18 - January 2019 Woodall’s Campground Management Meeting the size requirements of large Class A luxury motorhomes can be a chal- lenge for some RV park and campground owners. To serve this niche of RVers — whose tastes may also run to a higher level of luxury — some RV park and resort owners are providing not only a destination in which tocommunewithnatureandenjoytheearth’s beauty,butalsoownershipintheresort.That ownership, in some cases, resembles own- ership in an exclusive housing development or gated community. Moreresortshave been popping up that cater exclusively to Class A owners as thoseownerslookfor parks that can match the luxury of their large home on wheels. These re- sorts offer owners not only a place to park their coaches but also amenities that include bunga- lows and garages on their own sites, as well as options for otherbuildingopportunitiesandarentalserv- ice, if they wish, for the times they are not using their lot. WhilemostoftheClassA-exclusiveRVre- sorts reside in warm-weather states, at least one northern Midwestern resort not only is included on the list but, according to some of its lot owners and part-time residents, it’s the one they heard about the most before choosing their new home. WhenbrothersKirkandCraigRosebegan developing Hearthside Grove Luxury Motor- coach Resort in Petoskey, Mich., more than adecadeago,theysawaneedforsomething in the industry that catered to the owners of larger motorcoaches, giving them a destina- tion in one of northern Michigan’s popular tourist areas. The family had operated a KampgroundsofAmericaInc.(KOA)parkjust down the road from their current resort for nearly26yearsandthebrothersdecidedthis was the right direction for their next step. The resort opened 10 years ago and today is beginning its next phase of development thatwillofferlargerlotstoownerswhodesire evenmorespacetobuildaccommodationsto accompany their Class A motorhomes. Alreadyofferingsitesthatincludebungalows and some with single-car garages, the new sites are one or two acres in size and allow for “toy barns,” Kirk Rose told Woodall’s Campground Management (WCM). Sites are advertised beginning in the $100,000-plusrangetoseveralhundredthou- sand dollars. Manyresortowners,infact,havecreated havenswiththebungalowsontheirsitesthat include extra sleeping areas, a kitchen and bathroom, and others also have outdoor kitchens and personal touches, according to Rose. The resort itself offers a resort-style pool, cooking classes with local chefs, stone fireplaces, a theater and a bar where residents may bring their beverage of choice andmeetupwithneighborstovisitandrelax. The park’s large lots and surrounding wooded nature preserve are draws for owners, according to Rose, as well as the surrounding communities and destinations that attract visitors from around the globe to thisareaofthestate.Infact,thedevelopment is an attempt to create a new “Bay View” summer community, he said. Bay View was originally created in the 1800s as an education community developed by Michigan Methodists, and simultaneously was one of the first developed campground communitiesthatbecameadestinationforall kindsofpeople,Rosenoted.Infact,founders adopted the “Articles of Association” under the Summer Resort Act of 1889 after it ex- panded into a summer education community and a campground. In 1987, Bay View was designated a National Historic Landmark. Rose said Hearthside Grove has been planned to meet the needs of its residents and visitors and to ensure a destination that not only offers a place to park the RV, but a place to relax, be pampered and enjoy nature. The resort offers both owned and rental sites and although a number of site owners come each year from warmer states to escape the heat, many owners use their sites year-round to enjoy Michigan’s skiing, snowmobiling and other winter activities, as well as the fall foliage and the “tunnel of trees” in nearby Harbor Springs. “We offer Hearthside Grove as a summer destination, but more residents are using it year-round,” he explained. For one of Hearthside’s owners, Jerry Granger, who has been an RVer for 50 years, Hearthside Grove opened opportunities for an RV ownership experience in his home state. Purchasing a site, he said, offers large Class A owners a place to go since traveling the U.S. has proved challenging at times when trying to find parks that accommodate larger Class A motorhomes. At Hearthside Grove, Granger can be found working out, running, using the club- house and pool, visiting at ice cream socials, at movie nights in the theater or entertaining and cooking. “Weprogressedtolivinginthemotorhome and really wanted a place to go, but we still travel a lot, as well,” Granger said. “Here, we have neighbors from all over in the summer.” In fact, one of his neighbors is his daughter and her family that own the lot next to them. Granger said Hearthside Grove is one of CLASS A MOTORHOME RESORTS CATER TO RVERS LOOKING FOR MORE LUXURY, SITE OWNERSHIP Class A exclusive resorts offer sites with bungalows, like the one shown here at Hearthside Grove Luxury Motorcoach Resort, along with ownership opportunities. Some owners at Hearthside Grove build their own outdoor kitchens on their sites. A clubhouse theatre at Hearthside Grove allows Class A owners to enjoy movies as a group. Everglade Isle: Luxury Motorcoach Retreat offers Class A owners a variety of activities on the water, including boating and fishing.