Okanagan Lake's last private campground for sale, marking the end of an era | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan Lake's last private campground for sale, marking the end of an era

The Todd family’s Okanagan Lake campground is the last of a dying breed. For 65 years, its welcomed RVers and tenters from across the globe to Peachland and while it wasn’t all that unique when it started, today it’s the last privately owned, destination RV park on Okanagan Lake. There are a couple similar sites left that do seasonal rentals, but Todd's RV & Camping is the last to do nightlies and vacation rentals.
Image Credit: ToddsRV.com
December 09, 2020 - 7:30 AM

The Todd family’s Okanagan Lake campground is the last of a dying breed.

For 65 years, its welcomed RVers and tenters from across the globe to Peachland and while it wasn’t all that unique when it started, today it’s the last privately owned, destination RV park on Okanagan Lake. There are a couple similar sites left that do seasonal rentals, but Todd's RV & Camping is the last to do nightlies and vacation rentals.

“The actual property my grandpa bought in 1928, (the adjacent condo development) Lakeshore Gardens was his orchard, and the campground is where they had cows and stuff,” Graham Todd said. “Then my mom and dad started the campground in 1956.”

The Okanagan staple, however, may soon go the way many others before it have gone.

Todd's RV is a community staple.
Todd's RV is a community staple.
Image Credit: NAI realty.

The three houses, 680 feet of lake frontage on a 4.5-acre parcel are listed for sale with NAI Okanagan for $8.9 million.

There are five parcels that make up the property Todd said he’s hoping a special buyer will come forward — it’s time for he and his wife Kelly to retire, and stop running the site that’s owned by six members of the family.

That buyer, however, may not be who or what they envisioned when the property was first listed.

“We have tried to interest the municipality and regional district, that would be the ultimate goal,” he said, adding that it would be a boon to the community to keep more lakefront property within its boundaries. Once, he said, the OCP planned for Beach Avenue to be shifted from between the campground and the lake to behind the campground, which could have created a significantly sized park.

Those government bodies, however, have not indicated they have the interest to bring the land into the region’s network of parks.

Todd's RV & Camping in Peachland.
Todd's RV & Camping in Peachland.
Image Credit: ToddsRV.com

“They’re stretched right now,” he said.

If they could make it work, however, it could be like Gellatly nut farm beach and park in West Kelowna, or Sun Oka in Summerland.

“It would be nice to have a beach area like that in the area,” he said.

And, while the interest may not be there from local government, that doesn’t mean all is lost.

In some areas of the Okanagan, public support has drummed up dollars. In Naramata, for example, they started a GoFundMe page to have a plot of land purchased with investment from the regional district.

Even a municipal campground could be a benefit.

They have about 10,000 to 11,000 camper nights a year. Given the average stay sees three people per site, that’s 30,000 people in the area for that season from March to November and so many of them are part of the fabric of Peachland, despite home being far from here.

“We have quite a few Albertans come here between May and June,” he said. “We have one who likes the mechanic here, then another family, when they’re here they go to every single restaurant.”

Another regular has been coming since the ‘60s and as soon as she rolls in she breaks down and cries tears of happiness, remembering good times past.

Even COVID-19 hasn't totally dampened the campground's appeal

"We lost all the Europeans, which is usually 25 per cent of our income, and now we're getting B.C. customers who have never RV’d before," he said.

There's a new batch of snowbirds there this year, too. They can't cross the border with ease, so there are 12 groups from across Canada spending the winter there for the first time.

"One guy said likes it better than Yuma. The other one wants to move here," he said.

“We are proud of our reputation and the family orientation of the campground and the clientele... For us, it’s been 65 years as a family business and all of our kids are doing their own things, so it’s time.”


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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