My grandmother passed away in September 2014, three days before my wedding. My gramma was my rock in life, she was the one person I looked up to the most. She was an adorable, loved and loving woman. Her and my Papa had just celebrated 56 years of marriage.
They lived for about 30 years in a campground, the Gold Panner Campground near Cherryville, BC. My Papa was an original gold panner, he helped build most of the buildings in the campground, helped run it, ran the original gold mine and would teach gold panning to tourists and schools. He and my Gramma lived in a bus in the campground for ages. There's a museum on site, and my Papa is in a lot of the pictures, he helped make this campground what it was and is considered by everyone in the area to be the heart and soul of it. My Papa is seriously the kindest old man you would ever meet, has a smile for everyone, to give an idea of how sweet he is, he's always reminded me of snow white - hummingbirds will eat out of his hand, he raised these two deer from birth after their mom was shot by a hunter, he's just a gentle, gentle person.
He's such a part of the campground, he's even been featured multiple times by news outlets :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fp1MupMeKC0 This is my Papa here :) The owner featured in this video is not the current owner, and is actually a sweet woman. She is separate from the below rant.
The old owners absolutely loved them, and appreciated how much work they put into the campground.
The old owners had to sell, and the people who took over did not appreciate my Papa at all, they were rude, hard to deal with, abrasive, changed a lot of the rules and chased away the gold panning groups. There used to be gold panning festivals there, not any more, and the school stopped being allowed the field trips to learn about history.
My Gramma hit some bad medical issues, and the campground being about 45-60 minutes away from the nearest town was no longer a good place to live. They sadly sold their bus to the campground to rent out, and moved into Vernon.
My Gramma unfortunately, after surviving three heart attacks, a stroke and a broken neck in the past three years, succumbed to a heart attack in September and passed away in my Papa's arms. My papa was diagnosed with brain cancer a couple months after and had a stroke, which has been devastating to us all, although he's gotten a bit better lately.
Since they live in BC, roads are often inaccessible or dangerous in the winter, so he waited until Spring when the lilacs would be in bloom to have my Gramma's memorial and to spread her ashes.
We worked with the new owners well in advance and asked if we could hold the memorial at the campground, since really this place is considered home to most of us as we spent all our Summers growing up here and family reunions and whatnot. In exchange, we told them we'd ensure most people arranged to stay at the campground which would bring them business.
They said okay that it sounded good, but there would be extra charges if anything was left unclean, which was fine. We booked out all the cabins and RV spots, and had a huge amount of people staying in the campground, however some people couldn't fit (cabins were all booked up, a lot of people don't have access to an RV and have kids so didn't want to tent) so they stayed in the closest town in a motel or stayed with nearby people, but we had a lot of the campground booked.
They gave away the cabin that my Aunt had booked - I confirmed it with them that we had it four days before we came, and he told me "Yes you have Site 18 and the Prospector". We were RVing in Site 18, and my Aunt and family had the cabin right beside us. When I was hooking up the RV I noticed a family that was definitely not my Aunt and definitely not family moving their stuff into the cabin. The owner had given it away without any sort of notice, despite having confirmed it a few days before. When my Aunt went to talk to him, he was so aggressive about it and told her she wasn't even welcome at the campground if she was going to question how it was being run, that she started crying. My nephew Max, went and calmed him down and booked a small cabin that was given up that had no bathroom, no heat and no kitchen.
That wasn't the end of it... the next morning, as people were coming in for the two hour memorial, the owners were flagging them down and telling them either they had to pay for parking AND pay a $10 a head fee to come in or they weren't allowed to attend, which is something they had NEVER brought up before this day. They're cash only, and a lot of people didn't have cash on them as they weren't told about this before, and didn't know what to do. It wasn't even consistent, I guess my Papa's cousin Claudia was chargede $50 to come in and didn't know what to do so just paid it and came in.
My sister when confronted by them burst into tears and came and got my father and I, and we went to talk to the owner and told them that these charges weren't agreed upon and it's not okay to charge people to come to a memorial. The owner got up in my face screaming that he didn't care and people had to pay and when my dad mentioned if this abusive treatment continued he would be sure to write reviews online about treatment we received, and the owner started screaming about how we were threatening him. I told him "People are mourning. We paid for the rental AND brought you business and booked this entire campground where usually it would be empty, you are NOT going to try and make a profit by running people off the road and demanding cash from people who are in mourning. You are going to go into your building and not harrass the people of this funeral for the next few hours, or we are all going to move to the campground down the road and you can give us our money back." So he left us alone for the funeral.
I thought that was it, but the next morning all of us cleared out but my cousin Tara stayed for another night. Apparently that afternoon, her brother and his 2 year old son were playing on the trampoline. The trampoline had a sign, only one child at a time, however my husband had talked to the owners the day before and they said okay, two children at a time if they're being watched by an adult. My cousin Cam is around 30, he was sitting on the trampoline and helping his two year old bounce, and they came running out and said "Are you STUPID? You can't read the sign? You are going to BREAK the trampoline." (I have this same one, it's rated high enough to fit a few adults on) then screamed at them so much my Aunt and Uncle just said "Whatever, we're out of here." and left a day early.
So I'm following through on my "threat" and letting everyone know, do not ever give business to the Gold Panner Campground, in British Columbia. The new owners have completely destroyed what was the best campground in BC. On top of not running the mine any more (featured in the video), they also no longer allow the old bus featured in the video to run, they don't allow groups to come gold panning, and they charge per minute for the showers. They're such tyrants, the Cafe is shut down (and we've been here since we were kids and have never seen it closed, ever) but locals say everyone refuses to work for the new owners because all they do is scream at people.
A smaller note, Karma works fast. Shortly after we told them they shouldn't be trying to gouge people in mourning for money at the funeral of a person who helped build the campground, a couple tough looking guys on bikes came in. One guy apparently asked the owner to see a camp site apparently, and while the owner was escorting them to show the camp site, another guy robbed the office, and took all the money the owner had stolen from the memorial-goers. The police were there for most of the night looking into it.
Kudos to the old owners of the campground though, who not only attended the memorial to pay respects for my Gramma, but catered it out of their own pocket.