RV park owners are not surprised that a deal to limit the number of RVs on the Wal-Mart parking lot in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, is not working out, according to CBC News.
“I think the agreement, the way it was structured, was set up to fail,” said RV park owner Morris Kostiuk. “Without pointing fingers at anybody, I don’t see how Wal-Mart could control it, so agreeing to it didn’t really mean anything.”
Last year, the city of Whitehorse, an outpost along the Alaskan Highway, negotiated a deal with Wal-Mart to limit overnight parking to 20 RVs per night.
RV park owners argued that they had lost thousands of dollars in revenue because of Wal-Mart’s free parking, while others argued that it helped attract RVers who would not otherwise stop in the city.
A year after the deal was negotiated, RV park owners say Wal-Mart is not living up to its pledge and the box-store is still a popular camping site.
According to Kostiuk, 40 RVs were parked on Wal-Mart’s lot one night last week, while his own park was only about a third full.
Kostiuk points out that the situation could get even worse if the superstore feels it has to let RVers camp in its lot.
He wants the city to pass a bylaw banning overnight use of parking lots.
Kostiuk says there are now cheap alternatives for RVers who can’t afford to pay and stay at RV parks. He has set up a free parking area at his park for tourists who don’t need power and water hook-ups.
Wal-Mart was founded by an RVer named Sam Walton, who installed a corporate policy that allows RVers in self-contained units to spend a free night in its parking lots.