b'California Parks Deal with Regional Lockdowns, Anticipate Busy 21By the end of January, California had lifted regional stay-at- OPEN, but due to Ballantyne said she worked extensively last year with Kelleyhome orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic and returned thecurrentRe- to develop COVID-19 protocols that would enable privateto a color-tiered, county-by-county model. gionalStayat parks to open and she continues to keep in touch with Mon-But prior to that time, a surge in COVID-19 cases prompted Homeorderre- terey County officials. California Gov. Gavin Newsomto re-impose regional stay-at- stricting non-es- But COVID-19 wasnt the only challenge facing Fernwoodhome orders in many areas of the state in December, prompt- sential travel, you Campground in 2020. The park was also negatively affected bying at least a few parks to temporarily close. mustmeetat a wildfire that broke out Aug. 19 in the mountains near Big Sur.Unlike previous stay-at-home orders that were issued at the leastoneofthe While the fire never threatened the campground, smoky skiesbeginning of the pandemic on a county-by-county basis, the following criteria: and negative publicity about the fire prompted people to can-regional orders encompassed areas of the state that included yourstayis14 Dyana Kelley Jay Jamison cel their reservations during the busy summer months, furthermultiple counties. daysorlonger; compounding the COVID-related losses, Ballantyne said.The trigger point for imposing the orders was when hospi- you are a full-time RVer seeking shelter; you are traveling for The negative effects of the fire combined with the COVIDtal intensive care unit (ICU) bed capacity dropped to 15% or essential service or business; you need to self-isolate or quar- restrictions prompting two temporary closures have been dif-lower. The problem is that counties with widely varying ICU antine; you cannot stay in your own home; or you are in the ficult for Fernwood and its 40-plus employees, who also livecapacities are lumped together into the same regions, which area to care for a vulnerable person.If you do not meet any of at the park.results in the imposition of stay-at-home orders in some the above criteria, we will be happy to change your reservation Its really been a roller coaster of being open and closed,counties that are not experiencing a surge in COVID cases, ac- to alternate future dates (please call our Reservations Office) Ballantyne said. The biggest loss is in food and beverage. Ourcording to Dyana Kelley, president and CEO of the CampCal- or provide you a full refund (please use the Cancel Reservation bar isnt open, and we cant provide live entertainment as weNow RV Park and Campground Alliance. link on our website). normally do.The regional stay-at-home orders, which Newsom an- Pismo Coast Village is also requiring guests to sign a waiver Despite the setbacks with COVID-19 and the fire, Ballan-nounced Dec. 3, splits California into five regionsthe San indicating that they are aware of the regional stay-at-home tyne said Fernwood had its busiest November in history inFrancisco Bay Area, the greater Sacramento area, Northern order and that they are in compliance with it, said Jay Jamison, 2020 as well as its busiest first half of Decemberuntil Mon-California, the San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California. the parks general manager. terey County officials issued an order prohibiting overnightBut these regions vary widely in population density and geog- Were still implementing all of our COVID protections, camping.raphy and are not necessarily logical in design. Jamison said. Masks are required in all buildings. Were limit- Ballantyne said her 2020 business ended up being downKelley noted, for example, that Mono County, the rural ing people in our store. We limit the hours of our restrooms. 20% compared to 2019. But she remains hopeful that businessCentral California county that includes the Mammoth Moun- The pool is open, but there is no furniture provided. The ar- will improve in 2021.tain Ski Resort, is included in the same Southern California cade and mini golf are closed. Were nearly sold out for this summer, Ballantyne said,region as metropolitan Los Angeles, some 400 miles to the Despite these restrictions, however, Pismo Coast Villages adding, Camping is more popular than ever.South. Both regions have dramatically different ICU bed ca- winter business was still almost normal. This is a slow time Kelley, for her part, noted that even with the latest regionalpacities and COVID cases, with Los Angeles having some of of year for us, Jamison said. stay-at-home orders, the travel situation in California is betterthe largest numbers of COVID cases in the nation. Pismo COVID-19 restrictions have been even more severe further than it was near the beginning of the pandemic, when theBeach, in San Luis Obispo County, is another Central Califor- north in Monterey County, which is in Central California about whole state was temporarily shut down.nia area included in the shutdown order affecting the South- two hours south of San Francisco. Monterey County officials In general, she said, most parks are as busy as they wouldern California region even though Pismo Beach and San Luis shut down all overnight camping in the county on Dec. 13 and like to be.Obispo County have much higher ICU bed capacities than Los the regional stay-at-home order was extended indefinitely on Kelley added that she is prepared to do more advocacyAngeles or even neighboring Santa Barbara County. Jan. 11, according to Diana Ballantyne, general manager of work on behalf of Californias campground industry to ensureGuests who call Pismo Coast Village RV Resortin Pismo Fernwood Campground and Resortin Big Sur, which has 46 that state and local officials allow parks to open for springBeach hear a voice recording about the regional stay-at-home campsites, six cabins, 10 tent cabins and 13 motel rooms, plus camping as the weather warms up so that people dont startorder and are directed to the parks Facebook page for more a restaurant.camp in places where they shouldnt be camping.information before being connected to a reservationist.The park shut down completely at the beginning of the By March, most of the state warms up, she said, andAt the time of this writing in late January, Pismo Coast Vil- pandemic and again in December, but was open again to es- we will need to have places available for people to go andlage stated the following on its Facebook page: WE ARE sential travel at the time of this writing in late January. recreate.Jeff CriderWCMWOODALLSCM.com March 2021-7'