Renovation plans threaten canyon mobile homes
A major redevelopment project proposed by the owners of Rock Gardens RV Park in No Name that could result in evictions has been endorsed by government planners. The plan must be approved by Garfield County’s board of commissioners, but if they follow they recommendations of an advisory commission, more than 30 families now living in the Glenwood Canyon complex will be looking for new homes.
Rock Gardens is a 13-acre resort on the Colorado River at Interstate 70’s No Name exit. Its owners, Kevin and Kathy Schneider, want to add spaces for recreational vehicle campers, additional tent camping spaces, a bath house, a community building, a small wastewater treatment plant and other amenities. To make room for the changes, a mobile home park on the property will have to be removed, eliminating as many as 38 affordable housing units.Fire concerns drove planner to place some conditions on the proposal. Rock Gardens now has only one entrance and exit, located at the No Name interchange on I-70. An emergency fire exit from the property must be built, allowing evacuation onto the existing Glenwood Canyon bike path, and from there to the No Name rest area.The owners will also be required to limit the number of fire pits in the camping areas, in order to make it easier to manage campers’ fires.Paula Bergman, who owns a mobile home in the park and lives there with her daughter, complained that, while the neighbors to the west were given notices of the meeting, those families who live in Rock Gardens were not informed.”Nobody’s going to be affected more than the trailer park residents,” Bergman said, “but they weren’t given notice.”When the second phase of the Rock Gardens redevelopment begins, perhaps in less than two years, those Rock Gardens residents who own their own trailers will have to pay to have their trailers hauled away. They will also have to pay to have them disposed of, because there are no trailer parks in the area with any space for additional trailers, and there is no market for them.Park owner Kevin Schneider said the demand for RV camping in the Glenwood Springs area is huge, and largely unfilled.
“A lot of people are asking about the negative aspects of this,” Kevin Schneider said. “But a lot more people are asking about it from the point of view of business.”Right now, we turn away a lot of RVers every night,” he said. “It’s going to help drive the tourist economy. I think the community will benefit from it as well.” With its raft company, bicycle rental operation, and various other concessions, Rock Gardens employs up to 50 people in the peak season, and keeps three full-time employees year-round, he said.”When this project is done,” Schneider said, “it’ll be one of the nicest campground’s on the Western Slope.”