Previously county-owned Echo Lake Family Campground (Alberta, Canada) was sold for CA$255,000 on April 1.
According to a report, the 55-acre property, once owned by Westlock County, was acquired by Diverse Bridges, a local construction company co-owned by Adam Esch.
“The county has owned the campground for a number of years, somewhere during the budget process, it was suggested that the county might want to look at disposing of the property,” said county interim CAO Pat Vincent.
Last fall, the staff promoted the property and received a couple of inquiries and an offer. The original offer was rejected, and while the property was on the market for several months, the process progressed quickly.
“We received a second offer for it, which met all of the conditions that had been set out by council, so we entered into an agreement to sell the property to the party that expressed interest,” Vincent added.
Echo Lake Family Campground is situated on the county’s east side, just east of Vimy. Vincent identified various reasons for selling the property, including the cost of running the smaller campground.
“I think the time and effort that was being extended by the county staff in looking after the operation and maintenance of it, was part of the contributing factors for the decision to look at selling the property,” he said.
Esch was the county’s previous recreation coordinator and is familiar with the campground and the surrounding land. The campground was purchased believing it was a good investment, and they plan to maintain it as a place for recreation for families to enjoy.
They have already started planning some changes and improvements to the campground.
One of the changes involves increasing the number of available RV sites from 12 to 40 this year.
“We do plan expanding that number up to 40 this year. There’s more room to expand, and we’ll probably expand next year as well,” said Esch. “We’ve hit the ground running — we are bringing our equipment out there, clearing some snow, and Friday (April 8), we are finalizing where we are putting the extra 28 sites.”
The expansion will include a variety of new amenities and features, including a two-acre off-leash dog park, extra-large RV sites that have added space between RV spots, numerous camping units per site, a fire pit, picnic table and power to each site, which includes multi-plugged powered sites. There would also be wildlife watching areas as well as other spots for recreation for campers.
“We plan on putting in about a kilometer and a half of walking trails on the site,” said Esch. “We’re going to try and put a beach on it as well, we’re just working on approvals with the province for that.”
Vincent said that the county is happy to see the campground sold and remain a local attraction.
“Council and administration are very pleased that we were able to sell the property and that the party that purchased it is familiar with it and that they’re going to continue to operate it as a campground,” said Vincent. “I think it continues to provide a service that hadn’t been provided for at least the last year.”
This story originally appeared on Town and Country Today.