The Parkland Beach General Store (Advocate file photo).

Parkland Beach store is auctioned off for $356,000

Lower than expected price “a sign of the times”

The new owners of the Parkland Beach General Store at Gull Lake got an “exceptionally good deal” in buying the business through an online auction.

The final sale price was $356,000 — plus fees for the buyer and seller — said the store’s former owner, Robert Mitchell, on Thursday.

The auction closed Wednesday afternoon after offers from three bidders.

Mitchell said the property, including an 1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, was assessed at $500,000, and he believes he could have gotten $600,000 if the real estate market was better.

“It didn’t go for as much as we had hoped for… It was an exceptionally good deal, but I guess it’s a sign of the times,” added Mitchell, referring to the tough Alberta economy.

Thankfully, he said he and his wife Jill also have some other assets to help them re-establish themselves in their native U.K.

Auctioning a property is a good option if you really need to sell, but it’s a last resort because “you don’t really know what’s going to happen…” he added.

The store’s new owners will be moving from the Grande Prairie area next month to be closer to relatives in Drayton Valley.

The property they purchased includes a store that 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.

The Parkland Beach Store will remain open until Sept. 8. The Mitchells believe the new owners intend to reopen it later in the month or in early October and run it as a year-round business.

The Mitchells were trying to beat a lacklustre real estate market. They had tried to sell their half-acre property for the past three years and were eager to rejoin their children and grandchildren in England.

The property’s starting bid on was $295,000.

The Mitchells had run the general store on the northwest side of the lake since 2008. Having moved to Canada 16 years ago for the great outdoors, they said they will miss the people they have gotten to know and the Alberta landscape.

But Jill Mitchell said she won’t miss making about 3,000 icecream cones every summer.

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