THE VOTE IS IN
For everyone who wanted the better TV package to go along with new, high-quality internet access, you’ll be pleased to hear that the option dubbed “Door #2” was the clear victor in residents’ voting, winning by a vote of 328 to 137.
(During the meeting in early March where Al LaCanne outlined the two choices, some residents expressed concerns about RVers having differing attitudes about park services than those with park models. Al promised to show the vote with and without RVers so everyone could see how that affected the outcome. Both groups were in agreement: 84% of RVers favored Door #2, as did 69% of those with park models.)
Residents can now look forward to over 60 HD channels, including everything from the Golf Channel and ESPN to National Geographic and Lifetime, all included in the rent. Here’s the summary of the winning choice:
- We will provide to you 60+ (non-premium) Cox TV Channels, all HD quality. (List attached.)
- We offer good internet that is truly “Broadband” — with speeds that should exceed the current service. You will need to purchase a Docsis 3.0 modem. This type of modem can be bought from most anywhere at a price of $35-$65. The Park will not provide a modem.
- KEEP THE SAME RENT INCREASE: Rents go up $250, as in previous years.
The full handout, including the complete list of TV channels that will be available, can be seen by clicking here:
For anyone concerned about upgrading their television service, or setting up for internet/wif-fi, we’ll have help available. Doug Walker, a retired cable-industry veteran, will be available to do the set-up for a small fee. (He has already worked with many Resort residents and will be heading the changeover of the park’s system.)
Further, once we have the better internet service in place, we will be updating you on new telephone choices. You’ll have the option of switching your landline over to an internet-based phone service which will be much less expensive. (More on that in the coming months.)
In the next edition of The Resorter we’ll have a profile of Doug. Plus, he will be giving us all regular updates on the progress of the changeover process: LOOK FOR PROGRESS REPORTS IN EACH ISSUE OF THE RESORTER.
PARK COMPARISON: How’d we do?
Dale Dauten, Syndicated Columnist
Each year The Resort’s management team takes the time to assess how The Resort and sister park, Silveridge, stack up against similar parks in the East Valley. The summary of this year’s findings was handed out at the meeting to discuss changes to cable and internet, but if you missed it, you can download a copy at the end of this article.
Why go to all the trouble to do annual park comparisons? As park owner Al LaCanne put it, “We’re determined to have happy residents and one way you do that is by offering the best value. So we get out and compare all the relevant options and we put it in a form where our residents can double-check our numbers.”
HOW IT’S DONE
The assembling of the findings is undertaken by Aileen Gunning, who works with Al as Office Manager for the management company. I asked her to detail for us how the process works: “Al keeps a database of all the parks,” she explained, “and he selects the ones that have a similar purpose and base of residents, like having a sizable proportion of seasonal residents. We then take that list and make personal visits to assess the amenities, as well as confirming their current space rent and what it includes.”
Asked to describe the visits, Aileen recounted what sounded like the “secret shopper” visits that retailers routinely use. I wondered if such role playing ever got uncomfortable and she said, “Oh no, for one thing, everybody does it – we get people from other parks ‘shopping’ us all the time.” Then, with a smile, she added, “And I get to choose who to be. My favorite is being a relocating divorcee from Casa Grande.” (Given that Aileen is married and raising a granddaughter, I can see that where she might enjoy that bit of mental vacationing.)
Besides Aileen, visits are divvied up among Al, Park GM Rhonda Ciacco and George Igualt. All their results are put into a database and from there, Aileen can assemble the summary document available to all residents and prospects.
WHAT WE LEARNED
One of the questions each year is whether the park offers utilities – water, sewer and trash – included in the rent. This year, given our upcoming changes in internet and cable television, the analysis added in the 21st century utilities: cable and internet.
As you’ll see in the report, of the 12 parks covered, only three offer all five services at no extra cost to residents. The Resort and Silveridge are two of the three.
Analyzing the report, the closest competition to The Resort and Silveridge looks to be Mesa Spirit, which is other park offering all five services at no cost, and at similar rents (the Base Lots a bit less, the Premium Lots a bit more). The big difference comes when taking a look at lot size, using “lots per acre.” Both The Resort and Silveridge average fewer than 10 lots per acre, while Mesa Spirit has nearly 30 per acre. I asked Aileen how it’s possible to fit 30 lots per acre and she replied, “When I visit there I take my Hyundai instead of the full-size truck because it’s difficult to navigate the narrow streets in most of the parks with a full-size vehicle.”
Most other competitor parks have 15-20 lots per acre. Aileen told me, “The first time I made these visits, after being in other parks all day, I came back to ours and it felt so open I thought, ‘I can’t believe the size of the lots in our parks.’”
Take a look at the attached analysis, with current pricing for all 12 parks, and see if you agree with Al LaCanne: “We strive to give our residents a Mercedes-quality product at a Chevy price.”
CLICK GRAPH FOR RV PARK COMPARISONS
Front row, left to right: Captain Bob Zignego, Shirley Salhus, Bob Burke, Jean Robstad, Karen Christian, and Art Mercer. Back row: Susie Engelhardt, Rolf Salhus, George Kurilla, Jim Christian, and Dan Coday. Not pictured: Jim Skelton
The Resort’s only out-of-park shuffleboard team was awarded the 1st place trophy for being the 2016-2017 Pima League champions at the annual Award Banquet held on March 15, 2017 at the Viewpoint Golf and RV Resort. The 12 individual members of the team are all long-time residents of The Resort. The Pima League is in District IV of the Arizona Shuffleboard Association (ASA) and played a 12-week schedule this year beginning in November of 2016 and running into February of this year.