Friday, May 18, 2012

RVC Outdoor Destinations Launches Wounded Warrior Fishing Partnership

RVC Outdoor Destinations, the leading provider of high-quality outdoor vacation properties in the United States, today announced the launch of its Wounded Warrior Fishing sponsorship, an initiative underscoring the company’s commitment to active and retired military personnel. 

RVC Outdoor Destinations has partnered with retired U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. and current U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Mark McDuffie, to offer the program, which is designed to help soldiers injured physically or mentally in Iraq or Afghanistan relax and enjoy the outdoors with their families. The Wounded Warrior Fishing program, headquartered at the company’s Live Oak Landing property in Freeport, Fla., will host an injured soldier and his or her family one night each week to enjoy the outdoors through activities such as fishing trips, river tours, onsite recreation activities and a cookout – all free of charge.
McDuffie first started the program a year ago, as a nonprofit called Wounded Warrior Fishing. Injured while fighting in Iraq and now fully recovered, McDuffie operates at the Live Oak Landing property and will head up the new partnership sponsored by RVC. 

“Having been wounded at war, I can relate to what many of these injured soldiers are going through,” said McDuffie. “I know that when soldiers suffer, their families do too, and while I can’t take away their pain or completely understand their particular situation, I can offer them time to relax with their families. At the end of the day, if we can put a smile on their faces for a few hours or for a weekend, we’ve done our job.”

Wounded Warrior Fishing and RVC will officially kick-off the program on Memorial Day weekend to coincide with the unofficial start of the summer travel season. In addition to the weekly sponsored accommodations, Live Oak Landing will host 10 injured soldiers and their families during an end-of-summer celebration the last weekend of September. The group will be able to fish with local professionals, take boat rides on the Choctawhatchee Bay, eat BBQ from local restaurants, enjoy massages and relax. 
Besides the new Wounded Warrior Fishing sponsorship, RVC also offers active and retired military members discounts on lodging, and several of its properties offer a free RV site rental for active service men and women through the Tents for Troops program. RVC locations individually raise money for regionally based military charities through their own events and fundraisers throughout the year.

 “RVC believes in taking care of the military men and women who have made a tremendous sacrifice for our country,” said Andy Cates, president of RVC Outdoor Destinations. “We wanted to find a meaningful way to say ‘thank you,’ and for us that means giving them a chance to have some fun in the great outdoors with their families.
The Wounded Warrior Fishing program is part of RVC’s corporate commitment to give back to these brave individuals. At each of our properties, we have different ways of reaching out to the military community, knowing that each region has unique needs. We’re always searching for new ways to show them how truly grateful we are for everything they have done, for all of us.”  

To nominate someone for the Wounded Warrior Fishing program, please contact McDuffie at or call RVC’s Live Oak Landing at 877-436-5063.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Memphis-based RVC Outdoor Destinations acquires first location in the West

By Tom Bailey Jr.
via (The Commercial Appeal)

A young, Memphis-based company has expanded out West as it works to scale up its upscale camping facilities. RVC Outdoor Destinations has acquired a campground in Colorado Springs, with plans to renovate and rebrand it under the RVC "flag," the company announced Tuesday.
The 200-acre grounds, now called Garden of the Gods Campground, is just west of Colorado Springs and has views of the popular Pikes Peak. RVC Outdoor Destinations provides outdoor resort destinations with upscale amenities, particularly for travelers in recreational vehicles. But RVC also provides yurts, cabins and cottages.

Last year, RVC opened its sixth site -- and the nearest one to Memphis -- called Catherine's Landing in Hot Springs, Ark. It also has locations at Pine Mountain, Ga., Live Oak Landing near Destin, Fla., Mountain Springs near Asheville, N.C., and two at Carrabelle Beach, Fla.
The company experienced a "great" first quarter, is receiving "extraordinarily good" guest-survey scores, and has seen "a lot of growth" in visitors to its website,, president Andy Cates said Tuesday.
"We're excited and enthused, but still careful," he said.

Garden of the Gods had been a top RV and outdoor lodging destination in the Colorado Springs area, but had been bank-owned since 2010, according to a company news release. RVC will immediately start renovating the property, including improving tent sites, resurfacing pools, improving existing RV sites and adding eight new ones. The facility's name will be changed to Garden of the Gods RV Resort.

"The Garden of the Gods acquisition is a terrific addition to our portfolio of upscale outdoor vacation properties," Cates said in a release.
"The upgraded camping experience we offer is resonating with guests. It fits with what a lot of people are looking for in a vacation these days because it is unique, affordable and allows guests to enjoy some of America's most beautiful natural landscapes with amenities that truly make it a destination experience."

The upscale amenities include concierge service, dog parks, modern swimming pools, boating and fishing rentals, beer and wine bars, and free Wi-Fi and cable. RVC is investing a lot of money per unit, so it must scale up to a network of dozens of facilities around the nation to make its business model work, Cates said last year.

"We're looking at a couple of properties for joint ventures," he responded Tuesday when asked about future expansion.
"... We are focused West and refocused, too, on Florida now. We've got the Gulf Coast and are looking to get further central and south" in Florida, Cates said. The company's strategy includes working to segment the industry, much like the categories of hotels from lower cost, lower service (Motel 6) to higher cost, higher service (Hilton).
"It's inevitable that it happens," Cates said of the segmentation. "I think we're helping agitate to accelerate that evolution. ... We want to be the leader in the Hilton niche that now doesn't exist."

RVC Outdoor Destinations expands ‘upscale camping’ portfolio with Colorado Springs purchase

A Memphis-based outdoor resort properties provider is looking westward and upward for expansion. 
RVC Outdoor Destinations has acquired the Garden of the Gods Campground in Colorado Springs, Colo., for an undisclosed amount.
The property is located near the entrance of the Garden of the Gods visitor center and has views of Pikes Peak, the most visited mountain in North America. It has about 200 camping sites and sits on 13 acres.
"It's a great base camp for things to do in that area," Andy Cates, president of RVC Outdoor Destinations, said. "We've wanted to grow west and it's the right place to start that expansion."
In addition to its newly acquired Colorado property, RVC currently operates seven properties in Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina.
RVC will begin renovations soon, including an overall upgrade of the property and its amenities. The company will spend more than $200,000 to enhance tent sites, resurface pools, improve existing RV sites, improve landscaping and add eight new concrete RV sites. The site will remain open during the improvements. The company could spend another $200,000 or more on additional improvements based on community support.
In the coming weeks, RVC will rebrand the property to Garden of the Gods RV Resort.
“The Garden of the Gods acquisition is a terrific addition to our portfolio of upscale outdoor vacation properties,” Cates said. “The upgraded camping experience we offer is resonating with guests. It fits with what a lot of people are looking for in a vacation these days because it is unique, affordable and allows guests to enjoy some of America’s most beautiful natural landscapes with amenities that truly make it a destination experience.”
RVC provides a variety of lodging options — including RV sites, cottages and yurts — all set within natural environments. The properties have amenities such as concierge service, off-leash dog parks, modern swimming pools, boating and fishing rentals, coffee, beer and wine bars, free Wi-Fi and cable and gift shops.
The company is looking to continually grow, according to Cates.
“We’re also trying to disrupt a meaningful industry which hasn’t seen meaningful change in decades,” he said.
The RV and outdoor lodging industry currently follows a model similar to hotels years ago: It’s mostly mom-and-pop operations.
“When you look at that Hilton and Marriott niche which we’re effectively creating, that niche is just now becoming clear to the consumer and our guest,” Cates said.
Founded in 2007, RVC Outdoor Destinations develops, owns and operates its hospitality properties.

Garden of the Gods Campground sold to Tenn. company

Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Garden of the Gods Campground near Manitou Springs has been sold to a Memphis, Tenn.-based company as part of its expansion into the Western U.S. with a chain of outdoor and recreational vehicle resorts.
RVC Outdoor Destinations bought the 13.3-acre property at 3704 W. Colorado Ave. from Farmers Insurance Group Federal Credit Union of California for an undisclosed price and is spending $200,000 to renovate the property, including resurfacing pools, improving existing RV sites and adding eight new concrete RV sites. The company is studying whether to spend at least another $200,000 on additional upgrades needed to bring it to the level of its six other RV resorts, said RVC President Andy Cates.
“We think that this property is already the pre-eminent outdoor hospitality property in the region, and once we complete the renovations and rebranding, we know it will be the pre-eminent property in the region,” Cates said. “We are trying to create a Hilton level of quality in the outdoor hospitality industry.”
The credit union ended up with the campground in June after a California-based partnership transferred ownership to it in the midst of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed in 2010. The partnership owed the credit union more than $4 million it borrowed in 2006 to buy the property from local businessman Chuck Murphy.
“We had been looking for a year to expand in the West, and I had vacationed in and liked Colorado Springs, so when this opportunity became available and met so many of our goals, we jumped at it,” Cates said. “This property has a great location and has created a lot of wonderful memories for a lot of guests. We see Colorado Springs as a continually growing tourism destination both in the short-term and the long-term.”
RVC plans to change the name of the campground to Garden of the Gods RV Resort within a few weeks and will bring it under the RVC Outdoor Destinations brand by year’s end. The 6-year-old company also owns RV resorts in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina that provide a variety of lodging options including RV sites, cottages and yurts and feature dog parks, swimming pools, boating and fishing rentals, refreshments, free wireless Internet and cable television service and gift shops.
via (Source)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Don't Miss Pine Mountain RV Resort's "Cruisin Cars on the Mountain"!

Pine Mountain RV Resort is hosting “Cruisin’ Cars on the Mountain” car rally on June 16th and 17th on the resort’s property. Day passes are $5 per adult and $3 per child. Guests do not have to be staying at the resort to come.

The rally is sponsored by Pine Mountain RV Resort. Cosponsors include local businesses and vendors from the area: Sun South John Deere of LaGrange, Georgia; Wild Animal Safari of Pine Mountain, Georgia; Southern Carts of LaGrange, Georgia; and others. Entertainment includes live music; catered food; unique vendor booths of various local businesses; door prizes and raffle; children’s activities and rides; poker run; and a display of various cars including antique, classic and muscle.

A portion of the funds raised from the raffle tickets and entrance fees will be donated to Our Fallen Soldier organization, dedicated to the remembrance of soldiers that have lost their lives in the line of duty. The organization assists those families that are grieving. More specifically, Pine Mountain RV Resort will be sending the donations to the Fort Benning chapter in Columbus, Georgia.

Guests and vendors can preregister for the event by calling 706-663-4329. Specialty car owners will receive a special admission price, please call for details. Pine Mountain provides overnight accommodation options: RV sites, cabins and yurts. Guests should reserve ahead!

 For more information on Our Fallen Soldier, visit