RV Park Expansion – Hometown Focus

GILBERT – West Forty RV Park and Campground officially opened its 18th season in late April, completing the final leg of its two-year ownership transition. The campground was built and opened by longtime Gilbert resident Leo Skrbec in 2004 to provide camping capacity in the area in conjunction with the opening of the State Recreation Area for off-road vehicles Iron Range. The ownership transition to sons Ron and Paul began in the summer of 2020.

“As a family, we have worked hard over the past two years to transition from generation to generation in a way that protects our exceptional guest experience while 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 private campground offers something unique that municipal campgrounds simply cannot provide.”

Paul Skrbec brings over two decades of knowledge of the tourism industry as the basis for the management of the campground. He held several senior marketing and public relations positions at National Car Rental, Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines before assuming the day-to-day and strategic management of West Forty. Ron Skrbec is the company’s chief financial officer. The transition allowed founder Leo Skrbec to take on an advisory role to the company.

West Forty launched a new website with an online reservation system in September 2020, developed a five-year growth plan for the campground, secured funding for expansion efforts, revamped its ownership structure, revamped its image branding, logo and social media presence, and improved annual revenue by more than 60% in 2021.

In 2021, West Forty RV Park and Campground had 871 individual camping registrations with an average of 2.4 campers per site or 1,742 total guests for the season. Recent figures from the Iron Range Tourism Bureau indicate that each visitor to the region 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 for Gilbert and businesses in the surrounding community.

During the 2022 and 2023 camping seasons, West Forty will add new campgrounds, a new restroom/shower building, electric vehicle charging, and expanded overflow parking to better meet guest needs. The main stages of the expansion are available on the campground’s website and include:

• A new section D will be
added to include D1- sites
D5 and D9-D10 which will be
be 75 by 40 feet. Construction sites
will be 30% larger
that state requirements and
will include 50 electric amps
and complete water/sewer connections. Sites D6-D8 will be
60 by 40 feet with 50 amps
electricity and full water/sewer
• The G1 site is designed as a
rustic group tent site that
will have a capacity of up to
to four tents and will be one
“walk-in” or “ATV-in” site
surrounded by trees.
• New toilets/showers

building is under construction
and will include
toilets for men, women
plus a family bathroom and
three individual showers
rooms. The family toilets/
shower unit is being built for

ADA compliant standards for
serve guests with different
accessibility needs.
• The new toilets/showers
construction of a designated parking lot
the area will also feature Gilbert’s first dedicated electric
vehicle charging (EV)
station to accommodate
for increased use of EVs
throughout the region.
• A new overflow car park
area for trailers and off-road
vehicles is under construction which will include a
“emergency repair area”
for 4-wheel vehicles, open air
and an alignment area before the start.
• Electrical service will be
upgraded from 20 amps to
30 amp service on multiple
RV sites back along
with addition of 20 electrical amps
at most tent sites in the campground.

“We are building a campground that will have cross-generational appeal for campers who want variety in their outdoor experiences,” said Paul Skrbec. “The industry is filled with first-time campers who want amenities that add convenience and make it easier to get outside and enjoy the iron chain.”

West Forty RV Park and Campground has 22 full hookup campsites, six full hookup sites, six dedicated group tent/tent sites, a two camper group site that includes full use of the campground 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 east of the Iron Range and more fully hookup options than any other campground campsites in the region.

Reservations can be made online at www.WestFortyRVPark.com or by calling 218-248-7362. The campsite is open in season from May to the end of October. The West Forty RV Park and Campground press room is available at: www.westfortyrvpark.com/campground news.html.

Paul Skrbec lives in Gilbert and Minneapolis.

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