The Grand Lady Riverboat

Rumors of a campground being planned near the Grand Lady Riverboat’s new dock west of Grand Rapids, Mich., are accurate, but also premature, an owner of the boat said.

Capt. Bill Boynton is exploring a campground east of Riverview Airport, along the Grand River where he relocated the riverboat this spring. No application for a campground has been filed with the township, the Michigan Business Review reported.

“Rumors are just based on the fact that we were inquiring with the (state) about what it would take for permits to get such an operation going,” Boynton said. “There’s no dirt being moved or anything at this point and there may never be. We’re just looking into the possibility if it could be a reality.

“We’re just in the inquiring stage. It’s a matter of what’s it going to cost. It just depends on how the economy’s going to go.”

Boynton’s brother, Nate Boynton, in 2001 got township approval for a campground on 12th Avenue. But “when the economy got so bad he just kinda quit” on the idea, Bill Boynton said.

Some residents in the area have expressed concern about a possible campground, as well as liquor service on board the riverboat. On edge over a mugging last month, people are not excited about attracting more traffic to the neighborhood, resident Chris Bosch said.

“There’s a lot of concern in the neighborhood as to what is all being talked about,” Bosch said. “I don’t want a little ‘Sin City’ happening down there with gambling and whatever else could happen on a navigable waterway as they’re coming in and out of my neighborhood.”

Township Manager Dan Carlton said the riverboat has the right to dock near the airport. And the township has no authority over liquor service on a federal waterway, he said.

“If we had problems (with intoxicated drivers in the neighborhood), we would make enforcements,” he said.