Parkdean Resorts

Parkdean resorts are currently the largest holiday park operator by several parks in the UK, offering holiday lets and homes for purchase at 67 award-winning holiday parks across the UK. Parkdean is a private limited company headquartered in Gosforth, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and was founded in 2015 after the merger of Parkdean Holidays and Park Resorts. The holiday parks are situated on coastal locations and areas of natural beauty and offer static caravans, chalets, and lodges as well as touring (caravan) and camping pitches and glamping. 

Parkdean Resorts

Parkdean Resorts origins in the UK leisure industry

Parkdean Holidays was formed in 1999 following a £21.4m management buyout of Trecco Bay holiday park in Wales. It was then acquired by Alchemy Partners in 2006 in a deal worth £139.7m and operated 24 parks by the time of the merger.

Park resorts began life in March 2001, when CPBE (Close Brothers Private Equity) backed a David Vaughan-led management buyout team to purchase 12 Haven caravan parks from Bourne Leisure Ltd at the cost of £46m. Park Resorts management team then acquired the business alongside Epiris in July 2013. At the point of the merger, their business had swelled to 48 holiday parks.

Following this, Parkdean purchased Great Yarmouth-based Vauxhall Holiday Park before being purchased by Onyx Corporation, a Canadian private equity investment firm, in a deal worth £1.35bn. Onyx stated it plans to invest £600m across the organisation. 

In the financial reports for the year ending 2019, Parkdean Resorts reported an EBITDA and operating profit of £103.7m (up 7.3% on previous) and £49.5m (up 165.5% on previous) respectively on revenue of £453.2m, up from £432.2m for 2018. During this period, Steve Richards joined the organisation as CEO, succeeding the 20-year tenure of John Waterworth, whilst the company recorded net assets of £1.372bn. 

Parkdean Resorts Holidays are a popular fixture in the UK calendar. 

Parkdean Resorts provides a wide range of accommodations and on-site amenities, including bars, restaurants, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and amusement arcades for use by holiday homeowners and holiday guests. It sold over 598,000 holidays in 2019, of which 80% were less than 4 days. At the height of the summer season, over 6,000 staff are employed across the organisation. A snapshot of sites includes - Parkdean Resorts Newquay, offering perfect beaches in the heart of Cornwall, – Parkdean Resorts Camber Sands, Kent, which has 4 indoor pools, a high ropes course and a nearby zoo - Parkdean Resorts Torquay, which sits next to an adventure park. Torquay was voted the top seaside destination in 2015. And finally, Parkdean Resorts Ty Mawr, which lies in the magnificent foothills of Mount Snowdon.

What do you mean to Parkdean?

An online holiday guest feedback (2020) recorded a score of 8.1 (out of 10), suggesting general customer satisfaction is high. The group's strategic purpose is to deliver inter-generational ‘family, fun and freedom’. Two customer service-specific objectives relate to that specifically – 1) Customer led product innovation 2) The transformation of their traditional homeowner relationship to one of a member service relationship. Both are intended to improve homeowner and holiday visitor's on-park experience. To that end, Parkdean Resorts CEO recently announced an investment of £80m.

Where does your pitch fit in the scale of the Parkdean operation?

Of the over 31,000 available pitches held across Parkdean Resorts parks, 19,884 were owner-occupied holiday homes. The scale of parks is diverse, with the smallest holding only 129 pitches, whilst the largest is home to some 1,934. Each year, approximately 4,300 caravans and lodges are bought and sold, priced between anything from £25,000 for an entry-level caravan to £600,000 for a top-end lodge.

There are specific accessible accommodation possibilities - caravans and lodges, including a hot tub with a hoist at 64 sites in the portfolio. As well as this, all on-site restaurants, bars, entertainment, and WC facilities are wheelchair accessible.

For Dog/pet-friendly homes – The decision is often discretionary with a maximum of 2 dogs. When holidaying, these must be included in your booking, and a supplement is required, owners have different requirements. Assistance dogs are exempt and welcome. (66 sites)

How to keep the family occupied at Parkdean Resorts

As a large family organisation, Parkdean offers an array of free and paid-for activities to suit a wide variety of interests with active, gym and bike, ‘tots’ activities for the 5 and under. Other activities include Cricket, Football, Archery, Interactive trampolining, Laser Quest, an inside climbing wall and VR arcade. Swimming is catered for at over 60 parks, with indoor, and outdoor often standard, although some offer waterslides, and two even provide an approved PADI course to complete. Pool-based activities include aqua jets, Kayaking and stand-up paddleboards. Arts and Crafts, Rope course, outdoor karts and Bear Grylls Survival Academy illustrate the variety of fun things to do across the park infrastructure.

These activities are available at most resorts, bar 6 specifically, although not all activities will be available at every park. Activities and swimming session booking is not essential, but recommended, and can be completed online up to two weeks in advance. 

Parkdean Resorts offer the opportunity to buy a home on all but 6 of their resorts. You can buy new or used static caravans, chalets, or lodges on available sites. As these are specified as holiday home purchases, the terms of individual sites seasonal openings dictate the maximum amount of time you can stay. This ranges from 8-12 months of the year with closure during winter. You cannot live on-site permanently and must show proof of ownership of another residential property when buying a Parkdean holiday home. You can select your on-site pitch and location when purchasing a home, subject to availability.

Parkdean resorts offer 4 levels – comfort, premium, luxury, and excellence of new and used static caravans from manufacturers such as ABI, Carnaby, Prestige Homeseeker, Swift and Willerby. You can let your holiday home through 2 Parkdean Resorts controlled schemes (guaranteed income or Easylet), which require the owner to conform to several requirements and make their home available for a minimum of 10 weeks per year. Back payment is only received at year-end. You can also let your property privately.

Touring and Camping are available at 29 sites and offer a range of pitches to suit all needs, from a simple field to entire hard standing surface, electrical hook-up, water, and grey wastewater disposal.

What are your running costs and legal implications?

Pitch Owner-derived revenue comes in the form of annual pitch licence fees (which increase annually, typically in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI)) and sales of services and insurance, as well as the recharging of utility and local authority costs. Pitch fees will vary depending on location, the park, and the length of the season.

All owners are required to take out insurance, which could be purchased from whomever, but a certificate of proof must be provided. 

Electrical and has costs are metered and paid directly to the park, which offset the costs from suppliers. Some homes use bottled gas, which can be purchased anywhere as long as they conform to resorts standards. Total rates, sewerage and drainage costs can vary. You will also be responsible for local authority charges and general maintenance.

As a Parkdean Resorts holiday homeowner, your individual pitch licence agreement will state the specific time period that your caravan or lodge can be kept on the park. Leases are typically around 20 years.