Cape Gazette

Call it what it is: an RV resort

By Jim Bardsley | Mar 29, 2014

Week after week I read all negatives of building an RV resort on Love Creek. It is clear to me that there are issues that I feel need to be introduced. I am not an expert in environmental concerns, traffic problems or road conditions that were addressed at the various meetings which I attended. I feel that that is the concern of the developer and all the appropriate federal, state and county committees that will be involved with this project. However, my concerns are economical. While in attendance, I heard no one mention about the employment advantage and the economic impact as to how much revenue would be brought into the community.

My wife and I have been RVers for over 20 years. Our current RV is a fifth wheel which is pulled by a truck with an overall length of approximately 40 feet. We have RVed extensively to destinations throughout the United States, including Alaska and western Canada. RV resorts and campgrounds are different in some respects. RV resorts are normally destination places where families come on vacation plus they are looking for amenities such as swimming pools, wi-fi hookups, cable TV, mini-golf, etc. There are always planned daily activities for both children and adults. This is what’s expected at an RV resort, and the rates reflect all of these amenities. Campgrounds, in many cases, offer fewer amenities at a lower rate. All RV resorts and campgrounds have quiet times with strict rules on noise and when to extinguish campfires. There is usually 24-hour security in all campgrounds and resorts to monitor the rules. What the developer for the RV resort at Love Creek is doing is developing a high-end resort, which leads me to believe that there will be nothing built detrimental to the area.

My wife and I were both employed by the 3 Seasons RV Resort in Rehoboth Beach which bordered the homes at the Rehoboth Yacht and Country Club. We were full-time RVers at that time looking for a place to live and retire since moving from our previous home. Having family ties in the area, we chose to live in Briarwood Estates.

The layout and operations of 3 Seasons RV resort were superb. In the building plans of this new resort, it seems that the most controversial issue is the traffic impact and road conditions on Cedar Grove Road. Historically, 3 Seasons operated from March 15 through Thanksgiving weekend. The high concentration of traffic on Country Club Road was July 1 through Aug. 20 plus weekends. At no time was Country Club Road traffic impeded to stop-and-go because of campers entering or leaving the RV resort. Most all resorts that we have camped in are on secondary roads and have large parking facilities for checking into the park at their welcome center. In addition to eliminating parking problems and traffic to and from Rehoboth, 3 Seasons contracted with DART, and a bus came into the park on a regular seven-day schedule from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. to pick up beachgoers, shoppers and people wanting to go into Rehoboth. The camp store sold the daily pass for a flat fee. Jobs both seasonal and full time will be created once the resort is up and running, and don’t forget the construction force needed to build the resort at Love Creek.

In conclusion, there is a need for another RV resort in this area. I can tell you that we keep running into previous campers from 3 Seasons and they all say the same thing: “Why did they ever close that park?” It is our belief that by developing the Love Creek RV Resort, it is going to buy a lot of joy and happiness for a whole new generation of campers and possible future homeowners here in the Sussex County area.

Jim Bardsley

Comments (1)
Posted by: Greg and Terri Kordal | Mar 29, 2014 17:36

The economic impact of an RV park versus a planned community was presented at the County Council meeting and is in the public record.  The presentation, which I gave, was based on an official study (also in the public record) completed by the County Finance Director.  The bottom line was that an RV park will pay no realty transfer tax versus homes.  This led to a gross difference between revenues to the county of the two types of development - over $2 million additional benefit in year one for homes versus an RV park and over $9 million over 20 years. 

Councilman Cole even asked for County Finance to provide him additional information regarding the financial impact, including the low taxes paid by existing RV parks.  The main cause is the relatively low assessed value of an RV Park.

I hope that this fills in the blank for you with regard to the economic impact of the RV park.

I will let others debate the relative advantages of homes versus an RV park for providing stimulus to the local economy.  But - we know the park will only be open part of the year while residents are year round, homeowners support more local businesses in support of their homes, residents pay local taxes to support schools/infrastructure, etc.  RV visitors will burden local services with no direct payment to the county. 

It seems as if an RV park will have economic benefit to the developer/operator and not to the county or its residents. 

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