“Renaissance Lake Berryessa” Update (Nov. 17, 2020)

An important question to many of us who have worked long and hard on the revitalization of Lake Berryessa is whether the COVID crisis and tragic fires would have any serious impact on Napa County’s willingness to continue with the signed Managing Partner Agreement and get the bid prospectus out soon. The recreational value of the lake is described in detail in the Ragatz report: Lake Berryessa: An Untapped Resort Development Opportunity

Ragatz Summary & Recomendations

At the recent Napa County Supervisors’ meeting on November 17, 2020, a ray of light broke through the gloom. Molly Rattigan, Deputy County Executive Officer, made an upbeat presentation to the supervisors as to the status of the Managing Partner Agreement (MPA) with the Bureau of Reclamation. Per the terms of the MPA, the county was to take over management of three recreation areas - Steele Canyon RA, Spanish Flat RA, and Monticello Shores RA - on November 1, 2020. Unfortunately, due to the fires and COVID, the county resources have been stretched thin. Reclamation proposed extending the interim contracts with the present operators of Steele Canyon (Pleasure Cove Marina/Suntex) and Spanish Flat (four local residents doing business as Spanish Flat Partners) to December 31, 2020. Monticello Shores is closed. The county will now formally take over management of the three recreation areas on January 1, 2021.

Reclamation proposed potentially extending the interim contracts through the 2021 recreation season, but their policies would not allow that. However, the county could take over the interim contracts until long-term concessioners are chosen. The county is now reviewing the contract terms to make sure they meet county contractual guidelines. One benefit to the present interim concessioners would be that they could use subcontractors to provide additional services. Subcontractors are not allowed under their present contracts with Reclamation.

Rattigan assured the supervisors that there would be no conflict between the plans and activities of the chosen long-term concessioners and the interim contract concessioners. The primary goal is to continue provide recreation opportunities to the public during this transition period.

Meanwhile the development of the Bid Prospectus (RFP) for the three recreation areas has moved forward with the assistance of Dick Ragatz of Ragatz Realty. Ragatz authored the original report documenting in detail the recreational value of the lake. Rattigan said that the Bid Prospectus is nearing completion and will be sent out by the end of this week or early next week. Rattigan reported that the county has had significant interest in the Bid Prospectus from recreation companies.

The comments by and questions from the supervisors were unanimously supportive, as they have been for the last three years of this seemingly endless process. You can view the video of this meeting at:


Scroll to Item 10.B: County Executive Officer requests discussion and possible direction on the status of concessionaires at the three Lake Berryessa resort areas under the Managing Partner Agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation at the 1 hour 40 minute mark.

pKilkus@gmail.com                       © Peter Kilkus 2020