Big Move for the Park Model Business

It takes a lot these days to get me excited about something in the RV industry, but a recent announcement about what I think is a major move in the park model business really caught my attention.

For years the park model business has been trying to capture the public’s attention – the RVing public as well as the general public. And now comes a big announcement from the most recognizable brand in the RV world – Winnebago. The company has signed a licensing agreement with Champion Home Builders for Champion to build Winnebago park models! Champion owns park model builder Athens Park Homes and is a major player in the manufactured housing arena.

The fact that Winnebago sees park models as an extension of the Winnebago brand should come as welcome news to the park model community although it no doubt will be a major competitor in the market.

What might come next? A Fleetwood Park Model? A Jayco Park Model? Maybe Fleetwood? The move of a main line RV manufacturer directly into the park model business certainly helps solidify the position of the park model as a main line RV that deserves all of the recognition accorded to other Winnebago and other brands.

Be interesting to see how the sales of park models goes in the coming year or two. Sales seem to be trending upward month by month as reported by RVIA and this new Winnebago/Champion partnership should give the numbers a boost.

Sales Event Selling Coming to the Park Industry?

Most readers of this column are probably familiar with the big glossy postcards that arrive in your mail or the full page newspaper ads promoting 10 acre mountain land parcels with streams and great mountain views for just $29,000 (or sometimes even less)! The adsprovides a day and date for this once in a lifetime opportunity to buy mountain land for you and your family to enjoy forever. Usually the roads and utilities are in the development and the land is surveyed and staked for each parcel. All you need to do is call to set up an appointment for the day of the sale so you can be among the select group who will take advantage of this great opportunity.

Sound familiar?

Well, maybe it’s time for this sales method to be adopted to the RV park industry and used to pre-sell RV sites in some great locations.

I recently had occasion to spend a day with a client in the Smokey Mountains who has successfully used this technique to sell RV sites at an RV park that had been trying for a number of years to sell the sites as RV condominiums. Some sites had been sold but a majority of the sites remained unsold.

Well, this client of mine used what he refers to as a land sale event to sell out most of the remaining sites in one day at prices that were very acceptable to the seller and in line with the prices of the few sites that were sold earlier.

Check out this You Tube video to see what the sale event looked like: https://youtu.be/sR_iYmS-QEY.

The client is now preparing to execute a sales event to sell RV sites on a beautiful tract of land right on Douglas Lake in the Smokey Mountain area of Tennessee. The property will have about 190 sites on a peninsula into the lake – these sites will have boat dock possibilities and direct lake access. And additional 100 or more sites will have lake views and access. Clubhouse, pools, and recreational amenities will be part of the development. Using the land sales event technique, the seller will sell 3000-4000 square foot lots suitable for a camping, RVing or park model site. The lots are sold unfinished and the buyer can improve the lot at their own pace and as they feel it best suits their needs.

The lot prices will be at a level that makes them available to just about any middle-class couple or family that wants to have a lake front recreational site that can grow with them as they wish. Imagine starting with a pop-up or even a tent, and over the years moving to a travel trailer, 5th wheel, motorhome and then a park model cabin.

Will it be successful? We’ll have to wait and watch to see how the event goes but if it is successful, it may well be a technique that can help expand the number of camping and RV sites available in some great scenic, cultural, historic and recreational places in our country.

If you’re interested in learning more about this land sales event technique and the company that is pioneering it in the RV park business, give me a call (703 448 6863) or drop me an email to david@davidgorinassociates.com

I fully realize that there may be some skeptics out there wondering if Gorin’s going to far or if he’s lost his mind by advocating this type of sale. I can assure you that neither is the case. My client is a well-respected developer and marketer who has a great track record of conducting these sales in a no pressure, 100% ethical and legal manner. He’s not selling swamp land or selling land that is inaccessible.

Recognizing Two Long Time Industry Friends

There was a recent announcement that came across the online news wires that Jo Ann Mickelson has been awarded the Jack Denton Memorial Award from the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. As a friend of both Jo Ann and Jack, I know he would have been thrilled that Jo
Ann has been recognized with an award in his memory. Jack and JoAnn were colleagues, friends, neighbors and I suppose competitors in the Flagstaff, AZ market where Jack owned the Flagstaff KOA and Jo Ann and her husband Harvey own J & H RV Park in the same town.

In the probably 25+ years I’ve known Jo Ann, she has been a stalwart leader of the AZ park industry serving over the years as President of the state association, a board member probably for all those years, and probably as an office and committee chairman. And now, Jo Ann continues to serve the association as its Executive Director. In a state association comprised to a great degree of large mega RV parks, Jo Ann has represented and been a leading spokesperson for the smaller parks in the state

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