- Name: John Van Wyk
- In position since: 2011
- Title: Resort Manager
- Work Location: Sunshine RV Resort
- Favorite Activities: Fishing and Bird Hunting
1. What does a typical day at Sunshine RV look like? What is your favorite moment?
I usually start out the morning with my “housekeeping” activities and then move on to items that pertain to our residents. I try to get their requests completed first before moving on to my other duties, such as managing our on-site restaurant, coordinating our schedule of special events and working with our internal team here at the RV resort.
My favorite moment of the day comes when I get to interact and visit with our residents just one-on-one. I’m usually focused on what I can do to make their experience even more enjoyable, so it is nice to take a second and catch up with guests.
2. You are working, while people at the park are enjoying their vacation. How do you handle that?
I enjoy seeing people have fun and come up with new ways to enjoy the community, so I never look at it as “working” while others vacation. The guest experience comes first and making sure that everyone is enjoying their stay keeps me busy, so the day goes by pretty fast.
3. When people ask you what best experiences are in the surrounding areas, what would you recommend?
There are some excellent golf courses in the area where guests can test their skill. Birding is huge in the Harlingen area, as we are in the middle of the migratory pattern for birds heading south, as well as butterflies. However the must-see destination in the area is definitely South Padre Island, where you get a mix of southwestern culture and beach paradise. Also, many Winter Texans take day trips to Progreso, Mexico which is about 30 minutes from our property. They go for shopping and the authentic dining experience. I’ve also heard they go for affordable dental care.
4. What’s your favorite Sunshine RV story to tell?
I don’t think I have one particular story that sticks out. I get a lot of pleasure out of helping people get plugged into something that brings them joy. Many times we are dealing with someone that may have recently lost a spouse and after the grieving process, they may need a little encouragement to get out and find fun. They often thank me for helping them through that and that is usually the most rewarding feeling.
5. What’s your top accomplishment so far at Sunshine RV?
When I was hired as the Resort Manager two years ago, there were many areas of the operation that needed to be improved including staff morale and resident relations. I am very proud to say that in the past two years, as a team, we’ve been able to create a positive environment for both the staff and residents. As far as property improvements, most recently, we completely renovated our indoor pickleball courts which is something I am very proud of. We now have three, indoor, climate-controlled courts that are the envy of many.
6. If you can describe (in a few words) your RV park to someone who thinks about coming to South Texas, what would they be?
Sunshine RV Resort has approximately 1000 sites. For those who would prefer to stay in a smaller community, we do have a secluded section of the resort called Lakeside which has approximately 150 sites, with it’s own amenities and a lake! Our RV site options include standard, premium, pull thru, and lakeside. We have all the standard amenities you can think of including indoor/outdoor pickleball courts, a woodshop, a dog park, and a fitness center. In addition, we have two large buildings that accommodate many of our entertainment events and activities.
7. What brought you to Sunshine RV?
A friend told me about an ad in a newspaper that they were looking for a manager of Lakewood RV Resort, a 300 site community. I was hired and immediately made many improvements, to the point where I was promoted to run Paradise Park RV Resort, a 600 site RV resort. Eventually, I was promoted to manager of Sunshine RV Resort, which is over 1,000 sites and includes an on-site restaurant. You could say hard work brought me to Sunshine RV.
8. A last word for your guests?
While you may come to enjoy the warmth at Sunshine RV Resort, you’ll quickly find that the genuine staff and the kind people who stay at the resort make you want to keep coming back, year after year. At the end of the day, it’s all about the people, the customer experience and having fun!