Campgrounds in the Boston area are preparing for an especially busy summer by adding more places to sleep, increasing recreational options and improving access in and around their facilities, according to the Boston Herald.
“We’re doing a lot to add to our infrastructure,” said Kristine Daniels, marketing director at Normandy Farms Campground in Foxboro. “We’re upgrading our electrical capacity and working to add cable connection to our sites, too.”
There are two main reasons for the sweeping and costly spruce-ups, campgrounds owners say.
First, after all the economic upheaval in the past year, they say, people are eager to take a vacation, but want it to be as inexpensive as possible.
And camping, which promises bare-bones nightly fees and campfire cooked meals, is about the least expensive way to get away from it all.
Secondly, these days even the most rustically inclined campers expect to be able to log on to their laptop computer to check out the weather or scout for new hiking trails.
Linda Profaizer, president and CEO of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), said it’s a national trend.
Private park owners are investing in new cabins and tepee-style yurts, as well as kid-friendly water slides and miniature golf courses.
Campgrounds in Massachusetts have seen an 8% increase in visitor traffic in the past two years, said Paula Carroll, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Campground Owners.
And with the recent financial meltdown, she expects the summer of 2009 to be especially busy.
“People are looking for more economical ways to have a vacation,” she said, “and campgrounds want to be prepared.”
At Bourne Scenic Park, owners have already added five sleep-in cabins to the campground overlooking the Cape Cod Canal. Now they are replacing a long-time saltwater swimming hole with two pools.
At Pine Acres Family Camping Resort in Oakham, there’s a newer splash zone for kids and 20 lakeside rental cabins.
The camping resort’s owners are in the process of expanding their parking lot in preparation for summer.
And in Foxboro, where Daniels’ family has run a campground since the early 1970s, the owners have added a pet-friendly yurt to the 400-site facility.
The yurt sleeps six and comes with a stove and a cable-ready television. A one-week summer rental costs $1,650, she said.