Editorial Backs Land Sale for RV Resort Plans
Editor’s Note: The following editorial appeared in the Valley Courier, Alamosa, Colo.
Kudos to the Alamosa RE11-J board of education on their recent decision to sell the former Polston Primary property for development of an RV resort.
Alamosa is and will continue to be a destination for outside visitors and an RV resort will be an enticement, particularly for snowbirds that need to escape the heat of the south from mid-April through September or October. These RVers need a comfortable climate in an area with many entertainment options and Alamosa sits smack dab in the middle of a wealth of opportunities: two tourist trains and a national park, just to name a few.
In a 2007 study commissioned by ACDC, predecessor to the current Alamosa County Economic Development Counsel, Staves Consulting concluded “Alamosa is a prime area for an RV resort.” Staves, based in Billings, Mont., is considered to be one of the foremost experts in the world on RV park development, acquisition and marketing.
The study credited our city’s central location with multiple recreational and cultural opportunities, proximity to day trips for both short- and long-term RV campers, two higher learning institutions with summer course offerings, golfing, biking and walking paths, parks, churches, variety of restaurants and shopping available, and hotels available to facilitate visiting families, family reunions, etc.
Although much of the study is outdated, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) today says 8.3 million American families own RVs. They also report that most RVs are owned by drivers from 35 to 54 years of age, and the largest percentage of gain in ownership is drivers under 35. These folks have expendable income or they wouldn’t be buying RVs.
While supporters of the healthy living park argue the decision to accept a bid for $255,000 less from the RV resort developer won’t be made up soon in property taxes, the sales tax factor looms larger. If 200 RV lots can be filled and each renter spends a mere $200 a week locally, that’s $2,800 a week in sales tax. Assuming the park is only half full on average for the 24 weeks of viable season, that’s $33,600 in sales tax per year.
And what would an additional $480,000 (100 RVs x $200 x 24 wks) do for the local economy?
Perhaps the healthy living park could be placed elsewhere on the city “ranch” where the same fertile riverside soil they claim exists at Polston may be found.
We encourage the ABOE to stick to their guns on this issue and support resort developer Dan Russell as he seeks full support from the Alamosa City Council. Councilors need to support this purest form of economic development.