Here is the recipe for a resort in Idaho’s Treasure Valley RV.

As reported by the Idaho Statesman, start with a couple of retirees who are ready for a life of sunshine and leisure. Add a family with three boisterous kids and a dog. Sprinkle in a single guy who’s in Southern Idaho for six months to work on a construction project, and a recent divorcee who got the Airstream and the family pet in the split.

Oh, and you might want to mix in a laundromat, swimming pool, dog park, full utilities and cable TV.

Kris Freedman, president of Grapevine 7, a family-owned RV-park company, says Idaho is an increasingly popular stopover and destination spot for travelers from within and outside Idaho. Others in tourism agree.

The tourism division within the Idaho Department of Commerce recently commissioned an “image study” to find out what potential tourists know and think about Idaho. Among the findings were that tourists who fall into the “active family” and “outdoor enthusiast” categories are interested in RVing and camping, as opposed to staying in hotels or vacation home lodging.

Those groups also make up some of Idaho’s most loyal tourists. That could be why the Freedmans’ properties and others are getting a lot of business.

“Our clients here, and a lot of the people who come to Idaho, a lot of them are retired people. The generation that’s maybe more than 65, worked one job, lived in one house,” says Bobbie Patterson, who opened Arrowhead RV Park in Cascade with her late husband, Gerald, about 35 years ago. “A lot of folks have said, ‘To heck with that. I’m selling the house.’ 

Patterson retired in 2013 from her longtime role as chief of the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau. Now, she runs the RV park that Gerald built “with his own hands” into a park with 120 RV spaces and several cabins and yurts.

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