b'PMRV manufacturers have been retooling and expanding to keep up with a demand that doesnt seem to be slowing down. Photo: Cavco Industries Inc.Park Model Manufacturers Uniquely Positioned for Stability in Current Business EnvironmentA midst the growth in the outdoor hospitality industry, manu- He stated the new plant is a 120,000-square-foot facility across the free-nBY RON BARGERfacturers of park model RVs (PMRVs) and cabins are experi- way from the Arizona Cardinals stadium. encing record sales. Although many of the manufacturersIts probably the most state-of-the-art, brand-new park model plant in that Woodalls Campground Magazine (WCM) spoke with inthe U.S., said Gage. Plus, its air-conditioned. We hope to be able to build this business roundup are experiencing extended lead timesfour to six PMRVs per day out of the facility. due to supply chain bottlenecks, all reported significant or- All the manufacturers agreed that when it comes to labor issues, the so-ders that may result in another record year. This is despite in- lution is higher pay and treating employees right to keep up retention flation and interest rates rising in the marketplace.rates. With just a few exceptions, most park model RV builders are taking or- Were trying to do whatever we can to attract employees, added Gage. ders today for units that will be delivered a year or more out. The new facilitys got state-of-the-art equipment, air conditioning and a The park model RV and cabin segment occupies a unique position in thebreak room that looks a lot like a restaurant sports bar. outdoor hospitality industry because its products cross over from recre- Dick Grymonprez, director of park model RV sales for Skyline Cham-ational use to the more traditional and practical housing segment.pion, noted that production levels on both the PMRV and manufactured Many of these manufactured housing firms are in the habitat businesshousing side of things are strong. He highlighted that the for second homeowners and housing communities. When housing is tight,company builds PMRVs in 12 different plants across the U.S. buyers choose their products over traditional, stick-built options. Whenand noted that sharing production space with manufac-times are good, the vacation getaway market picks up.tured housing does have its challenges. John Soard, the president of Woodland Park Homes based in Middle- Were opening a brand-new plant here soon in Laurin-bury, Ind., notes that the company is still dealing with a very large backlog.burg, N. C., that will be prepared to build PMRVs, Grymon-The current state of the backlog is huge throughout thisprez noted. entire year and still ongoing, he shared. Weve never expe- He said his company is eight to 12 months out in every rienced this much of a backlog, either as a company or per- plant from order to delivery. sonally.Ivebeenintheindustryforover30years.ItsThis environment of optimism breeds entrepreneurialDick Grymonprezincredible. Part of it as we look at 2023 is the fact that ourendeavors as well. A new company on the block, Elevation Park Models, products are designed to be parked. They arent being towedcame online just this past February in a 65,000-square-foot facility in around. I dont see park models being as negatively affectedElkhart, Ind. WCM spoke with co-founder Brent Kattau who started the by the high gas prices.firm with business partner Joel Lederman. Both are industry veterans. If interest rates start getting high it could hurt the indus- Things are going phenomenally well, said Kattau. Weve got great em-John Soard try, he added. The actual cost of the product under infla- ployees, a fantastic location and facility, and an outstanding dealer net-tionary pressures right now could weigh on the market as well. But at thiswork that has been wonderful to us. I know that everybody needs product, point, Im knocking on my wooden desk that it wont.but its just been a very good experience. Theyve bent over backward to Established park model RV makers, such as Cavco Parkvouch for us and speak well of us. Models and Cabins are expanding production dramaticallyHe said that as a new company Elevation has had the advantage of with new facilities dedicated to building only PMRVs fortooling up to build for the current demand. But it chose a go-slow ap-campgrounds and resorts.proach to not overwhelm its start-up production and end up with quality Backlogs are deep, noted Tim Gage, vice president of parkissues. model RVs and cabins for the Phoenix, Ariz.-based company.We knew the orders were there, but we wanted to make sure what we Its unusual, but with the addition of our new park modelwere putting out the door was right, stated Kattau. We chose to open the factory coming on board later this summer we hope thatdoors and shoot for three a week to make sure we were checking all the were going to put a good dent in that backlog at least atboxes. Dealers were happy and customers were happy, and we are doing Tim Gage some point.things right. 20 September 2022 Woodalls Campground Magazine'