Friday, March 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 [email protected]

Comments

comments

Barry Eberling

  • Recent Posts

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

  • .

    News

    Anti-gay initiative puts AG in a bind

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    County supervisors consider options for historic courthouse

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Two found dead of apparent shooting in West Davis home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    New Paso Fino design trims lots

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Woodland police warn of kidnapping phone scam

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Co-pilot may have hidden illness, German prosecutors say

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Senate’s Harry Reid announces he won’t seek re-election

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Lawyer disputes police’s hoax claim in California kidnapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    Empower Yolo offers peer counselor training

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Davis Flower Arrangers meet Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Sign up for Camp Shakespeare

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    State loosens sex offender residency restrictions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Neighbors invited to adopt Willow Creek Park

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Sing along on April Fool’s Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Three nabbed in counterfeiting probe

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A6

    .

    Forum

    Can he get life back on track?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Blame Reid for impasse

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

     
    Practice cancer prevention each day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Turnabout is fair play

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

     
    Be aware and be afraid

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    UCD’s Hawkins, Harris to shoot at Final Four

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Home sweet home: Aggie women win a tennis match

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Devil boys grind out a net win at Franklin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DHS baseballers fall to Vintage in eight innings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD men edge Hawaii on the court

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Recent youth softball games feature big hitting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sacramento get its second straight win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Sharks get a key win over Detroit

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    UCD Student Fashion Association presents charity fashion show

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    ‘Get Hard’ comes across as rather limp

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Monticello announces April live-music shows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Leonardo Tuchman’s work shows at UC Davis Craft Center Gallery

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    Sacramento Youth Symphony holding open auditions

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Preview Art Studio Tour participants’ work at The Artery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Smokey Brights to perform at Sophia’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    ‘Deserted Destinations’ is April exhibit at Gallery 625

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Camry Hybrid takes a step forward

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Celebrate Rusty Jordan’s Life

    By Creator | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, March 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B4