RV sites OK'd for Lake Casitas
by Lenny Roberts
You've got to give people what they want, especially if you want
them to camp at Lake Casitas.
Citing attendance figures that indicate more recreational vehicle
owners are reserving camping sites, the Casitas Municipal Water
District board of directors voted last week to approve an application
that would improve an existing group camp facility within the
Lake Casitas Recreation Area.
These attendance figures show that the camping public wants more
creature comforts - going from a basic campsite with fire ring
and table, to a RV pad with water, electric, sewer and television
hookups. Planned improvements or additions include adding concrete
recreational vehicle pads on up to 40 sites, irrigation and landscaping,
sewage collection system and water and electrical supplies, road
modifications and chip seal surfacing, and other ancillary items
including drainage improvements, telephone and utility relocations.
"The existing facility is in a real nice area and is the
most underutilized camp site we have," said CMWD President
Jim Coultas, "and the ones that we've converted for RV parking
in the past are the most utilized areas. It just makes sense
to convert the least used into the most used.
Coultas added that he expects construction to begin soon, and
anticipates completion by the start of the warm-weather camping
season. Other current improvements include the planting of a
couple hundred trees at selected campsites currently without
shade in an effort to make those sites more desirable.
By 1988, Casitas had approximately 450 developed campsites in
16 campgrounds. Visitation records show that prior to 1984 -
when Casitas hosted the Summer Olympic rowing and canoeing events
- yearly visitation had been 1.5 million visitors. But in 1985,
visitation had fallen to 900,000, eventually leveling off to
the current 850,000 visitor days per year.
According to a board report, the data was supported by the report
of the boat concession owner based upon his records that the
number of rental trips had fallen significantly the same year.
Initially, investigations indicated that the change in yearly
visitation could be explained by the level of the lake at least
for the data since 1984, but there was no real explanation of
the drop in visitation after 1984.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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