By Marianne Curtis
A few miles east of Richer a very unique resort and campground will be open to the public within the next month. EcoVillage Resort & Campground is located east of Richer abide eighty acres of forest along Highway #1.
Despite being located in an area that features about eight other campgrounds, owner Tony Gibson is confident that his resort will do well because it is unique to the region and even the province.
“After calling around to every recreation park within an hour of Winnipeg we discovered that each one has a waiting list,” added Gibson. “There is a huge demand here.”
What makes the facility unique to the province is that it offers modern amenities including fully serviced and wireless internet all powered by wind power provided by a 100 foot windmill.
“Our resort and campground is powered by renewable energy technologies,” stated Gibson. “My background is engineering and so many companies say that they are green and environmentally conscious but I know that at least 90% aren’t in the slightest – I want to educate people and try to do things that way.”
As part of the education process, next year Gibson is constructing several straw buildings, including the management office and interpretive center.
“I have taken on the responsibility of teaching people that they can live on renewable energy,” added Gibson. “I want to build the first zero-energy house in Manitoba here.”
Since November, $1 million has been invested into the property in preparation for the business. At the beginning of June, first twenty full serviced sites will be ready for occupation. By July, the lake and beach are expected to be complete and at the end of the summer the communal BBQ and pavilion area for families, hot-tub and theater should be in full operation.
Gibson anticipates that the entire project will take three years to complete. When done the Eco-Village Resort and Campground will feature 200 large seasonal campground lots, lakefront cabin rentals, very large beach area for kids and adults, an Interpretive Center, hot tub, greenhouses, community gardens and more.
Eco-Village Resort and Campground is owned and operated by Gibson and his wife Mandy, along with several shareholders.
~as published in the May 2010 Dawson Trail Dispatch