THOMASVILLE -- Stewart Park Homes is surviving in a tough business environment because it has built a solid reputation. Business has been so strong that its work force has grown from three to 75 since the company opened in December 2002.

"I credit our success to the way we market our product," Stewart Park Homes owner Lucas Stewart said. "If you build it right, word travels fast."

Stewart Park Homes builds park model RVs -- recreation vehicles primarily designed as temporary living quarters for camping or seasonal use -- and commercial modular buildings.

"I've seen about five businesses like this go (under) this year," Stewart said. "It's not as much of a hot market as it is a niche market."

The park models, built on a single chassis, come in many models equally suitable for placement on a beach or in the mountains.

"We ship them all over the country," Stewart said. "We ship as many to Washington state as we do here in Georgia."

Stewart has been building buildings for recreation for 10 years. He worked with his father at Stewart Lodges until 18 months ago.

"Our buildings are called destination campers," Stewart said. "They started back in the 1980s with snowbirds -- people who live up north. They migrated down to Georgia and Florida in the winter when their climate up north got so harsh.

"Rather than stay in an 8-foot wide RV, they were looking for something more spacious. Park models are 12 feet wide."

Stewart Park Homes has about 25 floor plans for its park models. All are 400 square feet. The commercial buildings can be built to custom specifications.

"We turn out about three park models a day," Stewart said. "It takes one week to finish a home on our eight-station assembly line."

The assembly line is at 219 Industrial Blvd., the former Canada Dry building that recently underwent a major renovation. About 3,000 square feet of office space was added to a building that contains 30,000 square feet for manufacturing.

The price range for park models is $15,000-$35,000. Displays are available for viewing at the production facility or at a sales center at 4928 McMillan Road near Sugar Mill RV Park.

Stewart Park Homes has financing plans available.

"We've put a lot of work into that," Stewart said. "We've got three companies we work with primarily. We can get payments as low as $150 a month."

For more information, call 1-800-313-1099.







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