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‘Cabin Fever’ Arrives at KOA in Victoria, Texas

July 26, 2013 by · Comments Off on ‘Cabin Fever’ Arrives at KOA in Victoria, Texas 

Park model cabin site at Victoria/Coleto Creek Lake KOA in Texas

The recent arrival of two new Deluxe Cabins at the Victoria/Coleto Creek Lake, Texas, Kampgrounds of America Inc. ( KOA) has caused quite a stir among campers, the Victoria (Texas) Advocate reported.

Campground General Manager Terry Dick hosted a ribbon cutting for the new Deluxe Cabins earlier this month.

“It’s catching on,” Dick said in an interview with the local Victoria Advocate newspaper. “You have all of the comforts of home, yet you’re not home. It’s an affordable, convenient getaway.”

Kampgrounds of America parks have been adding Deluxe Cabins at a rapid clip in recent years. KOA now has more than 2,200 Deluxe Cabin units at more than 310 of its 485 campgrounds in North America.

To click here to read the entire story from the Victoria Advocate.

 

Vineyards Improves Website to Promote Cabins

January 7, 2013 by · Comments Off on Vineyards Improves Website to Promote Cabins 

Some of the rental cabins at The Vineyards Campground & Cabins in Grapevine,Texas.

The Vineyards Campground & Cabins is finding growing demand for its fully furnished park model cabins, even in winter, according to a news release.

“We were sold out over Christmas. We were tremendously busy,” said Joe Moore, general manager of the 93-site campground, which has 13 cabins, several of which are featured online at www.vineyardscampground.com.

But while consumers have always had the ability to reserve these cabins online, they haven’t had the ability to rent specific cabins based on the photographs they see online — until now.

Thanks to a recently completed website enhancement by TXAD Internet Services, the Vineyards Campground now has a separate cabin page on its website that gives consumers the ability to rent the specific cabin they like most, based on the photographs and floor plans presented online.

“This way, people can see what they’re getting and there are no surprises,” Moore said.

The website previously had a selection of cabin photos, but there were no descriptions or floorplans which raised more questions than they answered. “People kept asking, which cabin is cabin 3 or cabin 4 or cabin 10. People want to know what they’re getting,” Moore said. “They want to know where the bedrooms and bathrooms are located, where the kitchen is and where the front door is and if there’s a view of the lake.”

But with the new website layout, consumers can now see that the Vineyards Campground offers seven different cabin floor plans. They can see a series of photos for each cabin and also check out the views from each cabin’s front porch. The website’s reservation system also helps consumers select the units that meet their needs, based on their lodging requirements.

Moore said the new system has simplified the online cabin reservation process for consumers, while reducing front desk staff time on reservation questions.

The cabin section upgrades are the latest improvements TXAD Internet Services has made to the Vineyards Campground’s website. The company previously developed a scaled down version of the website to make it compatible with mobile devices.

Based in Crowley, TXAD Internet Services is a leading provider of marketing, advertising and website design services for the campground industry with a national client base of more than 800 privately owned campgrounds, RV parks and resorts.

The Vineyards Campground & Cabins was recently named Small Park of the Year by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) as well as the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).

The Vineyards Campground & Cabins was also one of only 44 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the country to earn an all around “A” grade in the fifth annual GuestRated.com satisfaction survey of independent parks. More than 30,000 camping and RV enthusiasts completed reviews in the GuestRated.com online survey, grading their experiences at 3,200 independent RV parks and campgrounds.

For more information about The Vineyards Campground & Cabins, visit its website at www.vineyardscampground.com. More information about TXAD Internet Services is available www.TXADInternet.com.

 

 

 

Cabin Discounts Offered in West Virginia Parks

September 10, 2012 by · Comments Off on Cabin Discounts Offered in West Virginia Parks 

State parks in West Virginia are offering various discounts to get campers into cabins this fall.Details on offers follow, according to a news release:

  • Cabins and cottages at Twin Falls Resort, Bluestone, Holly River, Cass Scenic Railroad, Pipestem Resort, Beech Fork, and Watoga state parks and also at Cabwaylingo, Kumbrabow and Greenbrier state forests are extending 20 percent off the standard rate for rentals of two or more nights, Sunday – Thursday in September.
  • Cabin stays at Lost River State Park lengthen a visit with the popular “retreat to relax” option. “Stay two nights at regular rate and the third night is fee free,” said Mike Foster, superintendent at Lost River. “We’re quite a distance from most folks in West Virginia, so when anyone makes the trek to Lost River, they will want to spend an extra night or check out later than the normal time.” Lost River, located in Hardy County, offers the third night free option from Sept. 17 – Nov. 22 and again from Jan. 2 – May 23, 2013. Advance reservations are required. The park features horseback riding stables, hiking, and CCC structures.
  • North Bend State Park, near Cairo and Harrisville, changes things a bit with a “cozy cabin getaway” that includes bike riding and boating. From Sept. 17-27, stay two nights, Sunday – Thursday in a cabin for up to four people, get bike rentals or kayak rentals for four hours of outdoor fun, box lunches for four for a day, and a $25 gift shop voucher, for a $299 cost which includes taxes. “We see couples and friends that travel together looking for less busy times for travel in the middle of a week. They find greater savings and a more relaxed visit,” said Steve Jones, park superintendent. North Bend creates and offers a wide range of lodge and cabin packages and special event weekends throughout the year.
  • Bluestone State Park recently rolled out a pontoon boat use that’s included with cabin rentals in September and October in addition to the September mid-week discount offer. The “Pontoon/Cabin” package varies based on cabin type and days selected, but the rate package includes a four-hour pontoon boat rental with gas and oil costs included. “Our customers have asked for packaged rates that include cabins and pontoon use and available on weekends or weekdays, and we’re happy to provide them,” said Brett McMillion, Bluestone State Park superintendent.
  • Cacapon Resort State Park, which is celebrating a 75-year anniversary in 2012, has a Diamond Jubilee promotion that takes $75 off the total rental cost of a three or more night stay.
  • Cass Scenic Railroad is not typically considered as having cabins, but the state park does have company houses. “Twenty-two of the original houses are restored and rented as overnight options,” said Rob Sovine, park superintendent at Cass Scenic Railroad. Like other state parks, Cass extends a 20 percent off rate on Sunday – Thursday rental of two or more nights. Three or more daily train trips up Cheat Mountain continue through Oct. 28, with the exception of Sept. 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, and 20, when train trips are not scheduled at Cass Scenic Railroad. Train trips resume Memorial Day weekend, but the company houses are rented year-round.

West Virginia’s state parks that feature lodges and restaurants and also have cabins onsite are open year round. Cabins at Lost River and Watoga state parks are also available for year-round travel destinations. Visit www.wvstateparks.com for information, events and travel accommodations.

 

Sleepy Eye Campground Getting 2 New Cabins

July 20, 2012 by · Comments Off on Sleepy Eye Campground Getting 2 New Cabins 

Sportsman’s Park in Sleepy Eye, Minn., has two new additions east of campsite No. 16, as construction on cabins the city council approved in March has begun.

Sleepy Eye Parks and Recreation Director Daryl Bergs said the structure and roof on both cabins are almost complete and a completion date for the cabins is slated for 2012, the Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch reported.

“They are really a hard-top tent,” said Steve Lingen, a parks and rec employee who has been helping Bergs on the construction. “They (the cabins) are really here for camping.”

The cabins each will be 12 feet by 24 feet with the 12-foot side facing south looking toward Sleepy Eye Lake. The cabins will feature two rooms: one that measures approximately 8 feet by 12 feet that will be primarily used as a porch, while the second room in the cabins will feature the sleeping area. The handicap accessible cabin will have a double bed with a bunk above it with a single mattress. On the other side of the room there will be two single bunks.

The non-handicap accessible cabin will feature two double mattresses with a single bunk above each double bed. While mattresses will be provided, renters are responsible for bringing their own bedding.

The interior will be a knotty pine finish and sleep five people in the handicap accessible cabin and six people in the non-handicap accessible cabin. The outside will be 6-inch log wood finish.

Each will have an area with a table and two benches for an eating area. Cooking will be limited to crockpots and coffee pots only. Like the campsites, each cabin will have a grill area with a picnic table and firepit.

The cabins will feature six slider windows that will open and close, to allow for airflow and prevent wetness inside the cabin from rain. Each cabin will come equipped with a small wall heater, a ceiling fan and overhead lights.

There will be electricity, but no running water or bathroom. Renters will have access to the bathroom facility at the park.

Rental pricing for these cabins is yet to be determined, but will be available for rent year round once completed. Reservations are accepted at the city offices where reservations for camping are made.

The budget for these cabins is $40,000 for both, but Bergs said donations will be accepted to help defray construction costs. Donations can be dropped off at the city offices.

Wilderness Solutions Offers Utility-Free Cottages & Cabins

April 20, 2012 by · Comments Off on Wilderness Solutions Offers Utility-Free Cottages & Cabins 

The Wilderness Cabin

Indiana-based Wilderness Solutions Inc. has completed a year of testing its completely self-sustaining, utility-free wilderness cabin and is now taking orders for delivery in the upcoming vacation season.

The solar energy package has powered the get-away cabin through the demanding weather extremes of Indiana, providing the creature comforts of home with nary a connection to any traditional infrastructures, according to a news release.

“Our Wilderness Solutions cabins are totally self-contained,” requiring no traditional infrastructure, said Carey DePalma, company president. “We have a fresh water filtration system that converts any water source (lake, river, even salt water) to sparkling clean drinking water, a gray water recycling system and a toilet that converts organic waste to ash. There is even a monitoring system that lets you activate heat and air, turn appliances on and off, and check in remotely to make sure everything is working properly.”

The Little Engine That Could – Wilderness Solutions’ little Energy Caboose  — is the hub of the cabins and cottages. Nestled alongside the cabin, with an exterior design that complements the main structure, the caboose contains the fresh and grey water filtration systems, the generator (or fuel cell for certain options), the electric panels, the batteries and the monitoring system.

“A 1 kilowatt-hour solar system comes standard with each cabin,” said Dan London, president of Solar Max Inc., a New York-based alternative energy provider. Solar Max was chosen as the energy partner for all Wilderness Solutions cabins. A 2 kwh system is also available for those who have greater than average electric needs.

The South Beach Collection model.

“We are delighted to be teaming up with Carey DePalma in creating affordable, truly eco-friendly off-grid solutions for living off the beaten path,” London added. “These cabins are a work of art in terms of design and engineering. You can literally put these cabins anywhere on planet earth. All of your infrastructure is built-in: electric, water and sewer. I think our tag line says it all. ‘Wilderness Cabins Go Where Others Cannot.’”

Wilderness Solutions cabins and cottages conform to park model requirements for easy transport and minimum permitting, and the optional 175-square foot loft allows for a roomy interior without overstepping square foot limits. Larger one-, two- and three-bedroom modular cabins are also available. Both versions are delivered assembled and fully furnished, including brand-name appliances.

The Classic Cabins Collection model.

Kitchens are well equipped with 30-inch stoves, full-sized refrigerators, generous counter space and beautifully constructed cabinetry. A separate dining area and living room with sofa, club chairs and flat-screen TV create a comfortable, homey environment. Bathrooms include tub with integrated shower and lighted vanity with medicine cabinet.

Flexible interior floor-plan and décor options, including porches and lanais, make these four-season units perfect for individual second homes, resort cottages for guests who seeking unique vacation comforts, hunting lodges, mountain retreats, camp ground accommodations, work crew housing where infrastructure is costly or not available and even emergency housing in areas where natural disasters have disabled existing systems.

MSRPs start in the low to mid-$60,000 range with a deluxe model around $74,000.

For more information visit www.TheWildernessCabin.com or call Carey DePalma in Indiana at (317) 753-4684 or Dan London in New York at (631) 725-7699.

 

New York May Add Cabins to Hike State Campground Revenues

March 16, 2012 by · Comments Off on New York May Add Cabins to Hike State Campground Revenues 

Faced with shrinking state funds, New York’s parks might find new income by expanding camping areas and adding cabins.

Statewide and locally, camping makes up only 12 percent of total revenue for state parks, but presents considerable opportunities for growth, according to The Saratogian.

“Across the state, cabins are becoming a huge draw,” said Heather Mabee, chair of the Saratoga/Capital District Region Parks Commission, which met Thursday at Saratoga Spa State Park. “People love not having to set up a tent.”

Cabins also generate considerably more income than tent sites. For example, the lakeshore cottage at Moreau Lake State Park in Saratoga County rents for $1,000 per week at peak times, while tenters pay only $130.

Moreau is home to the only three cabins in the entire Saratoga/Capital District region. However, the park’s master plan calls for up to 80 additional tent sites and a colony of about 15 cabins across from the main entrance between Old Saratoga Road and Route 9. The master plan also makes provisions for a recreational vehicle campsite in that area.

Click here to read the entire story.

Oregon Relaxes Pet Policy at State Cabins/Yurts

March 31, 2011 by · Comments Off on Oregon Relaxes Pet Policy at State Cabins/Yurts 

Starting Jan. 1, 2012, dogs and cats will be permitted in state-owned 20 yurts and 13 cabins at 21 campgrounds throughout Oregon, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) announced Tuesday (March 29).

The change comes on the heels of a successful pilot program at three campgrounds that began in May 2009. Since then, a yurt at South Beach, a cabin at Stub Stewart and two cabins at LaPine have allowed campers of the four-legged variety, the Corvallis Gazette Times reported.

“The experiment confirmed that a demand existed for pet-friendly yurts and cabins,” said OPRD Recreation Programs Manager Richard Walkoski. “We’re responding to that demand, while remaining conscious of the preferences and needs of other campers.”

The trial units remain open to reservations this year, with reservations for 2012 opening for the additional sites on April 1.

Pets are allowed only in those yurts and cabins designated as pet friendly. As such, reservations may only be made by phone, by calling Reservations Northwest at (800) 452-5687. Online reservations are not available.

A $10 per night pet fee (non-refundable) on top of the daily rate will be charged, and there is a limit of two pets per night. At least one pet-friendly yurt or cabin at each park will be ADA accessible.

To read the entire story click here.

Demand for Park Models, Cabins & Yurts Grows

March 2, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

Luxury cabin at Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging in Groveland, Calif.

Private campgrounds and RV parks and resorts are continuing their move into the accommodations business with park models, yurts and site-built cabins, despite continued difficulties obtaining financing in many cases.

The reasons are clear: Rental accommodations broaden a park’s business base while generating at least two to five times as much income as a traditional RV site, depending on the park’s location.

At Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging in Groveland, Calif., for instance, 26 park models and eight yurts generate nearly as much income as its 181 RV sites combined, according to park co-owner John Croce. That’s roughly five times the income of a typical RV site.

In the 465-park Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) network of franchised and corporate-operated parks, in turn, recreational park trailers account for two percent of campsites, but generate 6% of income, or triple the typical RV site revenue, according to Mike Atkinson, KOA’s director of lodging.

And while the recession has hammered the hotel industry, private park operators have found that their rental accommodations have remained resilient. KOA alone saw a 14% increase in “same store” park model rental income from 2008 to 2009, Atkinson said.

This kind of market success with campground rental accommodations is spawning intensifying competition among park model manufacturers as they vie with one other to provide private parks with increasingly attractive, competitively priced units.

And that competition more than likely heated up last fall when Jackson Center, Ohio-based Thor Industries Inc. announced a new strategic partnership with the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) to provide rental-lodging at special discounted pricing for ARVC’s nearly 4,000 affiliated parks.

“The immediate response since we made the announcement last fall has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Shane Ott, Thor’s director of campground relations. “We’ve literally had dozens of serious inquiries regarding both park model and travel trailer rental options.”

The ARVC-Thor partnership involves “ruggedized” park models and travel trailers tailored for rental use by Thor’s Breckenridge, Airstream Inc. and Keystone RV Co. subsidiaries.

Possibly adding to the impact of that new partnership is the possibility of Thor finalizing terms of finance package with “a major financial institution” that could sweeten the deal by helping ARVC campground owners obtain financing for Thor’s campground lodging products, Ott said a press time.

Cavco Pursues Eastern Market

With Fleetwood’s Virginia Plant

Cavco loft model

Meanwhile, one of the nation’s largest park model manufacturers, Phoenix, Ariz.-based Cavco Industries, has ratcheted up its competitive edge by developing its first ever East Coast manufacturing presence with the acquisition of an 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Rocky Mount, Va., which it acquired through its purchase of Fleetwood Homes. The plant helps Cavco significantly reduce its park model shipping costs for its Eastern U.S. customers, since the company’s other park model manufacturing plants are in Texas and Arizona.

Tim Gage, vice president of Cavco’s specialty division, said the Rocky Mount plant has been a boon for KOA’s East Coast franchisees, who can now order custom designed Kamping Lodges with lower shipping costs than they could in the past from Cavco – a preferred KOA provider.

KOA, in fact, is increasingly embracing park model accommodations. While KOA parks have traditionally provided their guests with site built cabins and cottages, Atkinson said the company’s focus today is on fully furnished park models. “As we grow our accommodations business, park models are the product of choice over site-built cabins – not because of quality, but because of ease of installation,” he said, adding that KOA expects to have 1,000 park models in place across North America this year, up from 640 in 2009.

Unlike site-built cabins, park models manufactured by members of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) can usually be set up in private parks without building permits because they have an RPTIA inspection seal.

Nor are building permits typically required for travel trailers manufactured and inspected by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Permits are usually required, however, for yurts and site-built or kit cabins.

“The need for building permits (for yurts) will vary depending on the local site, intended use and conditions. But most of the time a permit will likely be needed,” said Pete Dolan, a customer service representative for Pacific Yurts Inc. in Cottage Grove, Ore., adding that the company offers its customers documentation regarding the fire resistance of the yurt materials as well as a structural analysis of snow and wind loads to assist with the permitting process.

“Ultimately,” he said, “(whether or not a permit is needed) will be the local building official’s decision, since the yurt is a unique structure and can fit into a number of different categories within existing building codes.”

Dolan added that Pacific Yurts is seeing growing demand for its products as rental accommodations. “Although it’s only February, we expect our sales figures to be stronger than last year,” Dolan said. “The demand for yurt rental accommodations has been steadily building for the past decade and a half. We are seeing this trend continuing to build steam as more people experience the unique comfort and durability that our product offers.”

Dolan also said the private parks are seeking larger yurts with more amenities, including bathrooms, kitchens and television. “These deluxe accommodations offer the comfort of a deluxe cabin, but still offer a closer connection to the natural environment that tents provide,” he said.

There’s Nothing Like a Rustic

Cabin — Park Model or Not

Distinct Discovery Homes lodge

Of course, while park models and yurts are becoming increasingly appealing to park operators as rental accommodations, some parks retain a soft spot for the traditional log cabin or site built cabin. Log cabin builders also tout the value of their products.

“Typically, park models don’t appreciate while a custom-built house appreciates,” said Mike Sokol, owner of Distinct Discovery Homes in Greenville, Mich., which specializes in high-end custom log cabins for consumers and private park operators. Units can be built with cathedral ceilings, ponderosa pine interiors, stone fireplaces, and wraparound porches.

“We can build their lodges, their bathhouses and their activity centers,” Sokol said.

Clayton Eash, owner of Ligonier, Ind.-based Riverside Cabins, started building log cabins three years ago after purchasing the business from his father-in-law. He said he started building custom log cabins for campgrounds to use as rental units last year and has had “an amazing amount of calls” after promoting his log cabins in WCM.

Eash uses white pine logs and believes that his structures will last longer than park models. “They’re built a lot stronger,” he said. “I also insulate them. It doesn’t take a lot to heat them.” He also uses log purlins instead of rafters to help support the roof. “People really like them,” he said.

Private park operators thus have a growing array of accommodations products from which to choose, and the list keeps growing as the RV park and campground sector turns toward these types of accommodations. Only time will tell how far this trend will extend, and how much it might ultimately change the face of the business.

“Units for rental purposes are a growing percentage of our business,” said Dick Grymonprez, vice president of marketing for Texas-based Athens Park Homes, whose company announced an agreement this month to provide park models for RVC Outdoor Destinations, which has private parks in Arkansas, Georgia and Florida.

“We’re real encouraged about the number of resorts that are looking at park models as either a rental unit or a unit to sell,” Grymonprez said, adding that the only thing keeping parks from purchasing greater numbers of units is continuing difficulties obtaining financing.

Athens introduced a rental cottage series last year. “It’s a series of units that have 6-foot front porches, Hardiboard siding and very sturdy interiors so they can handle the wear and tear of rental use.”

Breckenridge, Chariot Eagle,

Others Look for Solid 2010

Tim Howard, president and CEO of the Breckenridge Division of Thor’s Damon Corp., Nappanee, Ind., said the recent ARVC-Thor agreement has helped to energize the accommodations market sector. He also sees this year being a turning point of sorts for the park model business, which suffered a decline in sales during the recession along with other segments of the RV business.

“If I was doing a line graph and graphing the overall prevailing business, last year that line would have been headed down. This year it’s heading up,” he said.

Chariot Eagle front porch model

Park models utilized as rental units by campgrounds are becoming an increasingly important market segment, according to Chariot Eagle founder and CEO Bob Holliday, whose company has manufacturing operations in Ocala, Fla., and Phoenix, Ariz. Rather than spend money to purchase their own park model, many consumers may be inclined to rent one, he added. Chariot Eagle is also seeing more market optimism among its dealers and retail customers. “We expect business to be better this year than last year, which was the toughest in our 25 years,” he said.

“We see (campground rental products) being a growth market for us,” says Larry Weaver, national sales manager for CrossRoads RV, a Topeka, Ind., Thor subsidiary that introduced a travel trailer at ARVC’s annual InSites Convention in Orlando that has been “beefed up” so that it can be used as a rental unit.

So, too, does Nappanee, Ind.-based Fairmont Homes take an optimistic view of 2010, according to General Manager John Soard.

While 2009 was a tough year, Andy Davis, sales manager for Pinnacle Park Homes, Ochlocknee, Ga., says his company managed to stay profitable through the worst of the recession and is off to a “phenomenal” start this year.

And Western Homes’ Silvercrest Division, a Corona, Calif.-based subsidiary of Champion Enterprises, which has traditionally targeted consumers with its high-end park models, is looking for a continued surge of business from the high quality units the company is providing for timeshare developments in Northern California and Arizona. “These units are designed as rental units,” says Western Homes General Manager Al Whitehouse. “That’s why the timeshares have come to us. They sell at intervals, a week at a time, and they are specifically interested in the durability of the units.”

RV Park Would Spoil Sanctity of Nearby Cemetery

June 19, 2009 by · Comments Off on RV Park Would Spoil Sanctity of Nearby Cemetery 

Virginia’s Smyth County supervisors followed last week what one of them characterized as a rare unanimous recommendation by the county planning commission and declined to issue a special use permit for a campground at Konnarock, located in the western tip of the state. 

Ronnie Chambers of Greensboro, N.C., applied in April for a special use permit to develop cabins and a bath house on property lying west of Route 600 above Konnarock, the special use permit application showed. 

Under county zoning code, campgrounds in agricultural/residential are allowable only as a special use and with permit, according to SWVAtoday.com. 

More recently, Chambers told Smyth County Zoning Administrator Clegg Williams that he wanted to install 10 to 12 hookups for recreational vehicles and provide camping for a small number of riders and horses. 

At a joint public hearing in late May held by the planners and supervisors, County Attorney John Tate said the hearing could only address the cabins and bath house in the application. It also led to suspicions like that voiced by Supervisor Marvin Perry, who was concerned that Chambers had in mind other activities outside those provided in his project description on the special use permit application. 

Perry said Williams did not know about the RV hookups. “What else might we not know about?” 

Too Much Opposition 

Commissioner Graham Davidson told Chambers after the public hearing there was not another person in the room besides Chambers who favored the campground permit. “There’s too much coming on later that you did not put on this application,” Davidson said. 

Last week, Supervisor Brenda Waddell said that with the permit in hand, Chambers could build any number of cabins. Williams said substantial changes in the required site plan would require reapplication for permits, and that the supervisors could impose conditions to the issuance of the permit. 

Chambers told the planners and supervisors in May his intent was to create “Family and Friends Hideaway,” a place available for rent only by his personal friends and relatives, and to church youth groups. While it would be a commercial interest, he said the campground would not be advertised and would be open eight months of the year. 

But current and former Konnarock residents and others with relatives buried in Laurel Valley Cemetery adjacent to the entrance to the Chambers property strongly opposed the campground proposal, citing fears of trash and vandalism and a general disturbance of the serenity and sanctity of the cemetery. 

Several Konnarock residents attended the public hearing, a few of whom spoke against the campground, and heard the planners unanimously vote not to recommend that the supervisors issue Chambers a special use permit. 

“It’s unusual that for once the planning commission made a unanimous decision,” Perry said at the supervisors meeting last week where Supervisor Darlene Neitch had a petition she said bore 237 signatures in opposition to the campground. 

Williams, who said at the hearing he had received a number of e-mails and letters from campground opponents, said more “similar if not identical” communications had come to his office. 

Williams said that since the hearing, Chambers withdrew the bath house plan “since he could not get a permit for the RV (hookups)” that, according to Tate, would have required a separate special use permit application.

Alberta Enjoying RV Park Growth Spurt

June 6, 2009 by · Comments Off on Alberta Enjoying RV Park Growth Spurt 

Most people only dream of a lakeside vacation home, but a growing number of RVers are discovering they can afford that summer cabin experience — and they don’t have to travel far to get it, according to The Edmonton (Alberta) Journal

Buying a spot or renting one long-term in an RV resort is becoming increasingly popular, says Doug Ross, general manager of Grove RV and Leisure, a dealership in Spruce Grove. “People like to get away from the city, but the cost of towing and gas prices and everything sometimes makes it a little more expensive,”he says. 

Now, however, holiday playgrounds where RVers can leave their units year-round, are popping up within easy driving distance of Edmonton, Ross says. Among them are Lake Arnault RV Resort, an hour west of the city, and Allan Beach Resort on Hubbles Lake in Stony Plain, 30 minutes from Edmonton. 

“This way, they can drive in their car out to where their recreational vehicle is set up,” says Ross. “They can have everything all set and ready to go the minute they arrive.” 

That’s the kind of person developer Pablo Galvez hopes to attract to Allan Beach Resort, which will start pre-selling lots on spring-fed Hubbles Lake this summer. 

“People are just so busy, and they don’t have time to drive three or four hours to a cabin on a lake,” Galvez says. “Imagine: Get off work at five o’clock on a Friday, and by 5:30 you’re at your cabin with a glass of wine on the deck.” 

Property prices in the four-season resort will start at about $145,000. Owning land in an RV retreat is attractive for another reason, says Galvez. “RV condos like this are the cheapest form of lakefront ownership.” 

Don Dobing, owner of Lake Arnault RV Resort, agrees. Pre-sales have begun for lots in his project. Prices range from $60,000 to $100,000. 

“It’s a nice alternative (to traditional lakefront property),”Dobing says. “You own your property, and if you want to give it to your family or you want to sell it, you have title to it. So you’re going to get your investment back.” 

And then some, says Arnie Lank, sales manager for Gleniffer Lake Resort and Country Club, southwest of Red Deer. The popular vacation spot started out as an RV resort 20 years ago. The gated community has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a hot tub, fitness center, golf course and swimming and boating on Gleniffer Lake. When it first opened, lots sold for $12,000 to $18,000. Lank says a property for sale now in an older part of the park has an asking price of over $200,000. 

The final phase of the resort is restricted to cabins and recreational park trailers or park model RVs, but the only time the huge units move is when they’re towed to a permanent or semi-permanent site. 

A number of resorts close to Edmonton rent spots for the entire summer. 

At Hubbles Lake RV Resort on Hubbles Lake in Stony Plain, seasonal rates start at about $1,800. Customers can store their units at the resort over the winter for $150. 

“It’s a cottage atmosphere,” says park owner Laurie Zimmer. “We’re (within) proximity to Edmonton here. People can just quickly run out with the van or a small car.” 

Many rental places are so popular, spots are snapped up even before the season starts. That’s the case at Hilah-Ayers Wilderness RV Park on Mulhurst Bay at Pigeon Lake, an hour’s drive from Edmonton. There are no spots left for this year, says spokesperson Charlene Dawson. Spaces are rented for a one-year period. Rates start at about $2,100. 

The Whitemud Creek Golf and RV Resort in southwest Edmonton has monthly rates from about $750. 

“In Edmonton, you only have so many RV spots, so we’re busy,” says manager Jo-Ann Ruff.

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