River Dance RV Resort west of Gypsum proposes 200-plus unit expansion
The Gypsum Town Council is scheduled to discuss the River Dance planned unit development sketch plan and annexation application at its regular meeting Tuesday, Nov. 14, beginning at 7 p.m. at Gypsum Town Hall.
GYPSUM — The 70-acre River Dance RV Resort west of Gypsum has proposed a large expansion and annexation to the town, and Tuesday, Nov. 14, the Gypsum Town Council will debate those proposals.
Global Assets Recovery, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is the new owner of the RV park, which it acquired in a bulk purchase of distressed properties.
“Recognizing the growing demand for quality recreational vehicle overnight and multi-night parking, (Global Assets Recovery) envisions significant expansion of River Dance,” reads the company’s proposal.
In this case, “significant expansion” means increasing the scope of the RV park from its current 40-pad configuration to between 210 and 270 pads. The project’s initial development site plan features a combination of 226 pull-though and back-in sites.
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According to planner Ron Liston, of Land Design Partners of Glenwood Springs, Global Assets Recovery was intrigued by the potential of the River Dance property.
“There is such a tremendous demand for overnight camping,” Liston said. “There aren’t a whole lot of options from the canyon up. That is really what has driven the plan.”
Liston added that today’s RV owner is looking for more than just a place to park his or her vehicle.
“That market is expecting some pretty nice facilities,” Liston said.
While the project is still at the initial review stage, Global Assets Recovery is already contemplating a series of improvements.
“Recreational activities and socializing are important aspects of a RV resort experience,” reads the company’s Gypsum application.
The company noted that the final collection of the recreational facilities to be included at River Dance is still being evaluated but stated a variety of amenities are currently anticipated in a commons area, including:
• A central building with offices, convenience/retail shop, food and beverage services with limited seating, video game room, community socializing space and restrooms; one or two employee housing units may be included on the second level of this building
• Swimming pool and splash plaza
• Pet-wash facility and bike kitchen
• Deck and patio space with furnishings and a fire pit; this would be the only solid fuel fire pit in the resort
• A pavilion which would be open-air but covered structure if user demand warrants
• Pickleball court
• Children’s play equipment facility
• Volleyball court
• Other less facility-oriented activities such as kid-sized checker board, bag toss games and more are anticipated
• Dog walk areas will be designated.
Along with the in-park amenities, the River Dance plan features several acres of open space along the Eagle River, including a site for a rafting take-out location that will be dedicated to the town.
Liston said until the town approves the plan and actual construction is completed, the River Dance owners won’t know what fees will be charged at the park. A quick look at RV parks currently operating in western Colorado — in Grand Junction, Fruita and Cedaredge — show nightly fees ranging from $30 to $45, depending on the size of the camping pad and the services offered.
Traditionally when a development proposes annexation to a town, the project is seeking services such as water and wastewater treatment. River Dance doesn’t need either. Global Assets Recovery has already completed improvements to the domestic water service at the park and intends to install a new sewer system at the site
So why annex? Liston said the development simply wants to be part of the town.
“It seems like the right fit,” Liston said. “We want to be a part of the community because Gypsum really is the community base for the facility.”
“They are here already, and they are no taxation to our systems,” said Gypsum Town Manager Jeff Shroll. “We do think there are some opportunities there, because of its location along Interstate 70, to bring some expanded tourism to town.”
Liston agreed that the location of River Dance — next to both I-70 and the Eagle River and removed from any nearby residential neighborhoods — is an advantage.
“A lot of uses wouldn’t necessarily make sense there, but for a recreation-based amenity, it’s a really good spot. It works pretty nicely,” Liston said.
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.