California State Parks announced today that the Lake Perris Marina at Lake Perris State Recreation Area (SRA) will be closed beginning March 1, 2020. The closure is due to an upgrade to the marina and its related facilities, and the current concessionaire contract expiring. Currently, the marina and related facilities are operated under a month-to-month concession contract with Rocky Mountain Recreation Company.
In an effort to better serve California’s diverse population and create a more inviting and relevant state park system, State Parks has been updating its policies and procedures for its concession program. In April 2019, the department advertised a request for proposals (RFP) for a 30-year concession agreement to operate the Lake Perris marina facilities, which includes replacement of the docks and refurbishment or replacement of the store and restaurant buildings with a minimum investment of $3 million. Additional opportunities for camping trailer rentals, horseback riding and bike rentals, alternative camping, such as “glamping” and yurts were just some examples of additional visitor services suggested for proposers. No proposals were received for the concession, and the current contract with Rocky Mountain Recreation Company will be discontinued.
State Parks began creating an RFP for an improved marina concession operation in 2004, just before the Perris Dam was determined to need seismic repair by the California Department of Water Resources. The RFP was advertised in 2019 once the dam remediation was complete and the water level raised. Public meetings occurred in 2017 in anticipation of the upcoming RFP with input such as dock safety features and security, which were described as required improvements for the prospective concessionaire.
Due to the current condition of the aging facilities, the marina and associated parking lot will be closed for demolition after the current concession operation vacates. Once removal of the public safety hazard has been completed, a revised RFP will be advertised containing modified requirements. The remainder of the park will continue to operate as normal. State Parks looks forward to the RPF process and to enhance the visitor experience at Lake Perris SRA.
Lake Perris, an 8,800 acre state recreation area, is bounded by three sides by low ridges. When 80 percent full, the lake’s elevation is 1,580 feet above sea level, covering 1,800 surface acres. Boating activities include fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding, personal watercraft operation, windsurfing, sailing, paddle boarding, and kayaking. Other activities include birdwatching, hiking, rock climbing and camping.
California State Parks desires to provide safe and reliable visitor services of high quality and value. Lake Perris SRA saw over 850,000 visitors in 2018 and visitation is steadily increasing.