A local company with close historical ties to Lake Gregory Regional Park will take over management of the alpine recreation getaway under a 15-year contract unanimously approved by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
“Over the years, residents have consistently called for local management of Lake Gregory, and I don’t know if you can get any more local than Thousand Pines Christian Camp,” said Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford, who represents the Crestline area on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.
Thousand Pines Christian Camp submitted a bid to take over management of the park last year after the previous concessionaire’s contract expired.
San Bernardino County Regional Parks operated the lake until 2013 when the Board of Supervisors hired a private company to manage the lake, which was losing more than $700,000 annually.
Under the contract approved Tuesday, the county will pay an annual management fee of $50,000 to the company through Dec. 31, 2023, if the annual gross income is below $1.25 million and will not pay a management fee if the annual gross income is above that amount.
In addition, the county will set aside $1.65 million for capital improvements, repairs, deferred maintenance and modernization projects at the park that are agreed to by both parties.
The Works Progress Administration created the lake in the late 1930s with the leadership of Redlands citrus grower Arthur Gregory Sr., who erected a sawmill at the Valley of the Moon to build crates for his Orange Blossom brand. He helped found the Crest Forest County Water District, which was needed to obtain federal funding.
The dam was nearly complete in March 1938 when federal funding ran out. The total cost was $225,000. Gregory provided $65,000 through the water district.
In 1939, Gregory donated 10 acres near the lake to Thousand Pines Christian Camp to start a Baptist camp.