Preliminary plans for a proposed RV park. (Courtesy City of Ontario)

ONTARIO – Travelers to Ontario generally have chosen from the city’s wealth of hotels and motels to plan their stay.

Now, a third option is coming – a new RV park with 170 spots, planned for the intersection of Southeast Third Avenue and Southeast Fifth Street.

The closest RV parks to Ontario now are Vale Trails RV in Vale and one in Caldwell, Idaho. A city report said that market research has demonstrated high demand for an RV park in the area.

The city “has been working for several years to promote the development of an RV Park in Ontario to provide the need for the traveling recreational public to stay and shop in Ontario and to provide for a need for an RV Park for longer term stays by citizens using recreational  vehicles as their homes,” according to the report. 

Dan Cummings, Ontario community development director, said that “there’s quite a bit yet to happen” before anyone parks a rig in Ontario.

The rezoning of the land that will be used for the RV park is the first step, scheduled for the Ontario Planning Commission on Feb. 8. 

After that, owner Mike Hanigan and developer Paul Hilbig will produce a site plan, with construction starting in the late spring or early summer.

“Along with outdoor recreational facilities such as a pickle ball court, the park will have a clubhouse with a laundry room, several private bathrooms with showers, and a large open room for those staying at the park,” said Hilbig. “The individual RV stalls will be wider than average to provide and inviting, open feel we feel our customers will appreciate.”

Cummings said that the proposed timeline for the park’s construction is ambitious, but that he is hopeful that it can be carried out. 

The park, he said, will “give people a place to come and stop and stay, and shop Ontario and support our businesses.”

Key to this aspect of the park’s appeal is its location near other ongoing city improvement projects. In particular, a planned pedestrian bridge and bike path on Southeast Fifth Avenue will help RV park visitors and residents reach downtown Ontario even if they are traveling without cars. 

“That’s why the area in my mind is really ideal, because it’s really close to a lot of shopping,” Cummings said. 

“We have enjoyed working with neighbors and city officials, and equally look forward to bringing a top-class RV park to the city of Ontario in the near future,” Hilbig said.

News tip? Contact reporter Liliana Frankel at [email protected] or 267-981-5577.

SUPPORT OUR VITAL LOCAL WORK: We provide Malheur County the local journalism that searches out the facts for you. SUBSCRIBE FOR $5/month. Click HERE.