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.