COBURG, OR-Monaco Coach Corp., the publicly traded manufacturer of luxury diesel RVs is ramping up production of its fledgling luxury resort business. The locally based company has two properties up and running and three under development. The plan is to have resorts under development at all times for the foreseeable future.

“We’re looking for 40- to 80-acre sites in destination markets,” Monaco executive Craig Wanichek tells “It would be nice to have one, two, maybe three in production at all times so that there’s not a gap in sales.”

Already up and running are the Motorcoach Country Club in Indio, CA and the Las Vegas Signature Resort. The Indio property has an 18-hole golf course, two miles of waterways and a full clubhouse with full dining and athletic facilities. The Las Vegas property has an executive golf course, swimming pool, and tennis and spa facilities. Each property has approximately 400 RV sites. Development of a fifth property in La Quinta, CA, has been delayed due to a long-than-expected entitlement process.

As of March, the company had sold 756 of the 807 available lots at the two properties, according to SEC filings. Lot prices for the remaining unsold lots at the two developed resorts range from $114,900 to $329,900.

Motorcoach Resort at Bay Harbor will include 125 terraced class A motorcoach sites, a clubhouse, a health club, ponds, walking paths, tennis court, putting green, and an outdoor pool and spa. The Naples property will have most of the aforementioned amenities plus direct navigable water access to the Gulf of Mexico. Both properties are situated near golf courses.

Monaco acquired the land for the La Quinta property in 2006, paying $16.3 million for 80 acres. In spring 2007, it paid $8 million for the 20-acre property in Naples. It acquired the Bay Harbor property earlier this year, paying $2.8 million for 25 acres. Monaco hopes to have lots ready for sale in Bay Harbor and Naples sometime during the third quarter. Sales at the La Quinta property are slated to begin in the fourth quarter.

Monaco’s resort initiative is being led by Monaco’s president of resort operations since 2004, E. Randall Henderson Jr. Prior to Monaco, Henderson served as the president for Outdoor Resorts of America. “There is great opportunity in the luxury RV resort segment and we are moving forward aggressively…,” says Henderson, who has developed 16 RV resorts in eight states over the past 25 years.

The company reported nearly $32 million in lot sales in 2006 and just over $12 million in sales in 2007. In 2006, the resort unit’s operating profit was 26.9% or $8.6 million; in 2007, the segment’s operating profit was negative $405,000. In the first quarter of 2008, net sales decreased by two-thirds to $2.4 million from $7.2 million in the same 2007 period and its operating profit was negative $747,000.

The declining results were attributed in part to having fewer lots available for sale as the two developed properties near the end of their sales cycle—the gap in sales Wanichek says the company hopes to avoid in the future. As inventories shrink, the company says there is greater competition within the company’s own resorts from owners’ re-sales. To combat that, the company added amenities to certain lots and discounted other lots.

“In addition, recent softening in overall real estate values and the declining sales in the RV market have had an impact on the demand for resort lots,” the company states in its latest quarterly report. “The Company still expects that while sales may remain slower than expected, the need for luxury resort locations within the industry will remain strong.”

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