Leaving Myakka

We did it. We finally left Myakka River Motorcoach Resort. We love this place and we will be back in November.

The owners? Awesome. The community? Also awesome. We have made some wonderful friends and I am already missing them even though we have only been gone for a day.

Our first stop on our trip to California is the Florida Grande Motorcoach Resort. It is about a 3-hour drive from Myakka. We are not much closer to California but we have moved enough now to get back into the mode of travelling with our motorcoach. It is easy to forget how to do the little things, like hook up the toad, when you stay put for a few months.

This is our spot for the evening.

We have a longer drive tomorrow although we will still be in the state of Florida.

And a video about the day’s drive. A little excitement on the way. Most drivers are unaware of how much longer the stopping distance is for a motorcoach. I am very much aware of our stopping distance.

Holy cow.

Score!

People started lining up at roughly 10:00pm last night. Lining up to secure a rental site for the next season. Lorraine was hoping to be first in line but she arrived too late at around 11:30pm.

She was third in line.

The doors opened at 9:00am this morning and Lorraine, after staying up all night, went in to secure our site for November. This site right here, Site 90.

Difficult process. Within the lineup there were people wanting the same site number as someone else. Not surprisingly, everyone in the line knew what site numbers others were wanting.

There were a number of choices available.

48 lots were available to rent. We marked them all in black and we picked some alternate sites in case our first choice was not available.

From what I gather, Myakka River Motorcoach Resort will pretty much sellout their rental sites for the peak months of January, February and March. And they will sellout today.

Now for the big question: did we get site 90 for the next season?

Indeed.

We are happy. Lorraine stayed awake all night, waiting in line, to secure our site. And, being Lorraine, she had a wonderful time with all of her friends who were also waiting in line.

I dropped by at 5:30 this morning to check up on Lorraine and the rest of the people in the queue.

There were a few individuals that sadly did not get their first choice of site. First come, first serve. Not sure how else the owners could do this process.

Off to California in two weeks. Then to Canada in April. Back to Myakka in November.

Tough life.

Reservation Process

The big day arrives tomorrow! Reservation day.

Yes. Florida is a very popular snowbird destination. And, if you want to ensure that you have a site during the peak season, then you have to reserve well in advance.

We are, hopefully, coming back to Myakka River Motorcoach Resort in November for a long-term stay. We will find out tomorrow morning if we will have a site for next winter.

The resort will open reservations for guests wishing to reserve for 3 months or more at 9:00 am. By phone or in person. Sites will be offered on a first come, first serve basis. The only way to guarantee a favourite site is to buy one.

There are a number of sites that are offered as rental sites. To secure a specific rental site requires you to reserve that site before someone else. Which, unfortunately, means that many people line up all night to try and get their preferred rental site.

The resort does not work through the people waiting in line first. You could call in at the same time that the line at the resort opens up. You could secure a site by phone before the person who had stood in line all night. You might even secure the site that they were hoping to get.

Lorraine is planning to get into line later this evening to help us secure our preferred rental site.

Where will I be? Looking after our golden retriever of course.

KOA 2019 Campground of the Year

We’ve stayed at a number of KOA campgrounds. In Canada, KOA campgrounds fall into one of two categories: okay and not okay. Most of their campgrounds consist of grass, gravel and, if you find a better class of “okay”, a modest concrete pad.

My beef with most KOAs? Sites are tight. Access for a large rig can be touch and go — mostly touch as in getting touched, or scraped really, by the trees. And they are generally priced high for the quality of the site.

Like the Thousand Islands KOA.

Despite being assured that this particular KOA was big rig friendly and that there would be plenty of room for our coach, we barely squeezed into this site.

And we could not exit the site without getting the staff to cut down several branches.

There is one KOA that we do like in Ontario and that is the Barrie KOA. They offer an adult-only section that is quiet with level, concrete pads. The sites are well spaced with very easy access for large rigs.

We will be returning there for the summer.

Each year, KOA provides an award for their campground of the year. This year, the winner is the New Bern KOA Holiday. Here is a picture from the KOA post:

Another grass and gravel park although there does seem to be a bit more separation between the sites.

Myriad Luxury Motorcoach Resort

To Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort, I am a Very Important Person. They sent me an email today asking if I would be a Very Interested Person.

Would I be interested in their new development: Myriad Luxury Motorcoach Resort?

Of course I am interested. Mountain Falls is a beautiful RV Resort although a bit too isolated and definitely in the wrong location for Canadian Snowbirds. Myriad is located near Fort Myers. Much better location for Canadian Snowbirds.

From their website:

Designed in the French West Indies Vernacular, Myriad is truly a one of a kind Motorcoach Resort unparalleled in its fine finish, attention to detail and warm luxurious design.

We spent the last 5 years planning this resort, leveraging our experience in developing the finest in luxury resort communities and understanding the wants and needs of the motorcoach enthusiast. With oversized lots, lush landscaping, and deluxe coach villas for entertaining and overnight guests, to the meticulously designed infrastructure, we’ve anticipated your future wants and needs. We took the time to get it right.

The park will have a total of 344 lots. In an interesting twist, the lots for sale will be significantly larger than the lots for rent. And the rental lots will be segregated from the purchased lots. Seems a bit unusual to me and it could create a barrier between renters and owners. Especially if the developer does something like place restrictions on clubhouse access.

The rental sites, all 171 of them, are tucked away in the top right of the sitemap. See all of those tiny lots crammed together? They are 38 feet wide. We are currently on a lot that is 45 feet wide. Not sure that we would enjoy a long-term stay on that narrow a site.

If you are willing to spend a quarter million to buy a lot on the big lake, you will get a lot that measures about 57 feet wide by 100 feet deep. There are 173 of those lots for sale. Building out a coach house on the lakefront sites will probably cost another few hundred thousand. Throw in the requisite Prevost conversion, and you can enjoy this bit of paradise for only a mere million or two.

The lots for sale that are not on the lake are discounted. You only have to pay about $165,000 for the cheap seats.

I expect to see more and more of these luxury motorcoach resorts being built. After all, with so many higher end coaches being produced these days, the inventory of sites for sale and rent does need to increase. It can be difficult securing a decent site at a Class A Motorcoach Resort in Florida during the peak season.

We booked our sites well in advance of our stay this winter.

We will be lining up to secure a site at our current park for next year. And when I say lining up, I do mean lining up.

More on that experience in a few weeks.