Lack of Interest Dooms County Campground
Parks officials in Buncombe County, N.C., are keeping the campground at Lake Julian closed, opting instead to convert the site to a picnic area with a shelter and other amenities.
“We are going to build a nice picnic shelter,” said David Blynt, park manager.
The county leases the land near Arden, N.C., from Progress Energy, and it is a popular spot for fishing, according to the Pisgah Mountain News, Fletcher, N.C.
Buncombe County had reopened the suburban Ashville campground just two years ago. “It was actually a campground that was closed for about 15 years,” Blynt said.
The campground had 10 campsites, and the county charged $15 per night to camp.
“On the weekends, occasionally we would fill up completely, not always,” Blynt said.
Fran Thigpen, director of Buncombe County Parks and Recreation, said the county decided not to reopen the campground this year for several reasons, including a lack of around-the-clock staffing. Thigpen said the county wanted to avoid any potential safety problems.
“There was not a safety concern. I just wanted to make sure there was not one (in the future),” she said.
During the parks’ master planning process, Thigpen said the county did not hear a huge demand for camping, and the campground was open only part of the year.