Camping spots at Okotoks’ campgrounds (Alberta, Canada) are filling up quickly, and there are no signs of slowing down.
As per a report, Riverbend Campground is booked well through the summer, according to Kim Eliuk.
“Pretty much all of our weekends are taken, we’re pretty much booked into August,” Eliuk said. “It’s a busy year.”
Eliuk said the pandemic hasn’t necessarily slowed down the business, but there’s certainly an increase in campers this season.
“People could stay on their site and do their thing and get away from their house,” she said of COVID-era camping. “Now, what I’m finding is people have trailers and nowhere to go, with the price of gas, they don’t want to go very far.”
While visitors are coming from places such as Edmonton and Lethbridge, Eliuk said that a large majority of reservations are made by Okotokians looking for a staycation.
Eliuk says the location is a significant factor for campers, so are the playgrounds, bike and golf cart rentals, mini-golf, and proximity to nature trails.
The Lions Park Campground is in the same boat, according to the manager, Pauline Krause.
“For the next three weekends, we have very minimal availability,” she said, adding that sporting events over the next few weeks are driving a lot of traffic to town.
They are also fully booked for the May Long Weekend to June.
Customers are allowed to book two nights in advance and wait until the conclusion of those reservations to make another reservation. Krause said that it’s their way to ensure that bookings aren’t gridlocked throughout the season.
“We’re not letting them book two or three or four in a row because then that [doesn’t] make it fair to all the people looking,” Krause explained.
In anticipation of the crowds, Krause said that Lions is stocking up on firewood and re-circulating information on camper etiquette.
Krause stressed the volume of traffic anticipated in the area could be stressful for visitors and employees. However, she asks that everyone practice patience.
“It’s going to create congestion, it’s going to create havoc,” she said. “We’re prepared for it, we’ve just got to have patience.
“We’re all thankful we can get out this year. Let’s start with having a bit of respect and kindness.”
This article originally appeared on Okotoks Today.