Gulf Shores, Ala., RV Lot Sales Pick Up

August 1, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

People are coming back to the beach at Gulf Shores, Ala., and a lot of them are driving high-end recreational vehicles, the Mobile Press-Register reported.

Six RV lots have sold in Bella Terra of Gulf Shores in the past two months, prompting developers to put the remaining 65 lots up for sale, according to Chuck Smith, a partner in the development off Baldwin County 12. So far, 110 potential buyers have signed up to buy one of the lots, Smith said. Lot prices range from $120,000 to $170,000 for lakefront sites.

Bella Terra and another local development, Heritage Motor Coach Resort and Marina, cater to the Class A motorcoaches, which typically cost between $600,000 and $2 million.

The resorts and parks that serve them sell campsites and rent them out when the owners are traveling.

RV lovers may own a million dollar coach, but they parked the condominium on wheels when the economy slowed and prices at the gas pumps increased, RV sales agents said. Still, sales and rentals were going well last year until the BP oil spill hit in April and “everybody vanished,” Smith said.

But in the last 60 days, sales and interest have increased tremendously, Smith said.

“People are coming back to the Gulf,” agreed Jim Howard, resort director at Heritage, on Bayou St. John in Orange Beach. “We had an awesome June. We sold 10 resort sites. We have now sold 46 of the 79 sites.”

Heritage sites start at $165,000. A waterfront site with a coach house or guest house can be as high as $409,000. That park includes a private, 42-slip marina.

Owning a half-a million dollar RV is a lifestyle choice, Smith said. “Most of the owners are retired and generally have the means to invest in something they want. They love the resort. It’s a place they can call home when they’re not on the road.”

The final phase of 65 lots in 175-lot Bella Terra will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, he said.

“Many, if not most on the list, have stayed at Bella Terra or heard of us.”

Howard said RV owners are seeing that if they don’t do something now, the lots won’t be there later.

“A lot of our clients come in and rent for a week and get addicted to the place and decide to buy a site,” Howard said.


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