N.H., Vt. Park Owners Discuss Passport Issue
Campground owners in New Hampshire and Vermont are becoming increasingly concerned about U.S. passport requirements scheduled to go into effect later this year at the U.S.-Canadian border.
“People are very worried about the passport situation,” said Gregg Pitman, executive director of the host New Hampshire Campground Owners Association following the joint 21st Annual Twin States Conference and Trade Show Nov. 9-11 at the Fireside Inn and Suites, West Lebanon, N.H. “They're worried that Canadians won't want to bother with the hassles and that American RVers won't be coming to New Hampshire on their way to Canada. They wonder how difficult it's going to be to get across the border next summer."
The requirements, originally scheduled to go into effect in January 2007, are expected to be implemented later this year, although in early January no date had been announced.
About 75 people attended the conference co-sponsored by the Vermont Campground Association, which sent less than a half-dozen members.
“We are a very small group,” said Vermont President Maurice Barnes of Lakeside Camping, Island Pond, Vt. “People just don't come out to the meetings.”
Barnes, in turn, did agree with Pitman's assessment of the passport situation. “We don't need a passport,” he said. “A passport won't make any difference to security.”
Pitman said that owners attending the conference reported an increase in seasonal reservations for the coming season, a result, he said, of escalating fuel prices.
Seminar subjects during the conference included New Hampshire tourism opportunities, outdoor campground recreation activities, evaluating and enhancing websites and creating brochures.
Also on the agenda were tours of Crescent Campsites, Canaan, N.H., and Mascoma Lake Campground, Lebanon, N.H., and a retirement dinner and party for Ron Brown, who had been the New Hampshire association's executive director for 27 years, and his wife Claudette, who was the association's administrative assistant.
New officers elected during a New Hampshire board meeting were President David Reynolds, Sandborn Shore Acres Campground, Hampstead; Vice President Robert French, Mile-Away Campground, Henniker; Secretary Ellen Bagley, Autumn Hills Campground, Weare; and Treasurer Norman Gentry, Circle 9 Ranch Campground, Epsom.