Canada’s O’Keefe Ranch Revisits RV Park Proposal
Plans for a recreational vehicle park may be resurrected at the historic O’Keefe Ranch near Vernon, British Columbia.
City of Vernon officials believe the concept of a revenue-generating RV site could be dusted off after a recent meeting with Kevin Krueger, British Columbia’s tourism minister, according to the Vernon Morning Star.
“He was very interested in the progress we have made on a campsite and gave us encouragement to do so,” said mayor Wayne Lippert. “I think we have support from him on moving forward.”
The city and the ranch’s board of directors have previously attempted to proceed with an RV park, but the 20-acre property is in the Agricultural Land Reserve and support has not come from the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).
If another application is filed with the ALC, Lippert isn’t sure if it will be for 100 or 150 RV spaces.
“We need to do some homework and work with the ranch on it,” he said.
The ranch has limited financial resources and Lippert insists that an RV park would generate money required for upgrading of the various heritage buildings and aging infrastructure.
While Krueger didn’t promise any funding for O’Keefe Ranch itself, Lippert says the provincial government appears to be changing its attitude towards the city-owned heritage site.
“The attitude and words he was using were positive. He’s looking at ways to help,” said Lippert, adding that there are economic spinoffs from heritage tourism.
“He looked at the numbers, it’s important for Vernon and the North Okanagan, but also the province,” said Lippert.