City Council weighs a proposed 49% RV Park increase in 2023

By Richard Uhlhorn

“I think that’s too high,” stated Shari Dietrich at her first in-person City Council meeting during discussions about proposed rate hikes at the Lakeshore RV Park. “They will freak out at that price. I caution you to going that high.”

Councilmember Shari Dietrich weighed in on a proposed 49% RV Park increase in 2023 calling it “too high… People will freak out.”

Dietrich comes from RV rental experience since she and her husband Darren run a RV Rental service. Her other concern was showing loyalty to longtime RV people who have been camping in Chelan for 40 years.

Parks Director Paul Horne replied that the Parks Department values the loyalty of past visitors. “We looked at the competition,” said Horne. He added that amenities like proximity to the lake, downtown and the park make Lakeshore RV Park a tremendous asset for the City. “This is a real gem,” said Horne.

Parks Director Paul Horne brought the proposed rate hikes to City Council for discussion.

Currently, because of the COVID pandemic, RV trends have spiked with many people actually working remotely from their RVs.

“We are proposing a 49 percent increase for 2023,” stated Horne. “We can command that rate if we are a resort destination.”

The Lakeshore RV Park brings in approximatley $40,000 each year in 3% bed taxes. The proposal also requests a new reinvestment fund to help the park stay an attractive asset.

John Olson asked if this was a recommendation of staff. Horne replied that the staff conducted an informal market rate analysis of the RV Park and but felt that the proposed increase was sustainable. “If you think it is too high, we will go with the direction of the Council.”

City Administrator Wade Ferris reminded the Council that they wanted to raise rates. Tim Hollingsworth added that the City has a responsibility “to get what we can.” However, he said that he was squeamish about raising the rates to quickly and suggested a gradual rate increase over two to three years.

Chris Baker felt the proposed rate changes for RVs were ok, but felt that the tent rates were a bit high.

Lakeshore RV Park is so popular with RV owners that it is nearly fully booked nine months in advance. The park operations pull in approximately $40,000 in 3% lodging taxes.

In order to accommodate larger (65 foot) motor homes, the Parks Board recommends the Park setting up a reinvestment fund to help it remain an attractive asset. Needs include:

  • Electrical upgrades;
  • Extension of asphalt pads up to 60 feet, crack sealing and sealcoating of its existing roads;
  • Upgraded wayfinding signage; and
  • Selective tree pruning and tree replacement by arborists.
  • Electrical upgrades;
  • Extension of asphalt pads up to 60 feet, crack sealing and sealcoating of its existing roads;
  • Upgraded wayfinding signage; and
  • Selective tree pruning and tree replacement by arborists.

Another idea si to provide niche glamping or park model rentals which would provide year round appeal.

The proposed 49 percent increase from the 2021 $67 a night to $98 a night in 2023 and $104 in 2024 is considered to still be an attractive price compared to local hotels.

The proposals will continue to be discussed. 2022 is already mostly booked in advance of the upcoming season.

Author: allthingslakechelan

I have been a journalist, photojournalist and reporter in the Lake Chelan Valley since 1988; first with the Wenatchee World, then 15 years at the Lake Chelan Mirror and another 12 years at GoLakeChelan. Currently, I am semi-retired but can't give up the media gig which is why I started All Things Lake Chelan blog. I also have two social media platforms; allthingslakechelan/facebook and lakechelansportsandrecration/facebook. I am also a professional photographer with many credits with major outlets around the world.

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