b'CAMPGROUNDPROFILEnightly.Wheneverybodyssetupatnight, they didnt want to listen to thesetrucks going. It was embarrassing.To fix the larger issue at hand, theSimpsons had to get creative. I dont know how many maps wehave of the campground showing uswhere the sewer and water lines are, butsomanypeoplehavecomeinandchanged them that there isnt a perfectmap, Glenda said. It made the idea of completely rip-ping out and putting in new sewer andwater lines a nightmare. They ended upgetting their own sewer truck so that ifanything got stuck in the lines, theycould clear it right away. This actuallyended up being less expensive, she said,although the first year under their own-ership the sewer bill was still around$30,000.Afteryearsofcleaningthepipes out, they have fixed all the issuesand have even replaced entire damagedOnce a park that RVers tried to avoid along the Alaska Highway, the owners of Triple G Hideaway sections as they are discovered. RV Park have made numerous improvements to create a welcoming environment. The outside washrooms were also inserious need of repair and werent evenopen when the Simpsons bought theWith Effort, Owners of Triple G Hideaway RV Park Turned Theirpark. The interiors have now all been re-modeled, with the exteriors to be doneCampground Into a Destination Stop Along the Alaska Highway this year. But getting the right help to get thejobs done has also proved to be a chal-As travelers pull off the Alaska High- pretty good semi-retirement job, Simp- went wrong because as the owners you lenge.way and into Triple G Hideaway RV son added. Within months, construc- should know what youre doing, and I One of the challenges up here, ofPark in Fort Nelson, British Columbia, tion took off again and that company didnt have a clue. It was more about course, is getting your contractors be-they are transported back in time at the tripled in size, so my husband ended up getting the word out there that we were causetheresnobodyleft,saidsight of the old Saloon restaurant at the going back and I was actually running new, things were changing, and please Glenda,referringtothefluctuationentrance. It is easy to imagine the min- this place by myself. come back and see us. That was the and recent downturn of the local Forting days of the past that lured the first Reluctant at first, Simpson was deter- hardest part.Nelson economy. waveofsettlersnorthalongtrails minedtogettherestaurantandthe TheSimpsonsspentthefirstfive Fort Nelson is located in the north-through the thick wilderness, the build- campground back into good working years catching up on maintenance and east quadrant of British Columbia anding of the first road to Alaska, and the order. She threw herself into the project fixing each new problem as it was dis- largely depends on natural resource ex-establishment of the sustaining busi- andencounteredmanyunforeseen covered.Theirexperienceinheavy traction for its economy. This was in thenesses along the route to support com- challenges along the way to bring themerce. The rest of the pleasantly treed, park to its present-day operation.130-site park looks well-cared for and The campground was in very poorinviting, and its apparent that upgrades condition in 2009 when the Simpsonsare in progress with the scent of fresh- purchased it and required numerouscut lumber in the air. updates and repairs. When Glenda and Barry Simpson Whenwegotit,Iwouldnthavepurchased the Triple G Hideaway RV stayed here, Simpson confessed, sayingPark in 2009, it wasnt quite as idyllic. that in the last few years before they tookTheyhadnoprior it over the campground had fallen intocampgroundexperi- extreme neglect. No yard work had beenence. They both had done, so tree limbs and weeds had en-careersinconstruc- croached on the sites and roadways. Thetionandinitially sites drained poorly, so mud was a con-came to the Fort Nel- stant problem. Sewer water was comingson area in 2004 with up all the time and burned buildings intrucks logging for the the middle of the campground hadntGlenda Simpson local mill. They later been properly cleaned up. startedaconstruc- There were even strange people liv-tion- and gravel-crushing company to ing in the basement of the office build-make a living and settled in the town.ingwhowouldhangaroundonthe Triple Gs restaurant serves as one of the parks main attractions.In May 2009, they were asked by a front porch.friend to help fund the reopening of one It just wasnt a good place if you equipment and construction came in form of a lumber mill in the 2000s andof the older restaurants in townright wanted to stop. It took years of word-of- handy as they put down at least 150 the town prospered as a logging com-nexttoanaging,overgrowncamp- mouth to convince people to stop here loads of gravel to fix the drainage prob- munity, drawing in workers and fami-ground. By June, Glenda had become again, said Simpson. That was a big lems and get rid of all the mud, said lies.more involved with the running of the challenge when we bought the camp- Simpson. Thats what brought us here, andrestaurantandtheadjacentcamp- ground because people had quit com- Trees had to be trimmed to allow RVs when we lost the mill, we lost a lot,ground went up for sale soon afterward. ing here. It had the worst reputation, to drive through and many of the 130 Glenda said. The downturn from theI never would have looked at a camp- and even the caravans were trying to sites needed to be reclaimed from na- mill closing was temporarily remediedground,saidGlendaSimpson,co- figure out where they could stop before ture.by the arrival of the oil and gas industryowner and manager of the park. My or after this park. One of the biggest problems, how- a few years later. Again, the town pros-husband wanted this campground, but I Atfirst,convincingpeoplethings ever, proved to be the sewer. pered as jobs were restored, but in 2014didnt.Ididntknowanythingabout were changing was difficult as improve- Thereusedtobehorriblesewer that industry also packed up shop andcampgrounds.Iwasntinterestedbe- ments couldnt be done fast enough. problems in this campground, Glenda left. cause I had this feeling that this was all I We kept trying to explain that we said, recalling many nights when the This change hit the Triple G Hide-was going to end up doing, and he talked were new, and we were working on it, lines would back up and the city sewer aways bottom line, too. me into it. Here we are, 10 years later. butitalldoesnthappeninthefirst truckwouldhavetocomeoutand Whenwetookoverthiscamp-Our construction company at the week, Glenda said. It was stressful get- pump out the blockages that prevented ground,therewere40to50trailerstime was at the level where our son tingtoknowthecampground,and sewage from reaching the towns sys- every summer that workers brought upcould handle it and this seemed like a youdfeelembarrassedwhenthings tem. We had to get them out almost here and paid monthly rent, Glenda re-42 -October 2019Woodalls Campground Management'