RV crowd eyed as revenue-generator in Kamloops

A city councillor wants improved RV parking in Kamloops. Following a presentation by Tourism Kamloops, Bill Sarai said the RVing demographic has significant disposable income, but only has two places to park: in Knutsford and in Dallas, next to the B.C. Wildlife Park.

“We’re missing that economic generator,” Sarai said. “If they’re so far out, they might just do their grocery shopping out at the little grocery store out there. They don’t come into town for much.”

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Sarai suggested partnering with Tk’emlups te Secwepemc for accommodations at the G&M Trailer Park, along the South Thompson River.

“There’s so much opportunity there, to keep them closer to the city,” he said. “They can park their RVs, but still come in and spend their money in our town.”

Tourism Kamloops CEO Beverley DeSantis said discussions have taken place with Tk’emlups about development opportunities.

“They seem to have a plan,” DeSantis said. “And I hope that we can work with them to help them move that plan forward, to bring more and more opportunity for RV traffic and campgrounds. Even for our Tournament Capital sporting. A lot of those sport folks love to camp.”

RVing is increasingly popular, DeSantis noted, with European and Asian visitors hopping in an RV to travel across the country.

“Places like Kamloops benefit greatly by that RV traffic going from Vancouver through the Rockies into Calgary,” she said.

Mayor Ken Christian noted the city is working with Tk’emlups on a potential campground project at the Tournament Capital Ranch in Rayleigh, which is now home to eight softball fields, two soccer fields and a playground.

The Rayleigh Correctional Centre closed in 2002 after nearly 40 years of operation and KTW has learned that the centre could be knocked down this year.

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