Leisure & Hospitality International - Fall 2013 - 90

Parkbridge Ca pital Group

are also many of these safe and affordable communities in the

include major entertainment names like Donny Osmond, Gor-

West Coast states, as well as New England and the Northeast.

don Lightfoot and The Kingston Trio, among other notables.

“A great many of these communities and resorts are very at-

While the majority of these communities are not the resplen-

tractive,” President Lee Meekcoms says. “We draw a wide

dent venues that have the attractions described, most are pro-

spectrum of users. There are retirees or semi-retired from

fessionally managed, safe, well-kept places, where neighbors

white collar and blue collar professions; executives as well as

return, year after year, to enjoy the affordable lifestyle and the

the retired farmer; the small business owner; and so on, who

camaraderie. Meekcoms and Dora (Cline) Steed – formerly a

enjoy this lifestyle.”

top-level senior management executive with two of the na-

Meekcoms goes on to describe the larger Sun-belt proper-

tion’s largest operators of these communities – established

ties – from 400 to 2,000+ sites – as “mostly resort communi-

Parklane Real Estate Services to provide property and asset

ties.” They are places where snow-birds participate in an active

management services to this sector.

and relaxing lifestyle, sunny winter, often with an extensive

As for the tenant-owned homes, many people add signifi-

array of services and facilities. There are golf courses and large

cant additions and upgrades and these can be very nicely ap-

amenity-cores, with activity directors, pristine pools and spas,

pointed. “It’s an affordable way to go, and some of these

and 20,000-square-foot and larger recreation centers or club-

places are really quite spectacular,” Meekcoms says.

houses, which might include dance floors with stages, movie
facilities, billiard parlors, mini-athletic clubs, craft centers,

BABY BOOMERS

wood-shops, libraries, beauty shops and restaurants/bars. The

Meekcoms has been working in this market since the 1980s.

entertainment selections at the larger resorts these days can

But today’s crop of retirees is much larger as the baby
boomers age, with this segment of the population encompassing 80 million people.
“The entirety of the baby-boom market is huge and they
have high expectations,” Meekcoms says. “They expect better
service, better upkeep and high-quality management.”
They are also more tech-savvy than previous generations.
The Internet has changed this business with communities
today marketing online to prospective residents and investors.
Many high-end manufactured home communities and RV resorts have “tremendous websites” with features that are much
better than the print brochures of the past, Meekcoms says.
And they are pulling in the new visitors at very high ratios
when compared to brochures. These sites advertise their
amenities such as pools and tennis courts, and also list vacancies and home sale and purchase opportunities.

‘A COMPLETE MISNOMER’
These are far from being stereotypical trailer parks; still; “a lot
of people conjure up the idea that these are trailer parks,”
when the name is mentioned, Meekcoms says. “That’s a complete misnomer,” he notes. “That used to be the moniker when
there were mobile homes on small lots with everyone
crammed in. That was the ’50s and ’60s style. Homes were
sometimes 10 feet in width. The industry has evolved greatly,
with new factory-built manufactured homes boasting 1,500 to
2,200 square feet and more.”

90

L e i s u r e a n d H o s p i t a l i t y I n t e r n a t i o n a l | w w w. l h i m a g a z i n e . c o m Fall 2013


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Contents
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