Empty RV park leaves open questions

Residents curious about disappearance of longtime structures
By: Jenifer Gee Journal News Editor
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The vacant lots of an Auburn “fixture” are leaving several residents with more questions than answers. For more than 20 years, many residents and motorists have driven by the Bowman RV Park, situated off Bowman Road along Interstate 80 in Auburn. But recently, some residents are asking what happened to the now empty park and its residents. “Slowly over the last month, and I think since before Christmas, they began to move out some of the units,” said Bowman area resident Norma Ferris. “Then suddenly they were all gone.” A man who answered the RV park’s phone Monday declined to give his name or discuss why the park, which holds upward of 20 lots, is now completely empty. “We’re not going to talk about it,” he said. Auburn resident Sharron Nordmann said she and her husband received a similar response over the weekend when they asked a woman holding a garage sale at the park what happened to the trailers and RVs. The woman reportedly told the couple that she didn’t know what happened and that “we’re the contractor.” “She just shut it off right there,” Nordmann said Monday. Nordmann said her husband drives by the park almost everyday but didn’t notice a change until he glanced over one day and saw nothing. Nordmann said she is concerned about where the residents will be able to afford to live. “I don’t think any of them had much,” Nordmann said. On its Web site, Bowman RV Park lists itself as a member of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, the California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds and the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds. On Monday, Debbie Sipe, executive director of the California association, said she had not heard of the park’s possible closure and vacant spots. “They haven’t contacted us and their dues are paid through the end of July,” Sipe said. Sipe said the association would try to contact park owners. “We’ll try to contact them and see if there is anything we can do for them,” Sipe said. California association members only need to pay dues and have a valid operating permit, Sipe said. Ferris said she and her husband remember staying one night at the park when they first looked for property in the area 20 years ago. “It’s just been sort of a fixture for so long,” Ferris said. Nordmann said the same day she browsed through the RV parks’ garage sale, she shopped at another one in a different Auburn neighborhood. She said she struck up a conversation with the homeowner there and both were left wondering about what happened to Bowman’s RV park. “A lot of people are curious about what happened and nobody knows,” Nordmann said. “It up and disappeared.” Reach Jenifer Gee at