Mitchell County Industries LLC (MCI) has purchased the assets of the defunct Superior Park Model Homes and resumed production on a limited basis of recreational park trailers in a 120,000-square-foot plant in Pelham, Ga.
MCI is a new face in the park model business but with deep roots in the industry and southwest Georgia, explained Gary Giddens, national sales director and one of three partners in the new company. Other partners are Tom Shanklin, COO, and David Cutts. The trio has prior experience in the construction, finance and insurance industries but none were affiliated with prior ownership.
They acquired the assets of Superior Park Homes in September and retained the entire production management staff of approximately 50 people, Giddens said. The assets, including building, real estate and intellectual property, were valued at more than $2.5 million.
Superior Park Homes was formed approximately four years ago by Lake Okeechobee Redevelopment Co. and built more than 1,000 homes since that time, including 500 park models valued at $8 million that went for emergency housing following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The new owners are re-establishing relationships with dealers and campgrounds throughout the U.S. and Canada, as MCI has realigned its marketing to conform to a dealer network program. Programs are available to prospective dealers in specific geographic locations both with and without promotional and advertising support depending on the prospective dealers’ need for start-up assistance.
The company also is bidding on several projects with the federal government in an attempt to provide emergency housing for victims of Hurricane Ike that struck East Texas in September, he said. The need for housing ranges from between 4,000 and 20,000 units, he said.
The new company also is fulfilling contracts, at its own expense, to build between 15 and 20 park models for customers across the U.S. that were unfulfilled when the previous owners ceased business, Giddens noted. These clients include Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA).
In terms of product, MCI will be building park models that resemble the Superior Park Model Homes product at price ranges starting at around $9,300 and going up to the mid-$40,000 level, he said.
These units feature 8-foot sidewalls, crown and baseboard molding, upgraded kitchen cabinets and appliances, hardwood floors, ceramic tile options, full bathrooms and other amenities that create comfortable living.
Despite the current economic climate in the U.S., Giddens said the present was a good time to make this purchase.
“Even though the business climate is in decline, the park model business has some profitability because of the nature of the buyer,” he said. “More than 50% of the buyers buy with cash. The park model as a second home is still viable. Our client also is someone who has decided to get out of a Class A motorhome and get into a permanent location. Our buyers still have purchasing power and discretionary spending power.”
He added, “The other obvious thing is our product is the model home for storm survivors; it’s an RV you can put in your yard while you’re rebuilding your home. You just roll it up and hook it up.”
The company also is targeting sportsmen who will purchase the park models as hunting lodges and camps.