Hudson's Hope is seeking $700,000 in provincial tourism support to develop a new ATV campground at Dinosaur Lake.
The district is applying to the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program to help fund the development, which would include 20 sites near the lake and boat launch, and separate from the existing campground.
“The District would like to expand our Dinosaur Lake campground, and with the increase in popularity of ATV’s, we felt it was a good opportunity,” said chief administrative officer Chris Cvik.
The new campground would be separate from the 17 existing campsites at Dinosaur Lake. Construction would include clearing, excavations, and grading, as well as the installation of picnic tables and shelter, fire pits, garbage bins, and toilets.
The district's application to the province notes that ATV camping is growing more popular among younger campers, though there are few campgrounds targeting that demographic.
Bringing more people to the area would have a positive economic impact on local businesses, and it’s expected two campground attendants would be employed each summer, the district said.
"Tourism is growing in northern B.C. and off-road vehicle usage is increasing. Having additional camping sites that are targetted to this demographic will encourage campers to register here and open up more space in Dinosaur Lake Campground from non-ATV campers," the district wrote.
The district added that a dedicated ATV campground could also reduce unauthorized camping on vacant Crown land, noting the area around Geddes Bay at Williston Lake as a particular problem.
The full project cost is estimated at $820,468. The district received $20,000 provincial grant for the project in 2019, and has set aside another $100,000 in reserve funding.
Operational expenses for the campground would be partially funded through camping and firewood fees.
The district has yet to secure the grant, and expects to hear back from the province in early 2021.
"We are hopeful, but there is a lot of competition from other local governments as we are all trying to secure funding for projects," said Cvik.
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