It is always nice when an RV park’s name fits what it offers. Nature’s Resort RV Park in Homosassa, Fla., is a perfect example of that, as any park that is renowned for its waterfront, complete with daily manatee and dolphin sightings, doesn’t need to overthink it. Customers know it is a place where fun abounds on the Gulf Coast and you can escape the hustle and bustle of central Florida, according to a release from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).
In a time when many people think of Florida for the glitz and glam of Disney World or Miami, Nature’s Resort is proud to offer folks a feeling of the “old Florida,” providing quality spaces in the unique marine environment, along with a multitude of amenities and activities, at a reasonable rate.
“There is so much to do around Nature’s Resort,” said Mike Shoemaker, general manager of Nature’s Resort. “It’s just the good ol’ fashioned Florida — we’re the old school Florida, we’re not trying to be the upscale park that some people are trying to be. We’ve got waterfront, springs right around the corner, manatees every day, there are dolphins here every day and just a ton of really, really good people.”
As one of the host sites of this year’s Takeaway Tours at ARVC’s annual Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo (OHCE), ARVC member-park Nature’s Resort will offer a virtual tour of the park for OHCE attendees. Shoemaker will share insights and a behind-the-scenes look at the nuts and bolts of the park, focusing on how he has worked with his team to take the park to the next level.
The park was originally built in 1969 and the current owners purchased Nature’s Resort in 1997. Shoemaker was hired nine years ago and tasked with elevating the park, something he feels confident he’s done.
“I was told to take the place to the next level and put it on the map,” says Shoemaker. “The more money I spend here, the better park we have, but we still don’t take away from the old Florida.”
Shoemaker credits the staff at the park for helping create such a special environment, going overboard to make sure guests leave happy.
“We have an amazing staff. I have more than 30 employees who work seven days a week and they are phenomenal,” says Shoemaker. “A lot of them live here so they care about the park as much as I do. They’re great people and have always worked hard because they are proud of where they live and work. They are the best of the best!”
One area that the park prides itself on is the activities available to guests, especially those focused on kids, something Shoemaker says creates loyal, returning customers.
“If the kids left happy, I guarantee mom and dad did too. Count on it!” says Shoemaker. “It’s all about the kids — that’s your next generation of campers right there.”
The Takeaway Tours of three parks, including Nature’s Resort, will be filmed and edited before the conference, allowing the park owners to show off their park and provide insight into how they operate. Attendees who watch the Takeaway Tours will encounter an abundance of lessons from the staff at Nature’s Resort along with real-life problem-solving strategies, providing new and improved best practices they can “takeaway” and use at their own parks.
OHCE2020 attendees can view the tours on-demand beginning Nov. 2, the first day of the conference.
A live question and answer session, hosted by OHCE speaker and industry expert Gary Quigley, OHE owner of ARVC member-park Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Kozy Rest in Harrisville, Penn., will also take place. This open discussion will allow owners to receive live answers to follow-up questions and spark deeper conversations that can be continued in small group meeting rooms or private chats throughout OHCE.
The two other ARVC-member parks were selected to host virtual Takeaway Tours along with Nature’s Resort (304 sites) are Jolly Roger RV Resort (130 sites) in Marathon, Fla. and Cross Creek RV Resort (612 sites) in Arcadia, Fla. For more details about the parks featured on the Takeaway Tours, visit www.arvc.org/ohce-takeaway.
The Takeaway Tours are always one of the most popular experiences offered at OHCE — the outdoor hospitality industry’s premier event, and this year will be included in the cost of registration. In past years, Takeaway Tours were an extra $299 add-on cost for attendees to visit parks for a full day, but due to the virtual nature of this year’s event, ARVC is including this valuable learning experience as part of every registration.
The virtual OHCE2020 is Nov. 2-5 and registration is open through Oct. 28. ARVC members are offered significant discounts on registration. To register for OHCE2020 and to learn more about the conference visit arvc.org/ohce.