West Forty RV Park & Campground Opens for 18th Season
“As a family, we’ve worked hard over the past two years to transition from one generation to the next in a way that protects our outstanding customer experience while also setting up the campground for future success and continued growth in Gilbert,” said Paul Skrbec – President and managing-partner of West Forty RV Park and Campground. “With seven competing campgrounds within a 30-mile radius of Gilbert, we believe our privately-owned campground offers something unique that municipal campgrounds just aren’t able to provide.”
Paul Skrbec brings more than two decades of tourism industry knowledge as a foundation for running the campground. Since graduating Eveleth-Gilbert High School and Saint John’s University, he has held a number of marketing and public relations leadership positions at National Car Rental, Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines before stepping up to take over daily and strategic management of West Forty. Ron Skrbec, a Gilbert High School and also a Saint John’s University graduate, serves as the company’s financial officer. The transition has allowed founder, Leo Skrbec, to step into an advisory role for the business.
In 2021, West Forty RV Park and Campground had 871 individual campsite check-ins with an average of 2.4 campers per site or 1,742 total guests for the season. Iron Range Tourism Bureau recent economic impact numbers indicate each visitor to the area spent an average of $144 per day with an average stay of three days for an estimated regional tourism impact of $752,544 per year to Gilbert and surrounding community businesses.
Campground expansion and improvements
During the 2022 and 2023 camping seasons, West Forty will add new campsites, a new restroom/shower building, electric vehicle charging and expanded overflow parking to better serve guest needs. Key milestones of the expansion are available on the campground’s website and are listed below:
The 2021 Generational Camping Report published by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds noted that privately-owned campgrounds were favored across all generations by 55 percent while municipal run campgrounds held only a 27 percent preference ranking.
“We’re building a campground that will have cross-generational appeal for campers who want variety in their outdoor experiences,” said Skrbec. “The industry is filled with first time campers who want amenities that add convenience and make it easy to get outside and enjoy the Iron Range.”
New Ownership Completes Two-Year Transition Process
Gilbert, Minn., April 29, 2022 – Today, West Forty RV Park and Campground officially opened the gates for its 18th season, capping off the final stage of its two-year ownership transition. The campground was built and opened by long-time Gilbert resident, Leo Skrbec, in 2004 to provide area camping capacity in conjunction with the opening of the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area. The ownership transition to sons Ron and Paul began in the summer of 2020.
As part of the transition West Forty launched a new website with an online reservations system in September 2020, developed a 5-year growth plan for the campground, secured funding for expansion efforts, reorganized its ownership structure, redesigned its branding, logo and social media presence, and improved its annual revenue by more than 60 percent in 2021.
About West Forty RV Park and Campground
West Forty RV Park and Campground opened in May 2004 in conjunction with the opening of the nearby Iron Range Off-Road Vehicle Park. The campground has quickly become a popular lodging option for people traveling to Gilbert - Minnesota’s Off-Road Capital. The campground is the only privately-owned campground in a 30-mile radius of the Gilbert, MN. Featuring the largest campsites in the area, a wide selection of full-hookup campsites and direct trail access to the Iron Range Off-Road Vehicle Park and Mesabi Trail, the campground is built for off-road adventure vacations for the entire family. West Forty offers many extra amenities including free air, ATV/OHV wash station, on-site propane tank exchanges, a campground store and other services.
West Forty RV Park and Campground has 22 drive-through full-hookup campsites, six back-in full-hookup sites, six dedicated tent/group tent sites, a two-camper group site which includes full use of the campground’s pavilion and 14 back-in sites for smaller campers with a variety of electric and water/sewer options. West Forty’s expansion plan will add 11 new sites for a total of 61 making it the second largest campground on the eastern Iron Range and more drive-through, full-hookup options than any other campground in the area.
Reservations can be made online at www.WestFortyRVPark.com or by calling 218-248-7362. The campground is open seasonally from May through the end of October.
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