'Wal-Mart' Campers Upset Park Owners
Bev and Gerry Matkovich were happy campers July 26 as they enjoyed the free overnight parking for their motorhome in the parking lot on the northeast (Wal-Mart) end of the Southland Mall in Regina, Saskatchewan, according to the Regina Leader-Post.
While the retired Kelowna, British Columbia, couple was happy to park their comfortable home-on-wheels free, while visiting the sights of Regina, local campground owners are grumbling about the loss of business when RVs are allowed to stay overnight in parking lots.
Jeff Bordyniuk, the owner of the Kings Acres campground on the Trans-Canada Highway at the eastern entrance to Regina, figures he could be losing about $5,000 a year in business because visitors to the city are parking their RVs on various store parking lots instead of paying the bucks to go to an actual campground
“It’s kind of a sore point,” Bordyniuk said in an interview.
It can be tough to maintain a campground in good shape and make a bit of profit as well when business is being lost because owners of RVs are staying overnight for free in parking lots, Bordyniuk said. And Bordyniuk says he often sees five to 10 or even more trailers parked overnight at each location, when he checks out certain parking lots at night.
Sharon Lang, who is married to the owner of the Buffalo Lookout Campground on the Trans-Canada Highway East, said she has noticed the motorhomes parked at various parking lot locations and she is not happy about it.
“It’s just taking business away from the tourist camps," Lang said.
“It’s not right," Lang said, adding that she believes people should be parking their motorhomes at proper campgrounds when visiting the city.
But Bev Matkovich said she and her husband were enjoying the free parking privileges at the Southland Mall. After sleeping in their trailer in the parking lot last Wednesday night, they were touring the city on Thursday. And they had also had some time to visit the Southland Mall and the Wal-Mart store located in that mall, Matkovich said.
About 10 trailers were parked at the Southland Mall on Wednesday last week, Matkovich said.
But only two trailers were left on site by noon Thursday and by late afternoon they had all left.
Jason Carlston, the city’s acting director of planning, building and bylaw enforcement, said he does not believe any city bylaws or zoning rules are being violated by simply permitting people to park their trailers on a parking lot overnight.
In a brief telephone interview, a manager with the Southland Mall said the mall has “no problem with a camper being in our property overnight.”