The brand itself is only about a year old, but business owners Mike and Denise Werner bring decades of experience to RV Inn Style Resorts
It has been almost a year since the new sign went up outside of the Clark County Amphitheater, noting the venue’s latest title sponsor, and official name.
RV Inn Style Resorts is a relatively new brand in the Northwest, but only if you consider the name only.
“It was 40 years in the making, but we unearthed it about a year ago, the brand itself,” said Mike Werner, co-owner. “We’ve been here the whole time, just working our buttts off. People ask, ‘Where’d you come from?’ We’ve been here the whole time.”
Here would be Clark County.
Mike and Denise met each other at Cascade Middle School, began dating when they were sophomores at Evergreen High School, graduated in the Class of 1982, got married a year later, and since then they have been building their lives together.
Family and business.
Business and family.
So just what is RV Inn Style Resorts? Gotta go back decades for the bigger picture.
Mike became one of the youngest truck drivers in the region with his Commercial Driver’s License at the age of 21.
“When I got my CDL, I was the most excited kid on the whole planet,” Mike said. “Oh my gosh, this is it. I loved to drive trucks. I really did. It was a big responsibility. I had the public’s safety in my hands. But I was comfortable. I probably drove more than a million miles.”
A few years later, he and Denise bought their own truck. Then another. Soon, there would be more. Mike Werner Trucking Inc. was born. (Today, Mike laughs at himself for the lack of creativity for the name of his company.) Partners in marriage, they were always partners in business, too.
That teamwork excelled, as did Mike and Denise’s professionalism. Soon, they acquired contract after contract with large companies. They were transporting hazardous materials, as well.
Eventually, the stress associated with that workload became overwhelming. Through the years, Mike and Denise had been purchasing real estate, too. That included the purchase of parks for manufactured homes.
In 2008, they sold the trucking company and went full time into property management and real estate.
A few years ago, they had an opportunity to buy Vancouver RV Park.
“I fell in love with the business,” Mike said. “I saw a need. RV and manufactured home parks are affordable living. Just because you choose to live in an RV doesn’t mean you have to live bad. We can have beautiful neighborhoods for RVs. It’s a viable option.”
Mike and Denise started buying up more RV properties. Some are in resort areas, near lakes, for example. Others are in urban areas, used mostly for long-term home bases for the RV user.
“We started growing from there. From that point, Mike wanted to incorporate. He had a vision,” Denise said.
With colored pencils and a few drawings on sticky notes, they came up with the colors and the name.
“There are two kinds of categories. The lake resorts and the in-town type RV parks for more permanent livable situations,” Mike said. “With the full-time RVers, they have sold their homes, they buy a beautiful RV, pocket the rest of the money, and live the rest of their lives on it.”
If those customers come to an RV Inn Style Resorts property, they will have their needs met.
“When you pull into our resorts, you can have a fire at night. We’ve got a full, furnished store for anything you’re looking for. And we’ve got fun,” Denise said.
At the resort sites, there are cabins and tiny homes. There are places for large gatherings, such weddings or reunions. The resorts also have summer time fun like movie nights and treasure hunts for children. Squatchy the Sasquatch, the company’s mascot, just might pay a visit, too.
Plus, there are the necessities for RV life.
Breakers. Sewer dump facilities. Water. Internet/TV.
“When you pull in your RV, just plug in,” Mike said.
As of this week, there are 12 locations throughout the Northwest. RV Inn Style Resorts has broken ground, or will be breaking ground, on four new sites in the coming weeks, including one in Woodland and two more parks in Clark County.
RV Inn Style Resorts has 40 employees based at its headquarters in Vancouver. The company also contracts out maintenance, landscaping, plumbers, electricians from small businesses near each of its locations.
“Our parks are gated parks, extremely well maintained parks,” Mike said. “We put a lot of money back into our real estate. We put a lot back into the properties.”
The sites are not supposed to be just a place to park.
“It’s about treating people right, giving them respect and quality,” Mike said. “When you come to our resorts, we want to be different. We want to make your experience fun and professional.”
As the brand grows, so does its visibility. For the next 10 years, RV Inn Style Resorts has the naming rights for the amphitheater.
Mike and Denise used to attend concerts there and loved the facility. Now, that facility is the RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater. It is a Clark County destination, with the naming rights from a company that is all about Clark County.
“To me, it was a huge accomplishment to be able to do that,” Mike said of the amphitheater deal. “We’re really into community. I’m a big advocate for small business.”
Plus, he wanted to show young, local entrepreneurs that big things are possible. He and Denise appreciate all they have worked for, starting out so young in the 1980s.
“I’m a big advocate for teaching kids they can instead of they can’t,” he said. “It’s important to me that I make a difference in our community.”
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