Couple Buys Canadian RV Park at Auction
You never know what will happen at an auction.
Abbotsford, British Columbia, residents Pam and Neil Day found that out May 19 when they, almost unintentionally, bought Wells Gray Golf Resort and RV Park for $950,000 at a Ritchie Brothers Auction, according to the Clearwater (British Columbia) Times.
“We didn’t go to the auction to buy this,” said Pam Day. “Believe it or not, it just happened.”
Pam, a Realtor, and Neil, owner of a couple of snow removal businesses in the province, had been checking out a Ritchie Brothers flyer that Neil received because he often buys heavy equipment.
They noticed the information about the golf course but decided it would be too expensive. Instead, they got interested in some property for sale near Pender Harbor.
“The golf course came up before the Pender Harbor property and I said to Neil to give it one bid,” said Pam. The next thing they knew they owned a golf course and resort.
Since then, they’ve been busy filling in paperwork and learning the ropes from former owners Liz and Barrie Clarke.
“We love this place and we love them,” said Pam. “I told Liz that I now have an older sister.”
“We’ve never met more down-to-Earth, real people than the Clarkes,” said Neil.
Neither of the new owners had been to Wells Gray Park before, much less visited the golf course and RV resort.
“I’m very impressed with this place,” said Neil. “The more I learn, the more I like it. I’ve been traveling through this area for 40 years but I never had any idea it was here. It seems people from other countries (referring to the number of German and Dutch tourists who visit the area) know more about our country than we do.”
The new owners intend to continue the golf resort as a family business and already have a few members of their extended families helping out.
The Clarkes first settled in this area in 1972 when they bought Helmcken Falls Lodge. They sold the lodge five years later but kept a large nearby parcel of land. They lived in Clearwater for a few years, building a house on Musgrave Road, then moved to Kamloops.
“I started out just hoping to put my backhoe to work on building Aberdeen shopping mall,” Barrie Clarke recalled. “Then they made me sales manager, then project manager, then general manager.”
Even though Barrie spent many years building the shopping center and the nearby developments, they kept returning to Upper Clearwater to work on their dream.
Having sold the golf course and RV park, the Clarkes plan to retire and take some well-earned rest. However, they leave behind detailed and ambitious plans for the remainder of the property, plans that the Days say they have every intention of implementing.