Paydar Has a 'Passion' for Outdoor Hospitality
The new chairman and CEO of Best Parks in America may have operated "under the radar" in the RV park and campground sector but that era has come to an end.
Best Parks Founder David Gorin used the radar analogy to refer to Reza Paydar, whom he introduced on Monday (Feb. 4) as the new lead investor in Best Parks, a 10-year-old marketing group that encompasses 70 quality parks across the nation, mostly located in the East. (Click here to read the initial story in Woodall's Campground Management on Monday's announcement.)
Paydar is no stranger to the industry, but he "has not had a high level of visibility," said Gorin, who will remain as Best Parks president and chief spokesman.
Yet, over the past 30 years, Paydar has garnered extensive experience in building successful RV resorts, hotel and commercial property developments as well as other types of companies.
He is known in the RV park and campground circle as a good businessman who runs a tight ship but one who maintains a low profile within the industry. His parks are members of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC) but he does not take an active role in association activities.
However, just as he stepped up to create Sunland RV Resorts, a chain of resorts in Southern California and Florida, Paydar expects to lead Best Parks' branding network to another level.
"I am completely excited about the opportunity to be of service and invest in the great platform David has created over the years," Paydar said during Monday's news conference announcing the changing of the guard.
Paydar said he wants to use the synergy that is created through the Best Parks network, whose members he termed "the best of the breed," to enhance not only the members but the entire RV park and campground industry.
"Through this process we are hoping Best Parks in America will become a platform of opportunities for independent operators to benefit from it. Cross promotions will benefit all independent RV park owners," he said, without fear of losing their own identity or brand.
More About Paydar
Based in LaJolla, Calif., Paydar is president of Paydar Properties Inc., a real estate development company. Development activities include a variety of commercial and residential projects, ranging in value from $10 million to $100 million. Examples include luxury recreational resorts, community retail centers, multiple condominium projects ranging in size from 100 – 250 units, and luxury homes in La Jolla.
Sunland’s current RV holdings include Emerald Desert RV Resort in Palm Desert, Golden Village Palms RV Resort in Hemet, Escondido RV Resort in Escondido as well as several properties along the Interstate 8 corridor that are ideally located to accommodate travelers going back and forth between San Diego and Arizona. These properties are San Diego RV Resort in La Mesa and Oak Creek RV Resort, Circle RV Resort and Vacationer RV Resort in El Cajon.
Sunland also owns the Silver Palms RV Village in Lake Okeechobee, Fla.
Paydar received an M.S. in mathematics and a B.S. in mathematics and statistics from the University of Leeds in Great Britain.
Emerald Desert RV Resort
Paydar considers his Emerald Desert RV Resort, which he acquired several years ago, as not only Sunland's finest resort but the finest park in California.
“I had my eye on Emerald Desert for 20 years,” Paydar, said of the 251-site resort. “There is nothing like it in the country.”
And since Sunland acquired Emerald Desert RV Resort, Sunland has made Emerald Desert even more luxurious by retaining the services of a premier hospitality interior design team and investing $2.4 million in additional resort amenities, luxurious appointments and furnishings.
Resort enhancements include a renovated ballroom, which now includes a sports and entertainment lounge, guest lounge with fireplace and large flat screen TV, a baby grand piano and a conference hall for group and club meetings, complete with a large screen for PowerPoint and video presentations.
Its luxuriously designed 1,200-square foot guest registration and lobby features a floor mosaic comprised of tumbled marble, two shades of travertine and Vitoria Regia granite, while its custom-designed reception desk incorporates Sepelle wood veneer with a rich walnut finish and inlayed marble. Other furnishings include bronze finished light sconces, Raphia upholstered wall panels and rich-toned rattan seating groups.
Resort amenities include sparkling pools, indoor and outdoor spas, tennis courts, a driving range and two putting greens, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pet-friendly park and temperature controlled motorhome storage facilities. The resort also has nine, 1,600- to 2,000-square foot villas, which can be rented on a daily, extended stay or seasonal basis.
Emerald Desert has also added a dedicated event coordinator to its team to organize enhanced guest experiences, including golf outings, dining, entertainment and dances.
While Emerald Desert is the only Sunland holding currently in the Best Parks network, Paydar said he would strive to upgrade each of the other parks to qualify for affiliation, with Golden Village Palms in Hemet being the next most likely to join.
'Passion' for the Industry
Paydar said he has a "passion" for the outdoor hospitality business and looks forward to his new position with Best Parks.
He said he intends on taking a close look at every Best Parks affiliate and discover best practices in management, marketing and other services in place at each of them in order to improve the overall efficiency of all the members.
"I like to take my time, study the existing affiliates and have the opportunity to meet with every one of them, which I intend to do, see their current operations and see what their needs are."
He said he plans "a systematic approach to improve the Best Parks platform and let the affiliates provide the guidelines."
Paydar wants to incorporate the reservation software available through his RMS North America holding into Best Park affiliates' operations and create an international footprint for Best Parks, as tourists from North America as well as from around the world will be able to make reservations at any Best Park member through the Best Parks website.
"Our Best Parks affiliates will have an opportunity no one else will have," he said. "Our goal is to stay ahead of everybody else."
Sunland parks have been using the RMS North America software system for the past 2 1/2 years with great success, Paydar said.
In answer to a question, Gorin reported that Best Parks' strategic partner program is not on the sideline and that the network continues to work with vendors that wish to pursue business with Best Parks.
He said Best Parks is "a year or so away from developing a new strategic partner program" and discussions have begun about starting a buying group for Best Parks affiliates.