New Mexico RV dealer Jim Paxton plans to open a “destination campground” across the border in Texas around Labor Day because he could not get local zoning approval for his project in New Mexico.
Paxton, owner of American RV & Marine and American Holiday RV Mart, both in Albuquerque, plans to develop a 500-acre site in Anthony, Tex., which would include a campground and a variety of retail amenities.
Also, he will move his American RV & Marine dealership from Las Cruces, N.M., to the property in Anthony. The Las Cruces dealership will close when a new 35,000-square-foot facility in Anthony is ready for occupancy around Labor Day, Paxton said.
Paxton had hoped to open his campground and retail center in Las Cruces, but was denied by local zoning authorities. So, he found a location 18 miles to the south in Texas.
The first phase of the development will include 50 campground spaces that are 100 feet long, sufficient to accommodate the longest fifth-wheels and tow vehicles. Each campground space also will include three sewer line connections.
The second phase will include 100 more campground spaces.
Restaurants and an outlet mall are among the other features Paxton plans for his development in Anthony.
“We want to create a destination,” Paxton said. “A lot of my customers said they are getting bored with going to Phoenix and Tucson.”
The American RV & Marine dealership in Las Cruces has about $12 million in annual sales, Paxton told zoning authorities. He believes the development in Anthony could generate $18 million to $22 million in sales during the first year.
Paxton does not have experience operating a campground, but he feels his 33 years of RV ownership provides him with adequate preparation.