Riverview Sign

The former lease holder and the former manager of the Riverview Mobile Home & RV Park have reached out to the Pioneer following criticism from residents of the park. Lease holder Steve Durand and manager John Thomas both said they wanted to tell their side of the story.

Among other things, they said they were as unhappy about the situation as anyone else.

“I’m upset they’re upset at me,” Durand said. “I got booted out, too.”

The park is on the Colorado River Indian Reservation, and Durand held the lease on the park. The lease expired Aug. 31. The Colorado River Indian Tribes took control of the park and sent a letter to all park residents. They said they had concluded it is not economically feasible to operate the park, and the park will be closed as of 5 p.m. February 29, 2020.

Park residents have since stated in published reports that the park was poorly maintained over the years, and the park was not being kept up. Durand and Thomas dispute this. They claim the real problem was the age of the park and poorly maintained mobile homes in the park.

“We had the cheapest rents on the river,” Durand said. “The park was old. When things went wrong, we fixed them. I invested a lot of money in the park.”

Durand, 78, said he’d owned the lease since 1972. He said he asked the Tribes for a three to five year extension, and the extension would’ve included upgrades to the park and a revenue increase for the Tribes. He said his requests were ignored.

“I wanted to keep it,” Durand said of the park.

In a letter to the Pioneer, Thomas said the management always responded to problems that were brought to their attention. He noted many of the mobile units in the park were more than 60 years old, and they had not been maintained by the tenants. He said he responded to electrical and water problems that were caused by a poorly maintained mobile home and not by the park’s systems.

Thomas also stated he had advised potential tenants that the lease would be expiring at the end of August 2019, and that he didn’t know or have any control over what would happen then.

Durand and Thomas both said tribal officials never spoke with them about closing the park. Thomas said closing the park was a “business decision” on the part of the Tribes.

“We had nothing to do with it,” Durand said of the closure. “There was nothing we could do.”

“We are sincerely sorry that so many people are affected by the park’s closure, as we were friends of many of the tenants,” Thomas said in his letter. “I hope everyone will be able to find suitable and affordable housing.”  

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(2) comments

Fred Coyle

Riverview RV Resort

We have been going to Riverview RV Resort since 2001. We purchased a mobile home there in 2005 to become part of a social group that held Thanksgiving and other celebrations that included up to four generations of Riverview mobile home owners.

The tenants of Riverview RV Resort understood that we were not in a high value park, and had become somewhat distressed at the overt lack of maintenance performed over the last two years, but the fellowship of being in a family park with multiple generations of tenants, held us together. We painted and repaired our mobile homes, helping each other with larger projects, or repairs to park owned equipment (like water leaks). We took sensible precautions preparing food, so despite the multiple potluck dinners, nobody reported any illnesses. We love our shabby chic vacation homes, and the family members who live there, either full time or just weekends.

I have heard through our Facebook Riverview group (more research is needed) that the park lease holder Steve Durand was paying CRIT $4100 A YEAR for the Riverview RV Park land, yet the rental income was $30,000 to $40,000 PER MONTH! I heard (again, more research needed) Steve Durand offered to increase his yearly lease payment to $8,000 PER YEAR, for an extension of his $30K to $40K per month rental income.

We, the tenants, were hoping that once the CRIT began to receive the rental income ($30K to $40K per month) they would start to repair the neglected Riverview infrastructure. We still have some hope that might happen, so we will continue to pay the space rents. The CRIT have only had the 30 days of September 2019 to discover the potentials of their Riverview RV Resort.

The current Riverview status is; the CRIT have taken back their rental property, containing tenants who want to stay, and who will continue to pay $30K to $40K monthly rent, if the park were to stay open, and who understand that the neglected repairs will take time as rental income becomes available.


Eberg-L

To start off... The Riverview property is NOT part of the CRIT Reservation (see http://www.azftf.gov/regionmaps/FY15ColoradoRiverIndianTribes.pdf ). CRIT may be title holder of the California land, but only the United States Congress can change the Reservation boundaries. The property is under California law and jurisdiction. That is... CRIT must comply with California and San Bernardino County law. Tribal law has absolutely NO standing in that California land! Your contract and landlord’s duties are under California law NOT tribal law.



All enforcement complaints need be directed to San Bernardino County and to the State of California. CRIT has to comply with California requirements, including being registered to do business in the State and the County. Tenants are entitled to protection under California law. Don’t be bullied by CRIT!

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