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Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby fluffy » Sep 22nd, 2017, 7:48 am

It was mentioned in the Waterslide thread where some discussion of this situation was attracting some interest, that a dedicated thread might be in order. So here ya go.

A land developer has made inquiries to the City of Penticton, owners of this property, as to the possibility of purchasing the land for a condo development. There are three parcels involved, currently being operated as an RV Campground. I know for sure that the two westernmost parcels are CIty owned and leased to the operators, couldn't tell you for sure exactly what the ownership status is on the third parcel although I have seen expired real estate listings that describe the third parcel as "deeded".
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby XT225 » Sep 22nd, 2017, 6:53 pm

I just heard about this offer to purchase. Had no idea that it was a lease, owned by the city. Valuable land for sure; right by those neat Oxbows. I viewed the area today and it appears to have around 50 RV spots; would be a bit of a shame to lose those. On the other hand, the land is extremely valuable and might be better used year round for condo type housing. I would NOT expect to see any low cost rentals here; no matter how much whining people do about the lack of affordable housing. Might be time for the city to grab a good purchase price for the property AND then obtain more tax base as well.

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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby JagXKR » Sep 22nd, 2017, 7:29 pm

Not sure I would want to live anywhere near that area. I went by there, nearly daily, this summer and the smell was horrendous. The oxbow was just stagnant water and as foul smelly as the treatment plant on a really bad day. Maybe worse. Nearly puked one time it was so bad.
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby XT225 » Sep 22nd, 2017, 7:49 pm

JagXKR wrote:Not sure I would want to live anywhere near that area. I went by there, nearly daily, this summer and the smell was horrendous. The oxbow was just stagnant water and as foul smelly as the treatment plant on a really bad day. Maybe worse. Nearly puked one time it was so bad.


This year was not the norm; extremely high water levels all Summer and not moving anywhere. In most years, not a problem. I used to live right by the oxbows and quite liked it; never had a problem. Plus had some great fun catching lots of Carp! :up:
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby fluffy » Sep 23rd, 2017, 6:21 am

My big concern here is further erosion of our inventory of tourist related services. Tourism is a huge part of our local economy and it doesn't make much sense to me to keep eating away at these services without a feasible alternative in place. Real estate development offers short term employment in the construction phase but what else? People keep talking about the increased tax base but I think that's a pretty narrow view. There are 68 rental spaces in that campground, anybody care to hazard a guess on what kind of money the occupants of those spaces leave behind through the course of a year? Yes, I said "year". There are longer term residents there through the off season, so we have to consider the local housing situation too.
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby Bunnyhop » Sep 23rd, 2017, 12:34 pm

No word on the buyer or what the plan is but zoning is in place for commercial/residential mix.

https://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton ... snapped-up
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby Darkre » Sep 24th, 2017, 7:58 am

Not sure what the property taxes would be for the 2 city owned properties but apparently a 5yr indexed to inflation lease was signed in 2012 for $9500/year plus property taxes and insurance.
https://www.pentictonwesternnews.com/news/penticton-declines-to-sell-city-owned-properties/

Considering the value of the property and the cities infrastructure deficit it will be pretty tempting for the city to sell. Besides the initial income received from selling the property the city would also see significantly increased annual revenue from property taxes. It would also be a huge loss to the cities tourist industry so this will be an interesting situation to follow. RVing is more popular then ever before and it's getting harder and harder to find anywhere to park your trailer due to the huge increase in property values.
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby fluffy » Sep 24th, 2017, 8:19 am

Darkre wrote:...It would also be a huge loss to the cities tourist industry so this will be an interesting situation to follow. RVing is more popular then ever before and it's getting harder and harder to find anywhere to park your trailer due to the huge increase in property values.


I think this is the central issue here. The property's location points to tourist-related as its first/best use, but that location is probably what is forefront in the developer's mind from a marketing standpoint. As far "available" properties for condo development there are a number of motels not too far away that are well past their best-before date.

This would not be a lease situation like the Skaha Park thing, once this land is sold it's gone.
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby twobits » Sep 24th, 2017, 12:30 pm

fluffy wrote:[

I think this is the central issue here. The property's location points to tourist-related as its first/best use, but that location is probably what is forefront in the developer's mind from a marketing standpoint. As far "available" properties for condo development there are a number of motels not too far away that are well past their best-before date.



I would beg to differ Fluff. While location may point to being an idealistic spot for a campground, how can one rationalize this specific industry as being first best use for the this land? From a simple economic return to the City in general, a three month a year operation just does not make the grade. Even with cheap over winter rentals buying groceries etc. Condo owners yr round would be doing the same thing but the taxes generated on the type of condo I suspect would be built here would generate well in excess of 100k yr vs the 9k lease rate.
There are plenty of other lower use lands available for RV sites that the market will build if the demand proves itself to exist as some people believe. Dare I suggest that the PIB has some beautiful lands ideally suited for such enterprise? Just like the new one that just opened this year next to Riva Ridge.
Bottom line for me is that the City has a responsibility to the taxpayer to maximize value for it's assets and not be in the business of supplying real estate of this caliber for a 9500/yr return for any private enterprise......tourist or otherwise.
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby fluffy » Sep 24th, 2017, 12:44 pm

I agree that as a business model, tourist services are not high on the profit scale. But isn't that exactly why our inventory of tourist services has dwindled to the point that the family tourist sector is seeking greener pastures? The beauty of subsidizing these businesses through inexpensive access to city land is that it does allow seasonal business to operate profitably. Considering the wider benefits of tourist traffic to our local economy it's important that this sector continues to thrive, at least until a suitable replacement can be found.
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby XT225 » Sep 24th, 2017, 1:08 pm

fluffy wrote:I agree that as a business model, tourist services are not high on the profit scale. But isn't that exactly why our inventory of tourist services has dwindled to the point that the family tourist sector is seeking greener pastures? The beauty of subsidizing these businesses through inexpensive access to city land is that it does allow seasonal business to operate profitably. Considering the wider benefits of tourist traffic to our local economy it's important that this sector continues to thrive, at least until a suitable replacement can be found.


Good points, Fluffy. With the loss of over 60 RV spots there and 30+ at Riverside RV (gone forever at the end of this year), thats almost 100 spots missing. Not sure how many spots the one near Riva Ridge has but thats nowhere near as attractive an RV spot as being close to the lake and down on the flat. The city keeps bragging that we are a tourist down so this will not be an easy decision on their part. Yes, tax base and sale of property would bring big dollars to city coffers; no question there.
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby fluffy » Sep 24th, 2017, 2:25 pm

I guess it would depend on how close to capacity our existing campgrounds operate during the summer months. It's easy to count the dollars coming in from tax revenue, not so easy with the money a tourist dumps during a summer stay. Well, the math gets easier if that tourist is staying in Osoyoos. :)
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby twobits » Sep 24th, 2017, 6:59 pm

fluffy wrote:I agree that as a business model, tourist services are not high on the profit scale. But isn't that exactly why our inventory of tourist services has dwindled to the point that the family tourist sector is seeking greener pastures? The beauty of subsidizing these businesses through inexpensive access to city land is that it does allow seasonal business to operate profitably. Considering the wider benefits of tourist traffic to our local economy it's important that this sector continues to thrive, at least until a suitable replacement can be found.


The reality is that Penticton"s economy derived from tourism has dwindled from upwards of 40% in past years to somewhere around 11% today. People have to stop hanging onto the notion that we are a tourist dependent economy. While 11% is still somewhat significant, it is not as important as it once was. The other reality is that we have more tourism dollars dropped here now than we did when tourism was 40% of the local economy. The difference is that our economy has diversified to the point that those tourism dollars are a smaller piece of the total economic pie. Yet we continue to subsidize high value real estate to house tents and campers!!!

And sorry, but I do not believe that someone or families in an RV are pumpin huge dollars into our local economy. That IMO is cheap tourism. Holiday on a budget. And I get that.....I did it once too. Smokies and steak on the grill with the kids. No big money there. Tourism now, the 11% of it is in the wine industry, hotels and restaurants. It is not the from the tent and rv resorts and the obvious evidence of that is their continued disappearance. No one can deny that truth of reality and the last thing I wish for is a valuable City asset hanging onto a past nostalgic business model and subsidizing it. If there is money to be made from RV campsites, they will be made on lands that are more suited and costed to the use.
To me, it is a very similar argument to the City pimping valuable parkland to private enterprise for a profit at taxpayer expense.
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby fluffy » Sep 24th, 2017, 7:26 pm

Where are you getting your information from twobits?
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Re: Oxbow RV Resort - Offer to Purchase

Postby twobits » Sep 25th, 2017, 1:39 pm

fluffy wrote:Where are you getting your information from twobits?


Assume you are referring to the 11% figure. Google economic activity by industry. You will see numbers ranging from 9 to 14%. I just picked the middle to be equitable. 40 yrs ago, tourism was 40% of Pentcton's economy.
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