Houseboat Owners Look For Stability

September 2009 News
OROVILLE, Calif. -- The hundreds of boat owners at the Bidwell Marina said they just want stability. It costs thousands of dollars to take a houseboat off the lake.

Boat owners said they have a lot of questions for the state and the company that is slated take over the marina pouring millions into remodeling the marina.

So out of anger and frustration, hundreds of houseboat owners from Bidwell Marina on Lake Oroville packed into the State Theater Wednesday night in downtown Oroville filling it to capacity.

"When you talk about Forever Resort you talk about giving one company a monopoly on the lake," said one concerned owner who did not want to provide his name.

The boaters said they are worried they'll be kicked off the lake by the new vendor, Forever Resorts, which the state has agreed to negotiate with to remodel the marina. But the State Department of Parks and Recreation said they won't allow that to happen.

"I think we're going to solve all those concerns and keep boats in the water," Roy Sterns, spokesman for Parks and Recreation said. "We have the final say on all those contracts and we are going to say no change."

When asked, some boat owners said they aren't to trusting of the state.

KCRA 3's Richard Sharp asked Gene Iocopi, who owns a boat at Bidwell Marina, "Do you trust what they are saying in there?"

"They have so many different things," Iocopi said. "I like what they are saying, but they are going to have to show me."

Some boat owners are upset with Forever Resorts, saying the state is giving them an unfair advantage over other companies.

"Yes it's going to end up in court," said boat owner Dan Khourt. "There are a lot of people preparing a lot of money preparing bids for this lake.

Most of the people KCRA 3 spoke with after the meeting said they were pleased with what the state had to say and feel a little more comfortable leaving their boats on Lake Oroville.
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