The Acadiana Fairgrounds Commission presented a budget that anticipates about half of earlier estimates for projected revenue and one that leaves out paying notes on the $5 million bonded out to pay for the Cajun RVera, the Daily Iberian of New Iberia, La., reported.
Although coming down 39% from the original 2014 plan, the $1,579,300 budget still represents an increase in both expenditures and revenues projected for the amended 2014 budget.
The bulk of the projected 2015 revenues comes from concessions ($336,000), entry fees ($232,000), recreational vehicle rental spaces ($526,000) and golf cart rentals ($40,000). Those numbers are down between 29.9% and 62% from the original 2014 plan, which certified public accountant Christie Dunn called “a shot in the dark. As of this year, we’re nowhere near that number,” Dunn said, referring specifically to concessions.
“This (the 2015 budget) is more in line.”
Dunn said there was no line item indicating a self-funded bond payment toward the $5 million bonded out for the project because the income wasn’t yet there.
“We didn’t have the revenue stream to support it, so we didn’t budget it,” she said. “I can’t say where that funding source would be right now.”
The Parish Council’s plan has been to foot the bond payments until the RVera is more self-sustaining. Parish government has already funded around $2.5 million extra for additions to the project.
Dunn said she believes the park will become more profitable as it generates publicity and becomes known.
Acadiana Fairgrounds Commission Director Tim Guidry said RVera is definitely competitive with both state parks and other RV parks. “We’re cheaper than most of the RV parks compared to what we have,” Guidry said.
Guidry also said reviews from customers have been positive thus far and “if the sites had been built properly,” they would be even more so. He was referring to the bare shoulders from the blacktop roads to the concrete sites and the grassy areas in between that get muddy when it rains. “That’s what we hear the most,” he said. “Get your sites fixed and we’ll come back.”
The Parish Council has appropriated $275,000 to engineer and bid out that project.
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