Feds sign deal with Berryessa resort
Pleasure Cove contract may spur agreements at remaining resorts
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 Share Email Print Comment
By DAVID RYAN
Register City Editor
The Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday it had inked a 30-year contract with Pleasure Cove Marina, a deal the agency said may spur the completion of other deals with concessions around Lake Berryessa.
The news comes well after the federal agency had decided to remove some 1,400 mobile homes and trailers from seven privately-run lakeside resorts, and several months after it had estimated key contracts would have already been struck to begin the upgrade of the Lake Berryessa shoreline.
Lynnette Wirth, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Reclamation, said the bureau may have erred in trying to place a timeline on signing contracts with Pleasure Cove and the Pensus Group — the latter would control operations at Rancho Monticello, Spanish Flat, Lake Berryessa Marina, Putah Creek and Steele Park.
“It’s really hard to estimate times for contracts,” Wirth said. “There’s so much involved, so many elements. I’d say we hadn’t examined the whole breadth of what we had to do.”
Finalizing the Pleasure Cove contract provided a learning experience, she said, because of the complexity of the deal. Wirth said the complexity was “the i’s to dot and the t’s to cross.”
Pleasure Cove General Manager Terry Sparkman echoed that sentiment, and expressed optimism about the future of Pleasure Cove.
“Everything went really smooth,” he said. “Mainly only legal terms had to be reworded. As far as the overall package goes, we're satisfied with it.”
Sparkman said Pleasure Cove had agreed to upgrade many amenities. It will construct new docks and cabins, and expand the campground to cut down on crowding during busy summer months.
“We’re excited,” he said.
Wirth said negotiations with Pensus Group were nearing an end. “The final negotiations are completed,” she said. “We expect to sign the Pensus contract within the next 30 to 60 days.”
According to a statement from the bureau, negotiations with FX10 will begin in January for the management of Markley Cove, with a final contract to be in place before May 26, 2009, when the current contract is set to end.
The bureau said all new contracts would come with agreements to upgrade facilities.
“The new contracts will result in significant new development at all seven concession areas including launch ramps, marinas, stores, restaurants, lodges, cabins, RV sites and camping sites,” according to a prepared statement. “These commercial facilities, together with seven government-operated recreations areas, will bring to Lake Berryessa the widest practical spectrum of recreation experiences for the public while preserving and protecting the area’s natural resources.”
The bureau estimates that Lake Berryessa is visited by about 1.5 million people each year