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A new Texas RV dealership developed by a veteran Southwest RV retailer, American RV and Marine, plans to build a rally park and luxury RV campground near El Paso during the next two years as the first operating components of a planned, 1,000-acre “Disneyland for RVers.”
The first 350 spaces of a 750-space rally park are expected to be available for overnight use as soon as October, while the first 82 spaces of an adjacent 450-space luxury campground should be ready for business by December, according to James Paxton, president and CEO of American RV and Marine.
The campgrounds and the yet-to-be-developed theme park will be built next to Paxton’s dealership along Interstate 10 in Anthony, Texas, about six miles north of El Paso. The Anthony dealership, which opened in January, was previously located in Las Cruces, N.M. Paxton told the media last year that he was relocating his dealership after Las Cruces officials declined to allow him to expand his business there. American RV and Marine carries Holiday Rambler, Newmar, Coachmen, Sportsmen, Jayco and Thor towable and motorized RV brands.
Included in the theme park, which Paxton expects to open by 2004, will be restaurants, stores, dance halls and other attractions, all of which will be housed in historical looking buildings that resemble the way El Paso and Ciudad Jaurez looked in the late 1800s. Paxton told RV Business that he is developing the project in collaboration with historians and theme park consultants.
“It will be kind of a little Disneyland for RVers,” Paxton said, adding that he hopes his replicas of old El Paso and Ciudad Juarez will be as enticing to RVers as similar historical theme parks in Williamsburg, Va. and Branson, Mo.
While details of the project are still being worked out, Paxton said the Old West theme will prevail, with horse-drawn stagecoaches taking RVers from their campgrounds to the theme park and back. Paxton also plans to sell seven restaurant sites and open an RV museum.