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Cranbrook Prepares for Reopening of Mount Baker RV Campground with New Operator

The City of Cranbrook (British Columbia, Canada) announced plans to reopen Mount Baker RV Campground on May 1, 2024, extending through to Thanksgiving. 

image by Mount Baker RV Campground via facebook.com/cityofcranbrook

This development comes after the city secured a local operator for the season following a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process completed in early March.

The contract for the campground management was awarded to Gavin Thomas. Under his management, the campground will operate with limited services, featuring power hookups, a wash building, and a sani-dump facility. Notably, individual camping pad water or sewer services will not be provided.

As part of the agreement, the City of Cranbrook will receive 10% of the annual site rental revenue generated by the campground. This arrangement is seen as a move to boost the local economy by encouraging tourism and supporting nearby businesses.

The campground will impose a seven-day limit on stays, prohibiting back-to-back bookings. This policy is designed to encourage turnover and maximize the number of visitors experiencing Cranbrook and its offerings.

image by Mount Baker RV Campground via facebook.com/cityofcranbrook

Gavin Thomas expressed his enthusiasm about the project, saying, “We were excited to hear that the City was giving the RV campground another chance and we appreciate the opportunity to play a role in its revival. The RV campground is a great amenity to the downtown area and a helpful resource to improve tourism. We are very much looking forward to this partnership with the City.”

Mayor Wayne Price echoed Thomas’s sentiments, expressing gratitude for the community’s support and Thomas’s willingness to lead the project. “On behalf of Council, I would like to thank Mr. Thomas for his proposal to open and operate the Mount Baker RV Campground. We would also like to thank members of the community for advocating to re-open the campground for short-term stays. I am confident that the campground will meet the needs of visitors to the City and provide a positive benefit to local business.”

The need for a new operator arose after the previous manager ceased operations at the end of 2020, prompting the city to evaluate the future of the site. Subsequent assessments revealed that maintaining the campground as a full-service facility would require extensive repairs costing between CA$80,000 and CA$1.3 million.

In response to these financial challenges, the City Council, in January 2021, decided against operating the campground for that season and redirected their focus away from major campground repairs as they were not prioritized in the Council’s strategic planning or budgeting at the time.

The landscape of the area underwent changes in July 2022 when the Council approved the subdivision of the Baker Park lands. This decision created distinct parcels for different uses, integrating part of the campground area into the expanded park and adjusting the available space for the campground accordingly.

As per the city’s release, the opportunity for a low-cost revival emerged in late 2023 during road work on 2nd Street South. During these infrastructure upgrades, an unused watermain stub was activated, providing a cost-effective solution to restore water service to the campground’s essential facilities for approximately CA$20,000.

The restored services will now support the campground’s operations as a no-service site on a year-to-year basis until a long-term plan is established. This approach provides a sustainable path forward, balancing cost with functionality.

In anticipation of the reopening, the City is setting up an online booking system and a dedicated phone line for reservations, enhancing accessibility for potential visitors. These new systems are scheduled to be operational by the opening date, ensuring a smooth start to the camping season at Mount Baker RV Campground.

Featured image by Mount Baker RV Campground via facebook.com/cityofcranbrook

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April 24, 2024 11:51 am

Super excited about the Mount Baker RV Campground reopening managed by Gavin Thomas. It’s gonna be an awesome spot to explore Cranbrook’s beauty. Love how the community’s support is making this happen. Can’t wait to see this gem shine as a tourism hotspot!


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Cranbrook Prepares for Reopening of Mount Baker RV Campground with New Operator! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/canada/british-columbia/cranbrook-prepares-for-reopening-of-mount-baker-rv-campground-with-new-operator/