Meet Matt from Toby’s RV Resort in Arcadia, Florida

Profile

  •   Last name: Cohen
  •   First name: Matt
  •   In position since: January 2013
  •   Title: Resort Manager
  •   Work Location: Toby’s RV Resort, Arcadia, FL
  •   Favorite hobbies or sport(s): Boating, Watching Football

 

 

How do you help make guests vacations at Toby’s special?

We make a very specific effort to learn everyone’s name (& their pet’s name) and use it as much as possible. We like to make them feel as if they’re at their second home!

 

What’s special about Toby’s RV Resort?

The resort is located in the central part of Florida and is  used as a jumping off point to explore all parts of the Sunshine State. We have our own activities board with almost 80 leaders who have something going on at the property from 7 am to 10 pm most days of the week. Since we’re located in a rural setting (we do have supermarkets and chain restaurants), it is important to have activities for guests to participate in.

Can you use 3 words to describe your RV park to someone who is considering visiting Arcadia?  

“Quaint”, in that we are located in a rural part of Florida, but are close enough to both coasts to allow for day trips.

“Roomy”- we are a 40 acre resort with 400 sites. All of our sites are the same size (37’ x 59’) and have both 30/50 amp services at all sites. If you can drive it on the road, you can fit it on our sites.

“Community”- Once you’ve spent a season with us, you’re part of the family. There are many new friendships formed that extend well beyond the season of October- April here in Arcadia.

What area attractions or entertainment do you recommend guests experience while at Arcadia?

The 2nd weekend in March is the largest (& oldest) rodeo in the state of Florida. There are also many antique shops in downtown Arcadia.

What accomplishment at Toby’s are you most proud of? Why?

The accomplishment that I’m most proud of here at Toby’s RV Resort is being awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for 2017, which was a direct result of the relationship that has been built with our guests. We have one of the highest referral rates and our guests’ share their experiences through word of mouth when they travel back home. They are also happy to share their experiences on social media platforms, which helps a lot!

What does a typical day at Toby’s look like?

We are treated to beautiful sunrises over the pasture lands that surround us. There are activities that start nearly at dawn (water aerobics and exercise classes) and go throughout the day. The shuffleboard leagues start mid-morning, as does the pickle ball round robin tournaments.

If you don’t feel like cooking for lunch, the activities board puts on a $5 lunch on a few different days of the week. After your afternoon activities, there is time to head back to the RV for a nap and a shower to get ready for the evening events. Bingo, karaoke, dances and variety shows pepper the monthly calendar throughout the season and provide something to do for everyone until the late hours.

Can you share your favorite memory at Toby’s RV Resort?

One of my favorite memories was at a manager’s meeting the year after I started with the company. We were awarded “Best Customer Service” out of all of our 40 RV properties in Florida, based on ratings from an internal customer survey. It was quite the honor and hopefully it reflected on the ongoing commitment to treating our guests well.

Can you recall a time when the guests at your property surprised you?

The guests here at Toby’s RV Resort continue to surprise me on a regular basis. Their willingness to volunteer their time and efforts to lead the activities here is a true testament to the sense of community.

Can you tell us about some of the friendships that have developed between guests at Toby’s RV Resort?

There are quite a few of our guests who have discovered that their Northern homes are only a short distance from each other. We get updates all the time of a Toby’s “North” gathering in different parts of the country.

RV communities look out for each other. Can you share an example of how Toby’s RV Resort  exemplifies the idea of community?

The way that our guests reach out to each other in times of need or support is an inspiration. There are always times in everyone’s life when a major life event requires some additional or extra attention from those close to you. It’s an amazing feeling seeing all the different acts of kindness shared within the group.

Why do you think your veteran guests keep coming back to Toby’s RV Resort?

We have several guests that have been returning for 25+ years. We are one of the most cost-effective RV resorts in the Encore portfolio (due to our inland location) and the activities (led by the board) are superior to our much larger sister properties. As long as you can do without your daily Starbucks fix (25 minutes away), everything you need is located in Arcadia and everything you might want is just a short drive (or Amazon package) away.

Do you have any last words or thoughts for your guests?

I’d like to take an opportunity to thank all of our current guests for choosing Toby’s RV Resort as their winter destination. I know there are many choices in today’s landscape, but our continued repeat business shows that we are loved for many reasons. I would also like to personally invite anyone reading this to come visit us while in the SW Florida area. We love adding new family members to our community.

Stay & Play Differently at Victoria Palms RV Resort in Donna, TX

When the northern winds are hurling snowdrifts across the roads, it’s nice to be soaking in an outdoor spa at one of the south’s most luxurious RV resorts, Victoria Palms.

The Rio Grande Valley in South Texas has long been known for its moderate winter temperatures, abundant palms, and warm gulf breezes. The developers of the Victoria Palms RV Resort took advantage of these natural advantages and built one of South Texas’ premier RV resorts in Donna, TX.

Not only does it have ideal facilities for a long winter’s stay, but it is close to a large number of amenities such as shopping, medical facilities and it’s within a hour’s drive to the ocean beaches. You can buy your fresh produce such as onions, lettuce, melons of many types, and strawberries on one of your drives into the country, where the mild climate permits several crops per year. There is also a weekly farmers market inside the resort offering all of the fresh produce you can eat.

vp_streetviewFirst appearances are usually lasting ones, and nowhere is this more true than when you, for the first time, drive into the resort. The entrance is separated into two roads with twin rows of tall, graceful palm trees, lining each one. Between these is a grassy lawn with a winding walkway. Neatly manicured RV sites line the road on one side, and wide lanes take you to your site with ease. Citrus trees grow throughout the park, providing exquisite aromas when in flower, and excellent fruit when ripe. It’s really nice to go over to a tree and come back with your hands full of grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines or even bananas. This resort definitely exudes the feeling of comfort and relaxation.

This is a gated community for the ages 55 and up and provides a wide variety of accommodations. They have over 1200 concrete pull-through, and back-in RV sites with full hook-ups and WiFi. Some visitors will opt for one of the 100 suites with kitchen and separate bedrooms, or perhaps one of the 20 hotel rooms. They can even book into one of the 14 cottages.

vp_poolOnce you are established in your winter home site, it’s time to amble over to the huge heated pool or sit back and relax in one of the three outdoor spas. If you are too relaxed maybe it’s time to move onto one of the tennis or pickleball courts, lighted for your pleasure if you would rather play at night. You might be also wish to visit the shuffleboard courts. Over at the billiard hall someone is likely waiting for a challenger.

Several winter visitors wish to continue with a hobby or sport they left back in the cold and chances are they can do so here. The wood shop is always popular, as is the wood carving area. The craft centre offers such diverse activities as painting, ceramics, stained glass making, and quilting. Imagine taking home a beautiful old fashioned multi-patterned quilt for your bed, or for a gift to one of your children. There are also organized bike rides on the trails. Bikes are loaded on a trailer and everyone heads for a trailhead where they can join bike trail networks.

jpage-encorerv-rgv-victoriapalmsinterior-61-1Musical entertainment is presented by a variety of bands and there is a large grand piano lounge and an oversized dance room. Square, round, and ballroom dances are offered. To top it all off, there will be dinner theatre, potlucks for those who love to sample a variety of great dishes, and everyone seems ready for the ice cream socials. Looking for a more formal setting? The on site restaurant is sure to please even the most concerning palate.

The Rio Grande Valley abounds in opportunities to explore. South of the resort is the meandering Rio Grande which over the years has left behind many oxbow lakes (locally called Resacas) and marshes. The oxbow lakes form when a loop of the river is cut off and left behind. These quiet areas attract countless species of birds especially during fall and spring migrations. The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is positioned along two such routes. There are 12 miles of walking trails, a canopy walk on a rope bridge, and a tower climb which provides excellent views of the surrounding area. This is a great place to photograph amazingly beautiful coloured birds, and butterflies are a hit with many visitors.

The visitor may opt for a longer drive east to South Padre Island. As you pass through vp_shufflePort Isabel you may want to take advantage of the restaurants offering fresh seafood. Fishermen can use the long fishing pier at Port Isabel where they can even rent some fishing gear locally.

It’s the dunes and beaches that attract tourists to the island. The pristine white sand beaches are great for enjoying a day at the sea coast. It is the sand blowing inland that creates the huge dunes that help protect the mainland from storms. When plants grow in this sand it stabilizes the dune, but careless climbing up the dunes can destroy the protective plants, and damage the dune.

Long time snowbird resident Janet Bussier says it’s a terrific park.

“There are so many activities that there is no reason for anyone being bored,” says Janet.
She loves the beauty of the park’s entrance, and the fabulous flowers and palm trees in the park. Janet credits the beauty of the park, its cleanliness, and it’s friendly feeling to the manager, Terry Goss, who listens to your problems and takes action on remediating them.

Victoria Palms RV Resort is a perfect snowbird resort. The destination provides rest, entertainment, and abundant areas for you to discover at your own speed.

6 Tips for Getting the RV Ready for the Trip South

For many Canadian snowbirds, heading south—whether it’s to Fort Lauderdale, Scottsdale or Palm Springs—is an annual affair, one that takes careful planning and organization. Of course, before you can even begin to pack up, you’ll want to make sure your RV and its tires are ready for this epic journey.

1. Inflate & inspect

No one wants to start their trip south with a flat tire. One of the best ways to ensure your tires are healthy and ready for the journey ahead is to check their pressure and condition.

Inflate tires to the recommended PSI, including your spare tire.

Inspect sidewalls for signs of weathering and aging, including cracking, feathering and fading.

Inspect the tread for depth and unusual wear (which could point to an alignment problem that could decrease the life of your tire. For a journey like this, where you may be crossing through the snow and mud of Canada before hitting the dry, hot pavement of the South, it’s best to have a tread depth of at least 6/32”. Your tires should still be in good shape for the trek back to Canada in the spring if you follow this guideline

2. Prepare

Even with all that inflating and inspecting, you can’t always ward off debris on the road. Before you head out, make sure you have the necessary equipment to change a flat tire, including:

  • An accessible, well-inflated spare tire in good condition
  • Jack or ride-on ramp
  • Chock (for double-axle trailers and to keep other tires in place)
  • Tire iron
  • Cones to place around your RV as a warning to other drivers

3. Get your brakes in line

This is an essential step with any vehicle you plan on driving, and on any road condition. Even if your brakes are not making that horrendous squeaky noise when you depress them, a professional brake inspection should be done at least once a year, and an ideal time is in the weeks ahead of your cross-country journey.

A certified mechanic will check to see if your brake fluid is clear and transparent like cooking oil, and will replace it if it’s dark and cloudy. They will also check to see if your brake pads and/or discs need replacing or if there is any damage to your brake lines.

4. Make sure your wheel bearings are bearing up

Most people find out about their wheel bearings when they hear a loud rhythmic and vibrating noise emanating from below their RV while driving. Some people confuse it with tire distress, but it usually means the seal on your wheel bearings is broken or damaged and the bearings are not ‘rolling’ properly.

Wheel bearings are a set of steel balls that ride the axel inside your wheel’s hub and help your wheels spin fast and with as little friction as possible. A certified mechanic can check to see if the wheel bearings require repacking with new grease or if they need replacing. This can be done when you get your brakes inspected.

5. Get power to the people

Before you embark on any road trip, it’s important to inspect your RV’s electrical system (AC and DC), including all plug-in outlets, appliances, batteries, cables, AC unit, and especially your circuit breaker and fuses. Knowing where your circuit breaker is located and testing your fuses is imperative in preventing any power surges and your circuit from overheating, which in the worse case scenario can cause a fire.

If you’re unsure of how your RV electrical system works, visit your local RV dealer or a certified mechanic. For this task, it’s best to get assistance, as there is a risk of shock and serious injury.

6. Ensure lights are ready for action

Now it’s time to make sure your exterior lights are in working order. First, ensure headlights, high beams, indicator lights, marker lights and brake lights shine in front and back of your RV, and triple-check that the wiring is working if you are towing your vehicle behind your RV. Having someone inspect your lights while you are in the driver’s seat, turning them on and off, is best.

7. Have supplies at the ready

If your RV does break down, being prepared will go a long way. Carry an RV survival kit with emergency food and water, an LED flare, solar and hand-crank NOAA radio, LED flashlight, candles or lanterns, mobile phone charger, water purification tablets, hand warmers, etc.

Of course, double-check you’ve got what you need in the event of a flat tire, and that you’ve got tools to check your tire pressure throughout the journey.

Article courtesy of Snowbirds & RV Travelers

Meet Carlos From Capri RV Resort in Yuma, Arizona

Profile:
Name: Carlos Paredes
In position since: November 2016
Title: Resort Manager
Work Location: Capri RV Resorts
Favorite hobbies or sport: Talking & Listening to people

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a Park Manager?
Turning my park into a “place called Home” for our guest.

What’s the most challenging aspect of being a Park Manager? How do you overcome these challenges?
Having guests trust you as you put your vision in place for the future of the park. I gain trust with action – I share what we have done and what we are doing to do in our monthly newsletter, showing our improvements and changes.

How do you help make guests vacations at Capri special?
By making sure they feel welcomed. I go out of my way to go meet them when they come in and continue with my park walks to insure each guest feels that we care.

Can you share something you’ve learned from your guests?
They appreciate someone that listens to them – they want to be heard. I started getting involved in their activities – I can get lots of information as we play or interact. If you listen, you can learn a lot about their needs and of course about future stays. They see me as one of them.

What accomplishment at Capri are you most proud of? Why?
Able to get separate groups of people to work together in activities with one goal in mind – having fun.

What does a typical day at Capri look like?
Lots of activities – walking around and talking to my guests and listening for issues that I can prevent from getting bigger. And run the office of course.

What’s your favorite funny story to tell from Capri?
First day on the job, I was about to open my new office and a customer came by and asked me what I was doing (he might have thought I was trying to break in). I took that and ran with it – security is very important. So I introduced myself as the new manager and we had a good laugh about it.

Can you share your favorite memory at Capri?
I was walking out of my office and next to our shuffleboard court – they were missing a player. I was asked if I wanted to play with a group. Even though I had never played the game, the team embraced me and showed me what to do. Everyone was surprised that I was doing pretty good! They asked me how long I had been playing and I surprised them by saying it was my first time. We ended up winning and beating our park’s best players.

Can you recall a time when the guests at your property surprised you?
I have a logo of mine – a face with a hand over his ear – my saying is “I’m here to listen.” One day a customer that engraves things came to my office and said “I have something for you.” He engraved the logo on a glass cup and now it sits on my desk.

Can you tell us about some of the friendships that have developed between guests at Capri?
There have been plenty of friendships developed Capri. Every Monday late afternoon, there is a group that waits on me to go to the Recreation Hall and participate in their card games. The “Tuesday Jammers” always invite me me to sing Feliz Navidad with them during the holidays.

I also have a special bond with the Morton family. Kathy Morton fell and broke her arm one day and they were having issues finding a place to get x rays they could afford. My wife and I met them in Mexico and were able to get them an appointment to get x rays at a very reasonable price. After that we went out to eat and now we have become close friends.

RV communities look out for each other. Can you share an example of how Capri exemplifies the idea of community?

We are starting a neighborhood watch program on our property – having each neighbor look after those that are out for the season and during the season for each other.Why do you think your veteran guests keep coming back to Capri?
It comes down to feeling like they are coming home not just to a park. as well as forming friendships here from different parts of the U.S.A and Canada. As I get involved with them they become part of a family.

Do you have any last words or thoughts for your guests?
As my staff and I continue to make improvements. I will never forget that I am here to listen and to continue to make Capri RV Resort “a place called home.”

Yuma, Arizona – A Snowbird’s Best Kept Secret

Yuma, AZ, is an oasis in the middle of the Sonoran Desert that attracts visitors from all over the United States and Canada. Nestled in the southwest corner of Arizona between the Yuma and Gila valleys, the city lies just west of the Gila and Colorado River confluence. The warm climate, the endless sunshine, and the close proximity to Mexico makes Yuma feel like a snowbird’s best kept secret.

Yuma is the sunniest place in the United States. With 90% sunshine year round and temperatures that rarely drop below 25℃, Yuma claims the record for most hours of yearly sun by the Guinness Book of World Records. But it’s not just the record sun and warmth that keeps Canadians coming back here – Yuma’s close proximity to Mexico offers visitors the opportunity to experience authentic Mexican and southwestern culture.

With such a perfect desert climate, Yuma is also the date capital of the world and the largest date processing center in the world is located in Yuma. The dry, desert heat, also makes Yuma a prime location for outdoor events, like the Tunes & Taco Festival in April, the Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival in November, and the Somerton Tamale Festival in December.

poolTableIn addition to its desirable climate and plethora of cultural activities, many think of Yuma, AZ as a bypass on the way from Phoenix, AZ to San Diego, CA, but Yuma is so much more than just a rest stop. With endless desert activities, perpetual sunshine, and a thriving cultural scene, many Canucks are taking up residence at one of Yuma’s many affordable RV sites that Encore RV Resorts offer in this region. With a variety of resorts offering unique amenities and community sizes, you can escape the winter cold for the sunniest place on Earth no matter what lifestyle you like. Encore RV resorts like Desert Paradise RV Resort and Foothill Village RV Resort, have the same convenient amenities as other larger resorts such as fitness centers, pools, hiking and biking trails, and game rooms. And with a smaller community of residents, it’s easy to make new friends and be as active or relaxed as you want.

At the larger Yuma RV resorts such as Araby Acres and Cactus Gardens, residents have the opportunity to take up short or long term residence at hundreds of different sites and acres upon acres of activities to maintain an active lifestyle. Scenic roadways, friendly atmosphere, and a calendar chock full of entertainment and group activities, there is no shortage of beautiful desert scenery and space to enjoy everything Yuma has to lakeoffer. The nearby Colorado River and Imperial Dam give residents great opportunities for fishing and boating, two of the many activities that Encore guests frequently enjoy. Heading out for a day trip across the border? The convenient location of Capri RV Resort provides guests endless opportunities to experience authentic Mexican culture and still be close to the comforts of home. The Yuma Arts Center, downtown farmer’s market, and casinos are also close by to all seven Encore RV resorts.

No matter which Encore RV Resort you stay at, you are no more than 20 to 30 minutes from the West Wetlands Park, which sits on the northwest edge of Yuma along the Colorado River. This 110-acre public park features a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden, an Owl Habitat, equestrian trails, disc-golf courses, picnic tables, boating opportunities and more. Not too far from the West Wetlands Park is the famous Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park where visitors can walk through actual cells and solitary chambers of Arizona Territory’s first prison. Visitors can view photographs and exhibits of those who were incarcerated here for the 33 years that the prison was in operation. In fact, there were inmates who were imprisoned here and also helped to build the prison itself. In cooperation with the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, the Prison holds activities every February to coincide with Yuma Crossing Day, a day mean to highlight the historical eras of Yuma’s past, from the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s to the mid-1900s through living history re-enactments.

curlingWhether you’re looking for a smaller RV resort with those big amenities, or because you want to be within close proximity to casinos and outdoor activities, Encore RV resorts in Yuma are a snowbird’s paradise.

 

Meet Roy From Sherwood Forest RV Resort In Kissimmee, Florida

  • Name: Roy Reyes Silverio
  • In position since: November 27th, 2014
  • Title: Resort Manager
  • Work Location: Sherwood Forest RV
  • Previous parks you’ve worked at (if applicable): n/a
  • Favorite hobbies or sport(s): Spending time with my family and friends, drawing and some karaoke

What brought you to Sherwood Forest?

My first introduction to the property was through another employee inviting me to play Bingo at the community. After that event, the rest was history. I never thought I would get the opportunity to grow with the company as I did. I had also never worked at an RV resort so the challenge of a new adventure peaked my interest.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a Resort Manager?

The most rewarding aspect of being a Resort Manager for me would be the opportunity to interact with so many people. I love connecting and making bonds with customers and guests which turn into valued customer returns or new beginnings. It’s our relationships that people remember and cling to, why not put that same emphasis to our clients? The guests and residents have become a Sherwood family that I love to spend time with.

How do you help make guests vacations at Sherwood Forest special?

The best way to understand what guests expect and want is by simply asking them. What acts do you like to see as far as entertainers go? What about the ice cream social made you want to come support us? Put yourself in their shoes and participate. Nothing gets your residents more interested than jumping in during a line dancing routine. You want to create memories that they will want to remember and give them a reason to come back for more.

Can you share something you’ve learned from your guests?

I’ve learned a lot from my guests. Their life experiences, their many travels and family stories. The one thing I have taken from everyone is don’t be so serious. Broken water pipes can be repaired, cable can go haywire but the one thing that you can control is your outlook on things. Staying positive and not allowing yourself to become detracted from the world is essential and just makes you a better human being.

What’s special about Sherwood Forest?

Whenever I get asked this question I always refer to Sherwood Forest as a hidden gem. The property is tucked cubby behind other local business that drowns out the hussle and bussle of the major highway but we are still so close to everything your heart desires. Between the vast choices of dining and local eateries you can find just about anything within a 10 mile radius. The attractions are a big seller as well. Why not save a buck camping instead of a hotel and use the extra money to spend at Sea World or Disney. We even promote our local attractions that are not costly that just give us an edge due to our location.

Can you use 3 words to describe your RV park to someone who is considering visiting Kissimmee?

The first word I would use to describe Sherwood is “exciting”. We know how to have a good time here even if we are grilling hot dogs and hamburgers in the blistering heat. Every event is such a joy to participate in that we want you wanting more. The second word I would choose is “friendly”. I have come to see the residents and guests to form groups and connections that present during dinners. They will come in before a potluck and reserve a table just so they can sit by their friends. It’s truly a sight and a testament to their belief in friendship. Last word that comes to my mind would be “relaxed”. Nothing like hearing about a lazy day at the pool. You can’t go wrong with knowing you can spend your day just lounging about the property and enjoying the comforts of the amenities on site. You can choose to play a round of golf at our miniature putt putt course or even surf the internet at our rec center. You choose your own activities and events, there is no wrong way to vacation.

What area attractions or entertainment do you recommend guests experience while at Sherwood Forest?

The best bang for your buck I could offer would be Old Town and Fun Spot. Both are just 1 mile from the property that offer games and rides for kids plus some bars and shopping for adults. There is also a great place to kayak for those outdoor activity junkies at The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek. Obviously you can’t go wrong with Disney, Sea World, Universal, Legoland and all the other major attractions close by. If you think it, we probably have it.

What accomplishment at Sherwood Forest are you most proud of? Why?

There are a lot of things that we do as managers on a daily basis that change the property for the better but the one accomplishment I take with me is really delving into the activities we provide. Of course there are the staples such as potluck, bingo and cards but I didn’t want it to just end there. We have introduced new performers to the resort, painting classes, Happy Hour at our tiki bar and other events that give people a reason to come out of their campers and see us. I’m not afraid of trying anything once, if it works do it again, otherwise look for another event to fill the guests calendars up with another fun filled activity.

What’s your favorite funny story to tell from Sherwood Forest?

One of the funniest stories I can recollect is helping aid the guard shack dressed in a Luigi costume from the Mario Brothers. It was close to Halloween and I was trying out an outfit to wear and was asked by other employees to drive around the community in it. As we reached the entrance we all collectively thought the same idea as to have me wave in traffic. We were laughing from the time I stepped off that golf cart to my departure. Everyone stopped that night to get a good look and it made for a good story to those who caught me in character.

Can you share your favourite memory at Sherwood Forest?

One of my most memorable moments I can think of is when I was finally offered the management position. It had finally come to fruition on Thanksgiving day and during my speech to the guests at Thanksgiving Dinner in the clubhouse I announced to everyone my new role as manager. Everyone was so supportive and I’m still so thankful to be here to this day. Whenever I need a reminder as to why I do what I do, I think back to that day and it pushes me to do more and want more for the property and the guests.

Can you tell us about some of the friendships that have developed between guests at Sherwood Forest?

The bonds of friendship truly shine when I think about Sherwood. One group that comes to mind rotates dinner and drinks from camper to camper every night and have even put up lights for the holidays which coincided with each other. And if you weren’t aware of how close these guests get with each other just wait for a meal event. You’ll always have one in the group come in before the event to save seats for their gang. A lot of the guests that come truly call their stay here with us their home away from home.

Why do you think your veteran guests keep coming back to Sherwood Forest?

I can think of many reasons guests return to Sherwood Forest. The location, the activities, their friends and even the staff. We have formed quite the family here and when our guests return it’s like seeing a long lost relative finally coming back home. When you treat your guests like they belong, that’s what gives them a reason to come back. When our long term guests come in and mention they don’t want to check out yet, that’s a sign you’ve locked them in for another fun filled stay next time around.

Do you have any last words or thoughts for your guests?

Sherwood Forest is a breath of fresh air. We enjoy nothing but providing guests with the best experience they can get while creating memories of their own. Our location offers so many amazing dining options and you can easily stay entertained by all the local attractions and activities. If you are looking for a getaway from your normal everyday routine, come visit us even for a weekend. Give yourself the opportunity to visit old friends, make new friends and join the Sherwood tribe.

 

Meet Alison from Clerbrook Golf & RV Resort in Clermont, FL

Profile

  • Name: Alison Schulz
  • In position since: February 2016
  • Title: Resort Manager
  • Work Location: Clerbrook Golf and RV Resort in Clermont, FL
  •  Favorite hobbies or sport(s):  Walking my dogs and horse riding

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a Park Manager?

Meeting new people and making sure they have the best experience while they are in our park.

How do you help make guests vacations at Clerbrook special?

From the time they check in I believe first impressions are very important and ensure that the staff is prepared and ready to give the best customer experience possible to our guests. This includes accommodating them with their needs or to be ready to give suggestions in regards to entertainment and things to see in the area.

What’s special about Clerbrook?

We are a hidden gem in the middle of Florida with an 18-hole golf course and many other amenities, including a fitness center, shuffleboard court, and even great fishing and hiking sites.

 

 

Can you use 3 words to describe your RV park to someone who is considering visiting Clerbrook?

Accommodating, Friendly & Fun!

What area attractions or entertainment do you recommend guests experience while at Clerbrook?

Lakeridge Winery is an amazing, local vineyard where guests go to tour the vineyards and enjoy the tasting room. During the season they even have festivals!  If a guest enjoys live music, I always send them to the Orange Blossom Opry to enjoy their variety of concerts and jam nights. And of course Walt Disney World is only a short drive away.

What accomplishment at Clerbrook are you most proud of? Why?

I’m most proud of bringing the property back to life by helping our park to be more involved in with the local community. We help with hospice fundraisers and regularly contribute to the local food bank.

What does a typical day at Clerbrook look like?

I love arriving at the property very early every day and the first thing on my agenda is to drive around the community and make contact with all my smiling residents and guest. Afterwards, as my staff comes in, I meet with them and disseminate our goals for the day and work matters that need attending to.  

What’s your favorite funny story to tell from Clerbrook?

When guest come in and ask me where I am from (usually due to my English accent), I tell them “North Carolina!” They usually give me a weird look and then I tell them “England”, we always laugh and it is a fun way to break the ice.

Can you share your favorite memory at Clerbrook?

This past season when all my veteran guests returned at the beginning of November, they all had big smiles on their faces! They were like children, excited to be back in the park.

Can you recall a time when the guests at your property surprised you?

Yes, Miss Glenda (a long-term guest) brought in flowers for me and my team. It was very sweet of her.

Can you tell us about some of the friendships that have developed between guests at Clerbrook?

I have seen many friendships form this past season. Canadians inviting new residents to their dinners; Canadian-American bands always put people together and create friendships that last past their time at the resort.

RV communities look out for each other. Can you share an example of how Clerbrook exemplifies the idea of community?

When someone is ill, the guests all come together and help. We also have people who help out for our homebound residents. If a RV is broken, there are always people in the park to help those who need it.

Why do you think your veteran guests keep coming back to Clerbrook?

Some of our residents have been coming here for over 20 years and they do consider this a second home. They feel there is a sense of community and family within the park.

Do you have any last words or thoughts for your guests?

My door is always open so why don’t you just stop by have chat and stay awhile.

 

Tips & Tricks: How to Safely Back-Up a Fifth-Wheel Trailer

Watching someone with no experience back in their RV is hilarious, unless that person is you! If you haven’t done it before, or it’s been a while, don’t worry. Every 5th Wheel owner has been there. Becoming proficient takes practice, but watch this helpful video and learn a few tricks from experienced RV’ers.

Meet Silvia From Orlando RV Resort in Clermont, Florida

Profile

  • Name: Silvia Wingfield
  • In position since: April 2017, since 2009 with Encore RV resorts
  • Title: Resort Manager
  • Work Location: Thousand Trails Orlando
  • Previous parks you’ve worked at: Lake Magic RV Resort & Clerbrook Golf and RV Resort
  •  Favorite hobbies or sport(s): Reading and spending time with my two boys. My favorite sport is basketball. I played back in middle school and my oldest son is on a school team. Go Celtics!!

LM = Lake Magic     TTO =Thousand Trails Orlando

What brought you to TT Orlando?I have recently been promoted to Resort Manager at Thousand Trails Orlando after managing Lake Magic RV Resort since November 2012. What brought me to TTO was the opportunity to continue to grow within this wonderful company that I have been a part of since 2009.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a Resort Manager? – The most rewarding aspect of being a manager is the people; the residents and guests that I meet and the relationships that I build with them. Talking to them and getting to know them personally. Hearing their life stories and connecting with them about experiences and family. All of this goes for the staff as well. I spend 8 plus hours of my day working at the property and the friendships and connections make the long days easier.

What’s the most challenging aspect of being a Resort Manager? How do you overcome these challenges? The most challenging aspect is not being able to make everyone happy. I struggle with this because I truly want all of our guest to get what they want but I have learned over the years that making EVERYONE happy is not realistic or possible. I try to overcome this challenge by finding a happy medium from what the guest wants and what I can actually offer. For example: a guest is assigned a site that they do not like due to location but we are in the middle of season and our resort is full and I cannot move them to another site. I will try to make a connection with them in other ways. I will personally invite them to a resident social event and/or offer them a breakfast or lunch voucher. They still might not be happy with the location of their site but they appreciate the personal touch of knowing that I care enough to do a little something special for them, which ultimately makes me feel good.

Can you share something you’ve learned from your guests? – What I have learned from my guests is to enjoy life, to savor every moment because it goes by quickly. I have learned that friendship and being neighborly is valuable. RV’ers are unique because they are always willing to help anyone who needs it.

What’s special about the RV resorts you’ve managed?  Lake Magic is special because of its beauty. The resort is clean and well manicured with tall palms tree throughout the resort that constantly remind you that you’re in sunny Florida. All of our sites have 50 amp service with full hookups and most of our pads are paved. The sites are large with plenty of space in-between from site to site. The location is premier and most importantly the guests are friendly!

Thousand Trails Orlando  is special because it is a property that offers choices for all the different RV lifestyles. The park offers clean, paved sites, as well as a more woody area for the RV’ers that really like to feel like they are “roughing” it. TTO is in a great location that is off the highway but tucked in far enough away from the hustle and bustle to make you feel like you’re truly camping.

Can you use 3 words to describe your RV resort to someone who is considering visiting Orlando? 

  1. Friendly
  2. Filled with Activities (in Season)
  3. Great location

What area attractions or entertainment do you recommend guests experience while at TT Orlando or Lake Magic?

  1. Walt Disney World- It is only 6 miles from LM and 11 from TTO
  2. Southern Hill Farms – during blueberry picking season this is the best place to pick your own blueberries!
  3. Airboat Ride – a fun way to spend the day and tour the Central FL Everglades

What accomplishment are you most proud of? Why?At LM, I am most proud of our Annual Poker Run. I started this my first year as manager at LM and the first year we had maybe 50 participants but this past season we had 176 participants!!! The Poker Run consists of eight stations (1 for each section of the resort). We have eight hosts and the hosts are residents that set up stations with goodies, snacks and drinks for all of the participants to stop at. The participants stop by the stations, mingle, eat, drink and draw a card. At the end the 5 players with the best hand get prizes.

What’s your favorite funny story to tell from Lake Magic?In 2015 at LM, I was trying different new activities during season to keep the residents entertained. (They were all nice enough to try any crazy fun idea came up with). One of the games we tried that season was a play on the “Newlywed Game”. We called it the “Oldie Wed Game”. Three couples took turns answering different questions about their partners and we had a blast. It was fun because of their answers, but also because they were fearless and willing to try whatever out of the box idea I came up with.

Can you share your favorite memory at Lake Magic? – My favorite memory is of one of our end of season going away parties. We put together a Carnival event around our Clubhouse and pool area with carnival games, pool games, raffle prizes and carnival food! We fed the guests corndogs and thought they were going to complain because it was simple food but they loved it!

Can you recall a time when the guests at your property surprised you? (LM) Yes, 2 years ago for my birthday they called me up to the clubhouse and surprised me with a cake and singing. I felt special that they cared enough to take time out of their day to share it with me.

Can you tell us about some of the friendships that have developed between guests at Lake Magic? One of the most meaningful friendships that I have developed is with a resident who now works for me. This person volunteered for many years and finally decided to commit to working for me. They are a great asset to me because they provide insight to what the other guests want and they have become someone I can depend on and trust.

RV communities look out for each other. Can you share an example of how Lake Magic exemplifies the idea of community?There are 5 sister properties (Sherwood Forest, Clerbrook Golf & RV Resort, Winter Garden, Thousand Trails Orlando and Lake Magic) in my area and we all are very close to one another. Anytime that one of us is full and needs to accommodate a guest, we call on each other for availability to help the guest. We also get together for friendly tournaments between properties. This allows our guest to meet each other and visit a sister property.

Have you visited Thousand Trails Orlando RV Resort or Lake Magic RV Resort? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Araby Acres RV Resort, A Snowbird Oasis In Yuma, AZ!

Some places bill themselves as being in the ‘Valley of the Sun’. Yuma however is the ‘Home of the Sun’. Araby Acres RV Resort is located in the eastern outskirts of Yuma and is close enough to downtown to reach it easily. This Encore RV resort has 330 sites, including areas for park models. The people are very friendly and helpful in getting you settled in, plus a large number of guests are from Canada. Come see why hundreds of Snowbirds call Araby Acres their home away from home.

_15A8363-EditOne of the most pleasant areas in the park is the small lagoon surrounded by green grass and tall palm trees. Small water fowl puddle aimlessly, or pick insects from the grass. The wind in the palms sounds so much like the ocean surf. This is one of the nicest relaxation areas in Yuma. The ambiance of this area calls for a few park benches to relax on.

The two pools and hot tubs provide relaxing moments and also a cool-down opportunity if you’ve been sampling some of the more vigorous activities such as a good workout in the exercise room, or shuffleboard. Several guests enjoy participating in arts and crafts and wood carving.

Optional cable and WiFi access are available for a fee and a WiFi hotspot is located in the clubhouse. The ideal location in the park is south of the main office, where you’ll find a particularly quiet corner of the property to enjoy.

Many visitors are here to enjoy the sun and heat that they wouldn’t get back home in the _15A7665winter. Shopping is easy and abundant, and it’s an easy drive into Mexico at Los Algodones. There is plenty of paid parking so you can park and walk across the border for your shopping. The crossing of the border is hassle free on the way into Mexico. Leave early if you want to avoid long lines coming back.

Los Algodones is a medical oasis for thousands of visitors who hold their treatments until they get to Mexico where medical help is not only available, but at very low prices. Many also fill their prescriptions while there.

Yuma developed during the mid-1800’s taking advantage of the large amount of steamboat movement up and down the Colorado River. Settlers also took this route through Yuma to cross the river where it was narrower. Yuma is probably most famous for its Yuma Territorial Prison which didn’t need much fencing because, if you escaped, the desert would get you. This area usually gets about 3” of precipitation, and is blisteringly hot in the summer. Tours are available if you want to visit the State Historic Park. There are several quiet, easy walking or biking trails around town.

North and south of Yuma are massive acres of agricultural land. Vegetables, and hay grow several crops per year and drives along those fields can be very educational. Huge orchards of lemon, grapefruit, and oranges will provide scattered roadside stands for you ArabyAcresto pick up fresh fruit.

There are also date groves and stores for you to visit and purchase large packages of dates and enjoy the fabulous date shake whose sweet taste is amazing.

RVers will appreciate the flea markets and RV market places around town that have thousands of items piled hurriedly on shelves awaiting your discovery. There are all types of parts and pieces for the do-it-yourselfers.

The Imperial National Wildlife Refuge came into being after the Imperial Dam created scores of marshy areas which now provide good habitat for a wide variety of migrating birds. It is significant that this area has grown up a verdant attractive area, backdropped by the dry desert and mountains. This 26,000 acre preserve protects 30 miles of the lower Colorado River and can give you several days of entertainment as you explore. You will notice how quickly the plant varieties change as you move back from the river. Washes cut down to the water from the desert, and ironwood and smoke trees are home for the lizards and rabbits. On the higher ground the palo verde, creosote bushes, and ocotillo dot the landscape. Early in the day, or late, you could see the mule deer moving down for a drink, and sometimes the bighorn sheep from the mountains.

Araby_Acres_fire pit_rtmsYuma is a compact city with extensive spread eastward toward the mountains. The area has enough to interest you, whether for a month, or for the entire winter. Araby Acres RV Resort can provide an oasis to return to for rest and relaxation.