Steve Showalter

A luxury RV resort is in the works for southern Elkhart County, just north of the county line near the popular northern Indiana lake resort community of Syracuse.

North Trace RV Resort is being developed by Steve Showalter, owner of Showalter RV in Nappanee, which in 2021 underwent a major expansion by growing its indoor showroom space and tripling its service department.

Showalter said momentum for the development is being driven by the county’s strong ties to the RV industry.

“There are no really nice RV resorts around this area,” Showalter told RVBusiness on Monday. “The closest place, that has any upscale style, is an hour-and-a-half away. I just feel like we’re the RV Capitol of the World and it’s something we need locally. There are a lot of people who have really nice RVs who would like a nice place to go and there’s just nothing like that around here.”

Rezoning already has been approved for the area near the intersection of County Roads 29 and 56 in Elkhart County. (County Road 29 is an extension of North Huntington Street in Syracuse.) The 45-acre site is just north of the Country Meadows mobile home community.

At this point, Showalter said, it’s a matter of the design for the park meeting state requirements and completing the permitting process.

“I want to start next spring,” he said. “That’s my goal and I hope to get through all the approvals by then.”

The plan is for North Trace to be professionally managed and offer all the amenities associated with a high-end, luxury RV resort. And as an RVer himself, Showalter knows the types of things needed to create such a resort.

“It’s going to have a nice office, store and community center, a fitness center, pickleball, a really nice pool, hot tub, playground, all the normal stuff,” Showalter said. “The main thing is that it’s going to have nice large spaces – concrete pads with 30 feet of grass between them.”

The concrete pads will be 20 feet wide, allowing campers to have their slides out and still have room for a patio area, he said.

There also will be several pull-throughs and buddy sites among the planned 190 spaces.

“We’re going to do it right,” he said. “There will be full hookups on everything. We’re just going to make it a nice, gated community.”

A landscape buffer will be employed and there will be privacy fencing on all sides with no lighting or outdoor sound system. The site is a bit hilly and some excavation will be required, along with removal of a small wooded area, but there are wooded areas bordering the site, and “We’ll plant a nice shade tree or two on every site,” Showalter said, adding, “It’s going to be pretty cool, I think. I’m pretty excited about it.”

Showalter also noted that once the resort is open, at 85% occupancy it has the potential to generate more than $6 million for the local economy.