KOA Franchise Approved for County Park
A franchisee of Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA), the nation's largest chain of recreational vehicle parks, got the final OK Tuesday (Sept. 15) to take over the lease on the RV campground at Steckel Park near Santa Paula, Calif.
The county of Ventura owns Steckel Park, so the sale of the lease from Far West Resorts to Ventura Ranch KOA had to be approved by the Board of Supervisors. It did so Tuesday in a unanimous vote, according to the Ventura County Star.
"There has been a lot of work on this leasehold for years, and you've done an excellent job in enticing KOA to come aboard and invest in our park," Supervisor Kathy Long told representatives of the county's parks department.
The campground will officially change hands once negotiations between Far West and Ventura Ranch KOA are finalized. The KOA franchise is expected to pay Far West about $500,000 to take over the lease, which runs through 2024. It can be extended for a total of 25 more years.
The KOA affiliate will also pay the county a share of its revenues, with a minimum rent of $45,000 per year. Ventura Ranch KOA agreed to spend at least $1.5 million over the life of the lease on improvements to the park.
The county was looking for a new operator partly because of disagreements with Far West over whether it had spent enough on improvements and upkeep.
"I'm not usually comfortable signing leases that go almost 50 years, but knowing we have provisions to ensure the facility is maintained and improved I do support this," said Linda Parks supervisor.