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KOA, Sunland RV among companies vying for control of Vail Lake Resort

By in Press Enterprise on July 29, 2017

By Aaron Claverie

Three companies are in the running to take over management of the Vail Lake Resort, a campground east of Temecula that was known as Butterfield Country in the 1970s.

The list includes the Chula Vista-based operator of KOA campgrounds, which would rebrand the property as a KOA, and Paydar Properties, which runs Sunland RV locations.

The third applicant is The California Parks Co., which has managed the grounds’ RV slips and recreation rooms areas since the campground and thousands of acres around the lake were purchased by the Rancho California Water District for $50 million in a 2014 bankruptcy proceeding.

The applicants were unveiled on Thursday, July 27, at a Rancho Water committee meeting. The full board is scheduled to meet on Aug. 10 to pick one of the companies and start negotiating a lease, which could be a point of contention for the board.

“As I explained at the meeting, these guys are coming in offering a couple hundred thousand dollars a year, I think it should be three or four times that,” said board member Danny Martin, who has openly questioned how the board is going about finding a suitor for the property.

Instead of opening up an exclusive negotiation with one of the three companies, Martin said in a phone interview that the district should have them bid in an auction setup for the rights to take over the resort. He also said the district needs to make sure any lease has a series of escalators that will make sure ratepayers and bondpayers are compensated if water costs rise or the property starts generating significantly more revenue than expected.

“I think we have the ability to find a vendor who can turn it into something spectacular,” he said.

The three companies submitted detailed proposals that featured financial breakdowns, laundry lists of proposed amenities, reference […]    

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