Outdoor Hospitality News

For owners, operators, team members, and anyone else interested in camping, glamping, or the RV industry.

Lakeland RV Ranch: A Transformation Story Crowned by the ‘Park of the Year’ Award

In a remarkable narrative of determination and resilience, Lakeland RV Ranch in Farmersville, Texas, has risen from the ashes of a rundown park to clinch the coveted “Park of the Year” award from the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO). 

“It’s been an incredible journey,” Michele said after receiving the award in the small/medium-size park category during TACO’s annual Spring Meeting and Convention in Conroe, Texas.

The ranch’s journey, set in motion by the late Ron Conrey and his widow, Michele, paints an inspiring picture for private campground owners and operators across the Lone Star State.

The state of the 8-acre park at its inception in 2011 was far from appealing. The sight that met the Conreys was a blind donkey, a camel, and eight RVs stuck in mud. The harsh reality of the park’s dismal condition was emotionally overwhelming for Michele.

Photo courtesy of Lakeland RV Ranch

Nevertheless, Michele, alongside her new friend, Allen Forsythe, rose to the challenge with unwavering resolve. Over a decade, the duo transformed the once-neglected plot into an 85-site campground that has become a preferred destination for RV enthusiasts.

The path to success was not without obstacles. The park had to be cleared of its non-paying residents and cleaned up, with the initial revenue stemming solely from Michele’s earnings at CVS Pharmacy. 

Even as they managed to spruce up an A-frame building on the property, tragedy struck; the building caught fire and was destroyed, and soon after, Ron passed away.

The story, however, didn’t end there. 

Michele, with the support of Forsythe, whose construction experience proved invaluable, continued the revitalization efforts. They started with building a new house cum office on the property. Their efforts bore fruit, leading to the addition of 16 pull-through sites in 2014, followed by three more, renting mostly to traveling workers.

The success of the park’s transformation was amplified by strategic expansion. Michele purchased additional land in 2018 and 2021, bringing the park’s total size to 21 acres. They added more pull-through sites, reaching a total of 85, and even created a dog park with an agility course. 

Fresh eggs are also now available for guests as the ranch houses more animals, including over 50 ducks, chickens, and guineas.

The park’s offerings were further diversified with the introduction of the Boondock Music Festival in 2017, which has since become an annual event.

Michele credits part of their success to the knowledge gained from TACO’s annual conventions and the support of her son, Jon Conrey, whose dedication to customer service has been highlighted in numerous online reviews. 

Today, the transformed Lakeland RV Ranch stands as a testament to Michele and Allen’s relentless pursuit of their vision, making it not just an award-winning park, but an inspiring example for private campground owners and operators.

Based in Crowley, TACO is a 51-year-old trade association that represents over 420 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across Texas. Its recognition of Lakeland RV Ranch underlines the park’s successful transformation and its contribution to the state’s thriving campground industry.

Featured image from Lakeland RV Ranch.


Send this to a friend
Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Lakeland RV Ranch: A Transformation Story Crowned by the ‘Park of the Year’ Award! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/texas/lakeland-rv-ranch-a-transformation-story-crowned-by-the-park-of-the-year-award/