Major facelift already under way for GoG Campground
The new owners of the Garden of the Gods Campground have already implemented about $200,000 in upgrades, with up to $500,000 in additional work anticipated this winter.
Bought out of bankruptcy last spring, the 13-acre facility at 3704 W. Colorado Ave. is now owned by RVC Outdoor Destinations of Memphis, Tenn., a multi-state company that specializes in resort properties.
The campgrounds's beginnings date back 40 years. Westside developer Chuck Murphy started it on a small piece of land next to Columbia Road and kept adding acreage and campsites over the years. He sold the campground in 2005 to a California firm, which lost it to a bank in 2010.
RVC has contracted with Horizon RV Resorts, headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado, in managing the property. Scott Foos, Horizon's vice president of operations, said the work to date has involved needed repairs and upkeep, along with 80 new picnic tables, picnic pads, the start of a six-foot-high green-colored chainlink fence next to the Midland Trail and level concrete vehicle pads at several of the existing RV sites.
The fence beside the trail is intended to provide security but also will have vines growing up it to “soften the look” as well as access gates for campground guests. “We think the trail is a great asset,” Foos said. “We're looking at renting out pedal cars and bicycles.”
RVC and Horizon are finalizing broader plans, to take shape over the winter, that would include relocating camper cabins, modernizing a variety of units and general-use areas, renovating the welcome lodge, accentuating the landscaping, improving swimming pools as needed and possibly adding another restroom/shower facility.
“We're trying to determine what shape we want the property to take,” said Foos, who grew up in this area and recalled that his “first job” was working for Murphy at the campground. “We're getting out and talking to the guests to see what kinds of amenities they would like.”
In addition, he said, Horizon has talked to local governments, so as to synch up with any civic “No Man's Land” upgrades along the avenue in the future.
As sole owner of the property, RVC is funding all of the work, with Horizon “assisting RVC with development plans by researching the property history, local market, guest requests, etc., and managing the renovations,” Foos said.
He emphasized that any changes would be done in a “respectful way” that would “keep in mind the historic values of the property.”
RVC, which owns six other resort facilities (three in Florida and one each in Arkansas, Georgia and North Carolina), plans next year to rename the Westside campground “Garden of the Gods RV Resort.”
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