If you are looking for a piece of paradise with a soothing and serene life all year round, Joan Fehr has the place for you.
After hearing from her customers, the co-owner of CherryHill Living, an RV park and park-model community near Steinbach, has decided to expand from the two-season facility it has operated since opening in 2005 to four seasons.
"People want more than two seasons, they want to have access to four-season recreational living. At the same time, they can downsize and sell their home (and move to CherryHill). Maybe they want to go away in the summer one year, spend the next 12 months here and then go somewhere else for six months," she said.
A four-season RV lot enables people to come and go year-round, just like they would if they owned a cottage.
"Some of our clients are snowbirds but still want access to come home any time during the winter, like Christmas, a wedding, a birthday or for medical reasons. They don’t want to have to close down their place permanently and not be able to come back until the following spring," said Fehr, who manages the property with her husband, Harry.
Forty-one four-season lots are being added for this year plus Fehr is enabling 17 existing sites that are currently two-season to switch to four. It still has another 136 two-season lots.
CherryHill is situated on a 15-acre lake about 45 minutes southeast of Winnipeg, which is ideal for all kinds of non-motorized boats, such as kayaks and canoes, and there are plenty of spots to fish, including a public dock. People who have waterfront lots have the option of building their own docks, too. If water isn’t your thing, there are also 104 acres for hiking, Quarry Oaks Golf Course next door, and soon walking paths and a dog park will be added.
Other activities include two kids play structures on the beach as well as a volleyball court and two pickleball courts. Shuffle board and a horse shoe pit are in the plans and the Fehrs have even renovated a classic old red barn - part of the property dating back to 1945 - into a clubhouse complete with a pool table and dartboards.
Rental costs are reasonable, starting at $245 per month for a two-season lot. (The rent is payable for 12 months while the lots are accessible for five months.) Rent on a four-season lot starts at $395 per month.
Once you’ve secured a lot, you’ll require a place to hang your beach hat, of course, so you’ll need to buy an RV, which can range from as low as $80,000 up to $200,000 for a luxury model.
"We’re a higher-end park so we’re pretty particular. We don’t allow anything more than 10 years old unless it’s well-kept. We don’t allow tents, tent-trailers or hybrids, either," she said.
Even though you’ll feel like you’ve left the big city behind the minute you enter CherryHill, all the amenities you’ll need can be found in Steinbach less than four miles away - grocery stores, gas stations, movie theatres, a hockey rink, banks, restaurants, liquor stores as well as hospital and medical facilities.
But if CherryHill’s lifestyle seems like the one for you and your family, you’ll have to act fast. Fehr said there are just six open lots right now.
While the majority of CherryHill residents are 50 years old and up, there are still a significant number of young couples, young families and families with older children.
"We’re creating a place where all members of the family are comfortable and welcome. Some families have three generations with sites at the park," she said.
In fact, Fehr said some of the younger kids who grew up at CherryHill have taken the plunge and acquired their own site now that they’re older.
"A lot of children of the first-timers (at CherryHill) migrate back to where they grew up. We want to keep it that way," she said.