Bare Bones Park Attracts Campers
The Pueblo of Pojoaque’s Roadrunner RV Park near Los Alamos, N. M., won’t make any national magazine’s Top 10 places to visit – there are no showers, no landscaping and no concrete pads.
But the lack of amenities in the gravel parking lot hasn’t stopped an average of 20 campers a night from making the long-defunct weigh station for trucks a temporary home since it opened in September, according to the Santa Fe (N. M.) New Mexican.
Dave Brazda, director of realty for the Pueblo of Pojoaque, managed development of the campground and said the pueblo is considering plans for landscaping and a modest clubhouse. At the back of the campground, where it overlooks a river, prospective plans indicate a barbecue area, horseshoe pits and a pet playground.
“We wanted to get open because we had a built-in clientele,” said campground manager Chito Sanchez. Most of the campers who moved in as soon as the park opened are workers building the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino across U.S. 84/285, a few hundred yards south of the campground. Work on the hotel complex will continue through late 2008, then work on U.S. 84/285 between Pojoaque and Española will continue through 2009, bringing more potential long-term campers, Brazda said.
Overnight guests have largely been “snowbirds” – retirees on their way to warmer winter destinations, he said. Professionals using the campground as temporary quarters will provide enough winter business to keep it open year-round, Brazda said. After the two large construction projects are finished, he said, the pueblo might need to reconsider whether it is profitable to keep the site open all year. The pueblo’s business planners are hoping skiers who enjoy amenities in the Pojoaque area might provide a lasting winter clientele.
“It’s like a hub. You have a lot of activities here,” Brazda said. A wellness center open to the public, a new bowling alley, golf courses, a museum, several restaurants and the highest concentration of casinos in the state could make Pojoaque a destination for RV campers, Brazda said. Easy access from the highway could also make the site a favorite overnight stop for RV travelers, he said.
So far, use of the campground’s 63 hookups has peaked at about half-full, with some 30 sites occupied on weekends. Sanchez said word of the new campground is getting around among casino guests, but he plans to start promoting the site through RV clubs.