Current Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds
From Camp Colorado e-newsletter:
Members of the Fremont County Tourism Council, meeting weekly following the fire that has temporarily closed the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, hope to employ print, radio and TV campaigns on the Front Range to win back tourists.
Camp Colorado member Todd Denius of Royal View Campground attended last week’s meeting and provided to Camp Colorado members the initial Tourism Recovery Plan prepared by VistaWorks, a Buena Vista-based web-marketing firm.
“From last week’s meeting, the No. 1 priority I think that we decided was that we needed to work with the local businesses and come up with a unique statement or identity,” said Leigh Beaty, VistaWorks representative, that was commissioned to tackle phase one of the marketing plan.
From East County Magazine:
Pine Hills Cafe and Tavern has sent an e-mail on Sunday (July 7) advising that there are now mandatory evacuations for the following sites due to the Chariot Fire: Shrine Camp, Laguna/ElPrado Campgrounds, & Horse Heaven Campground, and for two private properties. The town is not evacuated, however, at this time and the cafe remains open for business.
The Chariot Fire, which began Saturday near the Butterfield Ranch, is now 1,700 acres, according to estimates by air attack pilots. The fire was only 10% contained and could burn for days, scanner traffic indicates.
The fire is burning nine miles southeast of Julian. Sunrise Highway on Mount Laguna reopened briefly after Saturday’s shutdown, but a hard closure has again been ordered from Highway 79 to Pine Valley. Voluntary evacuations of cabins and the Shriners campground have occurred as the fire burned into the canyon below the campground. A structure protection team has been assembled.
The fire is now under joint command of the U.S. Forest Service and Cal-Fire as it burns into Cleveland National Forest. Firefighters have been contending with shifting winds and some have been treated for heat exhaustion.
From the Star-Telegram, Fort Worth:
The Texas Legislature, highly criticized for its drastic cuts of state park funding two years ago, came close to redeeming itself in this year’s regular session by restoring much of the system’s budget for 2014-15.
That means that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will have enough money to keep all 95 state parks open, as well as funding to address some of the long-neglected infrastructure and maintenance needs.
And that’s a good thing, as department officials say the parks are on pace this year to exceed attendance records set in 2012. There was a 13.7% increase in the first five months of this year over last year.
Since visitation is the system’s most important revenue stream, that bodes well for a department that was begging for donations last year to offset a budget shortfall of $4.5 million. Officials project more than $40 million in revenue this year.
In fiscal 2012, campsite and lodging reservations from 323,605 visitors brought in more than $18.6 million, said Joan Blankenbeker, director of state park customer service. In fiscal 2013, revenue rose to more than $20.1 million from 342,581 reservations.
Still, the department depends on additional funding from the state budget. Legislators had been advised in January that TPWD would have to close up to 20 state parks unless it received an extra $18.9 million in funding for the next biennium.
In addition to allocating $17.9 million for operations, lawmakers approved $24 million for maintenance, $5 million to restore Bastrop State Park’s wildfire damage and $15.5 million for a local park grant program they had basically eliminated in 2011.
From Calcoastnews.com, San Luis Obispo:
Ocean State Park rangers entered the North Beach campgrounds in riot gear over the weekend to keep from getting hit with residue as they confiscated illegal fireworks.
Both Cal Fire and California State Parks employees are out in full force collecting illegal fireworks through the weekend. Cal Fire has confiscated about 200 pounds of fireworks so far.
All types of fireworks are illegal in San Luis Obispo County.
Park rangers are concerned the illegal fireworks can start fires and endanger animals in their natural habitat.
From the Joplin Independent:
The staff of George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond is inviting people in the Hispanic/Latino, African American, Native American and Asian communities to a 90-minute group discussion about recreation in the Four States area. The event approved by the Office of Management and Budget and hosted by the Park Studies Unit at the University of Idaho, will take place Aug. 22-30 at as yet an undisclosed location.
The purpose of the study is to find out what kinds of recreational activities people enjoy and relate their opinions to the types of services, facilities and activities offered at specific national monuments. Interviews will be held with groups of 8 to 10 people.
As a reward for attending, participants (one per family) will receive a $20 Walmart gift card and free refreshments.
From National Parks Traveler:
Continued aggressiveness by one or more black bears at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin has forced park officials to close Sand Island to all visitors until further notice.
Park officials initially closed the nearly 3,000-acre island to overnight use because a bear (or bears) had been raiding campsites. But efforts to persuade the bruins not to look to humans for meals failed.
Click here to read the entire story.
From the Elk Citian, Elk City:
Elk City Commissioners heard an earful from community members and potential new neighbors to a proposed RV Park along South Washington Avenue during the public hearing portion of the July 1 meeting.
Land owners Richard and Treasa Schutt are petitioning the city to alter the zoning classification at 2005 South Washington Ave. from R-2, two family residential district to R-3, multi-family residential district.
The change would allow the couple to open a recreational vehicle park for overnight guests, said Richard Schutt.
“We are going to give everybody a little more space than the other RV parks,” said Richard Schutt. “We are going to be up to city code. We will be family friendly. This is a RV park, not a mobile home or trailer park.”
As part of the public hearing, commissioners opened the podium for the public to comment. Commissioners will take action on the proposed zoning change at the mid-month meeting on July 17.
From the Ely Times:
The White Pine County Commission recently voted 3 to 2 not to allow camping at the Ely Airport.
County Commissioner Mike Lemich expressed concerns that it would be in conflict with ordinances and doesn’t want the county to compete with other camping parks in the area, while Chairman John Lampros said this would hurt the Tourism and Recreation Board. There were also concerns about the facilities available to people camping at the airport and about reports from Sheriff Dan Watts about complaints that campers are sneaking into their facilities to use them after hours and without permission.
“They were completely insulted that anyone would insinuate they would do something so low,’ Adams said. “They go to restaurants. They buy food at Ridley’s and Andersons. They’ve been to the pool, to their train rides and go to Mt. Wheeler every year. They go see the sites in the town. They were offended some county commissioner would accuse them of something like that. They spend thousands of dollars a year in this community. It’s an expensive sport, but it’s a passion.”
If the county holds firm on its stance not to allow camping, the airport and the city of Ely will see negative impacts, said Polinsky, who works as a professor of Economics at Stanford University. And if that happens, one of top destinations for glider pilots could lose its luster.
“I think it’d be very detrimental to Ely and to the economy,” Polinsky said. “I’m an economist by profession. I would predict it would really hurt the revenue. I spend at least a couple thousand dollars in Ely. If they don’t allow camping at the airport, many fewer people would come down here…I hope they see the benefits for the city. It would be a big sacrifice for the city to not permit camping at the Ely Airport and the safety benefits they care about and the FAA cares about.”