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Changes usher in Garden of the Gods RV Resort

By: NED B. HUNTER
April 29, 2013
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The transformation of the former Garden of the Gods Campground near Manitou Springs into Garden of the Gods RV Resort has been completed.

Memphis, Tenn.-based RVC Outdoor Destinations purchased the Garden of the Gods Campground at 3704 W. Colorado Ave. last May and has completed more than $800,000 in repairs and renovations, including the addition of six “pull-through” parking sites that can accommodate any legal-sized recreational vehicle, said Yale Spina, vice president of RVC Outdoor Destinations.

Overnight camp sites at the RV Resort include single spaces that can accommodate smaller vehicles such as pickup trucks and motorcycles, Spina said.  “So yes, you can still sleep in the back of your truck if you’d like,” he said.

Parking prices are seasonal and start at $26 in the winter and $41.99 in summer. Prices increase depending on the size of the vehicle and amenities available at the rented space. Weekly and monthly rates are available also. The site has 173 RV sites and 30 types of accommodations including bunkhouses with a communal bathroom and multi-bedroom cottages with kitchens, private baths and foam-top mattresses.

Changes include the addition of a valet service where RV drivers will be escorted to their rented slots, said Ian Horgan, general manager.

“That keeps people from having to drive all over the site guessing where they are supposed to park,” he said

The resort now has live entertainment three nights a week, a Sunday morning pancake breakfast and barbecue dinners four nights each week from May through September for around $8 per person, Horgan said.

“We cook it on site,” he said, “so people traveling and coming in who don’t want to unload everything and then go to a restaurant can eat here.”

RVC Outdoor Destinations bought the 13.3-acre property from Farmers Insurance Group Federal Credit Union of California for an undisclosed price. The credit union received the campground in June 2011 after a California-based partnership transferred ownership to the credit union during a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed in 2010.

“We have overhauled everything,” Spina said. That includes a new “Base Camp” community area, free Wi-Fi that can be accessed throughout the campground, and a dog park. The company spent nearly $100,000 to renovate its nearly 5,000 square-foot main building, or lodge. Renovations were made to the lounge, pool and front desk and included the addition of a coffee bar. There is now a concierge service that will make dinner and other reservations, and a new 520-square foot retail store. The store sells cooking utensils, an ice cream maker, grilling accessories, outdoor camping furniture and other RV accessories.

“We have associated ourselves with Boulder-based Grasshaven Outdoor,” Spina said. The company specializes in camping retail products.

Spina said RVC Outdoor Destinations bought the Garden of the Gods site because customer surveys demanded an RV site in Colorado. The company operates RV resorts in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. The Garden of the Gods RV Resort is part of its “westward expansion,” Spina said; RVC Outdoor Destinations is now looking for sites in Texas.

Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275.

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