a propane station as part of the store operation,” Croce said, adding that future improvements include more campsite sewer connections and upgrading electrical connections to 50 amps in certain sections of the park.
“We’re real pleased with the success John Croce has had in transforming his park into an attractive and well maintained vacation destination,” said Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (CalARVC).
Sipe added that the private campground industry is attracting growing numbers of investors who are purchasing parks and transforming them into attractive weekend retreats or vacation destinations California residents as well as visitors from outside the state. “Entrepreneurs and investors are increasingly realizing that the campground business is a viable and growing niche within the travel and tourism industry,” Sipe said, adding that the campground industry has been the most resilient segment of the tourism business during the recession.
Sipe also said that the association and its members are working to create a sense of mutual respect and teamwork with state HCD officials, particularly as investor groups purchase aging or neglected parks with plans to transform them into viable businesses.
For more information about Redwoods RV Resort, contact John Croce at (714) 756-2483 and visit his website at www.redwoodsrv.com.