b'Camping Boom Pushing More Developers into the OutdoorHospitality IndustryBY JEFF CRIDEREditors note: This is the first part of a series of ar-ticles that will look at construction activity in theoutdoor hospitality industry. This is an overviewfrom multiple states, but other stories in the serieswill focus on individual states to help our readersget a good perspective on the momentum occurringin the industry at the moment.The National Association of RV Parks and Camp-grounds (ARVC) estimates that more than 53,000new RV sites will be built across the country thisyear. The estimate was based on a survey of 516campground and RV park operators across the U.S.Indeed, it seems as if every day theres another re-port of a campground expansion or a brand new onebreaking ground. Without a doubt, there is a signifi-cant number of new park developments and expan-sions taking place across the country, according toparkoperatorsanddeveloperswhospokewithWoodalls Campground Management. (WCM) Developers are building parks with more amenities to cater to a wide range of campers, suchFor example, three new Kampgrounds of Amer- as the Splash RV Resort and Water Park in East Milton, Fla., which is putting in a lazy river.ica Inc. (KOA) parks opened in 2020, including theCorpusChristiKOAJourney inTexas,theMt.Gilead/Mid-OhioKOAHoliday,andtheBlue meant to be a comprehensive list of every develop- RidgeManorCampground inReddick:ThisRidge/Toccoa River KOA Holiday in Georgia. ment that is occurring in the outdoor hospitality in- campground has purchased an adjacent propertyAs of the time of this writing, KOA had another 14 dustry. where it plans to build 65 RV sites and 15 sites forcampgrounds pending or under construction, ac- rental cabins or park model RVs. The back of thecording to Saskia Boogman, KOAs director of public Florida property will also be designated for 100 permanentrelations, including the following: The Cabana Club RV Resort in Auburndale: This sites for mobile homes and park model RVs. The new Crystal River KOA in Florida family-owned, family-friendly resort, about an hour park is expected to open in mid-to-late 2022, accord- Fort Pierce West KOA in Florida east of Tampa, was expected to open in February ing to Bradley Winterroff, who owns and manages Panama City Beach KOA in Florida with 155 RV sites and 60 park model RV rentals. Ridge Manor Campground and is developing the Gulf Port KOA in Mississippi Amenities include a zero-entry, heated swimming new campground. Lincoln West KOA in Nebraska pool, a nine-hole artificial turf putting course, a tiki Splash RV Resort and Water Park in East Milton: Smithfield KOA in North Carolina hut and bar, a splash pad and activities for all ages, This62-acre,$20millionresortandwaterpark, Shawnee Southeast KOA in Oklahoma including basketball, cornhole and yoga. The park under construction near the corner of Interstate 10 Belton KOA in Texas also features separate dog parks for large and small and State Road 87, will initially feature approxi- McKinney North/Celina KOA in Texas dogs and a dog wash station. In 2022, Cabana Club mately 351 RV sites as well as 34 to 40 park model Berkeley Springs KOA in West Virginia RV Resort expects to add another 125 RV sites and RVs and six furnished Conestoga Wagons, accordingBoogman said KOA also has two other camp- another 65 park model RVs, as well as six covered or toMarcusLauren,theparksgeneralmanager,groundsunderconstructioninyet-to-be-an- shadedpickleballcourtsandmulti-usesports adding that the park is expected to open this spring.nounced locations in Utah and Mississippi, as well courts. Amenities will include two swimming pools, water-as two Canadian campgrounds pending or under Island Oaks RV Resort in Glen St. Mary: This new slides and a lazy river, as well as bocce ball, pickle-construction,includingtheKawarthas/Lindsay 385-site park 30 miles west of Jacksonville is ex- ballandbasketballcourts.TheparkisbeingKOA in Ontario and the Fort San/Echo Lake KOA in pected to open in September. The park will offer developed by Craig Kruse, who owns and operatesSaskatchewan. pull-throughandback-inRVsites,waterways,a Santa Rosa RV Resortin Navarre. The latest updatesAcross the U.S., at least 19 other campgrounds swimming lake, pool and tiki bar, sports courts, daily arepostedontheparksFacebookpage.and RV parks have either just recently opened in the activities, a fishing lake with a dock, paddleboards www.splashrvresort.compast few months or are expected to open this year or and kayaks. Nature areas and ponds are located TorreyTrailsRVandGolfResort inBowlingearly next year. What follows is a list of recent devel- throughout the grounds along with preserved wet- Green: The first 158 RV sites at this luxury resortopments that WCM has become aware of and is not lands. www.islandoaksrvresort.com opened this winter, according to developers AmirAn indoor pool at Carolina Pines RV Resort in Conway, S.C., allows campers to beat the heat on hotBay Bayou RV Resort in Tampa, Fla., is adding more sites to meet the growing demand from campers.summer days and provides a space for campers to recreate even on foul weather days. 26 -May 2021Woodalls Campground Management'