We stay here for free. I told you in yesterday’s post I’d explain that. It isn’t exactly free. Nothing in life is free. We do, however, pay NO daily fees while we stay here….for up to 90 days per year, every year. No fees of any kind.
Pismo Coast Village is a corporation owned by shareholders. We are shareholders. You can buy a share of “stock” which will then permit you to stay here for 45 days per calendar year, at no charge. According to the corporate bylaws you may purchase up to 3 shares of stock and you get 45 days…FREE….with each share. We own 2 shares, so we can stay here for 90 days each year.
This corporation is governed by a Board of Directors elected by shareholders and served by shareholders. The bylaws also limit the number of shares that can be issued. I think the number is 1,800. That way the shares cannot be over-sold. The shares are completely transferable or you can sell them at any time. For instance, our first share was purchased by Bruce’s parents back in the early 1980’s and we inherited it when they passed away. Cost to us: nothing. In 2008, we purchased the second share. We can will these shares to our kids or grandkids and (if they were campers) they could come here for the rest of their lives without paying a single cent for that privilege.
If, or when, you decide to sell a share it will sell for the going rate. We learned that, since 1974 when the park opened, the shares have only decreased in price once. Every year, other than the one, the price of a share has increased over what it was purchased at.
Even though this operates like a timeshare, there are no dues, no maintenance fees, no charges of ANY kind. We have never paid out one penny other than the purchase price for our one share. How do they do that? The park is not a members only park. Pismo Coast Village is open to the general public. Half of the 400 sites are reserved for shareholders and the other half are available to the general public…and they can also make reservations just like shareholders. So, the money that comes in from the general public camp fees, plus the money taken in from the store, laundry, arcade, RV storage fees, propane sales, restaurant and bike rentals covers operational expenses. Shareholders pay for things they buy here just like the general public campers do.
This resort sits on 26 acres of oceanfront property developed for the use and enjoyment of its shareholders. The resort is owned, not leased, by shareholders and is free and clear of mortgages.
So, here we are now in 2010. We have 2 shares in the corporation, only one of which we had to pay for. If we come here, great….we stay for free. If we do not come here, that’s fine too. There is no penalty for unused days but you cannot roll them over to the next year. If you don’t use them, you lose them. We went for about 7 years where we didn’t come here at all. No problem with that and no charges, dues or assessments either.
We do not expect to make a “killing” as an investment. Our thoughts are, if we get the money back that we paid for our share in 2008, that’s good enough. So far in checking on the current sales price of a share, we are up about $4,000. Of course, since we didn’t have to pay for the first share that will up the profit margin when we someday sell the 2 shares. We aren’t planning that for anytime in the near future. Even with the current recession, the share price has increased.
The average daily rate for non-prime time days (based on small increase for 2011) will be $44.00. So if we multiply that daily rate times our 90 days, we save $3,960.00 per year, not including the added city tax and lodging tax. That takes a chunk off of our yearly rent budget total.
The most important factor though, is that we really love it here. We enjoy the town of Pismo Beach and we enjoy the resort. We don’t snowbird down in the desert like most folks, we would rather come here for January and February. The weather is still good and the resort isn’t very crowded then either. It is a terrific place to hang out instead of those cold winter months we get up in Washington.
In 2008 we looked into buying a deeded lot down in Palm Springs. We didn’t think we wanted to be a desert snowbird, but wanted to explore an opportunity. We looked at a lovely park there that had lots for sale. The cost of those lots began at $49,900 (in 2008). Then we would have to improve our lot with landscaping, parking pad, etc. Some lots were done with minimal upgrades (a cost of approx. $5,000) and some lots were finished with fountains, storage sheds, extensive brick and patio work, etc. Plus, we would have a $200.00 per month (I think that was the figure) assessment. By paying out that much money, all combined, I know we would feel obligated by that investment to go there every year. Here at Pismo Coast Village we own nothing except that piece of paper as a shareholder…no deeded lot. That is what we decided we preferred. If we choose not to come here for a whole year, we don’t feel any pressure. Our investment here was a lot less than that lot down in Palm Springs, even though it was a beautiful resort park.
I hope this explains everything to your satisfaction. If you have any further questions, just ask! This certainly isn’t the type of park/resort/campground everyone prefers. It does work beautifully for our way of fulltiming. You have to live somewhere, right?
Until next time…..so long for now!