Developer Hopes New RV Park Draws Casino Fans as Well as Cyclists
A new “upscale RV resort” planned for 20 acres of land behind the Columbus Hollywood Casino will feature 135 spots for campers and trailers, a central lodge and fitness center, and a vertical camping platform designed to attract thru-bikers on the Ohio to Erie Trail.
The plan comes from Chris Haydocy, the President of Haydocy Airstream & RV and Haydocy Buick GMC (which are both located on West Broad Street, in front of the proposed RV park). He also serves on the board of directors of the Ohio to Erie Trail.
Camping will be offered for a “nominal fee,” according to Haydocy, and bikes will be available to rent for RV drivers interested in hopping onto the Camp Chase Trail, which runs along the southern border of the property and serves as a key link in the 326-mile Ohio to Erie Trail.
The park, which will be called Road Adventures Resort, will be “airstream centric, but not exclusive,” and will offer 24-hour security and concierge service, Haydocy said. He also plans to plant about 2,000 trees on the grounds of the property.
Haydocy is a west side booster who has been touting the positives of the area and working to encourage more investment in the West Broad Street corridor since the casino opened near the corner of Georgesville Road in 2012.
The design for the multilevel tent platform comes from a student presentation made to West Side leaders in 2013. Haydocy was taken with the image and has been hoping to build something like it ever since.
“We’ll start with one and see how it works,” he said, adding that more could be built on the property in the future.
Jody Dzuranin, who co-founded the Friends of Camp Chase Trail in 2013, said that the camping site “meets an unmet need; it provides a comfortable place to camp within a larger facility that would have on site staff.”
“I have helped with online communication for the Ohio to Erie Trail since 2011 and the number one question we get is, ‘Are there places to camp along the trail?,'” she added, explaining that currently the nearest option is a site in London about 20 miles away (which does not have showers).
“I believe this will not only increase the number of people visiting the Camp Chase Trail as part of the larger system, it will also provide a midway ‘staycation’ option for locals who may want to visit the 51 miles on the central part of the Ohio to Erie Trail, from London to Galena,” Dzuranin said.
Haydocy, for his part, is emphasizing the economic impact on the neighborhood of what he thinks could be 40,000 RV guests a year.
“Both the bike community and the RV community are very social,” he said. “What they love is the ability to go to restaurants and to do new things…that’s why the casino is a perfect fit, and the fact that we’re on the trail is a perfect fit.”
Construction is scheduled to start in the spring, subject to the signing of a purchase agreement with Hollywood Casino and the real estate trust that currently controls the land. Spring of 2020 is the target for opening. Some of the funding for the project came through an Opportunity Zone Fund, the community development program established in the 2017 tax reform bill.