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Old 04-25-2016, 05:16 PM   #1
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Florida : getting awful pricey along the gulf coast and the keys !!!

Just heading back north from the winter in florida, and wondering if other folks doing this are tired of being overcharged for accommodations , that are near sub-standard , and grossly overpriced for what you get along the gulf coast from tampa south to key west ? Where are the entrepreneurs , that are willing to invest in quality r v parks , and then charge a reasonable rate for their offerings ? It sure seems as though there are enough RV ers to make it a good investment .....

Just venting --Its nice to be able to see the ocean and be somewhat close to a decent beach , but Shheesh , its getting unaffordable ....

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Old 04-25-2016, 05:30 PM   #2
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RV park prices appear to be one of those products that follow market pricing "rules" - and seem as though they're pegged to be 30% - 40% of whatever the going nightly rate of what I'd consider a "mid-grade" hotel (i.e., Holiday Inn Express, Fairfield Inn, etc.) goes for in the area.

As the guy in one of those Liam Neeson "Taken" movies said: "Da price is da price". If you want to spend time in popular areas ... you're gonna pay "popular area" pricing to do it.

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Old 04-25-2016, 05:30 PM   #3
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Well I guess it's all in what you want or need. The beach isn't that important to us. Sure it's nice to see but daily???? I don't think so. We're inland between Tampa and Lakeland and it's just fine in our park. Without a doubt the nicest in the area. It's owner owned and the rent is more than affordable. If we need to have some sand and a beach view it's about 45 minutes to an hour away but really a day of it is more then enough to satisfy us. This is our 6th year down and unfortunately due to some family commitment we will not be able to return next year. Hope you can find something that is more affordable for you. Good Luck.
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:35 PM   #4
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We're hearing you! We stayed in Sunshine Key Resort for the three months of winter. Ridiculous pricing and they're raising their rates for a truly substandard park. We're going somewhere else next year.
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:56 PM   #5
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Well, I live in SWFL and I don't pay for long term camping here, but it's apparent to me that resort owners are pricing their services according to the market. Snowbirds are valuable visitors and I like their presence because they support much of the tourist industry and help keep my taxes lower.

I don't know for a fact but I suspect that RV'ers as a group have a wee bit more discretionary money to spend than many other Americans. When I was picking up my new FW I felt a bit like I was at the bottom of the pack based on the number of $350,000 plus Class As that were rolling out the door, and we're not poor by most measures. I see a comparison between RVs and boats. A question often asked by prospective boaters, is "how much is it going to cost to dock this boat?" If you have to ask that question, you can't afford the boat.

When we hit the road we try to stay at state, county or city parks first, then reasonably priced CGs or resorts. We like to go the FL Keys and we would consider staying at Blue Water Key, a beautiful place, but at a $150 or more a night, it ain't gonna happen frequently LOL.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:06 PM   #6
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The cost of land in the coastal areas makes a new RV park prohibitive to build. If a new one were to be built, the pricing would have to be very high. You are competiting with high rise condos, etc. for this very valuable land. In South Florida it is not uncommon for new high rise condos to sell for a million dollars and up. This is who we are competing with for this very desireable space. As a realtor once told me, "Paradise isn't cheap". That goes for RVers just like everybody else.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dwhit View Post
We're hearing you! We stayed in Sunshine Key Resort for the three months of winter. Ridiculous pricing and they're raising their rates for a truly substandard park. We're going somewhere else next year.
And let me add that one, if not two, RV resorts in the Keys are closing late this year, so the others will raise their rates, too. All supply and demand. In the case of Knights Key closing, it's because the land is more valuable sold to a developer, I think for a high end hotel.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:19 PM   #8
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After staying for 8 seasons at the Sugarloaf Key KOA, we bought a house in Big Pine Key on the water with plenty of room for our RV.

Signs along the Overseas Highway warn that it is $100 fine for illegal camping. Considering a campsite is more that $100, the fine is quite a good deal!

But don't despair, room rates in Key West are easily over $300 a night.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:23 PM   #9
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Whatever the market is willing to pay. That is why Florida will never be in our travel plans. Millionaires playground... Common folks not invited...
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:17 AM   #10
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Hi Superslif,
"Millionaires playground... Common folks not invited" I don't think so. I'm one of those common folk. I live and paly in South Florida including the Keys. It comes down to how one budgets and how one wants to spend their money. And I'm no millionaire.
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:27 AM   #11
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:00 AM   #12
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Where are the entrepreneurs , that are willing to invest in quality r v parks
Next time you are in a Florida area that you think needs a reasonable priced campground.
Just pop into a real estate office and ask what is the price per acre on any available land that could be used to build a campground.
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:16 AM   #13
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As the baby boomers retire and we get farther from the '08 "crash", the demand is increasing dramatically. Add the increasing demand to the value of any property anywhere near the water and there you go - more customers than resources, prices rise to level the two out.

We've wintered in the same park, central Florida, for the last four seasons now, buying a lot two seasons ago. A couple of years ago I recognized that we were starting to see an increase in demand and prices and took advantage of what I think was a good deal. At least half of the friends we've made there have historically rented but are now finding available sites becoming more and more difficult to find. Four years ago I'd guess 20% of the sites were empty during the high season months, this past year it was hard to find an empty lot. I think you will see new parks developed, or existing parks upgraded, but unlikely on or very near the water.

You can still rent sites in nice parks for under a $1,000 per month, much less if aesthetics and amenities are not as important to you, but it won't be anywhere near the water, or likely any part of southern Florida for that matter, where monthly rents can start at $2500 per month and rise from there.
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:35 AM   #14
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You might want to check out the RV camping at Florida's state parks. We live in Sarasota, which is close to Myakka State Park. While we haven't stayed at their campground, we've been to the park and seen it close up: it's quite nice, and $26/night, even in peak season. It's not exactly on the beach, but it's an easy drive (20-30 minutes) to Siesta Key.

Another example is Three Rivers State Park, where we stayed while on one of our trips. I believe the site we had was electric and water only (although I believe there was a dump station close by), but it was a beautiful location and is only $16 a night.

To be honest, I think I'm going to try and find more state parks to stay in during out trips. Their prices are usually about half (or less) of what you pay at commercial parks, and I suspect that in many cases the facilities are about as nice. The one big downside is that many don't have full hookups, or only a very limited number.

You can click here to visit the Florida state parks campground web site for more info.

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