The newly elected president of the BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association (BCLCA) discussed the paradox of shrinking RV sites in British Columbia amid growing RV ownership during BCLCA’s 64th Annual General Meeting held Nov. 7 in the River Rock Casino resort in Richmond, British Columbia.
President Chris Bower, who also is general manager of Nk’Mip Campground and RV Park in Osoyoos, told members at the annual meeting, “In the past three years there has been a noticeable decrease in the number of RV parks in the province of British Columbia. BCLCA has been tracking the decline and identified 74 parks representing 4,687 campsites that have closed or changed use. This is a decline of 10% of available overnight campsites.”
Bower continued, “RV Parks are disappearing because land values are increasing and creating pressure on campgrounds to sell RV lots for personal use, to redevelop the property for other uses or to sell to developers. The decision to sell or change use is in part due to property taxes outstripping the ability of overnight campsite rate increases to meet revenue needs, and in part due to developers targeting campgrounds located in prime areas to satisfy the needs of a graying population looking for condos.
”At the same time that campsite supply is declining RV demand is increasing. Go RVing Canada report that 7% of Canadian households own an RV. ICBC tells us that there are 120,000 RVs registered in BC and predicts this will grow to 156,000 by 2015. Where are these RVers going to camp?”
Bower said he is pleased that the minister of tourism, sports and the arts understands the gravity of this situation and has created a Joint Industry/Government Working Group on Recreation Vehicle Park Development.
Other directors elected or completing the second year of their term are: Don Mitchell, vice president, campgrounds, Shuswap Lake Motel & Resort, Sorrento; Juliann Sinnott, vice president, lodging, Skylite Motel, Parksville; Jim Humphrey, secretary/treasurer, Beaver Lake Resort, Lake Cowichan; Stan Duckworth, Fort Langley Camping, Fort Langley; Marnie Henne, Springbrook Resort Motel Campground Hostel, Skookumchuck; David Littlejohn, Living Forest Oceanside Campground, Nanaimo; and past presidents Mervin Harvey, Canyon Creek Campground, Hixon; and Warren Burgess, The Pinnacles Suite Hotel, Silver Star.
The BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association is a trade association representing nearly 600 motels, motor inns, resorts, lodges, campgrounds and RV park properties in British Columbia. It assists members through marketing, advocacy and group cost saving benefits.