It is no surprise that Centennial RV Park is a gem among campers in the South Okanagan.
It’s serene, and a stone’s throw away from the river and the hike and bike path. What more could you ask for? A better return, perhaps?
That’s what the Town of Oliver is exploring as it ponders the future of the property. It has received expressions of interest from three different groups who want to operate the campsite, and one verbal inquiry from a Kelowna group that may want to redevelop the site.
Some people are opposed to changing the use of this property, saying it offers tourists a place to stay while generating revenue for the Town.
But others believe it’s time the property is better utilized in order to boost Oliver’s economy even more.
The campsite is only operational six months of the year. The gates are closed in October and don’t reopen again until April. With such a prime piece of property, the Town can’t afford to miss any economic opportunity it can wring out of it.
The previously proposed “wine village” opportunity did not fly, and many people will argue that Oliver doesn’t need another wine-related establishment.
Some people suggest that Centennial RV Park may be an ideal location for a new hotel, but that space seems like an odd venue for such an enterprise.
We can envision the Station Street development to feature various shops and perhaps a residential component. Esthetically, it would definitely boost the downtown core and give the infusion it needs to survive.
As for green space, the Town has earmarked a section of land at the south end of the campsite as a public park . . . a wise move to offset any commercial development in the area.
The Town needs to do something. It can’t sit idle and let the market burden it with more stories of doom and gloom. Like some candidates said during the by-election, we have to be aggressive in promoting this town or else it won’t go anywhere.
Our hike and bike path is a diamond that we should continue to polish and advertise. Our farmers are people we should support more often by shopping locally. And finally, let’s get that damn hotel built.