Resort at Canopy Oaks in Lake Wales

The Resort at Canopy Oaks in Lake Wales has seen consistent increases in occupancy.

Some RV parks and resorts in Florida are already filling up with reservations for next winter after enjoying a very strong snowbird season, according to park operators and officials with the Florida RV Park and Campground Association, which hosts CampFlorida.com, the travel planning website.

“Overall business is very good, but the location is a major factor with parks in the heavily populated snowbird areas seeing upwards of 90% to 100% occupancy for this year’s winter season,” said Bobby Cornwell, president and CEO of the Florida RV Park and Campground Association.

“While some park operators have stated their occupancies are around 50 to 60%, most are 85% or above with advanced reservations looking good,” Cornwell said.

Examples of highly sought-after parks include:

Torrey Trails RV & Golf Resort in Bowling Green leased all 368 of its available RV sites for the winter of 2024 during the first 15 days of this year, according to Amir Harpaz, a co-owner and operator of the resort. “Florida is attractive and stronger than ever,” Harpaz said. “I’ve been doing this for 23 years and I’ve never leased that many sites in 15 days.”

UpriverRVResort in Fort Myers is also experiencing exceptionally high demand, according to Lynda Phelps, who manages the 400-site park. “We are taking online reservations. We’re probably over capacity for next year. It’s amazing,” Phelps said. “Next winter will be every bit as strong as this year, if not more.”

Sunlight Resorts is experiencing strong demand for its two new RV resorts in Florida, which cater to snowbirds, according to Trey Lemon, Sunlight’s marketing director. “This year we’re basically going into our third season at the Resort at Canopy Oaks in Lake Wales. This has been our best year so far. We have a fuller park this winter than during the last two years. We see consistent increases year over year,” he said.

Sunlight also just opened Champions Run RV Resort in Ocala last July and the 382-site park was at roughly 50 percent capacity during the winter months, but demand is growing, Lemon said, “There is a lot of need for RV sites in Florida,” he said.

Further to the north, Madison RV and Golf Resort in Madison was at 95% capacity this winter, but only because the park kept open a few RV sites to accommodate traveling RVers. “As of right now, we’re going to have 100% (of our snowbirds) rebooking for next winter,” said Brian Faircloth, a developer and manager of the park.

A new park, Island Oaks RV Resort in Glen St. Mary, also had a very strong first winter season. “We held long-term occupants throughout the entire season and expect even more this next winter as we continue to build relationships with our guests and are expand our name further,” said Gladys Lupu, Island Oak’s marketing and events coordinator, adding, “Guests are already booking for long-term stays next winter and we’re excited to have them.”

Sun Outdoors, which owns and operates RV resorts throughout Florida, has also experienced rising demand for its RV sites from snowbirds, according to Maher K. Sarafa, Sun’s marketing director for manufactured housing and RV developments. “We have experienced an increase in demand for snowbird sites,” he said. “However, many of our resorts have grown the number of annuals over the last couple of years, reducing the number of transient sites available. With demand for snowbird sites exceeding supply, there are more snowbirds looking to move into annual contracts to secure their sites at preferred resorts.

Sarafa added the Sun’s 2024 snowbird bookings have kept pace with the company’s projections that its new resorts, including Sun Outdoors Islamorada and Sun Outdoors Orange Beach in Orange Beach, Ala.