MONTE VISTA — The Monte Vista Planning and Zoning commission elected a new chairman and briefly reviewed the Serendipity Camp Park business plan at its March meeting on Thursday.
Ken Hamko was elected as the commission’s new chairman. The commission received a brief review of the “Serendipity Camp Park” business plan and heard from Kalli Widger who is trying to start the business with her husband David Widger. They want to create the campground on their property at 275 N. Jefferson St. in Monte Vista.
Widger said that she went camping this past summer in her van and it gave them the idea to try and start a dry campground-glampground. Widger said that they would work through Hipcamp. Widger said that Hipcamp is similar to Airbnb but for campers. Travelers book their camping stay through Hipcamp.com.
Widger explained that they would like to create an experience with their campground. She said they hope to offer some glamping options, in addition to having regular campsites for tents and RVs. Since it will be a dry campground there won’t have any hookups for water, electricity, or sewer.
“We will have porta johns,” said Widger, also telling the commission that they would like to provide a composting toilet, and eventually put in an incinerating toilet.
“We have an estimated two pull-throughs for RVs. And then another 14 or so spots (campsites),” said Widger. She said they plan to remodel a 15-passenger minivan they own and put a nice bed inside, curtains, and solar lights for one of their glamping options. If it is possible Widger also said they want to have a community kitchen for the campers.
Widger told the commission their rates would be lower for campers bringing their RV or tent. They also want to have a dog park with their campground called, “Serendipity Bark Park.”
Widger said their main demographic are travelers between the ages of 25 and 55 years old.
Glamping has increased in popularity over the years and that growth has been accelerated recently by the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers a safe way for people to recreate and spend time outdoors.
“I want to see Monte Vista blossom. I love Monte Vista,” Widger said. “And I think that having something a little more edgy, that’s going to pull in some of these people, some younger people, or even middle-aged people. They have a little money to spend. They don’t want to go stay at the Hilton, or in a fancy place, they want experiences.”
The commission was interested in Widger’s proposal but needed more requirements met including a topographical map. Once the requirements are met, the commission will have a special meeting to review the proposal and if it is approved it will go before the City Council for a public hearing.