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A woman tosses a bean bag at the Lake Leelanau RV Park in 2019. RV parks across the area may open late, but their owners and managers are hoping to have a summer season.

This season the Lake Leelanau RV Park in Lake Leelanau, Mich., will dispense with its traditional ice cream socials and potlucks. The playground will be closed and RV denizens will have to take care of their own trash, according to the Record-Eagle.

“Employees should not be handling trash,” said Jennifer Rhodes, who manages the office at the family-owned park. “We won’t be going in your trailer to fix your cable TV.”

COVID-19 and measures meant to stop its spread could have RV parks around northern Michigan opening later than usual, but their owners and managers are hoping there will still be a season.

Gary Becker, owner of Indigo Bluffs RV Park and Resort in Empire, said he has no control over when the resort will be able to open.

“We want to have as complete a season as we can have,” Becker said. “We want to have as normal a season as we can. But we don’t want to rush it. We just feel we have to be patient.”

Indigo Bluffs has 264 sites; about a quarter of them are long-term guests, Becker said. The park has had cancellations, but not as many as expected.

For many people, the RV is their summer home and they leave their rigs parked year-round.

Sue Buquet, of Reed City, has been a summer resident of the Lake Leelanau park since 2002. She and husband, Ken, are planning to come up north when and if the park opens.

“I don’t feel like I would be in a different situation than I would be here,” Buquet said.

Things will be different with activities at the park canceled, she said.

“We’ll still be able to get together with our neighbors. We just have to stay six feet apart,” she noted.

All but nine of the 64 sites at the Frankfort Crystal Lake RV Resort are used by campers who pay an annual fee to leave their rigs at the resort year-round.

Most campers are from downstate or from the Midwest region, said the park’s Manager Steve Simon. Some are Frankfort snowbirds who spend winters in Florida, which has been identified as the next likely hot spot for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The park usually opens May 1 and Simon said he’s planning to open on time, but will comply with any order to stay closed longer.

He’s had a number of cancellations from transitional campers — those who come for a weekend or a few days — but the regulars are still booked.

“This is a tough call,” Simon said. “There are people that have their campers at the park on a seasonal basis. It’s like a second residence. They have the right to access their second home.”

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