Longtime RV park reopens under new owner

  • The sign for the Ocean Shores RV Park on the Sterling Highway, Homer, Alaska, as seen on June 29, 2018. The longtime campground formerly known as Ocean View RV Park reopened last month under its new owner, Michael Warburton, who also owns Ocean Shores Motel next door. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • Motorhomes and trailers are parked on June 29, 2018, at the Ocean Shores RV Park on the Sterling Highway, Homer, Alaska. The longtime campground formerly known as Ocean View RV Park reopened last month under its new owner, Michael Warburton, who also owns Ocean Shores Motel next door. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • Motorhomes and trailers are parked on June 29, 2018, at the Ocean Shores RV Park on the Sterling Highway, Homer, Alaska. The longtime campground formerly known as Ocean View RV Park reopened last month under its new owner, Michael Warburton, who also owns Ocean Shores Motel next door. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

After a few year’s hiatus, one of Homer’s first recreational vehicle campgrounds has come back to life. With a new name, but some familiar faces, Ocean Shores RV Park on the Sterling Highway opened the last week in June. Formerly known as Ocean View RV Park, the new name reflects its latest owner, Michael Warburton of Ocean Shores Motel, a beach motel that now includes the Kannery Grill and bar.

“It fits,” Warburton said in a phone interview last Friday about the expanded operation. “It’s become more like a resort with the restaurant, bar and RV park.”

Warburton bought the park from the Charles Tulin family, who owned the land and leased it to Geri Barling, who died in 2016. Warburton has hired Barling’s daughter, Michelle Barling, to continue management of Ocean Shores RV Park as she did for her mother.

“She’s a hard worker and she knows the place inside out,” Warburton said of Barling. “She knows a crescent wrench from a pair of pliers.”

The old park office was moved last summer, and construction is going on now for a new office, laundromat and showers. With the help of Michelle Arno, for now Barling works out of an RV at the top of the 84-space park. Spaces include power, water, sewer, cable TV and wifi for $50 a night. Spaces are deep and wide, and some long enough to get a fifth-wheel trailer, truck and a boat in a spot.

“It’s been a bit of a workout. We’re getting there, slowly but surely,” Barling said.

Barling, 53, said she remembers building the park in 1989 when she was in her 20s. The site benefitted from fill that came when Carrs-Gottstein built Eagle Quality Center, the grocery store that’s now Safeway.

“That’s kind of how the whole ball game started,” Barling said. “There’s a lot of great memories. It was a labor of love, that’s for sure.”

Warburton noted that Ocean Shores RV Park is close to town and shopping and without the bay breeze that can chill even hardy Spit campers. The park is terraced so that every spot has a view of Kachemak Bay. Repairs are being done on a trail from the RV park to Bishop’s Beach, but meanwhile campers can access the beach through a trail at the end of Crittenden Drive that goes through Ocean Shores Motel property.

In its heyday, Ocean View RV Park had been popular with RV caravans. Warburton hopes to get a lot of that business again and has put the word out that Ocean Shore RV Park is back in business.

“A lot of them have said, ‘When we get open, give them a phone call,’” Barling said.

Caravan tours run from five to 10 tours a summer to Homer, some coming from as far away as Texas.

“You figure you get 40 rigs and they come in like in like 10 times each group. I had seven different caravans,” Barling said. “It’s great for Homer and it’s great for us as a bsuiness. They loved the RV park.”

A website for the park is up, but for now it directs people to a toll-free number for more information or to make reservations: 800-770-7775.

Barling said she’s glad to see her mom’s dream back alive.

“It’s a blessing that we’re getting it back going. It was her love,” Barling said. “I’m excited it’s going to be back up and running.”

Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com.

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