Maine Park Looks to Add RV, Camping Sites
The tough economy has been no match for Bentley’s Saloon and Campground in Arundel, Maine.
According to a report by the Kennebunk Post, the seasonal spot’s owner, Bentley Warren III, recently approached the planning board about developing 90 to 95 new recreational vehicle sites and 35 to 40 tent sites to accommodate the campground’s growing clientele.
The new recreational vehicle sites would include full water, sewage and electrical services.
“We just want to expand what we need for our use,” said Warren, who is currently out of state, in a phone interview.
“Our customer base is bigger since we got the zoning change and we could have the occupancy for what we needed originally,” he said. “Now we can have the demand for more campsites and tent sites and things like that.”
Warren obtained a zoning change from the planning board in July to increase the capacity of the saloon from 180 people to 423 on the condition that indoor capacity be limited to 212 and outdoor capacity be limited to the remaining 211 patrons. The planning board in November 2010 granted Warren’s request to classify his establishment as a tavern instead of as a restaurant.
“Reclassifying his restaurant as a tavern basically gave him quite a bit more space,” said Town Planner Tad Redway.
Redway said Warren’s most recent request to add lots to his campground isn’t something that can be granted right away.
“What he was proposing to do he couldn’t do,” Redway said.
He said a zoning change is necessary for Warren to install the new campsites and vehicle sites.
Redway said Warren would stretch his campground onto residential land, which is not zoned for business or camping. The land is in need of a zoning change is owned by Warren.
Warren said he remains optimistic and hopes his expansion will not only help his business but also the business of the whole town.
“Since the town really seems to be for business now I figure it helps the tax base for the residents,” Warren said.
Warren said he hopes expanding the campground to accommodate more visitors will allow his business to contribute more to the town by way of taxes. The area that he would be expanding his campground onto consists of 31.25 acres of land subject to property taxes.
“If we expand it’s going to make the property more valuable,” Warren said. “I think (Arundel) is looking at that now.”