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Roadside Retreat
The New Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff

Imagine a North State RV park where you can watch the Sacramento River roll by just outside your door - one where you can walk down to the water's edge and throw in a fishing line.

How about an Olympic-sized pool and a spa - a sports court, too. Outdoor fire pits and landscaping. A nice place to walk your dog. Definitely WiFi and a cable TV.

Easy access from I-5 would be great, especially near stores and restaurants. A place where you can escape for a weekend, but not too far from home, considering fuel prices.

It's right here! Red Bluff's new Durango RV Resort opened this summer and it's ready to enjoy.

"We want to go the extra mile to get people what they need and want," says Donna Hollenshade, who manages the resort with her husband Bill. "We'll take them to their site, help them get parked and stop by later to see if they need anything."

The 174-site park is built on 27 acres of river-front property behind Red Bluff's Belle Mill Shopping Center A walking trail leads under the Sacramento River bridge to a new city park on land donated by the resort owner GMB Realty Partners of Oakland as part of a development agreement.

And the resort is "green" - not just with lush lawn and drought-resistant plants, but also with water-conserving underground irrigation, instant hot water in bathrooms and laundry rooms, biodegradable pool chemicals, and timed and motion-sensitive lighting. Guests are given recycle bags to use with their daily trash pickup and yard waste is composted.

Something you won't often find: pet and vehicle washing areas.

"Almost every other RVer has their little dog with them," Hollenshade says. 'We have too dog park areas too."

The 16-foot wide, paved sites range from 75 to 110 feet long with and angled entry and exit to accommodate the newest big rigs. Hookups include water, WiFi and cable TV with electricity to 100 amps.

Most are regular or pull-through sites, but "buddy" sites sharing a large patio area available for those RVers traveling together. Waterfront sites face the center walkway joining three large fountains and 11 premium pads overlook the Sacramento RIver. Extended stay sites are also available. Cost begins at $38 per night.

"We've been getting call from local people about coming here," Hollenshade says, smiling.

The resort has two clubhouses for use by guests, including meeting rooms with kitchen and barbecue areas that are free for RV clubs that enjoy trips together. The main lodge has a big screen TV, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and computer stations.

There's even a masseuse available by appointment to ease travel-weary bodies, Hollenshade says, and everything is handicapped-accessible including a pool lift.

She's planning activities for all resort guests, including movies, poker or bunco nights, and potluck suppers, in addition to river boat excursions.

"We want to be an enjoyable place," she says. "We're still seeing RVs going down the road. Maybe not as far or not as often, but I don't think they'll stop going."