Sunday, August 19, 2018
Business

Expanded Belle Parc RV Resort lures travelers with plenty of amenities

BROOKSVILLE — Imagine mid-mansion, upscale-enclave living. On wheels. The outcome is Belle Parc, an upwardly mobile, even luxury, RV retreat just north of Brooksville that opened Jan. 1 after two years undergoing expansion, uplift and amenity enrichment.

"We're more of an RV community than a campground," said owner Alan Wallace, trekking last week among the last of excavators and earth loaders finishing construction of ultimately 275 park-and-stay sites.

Wallace referred to what once was a 25-acre roughing-it sort of campground for modest trailers. It's now more than 45 acres of concrete pads with spacious turf surroundings; young palm trees augmenting stately old oaks; a high-rising fountain centered in the natural 2-acre lake; and a 20- by 60-foot in-ground, seasonally heated swimming pool, with hot tub and fire pit at the side. A welcome center/clubhouse features a fitness center, library, TV lounge, community room and laundry facilities, with sewing machines at the side.

Also outdoors: a horseshoe pit, shuffleboard courts, a fishing dock and fenced dog runs.

"It's evolved over the years," Wallace said of over-the-road lifestyle stops.

The 63-year-old should know. He's been developing destinations for 30 years across Central Florida.

"He has the visions and the big ideas," said Jill Warden, a member of Belle Parc's management team, the front office first greeter to travelers with their homes in tow.

More of those ideas will become reality by July 1 — paddle boats on the lake, pickleball and bocce courts — and, by fall, an RV model center.

Added Wallace: "A dog groomer, beautician. A restaurant is coming."

While the past winter represented the resort's soft opening, enthusiasm was so great that 150 reservations already have been made for next winter. Wallace predicts more than 200 RVs will spend all or part of the snowbird season at Belle Parc.

Alongside the snowbirds, "we're getting more and more annual people to live here year-round," Warden said. The first 25 signups will be granted Founders Club memberships with accompanying perks.

Belle Parc is one of a dwindling number of RV resorts open to rigs more than 10 years old, subject to management approval based on appearance and cleanliness, Warden noted.

Weekenders are visiting, too, from as close as counties that border Hernando. Warden says they come just to experience the RV camaraderie and at bargain summer prices.

Newcomers will find 20- by 70-foot concrete slabs on grassy 40- by 80-foot sites, back-to-back rows with about 40 feet of open landscape between.

Beyond the spacious siting, Wallace said, "We're an active retirement community, kid-friendly in summer," stressing the active. Activities include poolside social hours, craft-sew-quilt workshops, card games and barbecues at the just-finished outdoor wood-burning fireplace.

"It's the most fun lifestyle," said Warden, herself an RV lifer. "By the time you've walked the dog on an afternoon, you won't have to be concerned with dinner." Walkers through the leafy park, she explained, are constantly invited to "come share a bite," "try this" or "have a glass of wine."

Added Warden: "Brooksville is a destination. We had tons of people for the (recent Florida) Blueberry Festival." And park visitors, she said, tend to prefer outdoor pursuits — kayaking, golfing, manatee watching and beachgoing. Visitors on wheels consider the location to be easily within reach of Orlando attractions, Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and Clearwater's beaches.

Standard rates start at $55 daily, $325 weekly and $425 monthly.

Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]

 
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