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THE PERFECT LOCATION? STAGE STOP CAMPGROUND (OHCE2022 TAKEAWAY TOUR HOST)

George Spigener, owner of Stage Stop Campground and the host of an upcoming Takeaway Tour at OHCE2022, enthusiastically promotes what a great location his campground has, but he’s first to admit that he can’t take credit for choosing the site. His parents selected the location when they built the campground 49 years ago and the park has been in the family ever since.

“We are located in the midst of Central Florida,” he says, “in the center of the state yet in a historical, small town called Winter Garden. We’re 12 miles west of Orlando. We’re just north of Disney World. We’re 13 miles from Camping World Stadium which is where they have concerts and college football bowl games. In downtown Orlando they have the half-billion-dollar Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the Amway Center, the indoor arena where the Orlando Magic plays basketball.”

“You can be right here a half hour from Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World and much more. Or you can drive 90 miles away and visit NASA and watch a rocket take off or go 90 miles in the other direction and see natural Florida with manatees and beautiful freshwater springs.”

The historic town of Winter Garden, founded in 1903, offers shops, restaurants, arts and entertainment, a farmers’ market and a 22-mile bike trail that follows a former railroad line. The Stage Stop Campground website features links to all nearby activities to make it easy for guests to explore what their options are.

The campground itself has 248 full hookup sites, each with city water, sewer and electric as well as a concrete patio and picnic table. The sites are spacious, each one measuring at least 35′ x 50′. Three bathhouses are located throughout the 30-acre park, including a newly renovated one that is handicap accessible.

“For the past five or six years, we’ve been renovating the whole park,” Spigener says. “Right now, we’re at 80 percent with new 50/30 service. All of our roofs, paved roads, pool and clubhouse are almost redone. I need about two or three more years, and I’ll finish the electrical and other two bath houses.  We’ve also added a bocce court and they’re trying to talk me into pickleball courts, but I haven’t done them yet. We’re also working on adding a campfire circle.”

Spigener also recently implemented a new online reservation system.

“I’m trying to cultivate that mini vacation mode through our online reservations,” he says.  “We have people that live here long term, which I consider over six months, which is a nice, healthy thing for us, and we feel very lucky. But we’re also trying to get the mini vacationer and the weekender or the person who just wants to come in and stay for a while then come back and see us.”

Spigener explained the symbolism of the campground’s name Stage Stop.

“Well, you’re on the dusty trail of life and you can come and bring your ‘stagecoach’ and your family and put your feet up in a nice, relaxed setting, enjoy the hospitality and stay a while. Continuing the stagecoach analogy, we’re kind of in the center of a wagon wheel and the spokes represent all the different day trips you can take from here.”

Spigener is looking forward to welcoming OHCE2022 attendees on his Takeaway Tour on Monday, November 7.

“I’ve been on two tours myself in the past few years and thoroughly enjoyed them,” he says. “I always recommend them. It’s a nice intimate way to meet other owners and managers.  I hope that when they leave us, they’ll have a chance to drive through downtown Winter Garden and just see it because it’s ‘Mayberry live‘ and part of our location because it’s our downtown. I hope they get to experience it a little bit.”

The Takeaway Tours are always one of the most popular experiences offered at OHCE—the outdoor hospitality industry’s premier event. The tours will take place on Monday, November 7 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. There are two tracks for takeaway tours this year. Track B includes Stage Stop RV Campground and Wekiva Falls RV Resort. Track A includes Sanlan Golf and RV Resort and Camp Margaritaville RV Resorts & Cabana Cabins. Reservations for the tours must be purchased as an add-on when registering for OHCE. Takeaway Tours are a $298 each, and lunch and transportation are provided.  For more information, including a complete schedule of events and to register, visit arvc.org/ohce.