The nature of summer fun in 2020 will take a variety of forms from sitting on a back deck sipping a lemonade, or something stronger, to watching Little League games, but area campgrounds are open and dealing with a whole new world of social distancing.
Kenisee Campgrounds, in Harpersfield Township, is dealing with the normal as campers are staying more to themselves, but enjoying their home away from home, said Margie Grey, financial manager for the campground. She said the bulk of the business is seasonal campers that are close to 300 in number.
The overnight business will be less than previous years.
“We are at half capacity for overnights,” she said. Grey also said tent camping has been shut down for the year as well.
“We are not opening the restrooms,” Grey said. She said the camp store is operating a bit differently this year as people come and order merchandise through a plastic protected window.
Grey said she then gathers all the merchandise and hands it to the customers instead of having lots of people in and out of the store.
Visitors were not an option until late June, Grey said. She said people are now allowed visitors, but must remain six feet apart.
Grey said the campground layout is helpful for social distancing.
“Our sites are nice and wide and roomy,” Grey said.
All large-group activities have been canceled, she said. Grey said campers have adjusted well.
“This is their summer home. They come here to enjoy a little peace and quiet,” she said.
In Conneaut’s Evergreen Lake Park campground, things got off to a slower start, but campers are adjusting, said David Levesque.
“Been slow but steady,” he said.
Levesque said the campground opened on May 2.
“We have 225 [campers] that come back every year,” he said.
About 75 percent are back this year.
Levesque said the campground is not offering activities and the game room is not open for the 2020 season.
Those at the campsite are happy to be there, Levesque said.
“People are glad to be out,” he said.
Levesque said people are still gathering for camp fires, but in much smaller groups.
Hide-a-Way Lakes Campground owner Mike Stoneman said spring was challenging, but the situation has improved.
“Things are going pretty well,” he said.
Many area residents go to the campground that has numerous ponds and a pool, but there are also a lot of out-of-town guests, Stoneman said.
“We do have quite a few from Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Youngstown,” he said.
“It was real slow to start, but is getting back to normal,” Stoneman said. He said they are trying to make sure people social distance in the pool area and all large-group events have been canceled.
Indian Creek Campground opened as normal on May 1 for seasonal guests, but were not able to open for overnight guests until May 21, said Andrew DeLong, regional vice president, operations and sales Sun Communities Inc.
He said there have been some changes due to the coronavirus.
“We’ve had to make adjustments to the amenities and activities that are available to our guest per state and [local] health department mandates,” DeLong said.
DeLong said increased cleaning and communication with guests prior to their arrival has made for a smooth transition. He said employee training has been important and all employees are to wear masks when interacting with guests.
The campground has provided welcome kits that include facemasks, sanitary wipes, hand sanitizer and gloves, DeLong said. He said the campground has provided some activities that campers can enjoy on their own site, adjusted the miniature golf experience and hope to provide usual programs when state mandates allow.
DeLong said the company is expecting increased demand throughout the summer.
“We expect demand to increase significantly. People will want to get out and more travelers will be looking for affordable, convenient trips and experiences that come with a sense of comfort and safety reassurance,” he said.