The budget crunch in California’s Santa Barbara County has forced government officials to prioritize, placing public safety at the top of the pile and cutting funding to departments considered less than essential.
But the county parks department is taking up the funding challenge by turning to creative methods and staying current with fee increases in order to maintain park operations, according to the Santa Maria Times.
Most recently, the county department signed a contract with Vacation Trailers 2 U, a local enterprise that delivers recreational vehicles to campers at Cachuma Lake, which straddles Highway 154 just northwest of Santa Barbara.
The partnership is estimated to generate $25,000 annually for the county, said Dan Hernandez, department director.
The RV rental business was started by Jason and Rendy Kimbrell in July, but already customers looking to camp in comfort and convenience are enjoying the service, Jason Kimbrell said.
Nightly prices for the three different sized RVs run from $150 to $225, and the county receives 10% of the sales.
Vacation Trailers 2 U offers pick-up and drop-off of the 2010 RV models at Cachuma Lake, and the accommodations include generators, slide-out rooms, kitchens fully stocked with pots, pans, dishes, utensils, barbecue tools and camping chairs.
Depending on the size of the rental unit, four to six people can fit comfortably, and dogs are welcome.
The rental firm also has established camping relationships at six other area sites: Carpinteria Beach, El Capitan Beach, Refugio Beach, Gaviota Beach, Ocean Mesa and Flying Flags.