Posts Tagged ‘Snowbirds’

Anybody who says Sunbelt RV parks and resorts are the exclusive domain of snowbirds hasn’t been to Shadow Hills RV Resort in Indio.

True, from November through March, the park is filled with snowbirds.

But during the second two weeks of April, the resort is filled with teenagers, twenty somethings and young-at-heart travelers from around the world who come to Indio to attend the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Indio Polo Club.

And now that Coachella 2012 is spread over two weekends, the resort is sold out both weekends.

“Last weekend, rapper Kendrick Lamar came in with his entourage for an interview and photo shoot with Complex Magazine. Every inch of our place was filled with RVs and tents, and lots of happy people,” said Paula Turner, owner of Shadow Hills RV Resort, the only RV resort along the shuttle route to the festival.
And it gets even more exciting this weekend.

Complex Magazine and its sponsor, Dr. Pepper, plan to use Shadow Hills RV Resort as their base camp this weekend while they co-host two special outdoor music events Friday and Saturday, during which time they will raffle free Coachella tickets with the help of popular Los Angeles DJ “Them Jeans.”

Turner concedes that some of her colleagues in the RV park and resort business thought she was crazy for opening her park to Coachella Music & Arts Festival attendees. But she said she hadn’t had any problems, and that the festival attendees have dramatically increased her shoulder season business as the snowbirds have left town.

Shadow Hills RV Resort

Shadow Hills RV Resort

“Everyone has been well behaved,” she said.

Turner added that music festivals could be a potentially lucrative business opportunity for campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the country.

Complex Magazine and Dr. Pepper, for example, are involved in a three-month, 23-city tour of music festivals across the country, the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago being the final stop.

“Our industry should contact each music festival and get them to also provide a link of all the campsites nearby,” Turner said, adding, “Shadow Hills RV Resort is an example of how we have gone after the festival attendees to come stay at our park. You can stay at any park but guests are looking for an experience and they are willing to pay more for that experience. I think we are the only campground in our area that has special event weekend rates.”

Turner has had visitors from all over the world who have traveled to Indio, Calif. to see Coachella 2012. “I would say 40 percent of our guests are from outside the United States,” she said. “We have people from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Ireland, England, as well as much of the rest of Europe and South America. It’s truly amazing.”

Turner said she expects to be filled to capacity once again this weekend.

“We’re completely sold out,” Turner said, “But we’re still taking reservations for a few tenters who plan to come for Stagecoach.”

Stagecoach is one of the largest country music festivals in the country. It will take place April 27th to 29th at the Empire Polo Club in Indio – the same venue as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

For more information on Shadow Hills RV Resort or to make arrangements to interview guests attending Coachella 2011, please call Paula Turner at (760) 360-4594.

For more information on campgrounds, RV parks and resorts in the Coachella Valley and throughout California, please call Debbie Sipe at (530) 885-1624 and visit

OKALOOSA ISLAND – Dale and Cheryl Lesh have their next two years of vacations planned and booked.
“We have our eyes on a particular site,” Cheryl said while lounging at the pool at Destin West RV Resort. “We love it. It’s quiet, the location’s great. We’re recommending it to friends.”

View a slideshow of the new RV parks. »

The RV park opened March 9 and has been registering a steady of flow of guests, from those with reservations to visitors who just pull in off U.S. Highway 98 on Okaloosa Island.

It took two years to build the park, and now it offers guests everything from a heated pool to all the amenities offered at Ramada Plaza Beach Resort across the highway.

Tolbert’s RV park is one of two that have opened recently. St. Rosa Sound RV Resort in Navarre also opened March 9 with more than 80 sites, 24 of which sit along the water.

“This year will be good. Next year will be better,” said manager Jinks Dupre. “Navarre is the best kept secret in the world, so who wouldn’t want to stay right by the beautiful water. Every RV park around here has had a ‘no va-cancy’ sign hanging for months.”

The site has a pool, fit-ness center and laundry. It does not allow popup campers or tents.

On Okaloosa Island, Destin West features 54 RV sites, each has a picnic table and patio. The park also has a laundry room, pool and a shop with camping gear and Destin West T-shirts.

“The response has been wonderful,” said Joe Guidry, general manager of the Ramada and Destin West. “We’ve got a lot of snowbirds and families coming here for that quiet atmosphere we have.”

The park has bookings scheduled for the next two months and its projected revenue for 2012 is about $1 million.

Mary Juergens has been traveling in her RV for the past 10 years. She said Wednesday that Des-tin West gets five stars from her.

“I love the area, it’s so nice being by the bay,” said Juergens, of St. Cloud, Minn. “To me, the top three things a good RV park needs is laundry facility, pool and sites that are paved.

“This place has all that, plus a friendly staff.”

“I’m trying to create a destination site on Okaloosa Island,” Tolbert said. “I want people to be able to come here and not have to get back in their cars until they leave. We want every-thing they need to be right here.”

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TUCSON – With temperatures reaching the high seventies, owners of Prince of Tucson RV Park said they’re noticing more snowbirds are coming down to soak up the sun.

“You know they’ve been going through sleet and snow, and they pull in here and they see some green grass and its seventy degrees, it’s a big sigh of relief,” Owner, David Christman said.

Bette Hartfield and others from the Midwest say they couldn’t ask for better weather.

“It beats what we have back in the Midwest this time of year, I mean it’s beautiful out here,” Hartfield said.

Roger Fontaine, who traveled all the way from Canada, said every year he makes a trip to Tucson to get away from those cold temperatures.

“We got fed up with those cold winters and we traveled around the Southern U.S. and we found Tucson and enjoyed it,” Fontaine said.

According to Arizona State officials, tourism added $2 billion to Pima County’s economy last year, and it also helped create more than 21,000 jobs in 2010.

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