Camarillo Ranch Foundation and City of Camarillo Come Together to Preserve the Historic Ranch (Post Date: 10/24/19)
Camarillo, California – On October 23rd, the Camarillo City Council approved an agreement with the Camarillo Ranch Foundation to transition responsibilities for property and grounds maintenance, weddings, and rental events to the City, thus allowing the Foundation to focus on its core mission of historical preservation, education, and fundraising, beginning November 1, 2019. The reallocation of assignments will provide the necessary resources without disrupting the programming, community events, and venue rentals, which are currently planned and will continue to take place at the Camarillo Ranch.
Since 1998, the CRF has worked to provide community access to the historic Camarillo Ranch and supported school children visiting the ranch to learn about Adolfo Camarillo's lifetime legacy and historic contributions within Ventura County. The agreement represents a redefined relationship between the Camarillo Ranch Foundation and the City of Camarillo – one that allows the CRF to remain focused on its core purpose of fostering the Camarillo Ranch and Adolfo Camarillo’s place in the rich history of California by continuing to be the focal point of the community for education, enrichment, enjoyment and to exhibit Camarillo’s diverse history and culture.
The Camarillo Ranch House was the primary residence of the Adolfo Camarillo family. Built in 1892, the beautiful 6,000 square foot, 14-room Queen Anne Victorian home became the stately centerpiece of family and community celebrations for generations to come. Today, this historic building serves as the backdrop for community gatherings, private events, and educational opportunities for visitors, students, and those who call Camarillo home. Camarillo Ranch Docents, dressed in period attire from the early 1900s, lead school tours and guide visitors on tours of the property. These Docents are a dedicated group of men and women with a passion for Camarillo Ranch history and preserving the legacy of Adolfo Camarillo.
In 1998, the City of Camarillo established the CRF as a nonprofit public benefit corporation, appointing a 15-member Board of Directors to operate the Foundation. The Camarillo Ranch was gifted to the City of Camarillo by the Centex Corporation in 1997, who acquired the property from a member of the Camarillo Family. Beginning in 1999, the Foundation initiated the renovation of the 4.5-acre property, including the 1892 Camarillo Ranch House, 1905 Mule Barn and stables, as well as the surrounding gardens. Since that time, the Foundation has worked to make the Camarillo Ranch a prominent Ventura County venue for community events, school field trips, weddings, private parties, and filming activities.
On April 3, 2019, the CRF Board submitted a letter to the City Manager explaining that the Board’s “…original goal of ‘self-sufficiency’ may no longer by attainable, especially in light of the changes in the event business and the ever-increasing costs of maintaining historic properties.” The Board also explained that the need to pursue events in order to preserve and maintain the property is distracting the CRF from making the Camarillo Ranch a focal point of the community. Via this letter, the Board initiated a request to the City to form an Ad Hoc Committee of the City Council to meet with the Foundation’s Operating Task Force to discuss the current Operating Agreement between the City and the CRF, in an effort to ensure the Camarillo Ranch is economically sustainable for years to come.
Because the City lacks the expertise in wedding and special event management services, the City hired Command Performance through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process to provide these services at the Camarillo Ranch and on behalf of the City, beginning November 1, 2019.
Through a several months’ series of robust discussions between all parties involved, a new agreement has been formed and the result is positive. The CRF and City of Camarillo have reached common ground, coming together to preserve the historic Camarillo Ranch. The agreement sets forth the obligations of the City and the CRF through October 31, 2019, and for continuing operations from November 1, 2019 onwards.
Under the Agreement, the City will assume responsibility for the maintenance of the Camarillo Ranch, and Command Performance will provide wedding and event management services. The City anticipates that the revenue paid to the City by Command Performance for weddings and other events should be sufficient to offset the increased maintenance costs at Camarillo Ranch.
The CRF, in coordination with the docents, will continue to be responsible for public tours, school tours, and community events such as Adolfo’s Birthday, Christmas at the Ranch, and Throwback Thursdays food truck events. The CRF will be responsible for preservation of the preservation of all historical artifacts, pictures and furniture within the historic Camarillo Ranch house.
Beginning November 1, 2019, the Camarillo Ranch will be open to the public every day from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.