In this edition we will be providing a campground review of Mesa Regal RV Resort which is a 55+ resort located in Mesa, AZ.
This was our first time visiting the resort and we were there for a whopping 5 months. Now, our stated goal in our campground review series is to give an unbiased and unemotional opinion. We want our readers to have information so they can make an informed decision before spending hard earned money booking a site.
In the interest of transparency it should be known that we work-camped at this resort for the duration of our stay. The experience was less than ideal, to put it mildly, and not something we would recommend to our fellow travelers. We have documented that experience here if you would like to read more about it.
In this campground review we will attempt to take a step back from our work-camping experience and focus solely on the resort.
Mesa Regal RV Resort is located just off highway 60 in Mesa, AZ. Since the resort is located in the middle of the city everything you could possibly want or need is close by. Of course city living is a little noisy and comes with other drawbacks like traffic and congestion. But this is a known factor when you book a stay at a resort in the city.
Finding the resort is pretty easy as it’s not too far off the highway. The entrance leads you down a long drive path up to the main building. This road is decent, but it’s narrow as are all of the roads inside the resort. When driving through be aware of cars, golf carts and pedestrian traffic along the way. For some reason when people are inside the gates all logic seems to go out the window. People move around oblivious to their surroundings and will walk or ride right in from of vehicles. They will also leave their golf carts and cars in drive paths so be cautious.
Once you get checked in you will be escorted to your site. Again caution is warranted as you drive through. Once at your site you will be left to your own devices on getting backed in comfortably. This can be tricky because of the narrow streets and you might need to ask people to move their cars or golf carts out of the way. Also, be very aware of the fruit trees and other obstacles while back in. They will do some heavy damage if you scrape alongside of them.
Mesa Regal RV Resort has a lot to offer travelers. Whether you looking for a place to ride out the winter months or looking to have a resort style experience there are an abundance of options for guests. It wouldn’t be over the top to say that Mesa Regal RV Resort has an overwhelming number things to do. But, that wide variety of options and experiences come at a very steep price.
Campsites – The resort is huge and has about 2,200 sites. However, most of the site are filled with park models. This leaves only about 10% available for actual RV travelers to fill during the season.
All of the sites are back-in with gravel and have a concrete patio and full hook-ups. Since the resort is like a small city there really isn’t a preferred site location. We were on the far end of the resort on 22nd street and people said that was the best area to be in. Other work-campers were over on 5th street and they were happy with that location also. So it really doesn’t seem to matter much.
Common Areas – The resort is dated in some areas, but it’s clean and well maintained. They have a full maintenance crew that works around the clock to keep it looking good. The grass is cut and the trees are trimmed back. They are constantly working on the grounds and everything kept clean. The maintenance folks have a lot on their plates!
Mesa Regal RV Resort has pretty much everything you could possibly imagine on site. From multiple pools & spas, a gym, a grill and even a full service post office on site. There is no shortage of things on site to make the experience good. And we haven’t even mentioned the activities yet!
The resort has three dog parks, once of which has an agility course. However, this is where we will insert a word of caution. Many of the park model residents at the resort are not good dog owners. Dog fights were a daily, if not multiple times per day, occurrence. Many people are either unaware of or don’t care about their dogs behavior.
After our dog was attacked in the dog park we stopped going to them. But that didn’t matter because he was also attacked from behind as we walked down one of the streets. The people just don’t watch their dogs at this resort and that is a huge negative. If you are visiting this resort with a pet you must be very vigilant!
As we said the resort is kept clean by the army of maintenance folks and they do a good job. It’s not easy to keep up with because of the size of the resort and the number of people and activities going on.
There are some issues that should be addressed however. First would be the dumpster area on the far west side the park. The maintenance people do their best to keep it clean, but it’s like pouring water into the ocean. For some reason the park model residents use this area as a dumping ground for pretty much everything. It wasn’t unusual to see furniture, appliances, siding, roofing materials and other garbage strewn across the area.
This area then becomes a picking spot as other residents come in and sift through the disposed items. One mans trash is another mans treasure, right! The problem is it just gets worse throughout the day and the poor maintenance people are stuck cleaning up the mess. Visually it’s unbecoming of a “5 star resort” to have guests see this mess on a daily basis.
The resort management tried to address the problem several times, but people just don’t listen so something has to give.
Another issue is the level of entitlement from some of the residents. Many feel that paying their fees gives them permission to not pick up after their dogs. Several folks even told us that maintenance should pick up after their dogs because they pay a lot of money to the resort. That’s some logic! So don’t be surprised it you run across some dog poop that someone just left sitting on the ground.
At Mesa Regal RV Resort the customer experience is what you make of it. There are an unlimited number of activities, groups, sports and gatherings. Guests can sit by the pool all day and enjoy drinks while listening to the live bands or they can do something like sign up to do woodwork in the wood shop. It’s that diverse.
As for sports they have everything including tennis, pickle-ball, bocci ball, shuffleboard and even a small driving range. Or if you’re the creative type you can enjoy doing things like stained glass, ceramics, work working, lapidary or just get together for a music jam with other musicians.
This stuff is really where the resort earns it’s value if you are willing to get out and do it.
With all of these activities and things to enjoy you’re probably thinking this place must cost a fortune! Well not exactly a fortune, but it does cost a pretty penny.
The resort has a fall special that will run guests about $760 per month, which is a pretty fair price for a monthly stay. However, once you get to January the prime rate kicks in and the cost skyrockets to a whopping $1,460 per month! Sure you get all of the amenities, but wow!
Wait, there’s more. All of the electric is metered so make sure to plan for that additional expense depending on your usage. As if that’s not enough, they add a $20 per month fee just for having the electric on top of the usage. Hold on we are not done! The resort has regular city trash pick up which is going to run you another $20 per month. Then they tack on yet another $10 fee for the sewer system.
That’s a minimum of $50 per month added to the cost of your bill before the metered electric is even considered! So you are looking at over $1,500 per month at a minimum during peak season.
This isn’t to say it’s not worth it because resort guests do get a lot for their money. Everyone has their own budget and set of standards. In fact, we paid nearly the same price for our spot in Orange Beach, Alabama and didn’t have even a quarter of the amenities Mesa Regal RV Resort has to offer. But, we did have a beach close by and nice quiet resort full of trees as opposed to looking of 2000 park models.
In order to justify the cost of the resort guests need to make sure to take advantage of the amenities. Otherwise it just isn’t worth the expense. Unfortunately, even that could cost you more money on top of what you have already paid.
A view expressed to us many times over the months is that Mesa Regal RV Resort tends to nickel and dime their guests at every turn. This view was expressed to us by both RV travelers and park model residents. Some of whom have been coming to the resort for years and in some cases decades. From what we saw and experienced it’s hard to not agree with that conclusion.
Our reason for staying at the resort was more than just finding a warm place to pass the winter months. However, because of our experience we are able to give a little more information than a regular guest. In our case they didn’t disclose the additional fees upfront which really irked us. I would hope they would be more up front with regular guests, but if not, now you know.
We actually enjoyed the resort for the most part. We met some good people, made some new friends and enjoyed a lot of the surrounding area. If you’re 55+, like to be active and have money to burn this is a great place to spend the fall and winter months. It’s impossible to be bored and you will certainly meet a lot of people to share the experience with. The resort can be a lot of fun if you’re into what they offer and are willing to engage in the festivities.
If we were to ever return it would only be as a guest so we could try and enjoy the resort more than was possible this time around. The cost would be a barrier as it’s just too much to begin with. And most likely that’s just the start because there will be even more expenses on top of the base fees for the events and activities.
The downside to all of the fun and amenities offered by the resort are twofold. First is the strong sense of entitlement from the regular park model guests. Second is the nickel and dimeing from the resort that perpetuates this problem. We get that people pay a lot of money, but it’s also a choice to do so. There are those that feel they constantly have to let it be know how much money they pay to the resort and it’s incredibly off-putting.
The location and proximity to all things shopping is very convenient and what you would expect living in the city. However, because this is a city resort that is mostly park models it can feel more like you are just parking in a lot than camping at a resort.
Outside of the resort there are some nice places to go such as the nature preserve. If you’re adventurous you can make it to Sedona or the Grand Canyon and back in a day. It might be a long day, but you can do it.
Once of the reasons we chose this location is because we are huge baseball fans. What better place to be for spring training! Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out for us this time because of of our work schedules. Huge bummer!! However, if you are a guest at the resort you are just down the road from a few stadiums and can enjoy many games.
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