After 30 years of operation, the Eagle Lake RV Resort has announced that it will be permanently closing its gates come late September.
Leslie Pringle, who owns and operates the business, said the closure of the business was effectively opposite to what she had planned.
“We’ve been in business since 1992 and for the last five years we’ve been actively working towards a succession plan that would let me retire and have the campground go to an operator who wanted to keep our guests here and happy and in an ideal world, do a bunch of improvements and life would carry on. That was the plan,” said Pringle.
During recent negotiations with the landlord who owns the property where the resort is situated, an agreement could not be reached to transfer the lease which would see the business continue to operate.
For Pringle, the options became either to forego her retirement and continue operating her business, or to shut down.
“I’m 60-years-old, so I can’t keep working 100 hours a week, five months of the year and 20 to 30 hours a week, the rest of the year for another 12 years,” said Pringle, who added that since her announcement of the resort’s closure, she has received much support from the community and clients.
“This is not only devastating on a business and professional level, but on a personal level. And there’s been a couple of people who are quite clearly unhappy, but that is to be understood and expected,” she said.
For those seasonal campers who will no longer be able to maintain a summer home at the RV resort or who are unable to otherwise relocate their assets from the resort, an auction will be hosted in September to offload everything.
Pringle said following September deadlines, the property where the resort is located must be completely vacated – a process which she is attempting to make as easy as possible for her guests.
“It is very emotional. It’s devastating. People are losing their summer homes and their getaways. We are in our third generation of campers … people have come here for decades,” explained Pringle. “It’s also difficult too because my children’s inheritance is lost. I can’t sell the business end of this. There is no inheritance for my children and there is no retirement fund for me. I’ve lost my retirement, I’ve lost my children’s inheritance, and I’ve lost my business. The choice was throwing in the towel or going until I dropped.”
The next steps for Pringle include figuring out a retirement for herself in some fashion or another and she may take the opportunity to further explore writing and photography.
As the Eagle Lake RV Resort comes to its conclusion, Pringle thanks all the families who have supported the resort during its 30-year tenure, and was apologetic that her service could no longer be offered to them.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times