Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 8014 - January 2017 Woodall’s Campground Management LUXURY RV SECTOR CONTINUES TO GROW, PAIRING ‘OLD SCHOOL’ CUSTOMER SERVICE, BETTER GUEST EXPERIENCE ‘The majority of our members are still in the 55-plus age range, but we have seen a huge increase in our ownership and guests age 40 and below. It’s exciting for the industry. A lot of our newer or younger buy- ers are mobile and want to follow the good weather and work re- motely,’ said Paul Johnson of Motorcoach Country Club in Indio, Calif. Succeeding at providing a luxury RVing experience today can be summed up as old-school customer service that meets 21st-century needs — and it’s something more and more RV resorts aim to achieve. “Customer service has been paramount, which is why I think we have had such good success in the Gulf Shores area,” said Courtney Osborne of Bella Terra of Gulf Shores in Foley, Ala. “Typically in our area we have motor- coach competition, so we are always trying to offer that ‘crème de la crème’ experience, but we also try to be cognizant of the rates thatothersareoffering.Wearealwaystrying to be competitive.” To remain competitive, RV park operators need to understand the shifting demands of campers.Osborneseemstohaveagoodidea of what today’s luxury RV customer wants. “With this new era of coaching, it’s a younger community,” said Osborne. “They are Baby Boomers ready to explore the open road. They want to be served, to be entertained. They are more willing to indulge themselves. “Today’s RVers saw their parents be very frugal;nowthiscommunitywantstoseizethe moment. We have raised the level of compe- tence to that customer, so they can see the accommodations have stepped up.” Marie Duginski of Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort in Lake Toxaway, N.C., agreed that the luxury RV resort audience has evolved to expect and enjoy a higher level of luxurious amenities. Market demo- graphics are changing to a younger and younger age category. There is also a higher demand for shelters and coach cottages to extendpeople’sabilitytoentertainattheirre- sort sites as well as extend their season, she told Woodall’s Campground Management. We talked to a variety of luxury RV resorts across the U.S., and below is what they had to say. BellaTerraAimsHigh Bella Terra Online Marketing Manager Bella Terra offers full concierge service, including greeting guests by name and intro- ducing them to other guests. This helps them make friends at the park with whom they sometimes return. Sometimes they continue their travels together when they leave the park. “We feature oversized properties de- signed with the RV enthusiast in mind,” said Osborne.“Wehearpeoplesaytheyenjoythe space. They start at around 3,500 to 4,700 squarefeet.Our6,000-square-footclubhouse has24/7accessandfeaturesafitnesscenter, dry sauna, private locker rooms and our own movie theater that seats 14 comfortably.” The community pool has complimentary amenitiessuchasanoutdoorkitchenandfire pit. There is also a catch-and-release fishing pond at the resort. Bella Terra is also adding pickleball courts, which are in high demand by RVers. “We are trying to provide as much as you cantoallRVerswhileremainingveryfocused on our core customer,” Jacobson said. “We offer anything from a standard lot to minihousesthatprovideawholedifferentRV experience for people.” Along with luxury accommodations, to be a 21st-century RV resort means helping cus- tomers stay connected with the best Wi-Fi, even while they are venturing into nature. “Our park offers exceptional Wi-Fi serv- ice,” said Osborne. “The RVer is getting younger and younger. They telecommute. Some come out of retirement, but work remotely. Our being able to offer them the ability to work remotely is paramount. That is oneofthefirstquestionstheyaskbeforethey Mountain Falls offers luxury with a great view of the North Carolina terrain. Bella Terra has been working to stay at the top of guest luxury in the Gulf Shores area of Alabama. Brian Jacobson elaborated on the evolution of their consumers — and the luxury RV resort guest in general. “As more Baby Boomers retire, given that the stock market has done well, they are retiring with more money,” said Jacobson. “They are investing in luxury lifestyle owner- ship or vacation rentals. Our RVers are still down-to-earth people, but they are much more luxury conscious and tech savvy than in the past. “People today want an encounter, an event. They are more active. You see more and more, whether it is a cruise ship or RV park, providing more of an experience. In our case,wetrytocreateanexperienceforthem along with a sense of community and people are appreciating our accommodations.” The park is responding to how the demo- graphic of the RVer has changed. The customers’ standards are very high and the parkworksonkeepingupbyofferinganever- increasing level of service and amenities. “Glamping is really the trend now,” said Osborne. “It’s glamorous camping. It’s your tableclothandyourfloraldesignforthepicnic table. It’s real wine glasses and complimen- tary craft beer at events we host. It’s a step above.” Bella Terra’s guests enjoy a mix of nature and luxury. Bella Terra’s clubhouse invites guest to enjoy themselves.