Park Spotlight

Under Construction No More – The Story Behind 3 New Campgrounds

by CampspotterJul 9, 2021

With outdoor vacations on the rise for the second year in a row, campers are heading out in full force this summer to reconnect with the outdoors. But luckily as demand increases, we’ve also seen an increase in new campgrounds popping up all over the country. We interviewed the owners of three new campgrounds that opened in early 2021, sharing the story of how the campground came to be, what the campground offers, and plans for the future. 

Get to Know AJ’s Getaway RV Park in Overgaard, AZ

Entrance to campground with trees and sky

To start, could you give us a little backstory about you?

We are AJ and Machelle James. We have been married for 25 years and have 3 adult children and 3 Grandchildren.  Our youngest child, Jenna is 24 and has special needs, and lives with us full time. Machelle is an Arizona Native and AJ is from Huntington Beach, CA. We raised our family in the suburbs of Phoenix, AZ as that is where the schools were the best fit for Jenna.

We have been avid campers, duners, and boaters since our kids were born. We loved the Imperial Sand Dunes for the first 18 years of our marriage, then switched to Northern Arizona for the summer to get out of the heat, quickly realizing we couldn’t take a sand rail to ride the trails in the mountains. Hence our first Side x Side was purchased six years ago. Eventually, we ended up selling our sand rail for a new Can-Am X3! Needless to say, our family grew up riding in sand rails, then quads, then side x sides!

Have you worked in the industry before?

No, we have not worked in this Industry, just played in this Industry for many years!

What led you to want to build a campground?

We were sitting around a campfire with friends about 5 years ago when the topic came up. At first, it was campfire talk, about how we want a campground to look like for campers like us. Then we woke up and forgot about it. In 2017 changes were coming within AJ’s workplace and we knew we needed a plan B. We made a list of things we like doing together. It always came back to camping, campfires, off-roading, BBQs, and looking up at the stars. Hence we started the process of looking at properties that would fit with what our vision of a camping experience would be like.

How would you describe the property? 

We have 15 acres in Overgaard, AZ in the White Mountains of Arizona. We are close to the highway as well as on the same road to go enjoy trail riding into the Forest.

Are there any natural features?

We have a mix of Ponderosa Pines, Alligator Juniper, Pinion Pines, and lush greenery everywhere. Numerous lakes are located within miles of the park surrounded by incredible rock formations.

What site types will you be offering at the park?

What makes our park unique is we mindfully made our camping spaces HUGE! Our average space will be 65 ft wide x 100 ft long. We made them large not only for privacy but to handle today’s HUGE Toyhaulers, Travel Trailers, and Coaches. We also will offer camping buddy sites that can handle either 2 or 3 RV’s per site. We know how much families and friends like to camp together so we made special sites just for them. We also will have premium pet sites that will include enclosed fencing for dogs to have their own private pet run.

What amenities will you be offering at the park?

All our sites will have full hookups and they will all be Pull Throughs. We will have a fire ring and a picnic table at each site.  We will also offer RV Storage all year long. Our activities (based on Covid concerns) will include a GAGA Ball pit, cornhole area, scavenger hunts, holiday parades, Food Trucks, and the occasional band that will come play. We will have BBQ competitions and other fun events throughout the year.

What is there to do in the surrounding area?

We are located at 6600’ elevation and we have tons of year-round outdoor recreation to offer. We have fishing lakes, hiking trails, off-road riding trails, mountain biking, hunting for Elk, Deer, Turkey, Antelope, and Bear. Our town also has those small hometown café’s and restaurants that make hearty meals and happy customers. During the summer, we have a town Parade for the 4th of July and it truly is NOT to be missed.

Get to Know The Retreat RV & Camping Resort in Huffman, TX

cabins at The Retreat RV & Camping Resort in Huffman, TX

To start, could you give us a little backstory about you?

Danny Signorelli founded The Signorelli Company (TSC) in 1994, as a vertically integrated real estate firm based in The Woodlands, TX, and strives to make a sustainable difference in the community. As one of the largest privately held land developers in the state, TSC is diversified across multiple projects including single-family, multi-family, and commercial – naturally evolving to the recreational side of development.

Have you worked in the industry before? 

Long-time industry experts Terry Munoz, VP of Recreational Properties, and Cassidy Rodriguez, Resort Manager, bring with them a combined 40+ years of experience in outdoor hospitality.

What led you to want to build a campground?

TSC is focused on creating better places to enrich lives and lifestyles. The Retreat was created in response to an increase in demand for unique weekend getaways close to home.

How would you describe the property?

The Retreat offers a natural escape for all types of outdoor enthusiasts. The resort is nestled along the shores of Lake Houston, carved from 40 acres of piney woods, with miles of hiking trails and wildlife.

How did you come to choose the property that you are building on? 

The Retreat highlights the quiet, serene beauty of Lake Houston minutes from The Woodlands and Houston. This hidden gem is a convenient escape from city life, tucked away in the woods of Huffman, TX. Being on Lake Houston provides exciting opportunities for various water activities.

Are there any natural features?

Miles of stunning trails throughout the Retreat offer exciting discovery, hiking, and even biking opportunities. The piney woods provide beautiful and calming scenery. The 3,500-feet of Lake Houston shoreline is ideal for fishing, canoeing, kayaking and more water activities!

What site types will you be offering at the park? 

The Retreat will offer the ideal escape for the avid campers or those starting a new family tradition, including:

  • RV Sites with full hook-ups and 30/50-amp accessibility, including pull-through sites.
  • Luxury cottages with a full bathroom, kitchenette, living room, and unlimited hot water. These cottages were custom-designed with luxury finishes, furnishings, and amenities.
  • The resort will feature covered wagons, from our partners at Conestoga Wagon Company, featuring traditional wooden wheels and canvas covers. The interior includes plush beds, linens, a cozy dining room and even a common firepit and grilling area.
  • Finally, elevated glamping tents will be available for those who want a taste of nature mixed with modern comfort. These safari-style tents will have plenty of room and feature all of the luxury amenities a glamper could need.

What amenities will you be offering at the park?

This resort will feature a clubhouse with an outdoor swimming pool, concrete outdoor games, mini-golf, sand volleyball, an outdoor movie theater, a dog park, fitness center, gaga pits, and even a wine garden. There will also be an open pavilion with regularly planned events, water sports rentals like paddle boarding, fishing, kayaking, canoeing and much more!

What is there to do in the surrounding area?

The Retreat provides an ideal rural location near Lake Houston with a marina adjacent to the resort, and a variety of restaurants and entertainment. Additionally, the Red Wolf Golf Resort is a few minutes away, and North Houston’s premier shopping, dining, and entertainment destination – Valley Ranch Town Center is merely 20 minutes away.

Get to Know Lonestar Lake Spot in Breckenridge, TX

RVs parked at Lonestar Lake Spot in Texas.

A little backstory: 

Two Texas couples partnered together to purchase the old and beloved Patterson’s RV Park in Breckenridge, Texas. The park has been a staple for many families across the region, acting as a safe haven and outdoor adventure spot for many years.

Have you worked in the industry before? 

NEVER just saw a great opportunity and grabbed it!

How would you describe the property?

It hasn’t been in operation in 20 years so it was almost like starting from scratch, honestly, it may have been easier to start from scratch. The property was extremely run-down but we have been working to bring it back to life. 

Are there any natural features?

Yes there’s a pond right in the middle of the 4 acres that we will stock and use for fishing

Do you plan on adding any additions? 

A dog park, picnic tables, grills, fish fillet station, firepit, beer, bait, and a convenience store. We’ll also be adding 16 RV spots, 2 cabins, tent spots, bathrooms, showers, and a laundry facility.

What site types will you be offering at the park? 

We’ll have both RV sites and cabins. To start we’ll have 12 RV spots – 10 pull through and 2 back-in. They will all be upgraded to 50amp with water and electricity and will be ADA compliant.

What is there to do in the surrounding area?

“Nearby you’ll find Hubbard Creek Lake, Breckenridge Country Club public golf course, Breckenridge pool complex, and disc golf. Possum Kingdom Lake and State Park is only 21 miles away!