THE DESIRE TO TRAVEL, to witness Earth’s most extraordinary and even ordinary landscapes, to meet new people and to delve into a world of cultures, has been deeply ingrained in the American lifestyle since the onset of camping. After mainstream culture had caught the appeal of camping in 1885, the burgeoning automobile industry catapulted the beginning of recreational vehicles.
In 1910, Pierce-Arrow saw the up-in-coming potential of RVs, or cars slightly modified for camping. The Pierce-Arrow Touring Landau featured a back seat that folded into a bed and was equipped with a chamber pot and sink. Soon after that, camper trailers were rolling off the assembly line of RV manufacturers and into people’s homes.
The passion to travel and experience outdoor adventures certainly hasn’t diminished, but the way people are experiencing it has. In Smithsonian’s article commemorating 100 years of the RV industry, David Woodworth, a longtime RVer, said, “RVs have changed, but the reason people RV has been constant the whole time.” While RVs have evolved from the early campers to luxurious, 45-ft motorhomes, the vacation destinations RVers desire to travel to have resulted in an entirely new industry – luxury RV Resorts.
The Rise of Luxury Motorcoach Resorts
The construction of high-end, exclusive RV resorts has been rising in popularity because of the increase in Class A motorhome sales. With a Class A costing anywhere between $150,000 and upwards of $3.5 million for the glitzy Prevost buses; it’s not surprising that motorhome owners don’t want to park their coach on unpaved sites or alongside a 1978 camper.
Class A Motorcoach Resorts are more than a paved parking site with hookups – they’re luxurious resorts whose accommodations
cater to the pockets and lifestyle of Class A motorcoach owners.
Most of these lavish resorts, like Desert Shores or Heritage Motorcoach Resort, operate by selling fee simple lots. These lots sweep in hefty price tags, with interested RVers paying in the low six figures to own the site and utilize the resort’s amenities. But it’s difficult to see the appeal of owning loftily priced RV lots, when Class A owners either take their rig out for a couple of weeks each year or the opposite, and they travel full-time, moving from one destination to their next vacation.
The Fountains Premier Motorcoach Resort – St. Augustine offers a unique concept that combines luxury resort living for Class A owners with the advantages of vacation club membership, instead of lot ownership.
Timeshare Industry Enters New Market
There are two vacation ownership models: timeshares and vacation interval plans. The Fountains Resort Premier Motorcoach Resort – St. Augustine borrows from both concepts, abandoning the traditional fee simple site purchase model in favor for creating their very own vacation club membership design.
In 2014, The Fountains Founders recognized the incongruity of luxury RV resorts burdening Class A owners with lot ownership. Owning an RV lot significantly impacts RVers ability to travel freely – the whole purpose behind the RV lifestyle – as they want to get the most utility out of their vacation property. Instead of travelling from place to place, RVers who own an RV lot are tied exclusively to that park and vacation destination year-after-year.
The Founders looked to the evolving Timeshare industry, which has transformed from non-transparent contracts offering fixed-time, fixed-length, and fixed-resort plans, into flexible vacation models. These flexible plans or vacation clubs are often tied to a points-based vacation membership.
Instead of vacationing at the same RV resort each year, these points-based clubs allow members to travel to any brand-affiliated property. Members can bank points, borrow against future points, purchase more points and even exchange their points. But ultimately, the point of Points-based vacation clubs is to allow travelers and frequent vacationers the flexibility to travel when, where – and in the luxury RV resort industry’s case – how they want.
Not Your Average Travel Club
Wanting to spread your wings and travel Europe? Take a Mediterranean cruise? You can still do all this, and more, with a Fountain Vacation Club membership. The Fountains Vacation Club is the points-based membership program that grants members, or Fountaineers™, access to The Fountains network of resorts, including the inaugural resort, The Fountains Premier Motorcoach Resort – St. Augustine.
The Fountains Vacation Club membership provides Fountaineers™ with access to more than 4,000 vacation destinations worldwide as a result of the Fountains agreement with Wyndham RCI. Fountaineers™ can transfer their Fountainshare Points to the RCI network of resorts, hotels, cruises or parks; or if they have excess RCI points they can exchange them for Fountainshare Points.
Interested parties become Fountaineers™ by purchasing Fountainshare Points, allowing them to reserve their next vacation at any Fountains Resort. Fountaineers™ can personally design their RV Resort vacation by using Fountainshare Points, which offers unprecedented flexibility for travel, leisure and accommodations to Class A motorcoach owners.
Flocking to Florida to escape winter? Reserve early. Towing along the extended family? Choose what sized Casita best suits your needs. With six different Spanish-inspired Casitas available, varying from the one bedroom Marbella to the 1,162 sq ft Avalon, Fountaineers™ can select the perfect accommodation for their vacation.
Exploring just St. Augustine? Stay for a day. Travelling all of Florida? Fountaineers™ can stay at the resort for upwards of four weeks as they experience Florida like never before with big name attractions like Universal Studios, Daytona Speedway and beautiful National Parks just a short drive away.
In other words, say goodbye to fee-simple purchases of a fixed lot at a single RV park and hello to points-based memberships that grant access to multiple RV resorts and hundreds of destination properties.
The New Way to RV
The Fountains Resort links the freedom of RV travel with the opulence of resort style living, offering brief or extended respite in a tropical, country club atmosphere. Host private parties. Play a game of Bocce ball. Bring Fido to the dog park. Fountaineers™ can enjoy a rich combination of social and personal activities at the resort, all the while being 10-minutes away from pristine beaches, world-class golf, and historical monuments.
Whether you’re a history buff or adventure junkie, St. Augustine – and The Fountains – offers RVers almost everything they could ever want, without actually having to own it.
The best part? Right now you can purchase your Fountains Vacation Club membership at a 10% charter discount. Act now and start revolutionizing how you vacation in your RV today.
Interested in reading more about the changing Timeshare industry? Click here for Consumer Report article on the Timeshare Industry Coming of Age.