Home News Local News Couple plans to open new RV park for north side of city

Couple plans to open new RV park for north side of city

A local couple plan to have the first phase of their recreational vehicle park on East Pine Lodge Road open by the fall. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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A local couple plans to open a new recreational vehicle park near the Roswell Mall.

Larry and Tracy Lopez, Roswell residents for about 35 years, own about 11.6 acres of vacant land at 501 E. Pine Lodge Road and plan to develop the Antelope Crossing RV Park on the site.

“It has been a dream of ours for quite some time,” Tracy Lopez said.

Lopez explained that she works for Xcel Energy and that her husband owns an excavation company, but she plans on retiring in the next couple of years.

About five years ago, she said, she began thinking about what she would do after retirement and decided to turn her own appreciation for RV travel into a commercial enterprise.

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“It is something we have enjoyed doing,” she said. “We have enjoyed RV-ing and going to different parks throughout our area of the United States.”

The city of Roswell Planning and Zoning Commission voted Tuesday to approve the request to rezone the land from C-2 community commercial to Recreational Vehicle Park, according to Community Development Manager Bill Morris. The RVP zoning designation is a new one for the city, created and adopted because of the need for additional short-term rentals and housing in the area.

Morris said no appeals of the zoning decision have been filed, but he added that the property owners will be required to submit final plans and obtain building permits before construction can begin.

Lopez said she considers the East Pine Lodge Road location to be a great spot for an RV park, which will be intended for visitors as well as visiting nurses, oilfield workers or other professionals who plan to live and work in Roswell for only a few months.

She said she thinks the location is a good one. It is across the street from the mall and movie theater and close to other stores and restaurants. It is also near U.S. 285, the bypass to U.S. 70 and the Pine Lodge route that people often take to access U.S. 380 toward Tatum.

“What we are trying to establish here is a place where people can call home away from home,” she said. “We also just want to offer a good place for people who may be needing a place to live or stay” for a short time.

She said that work is now occurring to elevate the ground a bit, and that construction is expected to begin around April.

The project is planned to have an office, a community center, showers, bathrooms and a laundry room and eventually to have 114 parking slots, with some spots for people with large RVs that also tow boats or vehicles. The property will be fenced and entrances and exits will be controlled, Lopez said.

She said she and her husband intend for the park to be inviting and safe for families, so they have developed rules and regulations, which she said will be more stringent for people who plan longer stays of a month or more.

The community buildings and the west side of land are planned for development first, she said. That should open by the fall. The east side of the property will be developed at some point in the future.

Sixty-one percent of U.S. households in 2016 include at least one member who camps, according to a 2017 North American Camping Report by Cairn Consulting Group and sponsored by Kampgrounds of American (KOA). In 2016, 5.2 million U.S. residents camped at least once a year, while 14 million camped three or more times a year. Of those campers, about 22% use recreational vehicles.

The report also found that 51% of campers travel within 100 miles of their home. While the largest percentage of campers (43%) reported camping at national or state parks, 26% said they stay at privately owned properties.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7101, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.