Scott Cory, owner of the Ventura Ranch Kampgrounds of America (KOA) Holiday in Santa Paula, Calif., decided to take matters into his own hands after waiting months to clean up the rubble that was left behind by the Thomas Fire last December.
This was after losing more than 20 structures during the fire, one that would go on to be the largest in California history, burning 281,893 acres and destroying 1,063 structures, according to CalFIRE.
Cory told Woodall’s Campground Management, sister publication to RVBUSINESS, on Thursday (June 29) that while it cost quite a bit to perform the clean up on his own, waiting to see if the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was going to be able to help was taking too long.
“It was still doubtful whether FEMA would contribute and I couldn’t take that risk,” he explained to WCM. “I would have lost more months of the season with no income. So, I had a business decision and it was more expensive than I would have liked, but it was the right way to go.”
Cory noted that a typical house clean up takes an average of $100,000 in his area after a fire, mainly due to California laws and the disposal of hazardous waste material. He expected that by the time everything was completed he would be paying out more than the average rate.
The good news though is that Cory is back up and running, almost at full strength.
“As of today, we have rebuilt all the tepees, we have rebuilt 90% of the RV sites, we have new cabins coming in as we speak and the safari tents are 50% rebuilt,” he noted.
The cabins are being built and shipped by Phoenix, Ariz.-based Cavco Industries Inc., which Cory said had “worked hard” with him to ensure he received the cabins as quickly as possible.
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