NEW JERSEY — When New Jersey State Governor Chris Christie called for the state shutdown, thousands of campers who had reservations at New Jersey state parks this holiday weekend were displaced with little notice. That is when the New Jersey Campground Owners Association (NJCOA) members jumped into action.
When it looked like the shutdown might occur Baker’s Acres in Little Egg Harbor Township started reaching out to their campers, contacts, and community. Via phone calls, emails, and Facebook they were able to let everyone know they would accept displaced campers and would waive the three-night minimum stay. Baker’s Acres representative, Monica Frazer, commented “we took in several dozen campers from Bass River State Park. Some campers said they heard at the local Wawa we could take them in.” Other campgrounds in the Shore Region also took in displaced campers. Colleen Walker, Atlantic City North Family Campground, said they also took in campers from Bass River State Park.
In the Skylands Region, Pleasant Acres Farm Campground, also accommodated many campers from High Point and Stokes State Parks. Rich Denman, Pleasant Acres Farm Campground, commented, “they were happy we accommodate them on such short notice and we waived the 3-night holiday minimum.” Triple Brook Camping Resort in Blairstown did not have availability for the displaced campers but did see more day visitors to the campground. Owner Ira Alexander hopes the day visitors will become campers at the campground in the future.
Pomona RV Park and Egg Harbor Lake Campground in the Greater Atlantic City Region were able to accommodate a few families. Dave Benn, owner and operator of the campgrounds, stated “we hated to see families 4th of July plans ruined and tried to help as many campers as possible. We referred them to other members in the area once we filled up.”
Down in Cape May County, the owners at Whippoorwill Campground were doing everything they could to accommodate campers who were displaced from Belle Plain State Park – Tricia Donohue from Whippoorwill said they did not want to see anyone’s vacation plans ruined due to the shutdown and they were making some of their seasonal sites available for short-term rentals and waiving fees.
NJCOA Executive Director, Joann DelVescio, said that the phones and inbox at the association office has been going crazy since the state shutdown. “We have been directing displaced campers to members since Friday. We hope everyone found a spot to pitch their tent or park their RV”, she commented. DelVescio says she is always impressed with quick response of the members and their willingness to help the camping community whenever needed.
NJCOA is a trade association representing campgrounds/RV parks throughout New Jersey since 1964.
Source: NJCOA press release