The executive of the Bathurst Marina in Bathurst, New Brunswick, hopes a recreational vehicle park will make the facility vibrant again.
Paul Godin, president of the board of directors, said plans are under way to construct a 25-unit RV park next to the marina parking lot. He said it is hoped this amenity will reverse a recent trend of slumping marina profits, according to Bathurst’s The Northern Light.
“We had to find a way to make the marina profitable again. So we looked at the land and figured we could clean it up and make an RV park,” said Godin.
“We figure if we run a 25-site park for visitors only that we could kind of keep the tourists in Bathurst. This will allow us to more than break even because if this thing goes through, we’re going to start putting every floating device in the water again that was idle for the past two years like Odebay, the pontoons, the water taxi and excursions that we used to do.”
He said the project will cost approximately $100,000. He noted that infrastructure such as water and sewerage along with a dumping station is required.
Mayor Stephen Brunet said the city is working with the marina board on this project to obtain the necessary funds.
“The marina is a very important part of our infrastructure for tourism and the quality of life for citizens of Bathurst,” he said. “So, I’m really pleased the new board is becoming very proactive and working at different ideas to help their bottom line. There’s less boaters, I guess, and they still have the same expenses to keep the thing open so the RV park would be a great idea.”
Money for a dumping station was scheduled to be discussed at last night’s regular monthly meeting of Bathurst City Council.
“We already have some money put aside in the budget, this current budget, for a dumping station,” said Brunet last week. “Council was trying to decide where the best place for the dumping station would be. If this would help spurn the project on down at the marina, council has to make a decision that they could this money on that and have to put some more in for down town.”
For a number of years, the city of Bathurst has been looking at locations in the city to establish an RV park to keep tourists in the city. Youghall Beach was looked at but the mayor said that didn’t fly because it’s a designated protected area. A few years ago, land located behind the House of Lee in downtown Bathurst was pegged for an RV park at but environmental regulations due to the proximity to the Bathurst Harbour has hindered progress there as well.
Brunet said if the city pursues an RV park at the marina, that won’t necessarily mean another RV park in downtown Bathurst is out of the question.
The mayor added that there should be enough people coming into the region to support two RV parks.
Meanwhile, the marina board has already started groundwork for an RV site by planting trees next to the marina parking lot. On Sept. 23, 21 red maple and spruce trees were planted by Tree Canada, a non-profit organization which promotes planing of trees in urban area. Since 1999, Tree Canada in partnership with Home Hardware have planted more than 15,000 trees across the country.