During the COVID-19 pandemic, recreational vehicle and boat sales reached an all-time high. Now the need to park these recreational assets has expanded a niche sector in the commercial real estate industry, and industry titan Gary Wojtaszek is seizing the opportunity. Wojtaszek, who built the data center company CyrusOne before recently selling it for almost $15 billion, told the Wall Street Journal that RV storage is essentially unchartered territory in the property industry. “It’s not a really well-run, professionally managed industry,” Mr. Wojtaszek said. “It’s just mom-and-pop operators.”
Wojtaszek and his financial partner, the private equity firm Centerbridge Partners LP, founded RecNation RV & Boat Storage (formerly Recreational Realty LLC). The company maintains RV fleets, boats, all-terrain vehicles, and other recreational vehicles in 31 locations across the Sunbelt, with 10 additional deals pending.
Though there’s opportunity for growth in RV storage, outside variables like untamed inflation and mounting gas prices pose a serious hindrance to sales, despite the fact that supply chain issues for RV manufacturing are beginning to ease. Even so, Wojtaszek foresees a sticky need for RVs. He pointed out that other trends, like the increasing efforts by homeowner associations in some communities to forbid RVs and boats from being kept in front of homes, are advantageous for the storage industry. Wojtaszek currently has a reputation for building one empire after another, so his venture into RV storage is its own green flag for the sector.