Austrian businessman Franz Hartl and his family knew Linger Lodge Restaurant & RV Campground would be a fixer-upper, states a report at YourObserver.com in Sarasota, Fla.

“I don’t think we can even call it an RV park at this point,” said Franz Hartl’s son, Philipp Hartl. When Hartl’s real estate group, River Loft LLC, bought Linger Lodge in Sept. 2016, it was a gamble on the park’s potential.

“We saw it as an opportunity to do something beautiful,” Philipp Hartl said. “It’s a unique location. You feel like you’re in the middle of the jungle, but in reality, you’re in the middle of Lakewood Ranch.”

Renovations to Linger Lodge began in March, which means the Hartls’ vision is one step closer to reality. Philipp Hartl, who is the project manager for the renovations, said Linger Lodge hopes to reopen its restaurant in January and its RV campground in February or March. Plans were approved by Manatee County the week of March 29. A company called Stellar is performing the bulk of the construction, which estimates the construction will be more than $5 million.

Linger Lodge improvements will include:
  • Addition of a screened-in pool and clubhouse featuring a prep kitchen, gym, showers, restrooms and conference room
  • Nature trail
  • Paved and lit parking lot for restaurant
  • Increase in the number of RV spaces from about 100 to about 140
  • Utility improvements for RV spaces
  • Updated docks
  • Updated storage area for kayak rentals
  • New exit

See the full YourObserver.com report here.