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RV parks applaud casino's ban on boondocking

Treasure Cove and Hotel has posted signs prohibiting overnight camping on its property and the move is drawing praise from local RV park owners. "I'll actually tell people the food's good there," Hartway RV Park owner Cindy Brodhagen said Wednesday.
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Signs are now up prohibiting overnight camping at Treasure Cove Casino in response to lobbying from local RV parks. RVers can still park their rigs there during the day.

Treasure Cove and Hotel has posted signs prohibiting overnight camping on its property and the move is drawing praise from local RV park owners.

"I'll actually tell people the food's good there," Hartway RV Park owner Cindy Brodhagen said Wednesday.

The signs have been up for about a week.

Treasure Cove marketing manager Amanda Chandler said the step was taken in answer to numerous complaints it had received from the RV park owners.

"My boss [casino owner John Major], he doesn't want to ruffle any feathers or upset anybody that owns an RV business in town so to make fair to all, we decided to make no parking overnight in the lot," Chandler said.

In return, Treasure Cove is asking the RV parks to help send business its way. Customers who show up with a receipt from a local RV park will get a coupon for $10 worth of free plays, Chandler said.

Boondocking, or staying overnight in parking lots, has been a point of contention with RV park owners who rely heavily on summer traffic to make ends meet.

In 2006, they pushed to get city council to ban the practice. In turn, council imposed a 36-hour time limit which the owners said was not good enough.

Blue Cedars RV Park owner Morley Luscombe and two other local owners led the charge. Luscombe said they met with the city hall's planning department a few weeks ago. And once department staff got hold of Major, "everything went bang, bang, bang, last week. It's just amazing how fast it happened."

Luscombe said another meeting at city hall is planned to discuss Walmart, which has also allowed overnight parking on its lot. Walmart could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Brodhagen said there still is the question of how closely Treasure Cove will enforce the ban and also suggested the casino should provide a shuttle service.

But she expects more business will now come her way.

"I'd go down to the casino and then literally on some nights I'd count 34, 35 campers," Brodhagen recalled.

Luscombe said the difference should be felt most during the spring and fall shoulder seasons.

"I'm happy, it should mean more business for us and all the campgrounds around Prince George, actually," Luscombe said and went on to give credit to city hall.

"I mean I pushed them but they were sympathetic to the cause, I guess you could say," Luscombe said.

Treasure Cove is still allowing RVs to be parked on their lot during the day.