Parkland Beach General Store owners Robert and Jill Mitchell want to rejoin their children and grandchildren in England. (Contributed photo).

Central Alberta rural general store to be auctioned off to highest bidder

Bids on the Parkland Beach General Store close on Aug. 28

Gull Lake-area business owners are trying to beat a lacklustre real estate market by auctioning off their Parkland Beach General Store and residence online.

Jill and Robert Mitchell have been trying to sell their half-acre property for the past three years and came close several times. But they said the deals fell through over financing.

Anxious to return to their native U.K. to rejoin their children and grandchildren, the couple have placed their property on with a starting bid of $295,000.

If somebody purchases the store and residence for that price, they will be getting quite a deal, said Robert. He noted the property, including an 1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, has been assessed at $500,000.

“If the market was good, we might have even got $600,000 for it,” he added — but property sales are far from booming in this tough economy.

The couple has been running the general store on the northwest side of the lake since 2008. At the time, their son and daughter were older teenagers.

Now, they are adults who have gone back to England to live — prompting the Mitchells to make an emotional decision.

A tearful Jill said the people they know around Gull Lake are like their Canadian family.

“We’ve seen a lot of youngsters grow up… and they don’t want to see us go…”

While she and her husband have mixed feelings about moving away, “we have our own family members waiting for us (in the U.K.), and they miss us,” so the pull to return to England is strong, she added.

The Mitchells are listing the store in the Parkland Beach municipality as a year-round business with strong summer (boating, camping) and winter (ice fishing, snowmobiling) seasons.

The general store comes with an off-sales liquor licence, ATM machine, a covered picnic area, and private attached residence with triple-car garage, a campsite with indoor showers, seasonal guest “bunk house,” onsite coin-op laundry and nearby direct access to Gull Lake.

Besides providing some grocery items, the store has offered hot and cold drinks, walk-up meals (it has a fast-food kitchen), ice cream, liquor sales, fishing bait, ice, bottled water and other supplies.

The couple, who will give scheduled viewings of the property, moved to Canada 16 years ago for the great outdoors.

Robert is a qualified mountain leader in the U.K. — a career he’s considering re-establishing. Jill is a qualified youth worker.

“We will miss the mountains and the Canadian landscapes,” said Robert.

“We’ll really miss the people,” added Jill. “Saying goodbye is going to be quite a big deal.”

Online bids on their store, house and property will close at 2 p.m. on Aug. 28.

Jill said they plan to keep the store open over the Labour Day long weekend.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Gull Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Carbon capture project near Clive is now operational

$1.2 billion project will see CO2 injected underground to recover oil

Uncertainty clouds summer holiday plans for central Albertans

People ‘itching to get out’ should be patient, says tourism director

Lacombe lands title for world’s largest fishing lure

Lacombe has hooked itself some bragging rights. The city is home to… Continue reading

Windows smashed as vandals go on a destructive spree in Sylvan Lake

More than $5,000 in damage caused in early-morning rampage last Friday

Solidarity together: Central Albertans protest in Red Deer against racism

There’s no such thing as a little bit of racism. Even one… Continue reading

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Central Alberta playgrounds receive funding boost from Alberta Education

A pair of local playgrounds are among a group of projects that… Continue reading

FIFA signals support for in-game Floyd solidarity messages

FIFA urged soccer competition organizers on Monday to apply “common sense” and… Continue reading

Live horse racing set to officially return this weekend for Woodbine

TORONTO — Woodbine Entertainment made the announcement Monday that it will resume… Continue reading

‘Welcome Back!’ Several famed museums reopen across Europe

AMSTERDAM — In the Netherlands, the intimate gaze of the Girl with… Continue reading

Music industry calls for Black Out Tuesday amid unrest

NEW YORK — The music industry is planning to turn off the… Continue reading

Trudeau promises to speed $2.2 billion in funding for strapped cities

Trudeau promises to speed $2.2 billion in funding for strapped cities

Trudeau rejects Trump suggestion to readmit Russia to G7, citing Crimea invasion

Trudeau rejects Trump suggestion to readmit Russia to G7, citing Crimea invasion

Most Read