Growing Numbers Of Snowbirds Are Opting To Purchase Rather Than Rent Their RV Sites

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Nearly 200 of the nation’s approximately 8,000 private RV parks and resorts are selling their campsites, and renting them out for the site-owners so that they can generate rental income when they’re away, according to the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds

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If you’re renting a site

Mogens Hermansen is what you’d call a working snowbird.

He lives in Memphis, but spends much of the winter enjoying the sunshine in southern Alabama.

But unlike most snowbirds, Hermansen and his wife don’t have to worry about trying to reserve a site for their 45-foot Beaver motorhome. They own an RV site at Bella Terra RV Resort in Foley, Ala.

“It’s our home away from home,” said Hermanson, 59, a full-time operations manager for a global packaging company.

In fact, their RV site at Bella Terra is not their only home away from home. The Hermansens also own a site at Traverse Bay RV Resort in Acme, Mich., where they like to enjoy the summer months.

The Hermansens are part of a growing number of RVers who are purchasing RV sites at upscale RV resorts across the country.

“This segment of the industry is generating increasing attention from consumers,” said Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds in Larkspur, Colo.

While most campgrounds, RV parks and resorts rent their sites by the night, week or month, there are growing numbers of parks that have started selling their sites, particularly Sunbelt parks that cater to snowbirds.

Nationally, more than 25,000 RV sites at nearly 200 RV parks and resorts are privately owned, according to David Gorin, a longtime campground industry consultant and principal of MacLean, Va.-based David Gorin & Associates.

That’s still a fraction of the market, when one considers that there are more than 8,000 private campgrounds and RV parks nationwide. But it is a significant trend, and an attractive investment option for working professionals, empty nesters and retirees who want to spend all or part of the winter in the Sunbelt, said Gorin, who also owns Holiday Cove RV Resort in Cortez, Fla., which offers RV sites for sale.

Many RV enthusiasts also like the upscale nature of RV parks and resorts that sell their sites as well as the convenience of owning their own site.

“The advantage of owning our own site is we can come and go as we please,” said Emile LaChance, an Ontario, Canada, resident who recently purchased a site at Silver Palms RV Village in Okeechobee, Fla. “If you’re renting a site,” he added, “you’ve got to be on a schedule.”

For additional commentary, statistics and sources on the latest camping trends in campgrounds, RV parks and resorts or for leads on parks in your news coverage area please contact Linda Profaizer at the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds at (303) 681-0401 and visit the association’s newly revised website at http://www.GoCampingAmerica.com

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