ARIZONA’S RV RESORTS ARE SEEING INCREASING NUMBERS OF YOUNG, WORKING SNOWBIRDS
While some are full-time RVers, others are working people from up North with home-based businesses who don’t want to wait until they are retired to enjoy the snowbird lifestyle
PHOENIX, Ariz., Jan. 13, 2020 – RV parks across the southern half of Arizona used to be the exclusive domain of retirees.
But as the economy changes and the Internet enables more and more people to work from home, growing numbers of relatively young, working people from up North are realizing they don’t have to wait until they are retired to live like a Snowbird. They can do it now, and growing numbers of these folks are showing up at Arizona RV parks this winter.
“We’re seeing more and more people quasi-retiring early, but still doing something to make ends meet,” said Scott Roberts, president of Scottsdale-based Roberts Resorts, adding, “I only see that trend continuing to grow.”
While the majority of Snowbirds continue to be retirees, Roberts said growing numbers of people from colder climates are deciding they want to enjoy the Snowbird life now rather than wait until they can fully retire. Many have consulting jobs that they can do from the road or from wherever they happen to be.
Roberts bases his perspectives on what he sees taking place at his Arizona resorts, which include the 1,553-site Pueblo El Mirage RV and Golf Resort in El Mirage, and the 780-site Gold Canyon RV and Golf Resort in Gold Canyon as well as Vista del Sol RV Resort in Bullhead City.
Roberts said his company recently invested more than $90,000 in WiFi improvements at Pueblo El Mirage alone in an effort to accommodate the needs of telecommuting Snowbirds as well as those of his existing guests.
Lisa Harold, chief operating officer of Contemporary Resorts and Residences, said young, telecommuting snowbirds are also coming to Verde Ranch RV Resort in Camp Verde, a new park that is experiencing its first winter season.
“I think it’s a pretty significant trend,” she said. “So many people are telecommuting now. Millennials could experience the Snowbird lifestyle way earlier than their parents or grandparents did.”
Harold added that many Arizona parks are shutting themselves out of this emerging market by limiting themselves to guests who are 55 and older. “There’s a huge underserved market of younger people,” she said.
Verde Ranch RV Resort, for its part, was designed with no age restrictions specifically so that it could capitalize on this emerging market of young, telecommuting RVers, Harold said.
With this in mind, the resort’s amenities include office space and a reservable conference room to accommodate working guests. “This park was built with telecommuters in mind,” she said.
But it’s not just young, working Snowbirds who need parks with high quality WiFi and office amenities. So do retired Snowbirds who decide they want to work again.
“There are a lot of folks who thought they wanted to retire, but then they picked up jobs and starting working again,” Harold said.
Sometimes this is simply a lifestyle choice. But it can also be a reflection of changing economic times. “Many folks are retiring with less money than they had before the market crash,” she said.
About the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds
The Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds is the statewide trade association for campgrounds and RV parks. In addition to hosting a travel planning website at www.GoCampingInArizona.com, the association publishes the Arizona RV and Camping Guide, which won the State Directory of the Year Award from the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC). The 32-page color guide features more than 90 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the Grand Canyon State. Consumers can request the guide by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.