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Historic Arroyo Grande campground is being sold, but to whom?

A short history of the 132-year-old Camp Arroyo Grande

The 132-year-old Camp Arroyo Grande has been in limbo for the past year, while California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (Cal-Pac) attempts to sell the property that has been home to numerous summer camps and school activ
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The 132-year-old Camp Arroyo Grande has been in limbo for the past year, while California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (Cal-Pac) attempts to sell the property that has been home to numerous summer camps and school activ

Camp Arroyo Grande is being sold to an undisclosed buyer, roughly two months after the city unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate a deal to preserve the campground.

Arroyo Grande interim City Manager Bob McFall confirmed Monday that the city is “aware a sale is in process,” though officials did not yet know details of the sale or who the new property owners could be.

“Supposedly the buyer is doing their due diligence right now, and we should have more definitive info by year end,” he said. “The city did not have a role in brokering this deal or otherwise participating. Wish I could say we did.”

Representatives for the current property owners did not respond to requests for comment on the sale Monday.

The city did not have a role in brokering this deal or otherwise participating. Wish I could say we did.

Bob McFall, Arroyo Grande Interim City Manager

The historic 131-year-old campground in the heart of Arroyo Grande was put up for sale this year, a move that prompted outcry from those concerned a new buyer would demolish the campground and its facilities to develop the 29-acre property. Of particular concern was a 12-sided barn known as the Tabernacle.

In October, the city announced it intended to negotiate a deal with the property owner, California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (Cal-Pac), that would give the city time to locate a buyer who would preserve the site, or at least relocate the Tabernacle. That deal was expected to be finalized Oct. 11 but was tabled for a later meeting, to give time for a new agreement from Cal-Pac.

City Development Director Teresa McClish told The Tribune at the time that Cal-Pac had requested the council wait two weeks because it “has something in the works that would assist in the preservation of the Tabernacle and the site.”

The deal never returned to the council.

Now, it looks as though the campground is being sold to an undisclosed buyer.

“Rex, the temporary Camp Director, says Camp Arroyo Grande has been sold,” Camp Fire Executive Director Kenneth Miles wrote in a Facebook post on the Save Camp Arroyo Grande community page Thursday. Miles was one of the several community members who championed the movement to save the camp, largely because of his organization’s use of the campground for its annual Camp Tacanneko summer camp.

“Though I have heard rumors of who has bought it, I have not heard anything official,” he wrote. “The rumor indicates that it will not be used as a camp facility. Rex has gotten rid of most of the camp equipment and the gate has been closed since Dec. 1. Rex has returned to his home in the Midwest and does not expect to return.”

Camp Tacanneko will instead take place at a campground at Lake Lopez, he said.

“Thank you to all who showed support of the effort to Save Camp AG and preserve it for youth of the Central Coast community and beyond,” he wrote.

Miles did not respond to request for further comment Monday.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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