The day Vancouver won the 2010 Olympic Games the phone began to ring at the Capilano RV Park.
“It was immediate,” said Wayne Baker one of the owners of the West Vancouver campground, which celebrates its 40 th anniversary this year.
“We were bombarded with calls right away. ”
The RV park, which has 208 visitor spots, is completely sold out for Games time.
“The majority are Americans,” said Baker, also a movie actor. “Ninety per cent are Americans from California and Washington and others are from as far away as Georgia.
“I think they are mostly old clients of ours… and they wanted in right away so they booked.
“We weren’t surprised, we knew it would happen.”
The campers who are coming don’t even know how much their stay is going to cost them yet as the Baker family is still to set their 2010 rates. It is a private park so fees do fluctuate with season and year. This summer family sites with 50-amp power cost up to $60 a night.
“We will charge a fair price, but we want to be competitive too,” said Baker.
Capilano RV Park is the only RV and campground in Metro Vancouver.
Baker, who runs the family business with his six brothers and sisters, said they saw the same surge in interest when Vancouver hosted Expo in 1986.
“That was a banner year for us,” he said, adding that the successful year helped pay for some major renovations including a swimming pool, indoor Jacuzzi for 10 and new washroom facilities.
The family plans on doing some upgrades again before 2010.
The RV park was the brainchild of Baker’s father, Dan, who got a $25,000 loan from the federal government in May 1968 to get started.
“(The federal government) took so long to get the cheque to him that he actually drove out to Ottawa, went in the door, and demanded a cheque and they gave it to them,” said Baker, who still recalls as a child wandering through the woods where the RV park is now situated to get to the swimming hole in the Capilano River.
The business has grown over the years and is considered one of the most successful First Nations family enterprises.
“I am very proud that we are one of the first Squamish First Nations businesses that has been successful for 40 years,” said Baker.
“Hopefully we can be an inspiration to younger entrepreneurs coming up, to show that our family has succeeded.”
Whistler’s Riverside Campground is still deciding how they might handle bookings for 2010. A decision won’t be made until October.