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RV Park Owner Contests Government-Run Competitor

July 2, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

The owner of the HI-Desert RV Park in Winnemuca, Nev., went before the Humboldt County Commissioners to complain about the competition being created by the Winnemucca RV Park. The discussion occurred at Monday’s (June 28) regular meeting.

The Winnemucca RV Park is located next to the Winnemucca Events Complex and is operated by Humboldt County through Ag District 3.

David Selesnick had no objection to the campers who need facilities for their horses — or those who are vendors or participants at events. He acknowledged he could not accommodate those with horses at his RV Park, the Silver Pinyon Journal, Winnemuca, reported.

He had two main objections. The first is the $20 per night fee the county charges for full hookups, which is way below the $32 he charges. That price, he argued, undercut his ability to attract business when events are in town.

The second is that spectators have been allowed to stay at the Winnemucca RV Park, which he feels draws business away from the private sector.

Ag. District 3 Director Kim Petersen was on hand to tell the board he and his staff have made every effort to redirect campers who don’t qualify to other facilities in the area. At the time the Winnemucca RV Park was constructed certain rules were established concerning who could stay there so government wouldn’t be competing with the private sector. It was agreed the RV Park would limit campers to those with horses and those connected to events at the complex (such as vendors and participants).

Petersen noted WCVA signage and published materials list privately owned RV parks in the area said he and his staff make every attempt to ensure those staying at the park are within the guidelines.

There was some disagreement, though, about whether spectators attending events should be allowed to stay at the Winnemucca RV Park, or whether Ag District 3 representatives could even police who was staying there. As was noted, someone might say, “Yeah, I’m with Joe’s group” who was in fact not working the event but attended as a spectator.

That disagreement was not settled and the matter of spectators will be put on the agenda for a later date along with a discussion of the $20 fee.

The concern for Ag District 3 is remaining competitive in their ability to attract events to Humboldt County.

Petersen said, “The purpose of this is to try and get events. You know … we’re a long way from anywhere and if this is going to be successful we have to bring people into town.”

The RV park is simply part of the package — part of offerings — that it takes to attract events.

AG District 3 Board Member Don Stoker also pointed to the importance of keeping the WCVA competitive because, he argued, everyone benefits.

As a motel owner, he noted, he could easily say the RV park is in competition with his business and the other motel/hotel owners. He went further and said someone could come forward and complain the concessions at the Events Complex/Fairgrounds are competing with their restaurant business.

The bottom line, he continued, is when people come to town for events they’re spending their travel dollars here and everyone in the community benefits.

For his part, Selesnick painted a successful picture of the Hi Desert RV Park. He has spent considerable sums on upgrading it since he purchased the business in 2007. He has brought the Good Sam ratings from low to high and now offers such amenities as Wi-Fi and cable television.

However, he felt strongly the prices of the Winnemucca RV Park were undercutting his ability to draw business when events were in town and he wasn’t seeing the benefit for his business.

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