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Splash RV Resort

New park construction like at the Splash RV Resort and Water Park in East Milton, Fla., is occurring all over the country.

Editor’s note: As WOODALLSCM.com (WCM) looks forward to 2022, the publication wanted to take a look back at some of the most popular stories from the past year. Over the next week or so WCM will be posting those stories as a way of highlighting important trends and news in the outdoor hospitality industry. WCM hopes you enjoy the look back and Happy Holidays!

WCM’s February look at new developments springing up was a window into another busy year for expansions and new developments as more investors looked to enter the outdoor hospitality industry. In no way was this article a fully exhaustive look at what was occurring in the industry — with new developments springing up every day, WCM has been quite busy staying on top of everything — but it did give an impressive look at the types of parks being built and the sheer number of new sites expected to be completed in 2021. As one of the most popular stories on WCM’s website in 2021, most of our readers were excited about the potential for growth as the busy summer season approached.

You can read the full story below. 

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) estimates that more than 53,000 new RV sites will be built across the country this year. The estimate was based on a survey of 516 campground and RV park operators across the U.S.

While Woodall’s Campground Management has not conducted a similar survey, WCM has verified through interviews and published reports that there is a significant amount of new park developments and expansions taking place across the country, according to park operators and developers.

Even in terms of new parks alone, considerable construction activity is underway.

For example, three new Kampgrounds of America Inc. parks (KOA) opened in 2020, including the Corpus Christi KOA Journey in Texas, the Mt. Gilead/Mid Ohio KOA Holiday, and the Blue Ridge/Toccoa River KOA Holiday in Georgia.

As of the time of this writing, KOA had another 14 campgrounds pending or under construction, according to Saskia Boogman, KOA’s director of public relations, including the following:

  • Crystal River KOA in Florida
  • Fort Pierce West KOA in Florida
  • Panama City Beach KOA in Florida
  • Gulf Port KOA in Mississippi
  • Lincoln West KOA in Nebraska
  • Smithfield KOA in North Carolina
  • Shawnee Southeast KOA in Oklahoma
  • Belton KOA in Texas
  • McKinney North / Celina KOA in Texas
  • Berkeley Springs KOA in West Virginia

Boogman said KOA also has two other campgrounds under construction in yet-to-be-announced locations in Utah and Mississippi, as well as two Canadian campgrounds pending or under construction, including the Kawarthas/Lindsay KOA in Ontario and the Fort San/Echo Lake KOA in Saskatchewan.

Across the U.S., at least 19 other campgrounds and RV parks have either just recently opened in the past few months or are expected to open this year or early next year. Below is a list of recent developments that WCM has become aware of and is not meant to be an exhaustive list of every development that is occurring in the outdoor hospitality industry.

WCM hopes the following information will provide readers with a sense of the momentum the outdoor hospitality industry is showing at the moment.

Florida

The Cabana Club RV Resort in Auburndale: This family-owned, family-friendly resort, about an hour east of Tampa, was expected to open in February with 155 RV sites and 60 park model RV rentals. Amenities include a zero-entry, heated swimming pool, a nine-hole artificial turf putting course, a tiki hut and bar, a splash pad and activities for all ages, including basketball, corn hole and yoga. The park also features separate dog parks for large and small dogs and a dog wash station. In 2022, Cabana Club RV Resort expects to add another 125 RV sites and another 65 park models as well as six covered or shaded pickleball courts and multi-use sports courts.

Island Oaks RV Resort in Glen St. Mary: This new 385-site park 30 miles west of Jacksonville is expected to open in September. The park will offer pull-through and back-in RV sites, waterways, a swimming lake, pool and tiki bar, sports courts, daily activities, a fishing lake with a dock, paddleboard and kayaks. Nature areas and ponds are located throughout the grounds along with preserved wetlands. https://www.islandoaksrvresort.com

Ridge Manor Campground in Reddick: This campground has purchased an adjacent property where it plans to build 65 RV sites and 15 sites for rental cabins or park models. The back of the property will also be designated for 100 permanent sites for mobile homes and park model RVs. The new park is expected to open in mid-to-late 2022, according to Bradley Winterroff, who owns and manages Ridge Manor Campground and is developing the new campground.

Splash RV Resort and Water Park in East Milton: This 62-acre, $20 million resort and water park, under construction near the corner of Interstate 10 and State Road 87, will initially feature approximately 351 RV sites as well as 34 to 40 park model cottages and six furnished Conestoga wagons, according to Marcus Lauren, the park’s general manager, adding that the park is expected to open this spring. Amenities will include two swimming pools, waterslides, and a lazy river, as well as bocce ball, pickleball, and basketball courts. The park is being developed by Craig Kruse, who owns and operates Santa Rosa RV Resort in Navarre. The latest updates are posted on the park’s Facebook page. https://www.splashrvresort.com

Torrey Trails RV and Golf Resort in Bowling Green: The first 158 RV sites at this luxury resort opened this winter, according to developers Amir Harpaz, Alan Wallace, and Bill Harvey. The scenic resort is built on the site of an existing golf course, which features mature oak trees. Amenities will include a 9 hole golf course with a disc golf capability; a state-of-the-art fitness center with indoor and outdoor sections; tennis and pickleball courts; a dog park and a doggie splash pool. https://www.torreytrailsrv.com

Corpus Christi KOA

Water-front Patio Site at Corpus Christi KOA, a newly built KOA campground.

Alabama 

Homestead RV Community in Theodore: Ed O. Bridgman of EOB Consulting is developing this property into a 150-site extended stay RV park on a wooded site 10 miles south of Mobile.
https://homervc.com

RVC Outdoor Destinations has closed on and fully entitled a large RV resort development in Gulf Shores, Ala., which it plans to begin building in 2021.

Tennessee

Pigeon Forge Landing RV Resort: RVC Outdoor Destinations is planning to open its 11th resort this spring. he 37-acre property in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, just off the Pigeon Forge Parkway near the Apple Barn & Cider Mill at 455 Lonesome Valley Road, features a mile of riverfront along the Little Pigeon River with a view of Mount LeConte. Pigeon Forge Landing RV Resort is now booking for the Spring and will open its first phase with 149 RV sites along with high-end permanent tents and primitive riverside camping sites. All RV sites include level concrete pads, fire rings and grills, picnic tables, full hook-ups with 30/50-amp service and Wi-Fi. The property will embrace its location with plenty of options for riverside fishing as well as an illuminated riverwalk and tubing and kayak rentals.

North Carolina

Avon by the Sea RV Park in Avon: Developer Joe Thompson is building this oceanfront park, which he expects to open by Memorial Day weekend. The park will have 26 full-hookup sites, an electronic gated entrance, and lush vegetation, according to the Island Free Press.

Ohio

River Land Cabins and Campground in the Columbus area: Bob and Betty Earley of Earley Real Estate and Construction in Columbus plan to open a campground along the Platte River this spring with 30 campsites and a lodge that sleeps eight, according to the Columbus Telegram. The park will offer fishing, kayaking and canoe trip as well as a playground and sand volleyball court.

Colorado

River Run RV Resort in Granby: Sun Communities opened this new resort last summer with 316 RV sites, 83 cabins and 20 villas, according to Regional Marketing Manager Caitlyn Twilley. The park’s rental options also include eight Airstream trailers and seven Conestoga wagons. The park also plans to acquire “adventure tents and yurts,” according to its website at https://www.sunrvresorts.com/river-run/.

Sky View Campground near Loveland: Great Outdoors Colorado is planning to build this campground on the east side of Carter Lake, west of Loveland, by fall 2021 or spring of 2022. The park will feature 15 pods of campsites grouped together for large group gatherings that can accommodate up to 120 campers. Each pod will have five campsites that can accommodate a tent or an RV, including one ADA-accessible campsite in each pod. A pavilion that seats up to 50 people will be built near a group fire pit.

South Dakota 

Kattails Campground and Recreation near Lake Campbell: Katy VanMannan and her sister, Kennedy Boyden, plan to develop this campground, which will initially have 20 campsites with water, sewer, and electrical hookups and beach access by this summer. The sisters have room on their property to add another 35 sites in the future.

Texas

The Jenkins Organization (TJO), based in Houston, is building several new RV parks this year that will be part of The Great Escapes RV Resorts brand. They include:

Torrey Trails RV and Golf Resort in Bowling Green

Torrey Trails RV and Golf Resort in Bowling Green, Fla. just opened this winter.

A new park under construction in Elgin, about 30 minutes east of Austin: TJO broke ground on the park in November, which is expected to be completed in February.  The new park will have 208 extended stay RV sites, a clubhouse with a kitchen and resort-style pool with a hot tub and cabanas, a pavilion with a grill by the pool, and a fitness center. The park will also have three pavilions with grills and fire pits around a lake as well as a dog park. Storage units and golf cart rentals will also be available.

A new park under construction in Bryan, near Texas A & M University: TJO also broke ground on the park in November and plans to have it ready for occupancy by fall.  The park will feature 304 RV sites and 64 cabins and will offer both short-term and extended stays. Amenities will include two clubhouses with resort-style pools, covered pavilions for tailgating and other special events, walking trails, a sports court, two dog parks, a camp store, and workout facilities.

A new park soon to be under construction in Austin, Texas, near the Circuit of the Americas F1 racetrack: TJO plans to bring ground on the park in spring 2021 and plans to have it ready for occupancy for spring 2022. The park will feature 387 RV sites and 48 cabins and will offer both short-term and extended stays. Amenities will include two clubhouses with resort-style pools, covered grilling pavilions, and a stage for concerts and other special events. The park will also feature three ponds for fishing, walking trails, dog parks, a camp store, cafe, food truck parking, a jumping pillow, a gaga ball pit, and workout facilities.

A new park soon to be under construction in San Antonio, 20 minutes northwest of downtown: TJO plans to break ground on the park in spring and plans to have it ready for occupancy by winter. The park will feature 241 extended stay RV sites and 10 cabins. Amenities will include a clubhouse with a resort-style pool, covered grilling pavilions, individual bath houses, a laundry facility, convenience store, and a stocked fishing pond.

A new park soon to be under construction on Watts Bar Lake, Tenn., 40 minutes from downtown Knoxville: TJO plans to break ground on the park in spring and plans to have it ready by spring 2022. The park will feature 189 sites, 15 glamping tents, and 100 cabins and will offer both short-term and extended stays. Amenities will include a clubhouse with a store and cafe, a boardwalk and boat docks on Watts Bar lake, individual bath houses, walking trails, a resort-style pool, dog park, pickleball and sports courts, a water park, and an open-aire music pavilion by the water.

Arizona 

Village Camp Flagstaff: Roberts Resorts of Scottsdale, Ariz. plans to start construction this year on the first 175 sites of this resort, which will provide sites for RVs and park models. Village Camp Flagstaff is expected to open in the spring of 2022, according to Roberts Resorts President and CEO Scott Roberts.

Oregon

A new RV park in Bend: Developer Larry Kine of Kine & Kine Properties plans to build an as yet unnamed, 185-site luxury RV park on a 13-acre site with construction starting as soon as fall, according to a report in The Bulletin. Kine previously owned Crown Villa, an upscale RV park in Bend.

California

Costa Vista RV Resort in Chula Vista: Sun Communities plans to open this new San Diego area resort in spring with 197 RV sites with spacious patios, picnic tables, and landscaping and 49 fully furnished park model rentals, according to Regional Marketing Manager Michelle Overman. The resort will also have an on-site restaurant, pool with cabanas and splash pad, poolside movie screen, jacuzzi spa, poolside lounge and grill, and an indoor/outdoor fitness center. https://www.sunrvresorts.com/costa-vista-rv-resort/