Tuesday, January 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Lake Berryessa resorts begin a transformation

Jaden Wommack, left, and Skylar Willis gaze out over Lake Berryessa from the Chaparral Cove (formerly Putah Creek Resort) as clouds roll in on Tuesday. Robison Kuntz/McNaughton Newspapers photo

By
June 1, 2011 |

LAKE BERRYESSA — Drew Lessard walked through Foothill Pines resort at Lake Berryessa and showed the dramatic transformation that has taken place.

“Over here, the whole peninsula was trailers,” said Lessard, who is with the U.S. Bureau of the Reclamation.

No trailers, mobile homes or other structures can be seen these days at Foothill Pines, formerly called Spanish Flat. Trees and brush dominate what appears to be a natural landscape. People can camp here, but for the most part, Foothill Pines is what Lessard calls a “bare canvas” for future development.

For the first time in several years, Lake Berryessa will have all seven of its resorts open. Markley Cove and Pleasure Cove have cabins, convenience stores, boat rentals and other services, but the rest are for the most part campsites and RV sites with no electricity or sewer service. They are that bare canvas.

“The facilities will be relatively primitive,” said Peter Lucero of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. “But more than anything else, they’re going to be open.”

And they’re going to be changing. The Bureau of Reclamation has chosen The Pensus Group to add the brush strokes to these canvases — the campsites, RV sites, cottages, restaurants, hotels, spa, conference center and other amenities that are to come to various resorts.

“This is kind of the beginning of the transformation,” Lucero said. “We’re going to see a lot more activity beginning now through the next five or six years.”

Lake Berryessa is a key water source for Solano County cities and a major recreation draw. Created by the Bureau of Reclamation in the late 1950s with the building of Monticello Dam, the lake fills a valley amid brush-covered hills. It has 100 miles of shoreline, most of it undeveloped.

In a controversial move several years ago, the Bureau of Reclamation wiped the resorts clean of the 1,500 or so mobile homes and trailers that were once there, as well as many of the launches and other features. It is reshaping the resorts to attract more people who visit for a few days, as opposed to also serving people who live at the lake for part of the year.

Pensus is giving its resorts a new look and identity, so much so that it has changed their names. For example, Rancho Monticello is now Manzanita Canyon and Spanish Flats is now Foothill Pines.

Required environmental assessments on the properties are under way and should be completed this year, said Georgi Maule-Ffinch of Pensus.

“Until that’s finished, we can’t do anything really,” she said. “We can’t disturb any dirt or do any trenching.”

By next summer, some cottages should be built and some marina slips should be in the water, Maule-Ffinch said. People should keep seeing improvements made every year, she said.

“We’ll basically just ramp up,” Maule-Ffinch said.

For now, campsites and RV sites are available at the various Pensus resorts. Also, the lake is almost full and is beautiful, she said.

In addition to the resorts, the Bureau of Reclamation runs Capell Cove boat launch and the Oak Shores, Smittle Creek and Eticuera day-use areas. All of this means that, even though a big, anticipated transformation is under way, there are things to do at Lake Berryessa and places to go.

That’s a message that Peter Kilkus of the Lake Berryessa Chamber of Commerce also wants to get out to prospective lake visitors.

“We’re open. We’re open,” Kilkus said.

Kilkus is among those who once owed a mobile home at a resort. He fought the Bureau of Reclamation’s approach to transforming the resorts, saying the people living in the resorts were important to the lake’s economy.

“The way I look at it positively is, it never should have happened this way, but we have what we have,” Kilkus said.”We all have to work at reopening the resorts and make them reach their full potential.”

At one point, Lake Berryessa had about 1.5 million visitors annually, Lucero said. He’s uncertain how many people came last year, with many of the resorts closed, but there definitely was a drop-off, he said.

Lucero expects an increase in visitors this year, as the Berryessa reality moves a little closer to the Berryessa dream.

— Reach Barry Eberling at beberling@dailyrepublic.net

Comments

comments

Barry Eberling

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Interfaith event focuses on justice

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    In vino veritas: A criminal case and intrigue in Napa Valley

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Parking lawsuit may be more than meets the eye

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Workshop offers tips on GoPro cameras

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sutter Davis Hospital seeks volunteer doulas

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Winter produce, treats available at Wednesday market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Have a ‘Heart to Heart’ with Dr. G

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Apply now for Soroptimist service grants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Learn nature photography from an expert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Thorp receives UCD’s Distinguished Emeritus Award

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Innovation opportunities on the agenda

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Apply now to be on Davis’ coop crawl

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Seed swap set Friday at Davis Cemetery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    VFW post plans Valentine’s Day Heroes Breakfast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Gerber nominations open now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Taking turns as the halfway house

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    A family was torn apart, but we survived

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Locals will join march for climate change

    By Michelle Millet | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Anatomy of a hoops collapse: can Aggie men handle the pressure?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Four DHS wrestlers soar at McClellan Air Force Base

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Aggie women almost get a sweep of Portland tennis teams

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD women need to get in gear for a basketball road trip

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD swims past Santa Barbara

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Eat ribs for the Davis Aquadarts

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Lea Rosenberg leads Odd Fellows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Arts

    DHS Idol finals will be a tough competition

    By Krystal Lau | From Page: A9

     
    Wynonna Judd will perform Feb. 13 in Vacaville

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    ‘Ideation’ a funny, dark, thrilling farce — and more

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7