Serving
Mohave County
May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3
COMPLIMENTARY

NPS phases out ‘Trailer Village’ at Cottonwood Cove

General, Journal, March 2024 | 0 comments

March 2024

MOHAVE COUNTY — The National Park Service (NPS) has set into motion a plan that will see the gradual phasing out of a longstanding trailer park on the shores of Lake Mohave. The Trailer Village at Cottonwood Cove, which has been a fixture in the area since the early 1970s, is set to be completely phased out by 2043. The decision was made as part of a new lease agreement between the NPS and Lake Mead Mohave Adventures— a company that oversees the majority of commercial operations within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

The decision to remove the trailers has been a topic of discussion since as early as 1971. The park currently hosts around 200 trailers, many of which have been there for decades. Under the terms of the new agreement, these trailers will be gradually phased out over the next 22 years.

The NPS’s decision to phase out the Trailer Village is part of a larger trend. The NPS
has been systematically removing trailers from public lands across the country, with Lake Mead being the last to do so. The move is part of an effort by the NPS to modernize its approach to managing public lands in the 21st century.

One of the major changes being implemented as part of the new lease agreement is a change in the rules regarding boat storage. Previously, trailer owners were allowed to park their boats next to their trailers. However, under the new rules, boat owners will be required to park their boats in a dry storage area that is currently being constructed by Lake Mead Mohave Adventures.

The NPS has justified this change by citing fire safety concerns. According to NPS officials, the fuel stored in the boats poses a fire hazard. However, this reasoning has been met with skepticism by some of the trailer park’s residents.

“We haven’t had that problem in the 50 years that I’ve been here,” Owen Evans, a resident of the trailer park for half a century, told KLAS News. “But they’re creating a whole [other] hazard of having another 100 boats on the road being towed back and forth from here to Cottonwood Cove.”

The decision to phase out the Trailer Village has been met with resistance from many of the park’s residents. For many, the trailer park has been a vacation home for decades, and the thought of it disappearing is a difficult pill to swallow.

“To most of us it is our second home with a lifetime of love and memories. It means something to us, it means more than they can understand and we will do whatever we need to do to ensure it doesn’t go anywhere so our children can continue to enjoy it like we did and hopefully our children’s children can make the same memories there,” Jeni Rosenthal, whose family has been coming to Katherine Landing since before she was born, wrote in an email to 8 News Now.

Despite the resistance, the NPS and Lake Mead Mohave Adventures are moving forward with their plans. In January, Lake Mead Mohave Adventures announced a new 25-year lease at Cottonwood Cove and unveiled a $10 million redevelopment plan for the area. The plan includes a complete remodel of the 24-room motel, a redesigned café and store, an electric vehicle charging station, RV park improvements, and 250 storage spots.

While the future of the Trailer Village remains uncertain, some residents are choosing to stay optimistic. Jim Gartner, who leads the Trailer

Village Homeowners Association, told KLAS News, “I personally am going to enjoy the place the next 19 years. I’ve loved it since 1998. I plan on maintaining my trailer the way I always have. I’m hopeful that maybe there’ll be some relaxation on parking the boat next to the trailer. I think that needs some further study.”

Chad Taylor, director of marketing and guest experience for Lake Mead Mohave Adventures, expressed his excitement about the future of Cottonwood Cove in a news release. “As one of the best-kept secrets in Southern Nevada, we are elated to launch a new, elevated experience at Cottonwood Cove Resort & Marina with this long-term redevelopment plan,” he said.

The redevelopment plan includes a variety of upgrades and additions to the resort and marina. These include the addition of 46 covered slips, along with covers on 74 existing slips, a 400-foot “courtesy dock” at the south end of the North Beach Swimming area, a complete remodel of the 24-room motel, a redesigned café and store, an electric vehicle charging station, RV park improvements, 250 storage spots, upgrades and additions to employee housing facilities, 20 rental cabanas, changes to the lower campground, a tricycle transportation and food and beverage delivery service, and portable toilets and trash receptacles at North Beach.

The resort also plans to make changes to its Trailer Village. “Prior to 2043, LMMA will transition the Trailer Village from long-term to short-term accommodations. A new water line with meters will be installed and the areas shower and laundry facility will be renovated. In addition, Dark Sky Project-compliant, energy-efficient lighting will be installed, and water-efficient fixtures will be added,” the news release said.

The National Park Service (NPS) Development Concept Plan for Katherine Landing and Cottonwood Cove Marina addresses the phasing out of the long-term exclusive use of Trailer Villages. Under the terms of the new lease at Cottonwood Cove Marina and in accordance with the NPS Development Plan, the trailers and personal property shall be removed from the property upon termination of the rental agreement or at the end of Year 19 of the lease, December 31, 2043. As the Trailer Village is phased out, the concessioner can convert these sites to short-term RV sites or other concessioner-managed overnight accommodations open to all visitors.

Despite the changes, the NPS recognizes the significant philanthropic and stewardship contributions provided by the Trailer Village visitors. The visitors also have an impact on the local economy. However, the NPS has long recognized that the long-term trailer sites represent a private exclusive use of federal land that is not necessary or appropriate to the enjoyment of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. As a unit of the National Park System, Lake Mead is trusted to provide services and facilities for the visiting public at large.

While the changes may be difficult for some, the NPS and Lake Mead Mohave Adventures are committed to providing a high-quality experience for all visitors to Cottonwood Cove. As the redevelopment plan moves forward, the area is set to become an even more attractive destination for visitors seeking to enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Mohave.

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