‘It’s a big RVing experience’: Carolina Pines reports strong numbers at grand opening

With a water park, mini-golf, fine Southern dining, Carolina cottages and more on site, Tom O’Branovic said the facilities at new RV park Carolina Pines are second to none.

Still, the Senior Vice President of Sun Communities, the park’s parent company, said he’s heard the most praise coming in reference to the staff and overall experience they provide.

“(The facilities) are … really tremendous. But it’s really our staff that makes the difference,” he said Tuesday during a grand opening that included a champagne-adorned ribbon cutting, competitions and giveaways. “We’ve had so much great feedback from that. That’s our No. 1 priority. Of course you need clean, neat facilities, but you also need a great experience and they do a great job with that.”

Those sentiments have developed over nearly four months of business, as the RV park opened July 1 at 5800 S.C. Highway 90 in Conway. The park currently has about 450 sites open, with the majority of them for RVs and others that house cottages, as plans call for a total of 841 spots to be completed in 2020.

“It’s going very well,” O’Branovic said of business, noting the hope is to have the final phase completed by Memorial Day 2020. “We’re even probably overly surprised at the reception we’ve received on reservations all the way from the RV sites going to the end of the year to our vacation rentals.”

O’Branovic said weekends throughout the summer were completely booked while weekdays were usually about 80 percent filled up. The park is taking reservations for the summer of 2020.

“If you want to get in during the peak time of the summer, the earlier the better because those will go fast and they do sell out,” O’Branovic said.

Scott IIams of Charleston, SC with sons Wesson and Waylon, skip rocks in a pond at Carolina Pines RV resort. JASON LEE jlee@thesunnews.com

As the calendar has shifted to fall, O’Branovic said business has remained steady — albeit not as busy as summer, as expected — with people booking to enjoy Halloween and other fall-themed amenities, one-of-a-kind experiences that shift along with the seasons. Further into the year he expects Snowbirds to start filing in.

“As soon as July 1 hit, the reception was tremendous. We’re hoping to exceed expectations by the end of the year,” he said.

O’Branovic expects business to fluctuate between 30 percent — during the slower months — and 100 percent capacity throughout the year. And while the park offers some traditional RV amenities, it also includes shuttle access to a private beach club, Carolina Pines Beach Club, located near North Myrtle Beach.

“It’s a big RVing experience,” O’Branovic said. “It’s trending across the country.”

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the name of the senior vice president of Sun Communities.

David Wetzel serves in both editor and reporter roles for The Sun News. An award-winning journalist, he has reported on all types of news, sports and features stories in over a decade as a member of the staff. Wetzel has won awards for sports column, feature and headline writing.