Palm Creek Resort Sold to Sun Communities

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort, long one of the premier operations of its type in the United States, has been sold to Sun Communities, owner or operator of more than 170 manufactured housing and recreational vehicle communities in 18 states.

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort
Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort

Palm Creek is a 5-star institutional quality, age restricted resort with 1,863 sites located in Casa Grande, Arizona, just forty minutes south of Phoenix. Amenities include an 18-hole golf course, pools, spas, and a world class pickle ball and tennis facility. The resort is rated very high with a 29 out of 30 rating by Woodall’s/Good Sam Club.

Sun Communities acquired the resort and related improvements, personal property, and associated intangibles for $70.4 million and a contiguous parcel of land being developed to add approximately 990 recreational vehicle, or approximately 550 manufactured housing sites, for $15.0 million.

The aggregate purchase price of $88.0 million includes the reimbursement of $2.6 million for certain construction costs incurred in connection with the development of the land described above. The Company assumed $41.7 million of mortgage debt secured by the community.

The announcement that the Casa Grande RV Resort was sold to the Southfield, Michigan REIT, came from a Sun Communities news release and the Wolfswinkel family, originators of the park, in a letter to Palm Creek residents.

“We believe that this is in not only the best interest of our family, but for the benefit of our residents, guests, and the community as a whole,” Ashton Wolfswinkel wrote to Palm Creek residents.

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort Pickleball
Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort Pickleball

“Palm Creek started as a dream of my father, Conley, and has become one of the premier RV and mobile home communities in the United States. Through his vision, the hard work and dedication of many longtime staff members, countless volunteers, and the patronage of our residents and guests over the past 13-plus years, Palm Creek has continued to grow into a community that we as owners have been very proud of. I also believe this same pride and sense of community is felt deeply by our residents and guests.”

“The entire management team and staff will continue to serve our residents and run the property in the same fashion as it has always been, with a commitment to excellence,” Wolfswinkel wrote.

“Sun Communities is run by a group of high-quality individuals and they are committed to working to keep Palm Creek the amazing place it has become. I feel confident and am very comfortable knowing that Palm Creek will be in good hands and will build on the legacy that we have all been blessed to be a part of.”

Details

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort

Palm Creek offers luxury living, whether for a few days or a lifetime.

Address: 1110 North Henness Road, Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Phone: (800) 421-7004

Website: palmcreekgolf.com

Sun Communities, Inc.

Sun Communities, Inc is a premier provider of manufactured home communities and RV resorts and currently owns and operates a portfolio of 173 communities comprising approximately 63,600 developed sites.

Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort
Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort

The company was established in 1975.

The Sun Communities has operations in Colorado (4), Delaware (2), Florida (27), Georgia (3), Illinois (1), Indiana (18), Iowa (1), Kansas (1), Michigan (70), Missouri (2), Nevada (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (11), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (18), and Virginia (1).

Florida properties include Buttonwood Bay (Sebring), Grand Lake (Citra), The Groves (Fort Myers), Indian Creek (Fort Myers Beach), Lake San Marino (Naples), and Siesta Bay (Fort Myers).

South Texas properties include Casa de Valle (Alamo), Kenwood (La Feria), and Snow to Sun (Weslaco).

Address: 27777 Franklin Road, Suite 200, Southfield, MI 48034

Website: suncommunities.com

Worth Pondering…

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

—George Bernard Shaw

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Arizona Snowbirds Staying Longer Due to Gas Prices

Snowbirds appear to be staying longer in Casa Grande, Arizona, this winter, partially because high gas prices have kept them from moving around.

Casa Grande RV Park at Pinal Avenue and Rodeo Road. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to three RV park managers in Casa Grande, located midway between Phoenix and Tucson, a number of factors are contributing to the prolonged stay of some, TriValleyCentral.com reports.

“I’ve noticed a lot more people are staying longer,” said Sally Johnson, manager of Sundance 1 RV Resort on Thornton Road. “I’d say the cause is that gas prices are getting up there and the weather here is much nicer than back home.”

Wendell Johnson, general manager of Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort, agreed, saying, “Our longer stays are up 20 percent this year. They seem to be coming for longer periods of time—three to five months.”

Johnson attributed this phenomenon to rising gasoline prices and residents of his park embracing the community.

“RVers are used to moving around and staying different places,” he said. “But gas has prohibited that this year. They seem to be staying here longer instead.

“One of the reasons our residents come to Casa Grande is for the small-town feel,” Johnson said. “The longer they stay, the more they become a part of the community.”

Founded in 1879, Casa Grande was named for the famous Hohokam Indian Ruins 20 miles to the northeast. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Casita Verde RV Resort manager Kathy Wallick noted that the Canadian visitors in her park—which she said is roughly half—are the most active.

“The Canadians are great,” Wallick told TriValley Central. “They want to be a part of everything in the park and in the community.”

Wallick said that while gas prices may be affecting winter visitors who come out in RVs, the media coverage has been making it worse. “Yes, the prices are going up, but when you hear about it all the time it just keeps reminding everyone.”

What worries Wallick is next year’s season if the prices continue to rise.

“What I’m concerned about is if the gas goes up as high as they say it will—up to $5 per gallon—what next season will be like.”

The sense of community among winter visitors has been a growing trend, said Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce CEO Helen Neuharth.

“Our winter residents support our local businesses by spending money here, but they also have an overwhelming sense of community. They have been volunteering at the chamber more and more.”

On the state level, the winter visitor population has been holding its own, said JoAnn Mickelson, executive director of the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. “Most tell me that it’s just about the same as it was last year. It has been kind of stagnant this year—as far as how many people have made the trip out.

“The gasoline prices may be the No. 1 reason people are staying longer this season,” Mickelson said. “The part of the industry that has been hit the hardest in the down economy hasn’t been the parks, it’s been the RV dealers and manufacturers.”

Although the number of snowbirds coming out to Arizona this year may have reached a temporary plateau, they still have a major effect on the economy.

“NAU (Northern Arizona University) recently did a study on the whole industry,” she said. “Statewide, it represents a billion and a half dollars each year.”

Details

Casa Grande

The annual O'Odham Tash Celebration, a gathering of tribes, is held in mid-February and features Native American arts and crafts, ceremonial dances, rodeos, powwows, and parades. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Casa Grande is strategically located at the intersection of two interstate highways (I-8 and I-10) in an area known as Arizona’s Golden Corridor.

Founded in 1879, Casa Grande was named for the famous Hohokam Indian Ruins 20 miles to the northeast.

Midway between Phoenix and Tucson, the city has grown to be the largest community in western Pinal County since its incorporation in 1915.

Casa Grande’s location, mild climate, and scenic attractions make it attractive to tourists and snowbirds.

The annual O’Odham Tash Celebration, a gathering of tribes, is held in mid-February and features Native American arts and crafts, ceremonial dances, rodeos, powwows, and parades.

Casa Grande offers 15 RV parks in the area.

Elevation: 1,405 feet above sea level

Worth Pondering…

Winter in ‘Zona is spring
Spring is summer
Autumn is our winter
And summer is Hell.
—Cherishe Archer

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