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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Five Things You Need to Know Today: December 30

Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!

1. Bastrop State Park in Recovery Mode

Let's go RVing to Bastrop State Park. Photo taken before fire. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It has been a tough year for Texas state parks. Record heat, devastating drought, budget cuts and wildfires during the summer has the park system in desperate need of money.

Bastrop State Park reopened recently after a huge wildfire burned 96 percent of it. Things are slowly coming back to normal.

Contractors are hauling and chipping away the tons of dead trees. Other volunteers are working to clean up the park—one trail at a time.

“So, there’s a lot of park that’s still green, still looks good—or even looks better—that has been cleaned up a little bit. The entire park is not gone,” says Roger Dolle, Bastrop State Park site manager.

2. Sun Communities Acquires Three Florida RV Parks

Sun Communities Inc., a Southfield, Michigan-based real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates manufactured housing and recreational vehicle communities, announced that on December 16 it acquired three recreational vehicle communities, personal property, and other associated intangibles from Club Naples RV Resort LLC, Kountree RV Resort LLC, and North Lake RV Resort LLC.

The acquired communities are in Florida—two in Naples, and the other in Moore Haven. They are comprised of 414 permanent recreational vehicle sites and 356 seasonal recreational vehicle sites that complement the company`s existing Florida recreational vehicle portfolio, while not directly competing with it.

The communities provide a larger geographic footprint in the state and allow for cross-marketing opportunities utilizing Sun Communities’ call center systems and staffing currently in place in the region.

Sun Communities intends to purchase three additional recreational vehicles communities in January 2012.

Sun Communities owns and operates a portfolio of 159 communities comprising approximately 54,800 developed manufactured housing and recreational vehicle sites.

3. Know Your Height

Let's Go RVing to the Corkscrew Sanctuary near Naples, Florida. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Sounds simple, but it’s amazing how many people forget the extra height of an RV while driving. Hitting bridges and overhangs are some of the most common accidents. To avoid getting hung up – literally – try this simple trick: put a sticky note on the dashboard with your exact clearance.

Another vital fact: a typical RV is 8.5 feet wide; the typical highway lane is only 10 feet wide. This gives you about a foot-and-a-half to work with.

4. Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Membership Campground

Membership campgrounds are particularly appealing to snowbirds and full-timers who don’t want to spend all their time in one or two locations.

In exchange for purchasing a one-time membership and paying annual dues, you may camp free—or nearly free—for a specified period of time.

You need to understand your own needs and how they match the benefits offered through the membership.

Two main factors to consider carefully:

Use: Are you really going to use this membership?

How many days a year will you use it?

How many years will you use it?

Location: Are the campgrounds in areas where you plan to travel?

Most membership campgrounds are in Western, Eastern, and Southern United States.

What else should you be aware of?

  • Bankruptcies (or Chapter 11s) of membership campgrounds can and do occur
  • Will you be able to find space when and where you want?
  • Dilemma of peak demands from January to March in favorite Snowbird destinations such as Florida, Arizona, and Southern California
  • Are you willing to plan ahead? To make reservations 60-120 days or more in advance?
  • Not all memberships are created equal
  • Not all campgrounds within the same camping system are created equal
  • Increasing cost of annual dues
  • Utility surcharge and service fees

To read more on membership campgrounds, click here.

5. Follow the Rule of 20 Percent

Let's Go RVing to the Arizona Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Fully loaded recreational vehicles have slower acceleration and take longer to come to a full stop than autos. To compensate, add 20 percent to everything you do, from increasing your following distance and judging if you have enough clearance, to safely merging into traffic.

Have a great New Years.

Until next time, safe RV travels, and we’ll see you on the road!

Worth Pondering…

The RV lifestyle is like nothing else.

It’s leaving home, exploring America, and yet bringing your home along with you!

Stopping at a wayside picnic area, preparing lunch in your kitchen.

It’s sleeping in your own bed every night, yet waking up to a new vista each morning!

The sounds of a crackling campfire; of a mountain stream, of frogs, and crickets.

It’s families drawn closer; it’s retirees being rewarded for many years of labor.

—Loren Eyrich, Two-Lane Roads

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