RV park owner throws in the towel (article)

Discussion in 'Park Management' started by Fitzjohnfan, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. Fitzjohnfan

    Fitzjohnfan
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    I'm not one to usually share an article from the internet, and if it's frowned upon, feel free to delete this thread, but I think it's very relevant for current and future owners of RV parks....

    https://www.rvtravel.com/andy1003/

    Opinions?
     
  2. newkcmoedoe

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    As a former park owner, I think the one thing the article misses is the effect those super high purchase prices are going to have down the road. The math simply does not work. The rate of return on the investment is too low at current RV site rental rates. To make a reasonable profit the ownership will either have to massively increase the rates, greatly expand capacity, or shift to more profitable options i.e. cabins. The demand pricing mentioned is one method of increasing rates. shrinking site size, thus increasing density is often the preferred method of increasing capacity because it costs much less per site than actually expanding acreage. There is savings in utilities, roads and maintenance in density versus acreage expansion.
    Many parks are limited by local regulations to a set number of sites. In those instances, changing a site from a RV site rental to a cabin can easily quadruple the nightly rate. A cabin at $200+ a night makes a lot more profit than an RV site at $50.00 even after factoring in the additional expenses and labor involved in cleaning, supplying bedding and linens etc.
    Finally, the customer service experience is likely to decline substantially. The investment of ownership causes the owner to take personal interest in the operations. Employees often just operate under the company guidelines and when their shift is over, it is over, no need to follow up or go the extra mile. When the ownership is a corporate entity, you get corporate responses, i.e "thank you for your input, we take all customer concerns seriously and will respond to your issue as quickly as possible". Then, of course, nothing.
    Congrats on the park sellers in the article for getting out while the getting is good. We did it and have absolutely no regrets. It was a great ride, but like in the article, the ride got less exciting as time went on. Hopefully for those who choose to continue as independent park owners the ride doesn't end in a crash.
     
  3. Rollin Ollens

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    Interesting read. Thanks Fitzjohnfan for posting. Camping/RVing is certainly changing. We still like the more traditional style thus tend to utilize parks with less "glitz".

    Darrell
     
  4. BankShot

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    Very interesting read, thanks also for posting this Chris. I've been watching the "writing on the wall" this past year and what COVID has done for and against RVing. No reason to go into a lot of details on this as most of us know what lies ahead. A good example we ran into recently was when I called to book reservations at a RV resort type park owned and operated by an Indian casino and hotel complex. One of the nicer parks we've stayed at several times since it opened just a few years ago. What once was $55 a night for a pull thru site with all the amenities on our last visit about 9 months ago, is now $113 a night for the same site. I spoke with a reservations agent and asked what was going on and why the over doubling in the rate. Her response was this was management's decision and even tho they have received a lot of complaints from RVers who said they were not going to return again and pay this rate, management didn't seem to care one way or the other, the current rate stands! I've seen this happening at other parks also but just not to that extreme. All parks took a big hit last year when forced to either close down or remain open at a greatly reduced capacity, so I can understand a rate increase to get them back on their feet, etc. What I cannot and will not accept is staying at a park that is now ripping RVers off who don't just stay at their park but also go to the casino to eat and probably gamble a tad also. It appears that GREED is waving its ugly head around and has finally entered into the world of RVing. Real shame to see this happening. What was stated in the article is what we are thinking right now. We are glad we got to enjoy our RVing during a time before all these changes started to occur. It's been a great ride and we'll continue on as long as we feel we can hold out plus afford to pay the higher prices and costs to do so that are coming at us like a express train. Really sad to see and watch this happen..........:(

    Terry..............(aka Bankshot)
     
    #4 BankShot, Jun 7, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
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  5. newkcmoedoe

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    Casinos offering free and reduced everything in the expectation they will make it up with the gaming income is no longer an accepted business plan in the Casino world. You no longer get $25.00 hotel rooms and $2.00 steak dinners in Las Vegas. You pay for everything. The room rates are now triple digits and have $30+ daily resort fees tacked on top. You pay full price for food. Only complimentary drinks to gamblers remain from the old Vegas. If you want all the freebies, gamble heavy for hours on end and then ask for the room charges to be removed. But don't expect to vacation on the casino's dime if you aren't gambling enough for them to turn statistically turn a good profit.
    And just for the record, Casinos are not really in the RV market, so any greed attached to what you pay to stay on their premises is not directly RV Park greed. Pricing is capitalism at it's finest. The seller wants to get the most money possible and the seller wants to pay the least. In the end, you usually reach a point where both are less than completely happy.
     
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  6. mdcamping

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  7. BankShot

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    Right there with you Mike. i wonder how all the "newbies" are going to take these higher rates? They will no doubt be thinking it's cheaper and less hassles to just go back to motels, cruises and the like. If that does happen then perhaps some of these higher rates will come down a tad due to the drop off in attendance, etc. Will be interesting to see how all this pans out by the end of the year..........:rolleyes:

    Ride on, Terry................(aka BankShot)_
     
    #7 BankShot, Jun 7, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
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  8. robertgsoliz

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    We’ve thrown in the towel.

    Eight years and three-and-a-half months after taking possession of Walnut Hills Campground (in Staunton, Virginia), we’ve passed the baton to new owners — only the fifth in the campground’s 52-year history. That might seem like we lacked stick-to-it-iveness, but campground owners are like dogs, in a temporal sense. Each year spent catering to the RV crowd is equivalent to eight or nine years of a normal human’s. That’s an awful lot of living crammed into a short spell, and it’s exhausting. Small wonder that the average tenure for campground owners is only seven years before they decide to tackle something a little less strenuous, like sheep-herding or brick-laying.
     

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