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Luxury RV park planners, proponents face ‘misconceptions’

By Staff | May 26, 2012

Cape Coral’s Walter Fluegel has a special place in his heart for camping and RVing.

That’s why when Fluegel, now the community development director on Fort Myers Beach, learned about the plans for a luxury RV resort to be built off Burnt Store Road, he was ecstatic.

“I was familiar with the project because I saw the plans a year ago,” Fluegel said. “The developer knew I was into camping and RVs. I thought it was awesome.”

While most were enthralled by the planned resort that was presented last week at Cape Coral Councilmember Kevin McGrail’s town hall meeting, there were some who had questions and what proponents are calling misconceptions, the biggest being that some have put “RV resort” in the same context as “trailer park.”

That’s the misconception those most involved in the proposed resort are trying to eliminate.

Bud Surles, the land planner on the project who presented the plan at last week’s meeting, said the proposed resort will be visited by people driving around in vehicles that cost, in some cases, millions of dollars.

“These coaches run between $500,000 and $2 million. It’s not like we have roughnecks coming here,” Surles said of the development that could cost between $20 million and $30 million to complete. “We’ll have all kinds of high-end activities except we’ll have Class A coaches instead of hotels.”

As for the fears of what the resort would bring, all the real ones were quelled quickly, according to Henry Albrecht, broker and owner of Gulf Gateway Real Estate.

“They were concerned about if there would be city water, sewer and irrigation or have an on-site packing plant. There won’t be,” Albrecht said.

As for the belief the resort would turn into a trailer park, Albrecht said those concerns would be alleviated as well.

“We want an upscale resort. Not a trailer park you would find on 41,” Albrecht said. “They didn’t know people spend a million dollars on RVs. They’re like mobile command centers, rolling condos, with Wi-fi, flat screen TVs, the newest functions.”

Fluegel is concerned people may compare the proposal with a low-end tailer park, a stereotyped crime-riddled home to mismatched mobile homes and trailers.

“This is a different product. Everything will be top-shelf,” Fluegel said. “There’s a difference between a $70 and $80 a night place and one that’s $25 to $30 a night. RVs drive here and stay the winter.”

Developers of the proposed park plan to have a swimming pool, restaurant, marina, a “pitch and putt” golf course and retail stores on its 71 acres, with a lake at its core.

The resort will also have numerous cottages for those who don’t have an RV, and a lodge with amenities center for seminars and other activities.