> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

Reynolds Resorts LLC is continuing to increase its presence in California’s campground business, having recently acquired the Sacramento KOA, the Riviera RV Resort in Blythe as well as a concession contract to operate a major public campground near Mount Shasta.
“I’m trying to build an identity as a (campground) operator,” said Tom Reynolds, adding that his namesake company now operates 11 parks with roughly 2,000 sites throughout California.
Reynolds acquired the 120-site Sacramento KOA and the 285-site Riviera RV Resort in Blythe, bordering the Colorado River, last spring. Earlier this month, he picked up a concession contract from the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors to operate the Lake Siskiyou Campground, near Mount Shasta.
The 250-acre Lake Siskiyou Campground includes 135 RV sites, 200 tent sites and 26 park models, and Reynolds has told county officials that he’s willing to make $500,000 in additional improvements to the resort. The money would be used to double the size of the Lake Siskiyou marina from 32 to 64 slips and to create 35 to 50 premium RV sites with pull-through spaces.
Reynolds’ latest campground acquisitions complement existing Reynolds Resort parks in Banning, Coarsegold, Earp, Isleton, Jamestown, Pescadero, Salinas and San Luis Obispo, all of which have collectively undergone $500,000 in upgrades during the past year, Reynolds said. The improvements mainly involved Reynolds’ campground stores, which were outfitted with new tile and centralized registration counters to create a brighter, more inviting reception area at each park.
“As an industry, I think we really need to improve the image of the front desk and (campground) store,” Reynolds said, adding, “Stores are good moneymakers for campgrounds. They give the camper a better impression of the overall property if (campers) have a good place to go for what they need.”
Reynolds is also continuing to add park models to his resorts, partly to diversify his company’s business base and partly to accommodate families and other groups who do not have RVs. This year alone, he added six park models to his resort in Blythe, 10 to his resort in San Luis Obispo and six to his park in Coarsegold, in the Sierra foothills near Yosemite. He also plans to add five more park models to Lake Siskiyou Campground next year.
Reynolds said he also has set up a three-member full-time campground maintenance crew that travels from park to park, thereby eliminating the hassles involved with hiring local contractors.
Other recent upgrades include the launching of a toll-free reservations hotline, redesigning the company’s website and equipping three of his parks with Wi-Fi capability.
Looking to the future, Reynolds said he doesn’t’ expect rising fuel costs to have much of an effect on his company’s business because most of his parks are located near popular lakes, rivers or the ocean, all of which remain popular destinations.
In addition, Reynolds said he plans to step up his marketing efforts in 2006. “Even though we’ve got 11 parks, we’re still not known to most campers in California,” he said.