Happy New Year! 2017 is a significant year for The California Parks Company as it marks our 40th anniversary! In 1977 we incorporated California Guest Services, our first company which today we consider as the cornerstone of TCPC.
In that year Jimmy Carter was president of the United States, Martin Luther King received the Medal of Freedom, the World Trade Center was completed, Star Wars and Rocky opened in theaters, Elvis Presley died, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, and the Bee Gees were at the top of the charts, the Oakland Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl, the New York Yankees beat the LA Dodgers in the World Series, Apple Computers was incorporated and the Apple II went on sale, Voyager I was launched and 35 years later left our solar system, a gallon of gas cost 65 cents, the average annual income was $15,000, the minimum hourly wage was $2.30, college applications were filled out on typewriters, email did not exist and mobile phones were the size of footballs and cost $4,000.
Forty years ago our company had four summer operations, Drakesbad Guest Ranch, Lassen Chalet (Lassen Café & Gift), Manzanita Lake Camper Store, and Burney Falls State Park and one winter operation, Lassen Park Ski Area. We had five full time employees (that counts John and Pam) and about forty seasonal employees. John plowed the snow and groomed the slopes at the ski area in the winter and supervised all operations. I was the relief manager at the summer locations and did the accounting year round. The “corporate office” was in a bedroom in our home in Mineral and all records were written on paper and all communication was by phone or through the mail. In our spare time we did the marketing, human resource development, employee training, purchasing, and financial planning for CGS.
In 1981 we expanded our company to include half ownership in Urban Park Concessioners with the first location out of the Lassen Area at San Pablo Reservoir in El Sobrante, CA. We knew NOTHING about running a marina operation and spent a great deal of time hauling Kris (10) and Kacey (8) back and forth to the Bay Area as we learned the ropes in this new venue. We moved our office out of the house into Suite #7 at Adobe Plaza in Red Bluff and hired an accountant and a clerk to assist us with our growing business. Big Basin, Lake Chabot, and Little Hills (as well as Castle Rock and Del Valle) were added to the operations. By the mid 1990s we turned our interests south by adding our first management contract with Diamond Valley Marina. We also stretched our business acumen in new directions with the addition of Quagga Inspection Services and UPC Gates.
Today we are very proud of our 23 operations stretching from southern California to Oregon. We have 9 agency partners that we represent in national parks, state parks, regional and county parks and water district. We employ 165 year round full time employees, 300 seasonal full time employees and 100 part time employees. We operate 17 different types of businesses including lodging, food, retail, camping, RV parks, marinas, water parks, tent cabins, camper cabins, event planning, tram tours, bike/kayak rentals, entrance gates, invasive species services, use pass sales, and boat launches. Our one office suite at Adobe Plaza has grown to five and our new office space in Fairfield is already bursting at the seams and soon to be adding space. As John mentioned in the Fall Newsletter we have robust accounting and marketing departments, a Chief Financial Officer, a Human Resources Director, an IT Director, and joining the team in Fairfield this month a Purchasing Director. Our revenue has grown from $250,000 to $25,000,000 since 1977. Plenty to celebrate and be proud of over the years!
Happy Birthday TCPC and Happy New Year to all of you that make us the great company we are. Let 2017 be a year in which all find happiness and fulfillment in all we do.