One of 11 family-owned campgrounds in the USA RV Resorts group, Marina Bay, caters to high-end RV families looking for a quality RV destination.
Located in the coastal plains south of Houston Texas, halfway to Galveston, Marina Bay features 183 RV sites and 53 cabins along a bayou in Kemah, Texas near Seabrook and League City.
“We have RV sites, cabins and tiny houses,” said Lauren Monroe, who helps run the luxury-minded campsite along with her family that operates 11 campgrounds, ten in Texas and one in Colorado Springs, Colo. “It just gets too hot for tent camping down here. We’ve got three swimming pools, laundry facilities and dog washing stations here on site to help beat the heat.”
She stated it is located just minutes from the Kemah Boardwalk which offers walking trails and fishing. With nearby marinas, the RV resort also has 400 feet of boardwalk on the bayou benefiting from its waterfront location. It offers campers three pools, covered picnic areas, BBQ grills and fire pits, a gym and a community room for the entire family to enjoy along the strand.
“We are midway between Galveston and Houston, so you’re never too far away for the local attractions, shopping and memory-making day trips,” she said. “We’ve been family-owned and -operated since 2004 and we are busy. Busy little bees. I’ve been with the company for nine years. It is one of our busiest locations. We cater to both tourists in the local area as well as our long-termers that like to stay with us. We’ve had people stay with us for 10-plus years. And that’s because we’re constantly improving and updating.”
Monroe said her facility has just added some shaded sites at its Kemah location. Many of its cabins and tiny houses are deluxe and painted in tropical Caribbean colors.
“More glamping sites are on my list,” she stated. “I am looking at adding some glamping sites in our 2023 horizon. Coming soon hopefully. I want to do some yurts or some alternative sites like that. It’s hot down here. We’re almost in Houston, right in between Houston and Galveston. We are a little coastal town. We actually have a pier right on the Jerboa Bayou for fishing and enjoying being near the water.”
Just 30 minutes from Galveston, she said it’s also located close to Seabrook for shopping with a small-town feel or taking care of essentials.
There’s tons of cool stuff to do with all the modern amenities,” she added. “We’re right up the road from Target, Home Depot, all of the modern haunts we enjoy.”
She said Galveston Bay is accessible for boating nearby.
“But our bayou is best suited for smaller boats and jet skies,” she cautioned. “We have a boat launch right across the way. There’s the boat launch at Starship Marina, which is nearby, and then there’s a public one at Walter Hall Park probably seven minutes away and another in Seabrook.”
She shared that a big part of the location’s success is her staff, both part-time and full-time.
“At our Marina Bay location we have seven full-time staff,” said Monroe. “We’ve got a full team working here. It’s now our second-largest park. Our corporate home office is upstairs, so I’m there every day. We’ve got some float staff that comes in to help out. Our team really makes us shine. We’ve got a fabulous amount of talent working for us and it makes it the most enjoyable part of my day.
“We have people that have been with our organization for a long time,” she added. “One of the staff members at Marina Bay has been with us for almost 30 years, which is awesome.”
Monroe prefers full-time employees to work campers.
“We have used work campers in the past, but we just found it more successful for us to have people more long-term with the time to train and retrain and everything,” she explained.
The family took a look at its branding a few years ago and decided to combine all 11 sites under the patriotic brand of USA RV Resorts with the tagline of “Where Patriots Stay.”
“Now everyone has the same logo and we’ve got a centralized kind of branding and it helps us,” Monroe said. “We had a good season last year. It was a fabulous time to be able to see people travel again and reemerging.”
This resurgence over the past three years led to major upgrades at Marina Bay. It has completed an overhaul on 90% of its cabins, with just five left to remodel as of May 2023.
“Every, single cabin has new fixtures, furniture, paint and flooring,” Monroe said. “We also redid our community room, with a nice addition. We redid our gym and have some new gym equipment in there. We have a fresh facility with some renovations and upgrades to our lobby as well.”
Class A’s are trending and full-service sites are in demand at the park, she noted.
“But I would say the majority are Class B for sure at this facility,” Monroe added. “A lot of people from California are coming, staying and moving into the area. I’ve got a group of 10 people from California just traveling around. We’ve got a group from Canada that comes down every year and stays with us. There are some traveling nurses that come through and stay too.
“I think everyone’s affected by rising costs, but it’s been important to us to be as conscious as we can be about not raising rates at this time and focusing on maintaining our occupancy,” she concluded.