Campground and RV resort operators across South Carolina are reporting strong demand for campsites with some parks being nearly sold out for Memorial Day weekend.
“People just want to get outside and spend quality time with their family,” said Dee Witting, executive director of the Carolinas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, which hosts CampingCarolinas.com, the travel planning website for camping enthusiasts.
“We’re really looking forward to camping, to getting away and being surrounded by something different,” said Trina Robinson, a North Carolina-based middle school teacher who plans to spend Memorial Day weekend with her husband, Mike, at Myrtle Beach Travel Park in Myrtle Beach, where they camp every year.
“It’s always good to go on vacation, but especially now since we’re not getting out much” she said. “This will be a return to normalcy for us, which is to be in our own camper and see the lifelong friends we’ve made at the campground.
Like parks across the Carolinas, Myrtle Beach Travel Park has a meticulous plan in place that takes into consideration Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control guidelines to keep people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel they have created a safe environment,” Robinson said, adding that she’s looking forward to taking walks along the beach and enjoying quality time with friends.
Myrtle Beach Travel Park is offering new activities for families with children for Memorial Day weekend, including a campsite decorating contest and family sandcastle building competitions as well as a fishing tournament and “socially distant barrel train rides.”
Myrtle Beach Travel Park is nearly sold out for Memorial Day weekend.
“We are at around 95% capacity for Memorial Day weekend. We are pleased to say it appears this weekend will likely be as busy as last year,” said Hunter Tresnicky, who handles public relations and marketing for the park.
He said many people who were unable to visit the park during the past couple of months have rescheduled their visits for the summer months. “The outlook for the remainder of the summer is looking very positive for us as well,” he said.
Other RV resorts and campgrounds are similarly upbeat.
“We will be nearly full this coming weekend,” said Barb Krumm, director of marketing and public relations for Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach. “We already have a good crowd in the park now, and we are taking lots of reservations for the summer camping season.”
Ocean Lakes’ indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the Adventure River and interactive play features in its Splash Zone will be open, with their team working to follow the recommended guidelines throughout their operations.
With Governor McMaster’s announcement late Thursday afternoon, they are implementing plans to reopen many other Ocean Lakes recreational amenities, services, and activities as soon as possible while remaining in accordance with the Governor’s timeline and recommendations.
Details are posted on the Ocean Lakes website at https://www.oceanlakes.com.
While many campground and RV resort operators have struggled with the imposition of stay-at-home orders in recent months, many are reporting a surge in business levels as state and local officials begin to relax the previous leisure travel restrictions.
“Overall things are looking really good considering the circumstances,” said Vickie Fuller, administrative management for PirateLand Family Camping Resort in Myrtle Beach. “We are practically full for Memorial Weekend — the same as last year — and we have been experiencing triple our normal call volume when compared to same time last year since re-opening for short term rentals on May 1st. As an average, the projected occupancy for June is around 10% less than it was at this point last year, but we each day we are making gains. We are making almost double the amount of reservations each day, and the majority are for this summer.”
Kimberly Drake, who manages the front desk for the Charleston KOA Holiday campground in Ladson, S.C., said her phone has been ringing off the hook this past week. “Over the weekend, we received a ton of reservations,” she said. “People are anxious to get out again.”
Drake added that she has been receiving many reservations from people who live within an hour of her park who simply want to have a change of scenery.
While her park currently offers RV camping, she said she will be able to offer tent cabin and cabin rentals starting June 1.
Many campground operators across South Carolina are also offering unique activities that comply with social distancing guidelines.
For example, the Point South / I-95 KOA Holiday campground in Yemassee offers nightly wine tastings by reservation only to limit the number of participants.
The wines are from nine local and regional wineries, said park owner Jennifer Mason.
The campground also offers locally roasted coffees and Hunt Brother’s Pizza, which can be ordered for takeout or delivered to the campsite, and microbrewer amber ale that’s custom-made for the campground by Salt Marsh Brewing Company in Bluffton, S.C., she said.
Travelers frequently use the Yemassee campground as a base camp for visiting area attractions, including the historic cities of Beaufort, S.C. and Savannah, Ga. as well as the plantations outside of Charleston.
Here are brief descriptions of other campgrounds across South Carolina: — Apache Family Campground and Pier in Myrtle Beach: This park offers oceanfront campsites and vacation rentals. http://www.apachefamilycampground.com
— Big Cypress Lake RV Park in Conway: This park features waterfront RV sites and rental homes plus a mile long private spring-fed fishing lake. http://www.bigcypresslake.com
— Broad River Campground & RV Park in Winnsboro: This pet-friendly park has 130 gravel campsites. https://www.reserveamerica.com/explore/broad-river-campground--rv-park/I...
— Carolina Pines RV Resort in Conway: This resort features luxury RV sites and cottage rentals, swimming pools and cabana rentals, a dog park and dog wash station, plus areas to play basketball, volleyball, pickleball, corn hole and horseshoes. https://www.sunrvresorts.com/carolina-pines/?utm_source=google&utm_mediu...
— Charlotte / Fort Mill KOA Journey in Fort Mill: This campground is within 10 minutes of Lake Wylie, a popular fishing lake. Four golf courses are also within five miles of the park. https://koa.com/campgrounds/charlotte/ — Crossroads Coach Resort at the ROB in Lake City: This campground is located on the grounds of the Festival Park at the ROB. Amenities include level 2 charging stations for Tesla vehicles. A bathhouse and laundry facilities are under construction. https://www.lakecityrv.com
— Hideaway RV Resort in Myrtle Beach: This park offers secluded camping, including buddy sites, along the historic Intracoastal Waterway. RV and boat storage is also available. https://hideawayrvresort.com
— Jolly Acres Camping and RV Park in St. George: Located 45 minutes from Charleston, this campground features pull through sites and a fishing pond. http://www.syrrrun.com
— Lake Aire RV Park & Campground in Hollywood: This 35-acre park is located 15 miles from Charleston. Amenities include a catch-and-release fishing lake, horseshoe pits and corn hole boards and bocce ball. https://www.lakeairerv.com — Lakewood Camping Resort in Myrtle Beach: This park amenities include miniature golf, bicycle and watercraft rentals, including kayaks, canoes and pedal boats, all of which are disinfected between use. Take out food service is also available on site. https://lakewoodcampground.com
— Magnolia RV Park & Campground in Kinards: This campground sites on 19 areas and has pull through sites. Amenities include a fenced dog run and a 20-by-40 foot swimming pool. https://magnoliarvparksc.com
— Mansfield Park Campground in Cross Hill: This campground has 140 campsites and 41 boat docks on Lake Greenwood. http://mansfieldparkcampground.com
— Moon Landing RV Resort & Marina in Cross Hill: This park has 1/4 mile of shoreline along Lake Greenwood. https://campingcarolinas.com/directories/lighthouse-park-marina/
— Myrtle Beach KOA in Myrtle Beach: This park’s amenities include a swimming pool, bike rentals and a dog park. https://koa.com/campgrounds/myrtle-beach/
— North Myrtle Beach RV Resort & Dry Dock Marina in Little River: This park features extra large paved campsites, 38 boat slips, an oversize swimming pool and boat and jet ski rentals. http://www.northmyrtlebeachrvresortanddrydock.com — River Bottom Farms in Swansea: This campground features RV and tent sites as well as various rental units. Catch and release fishing is available in the park’s five stocked fishing ponds. Additional fishing is available at Sleepy Creek and the North Edisto River, which also have nature walks. http://www.riverbottomfarms.com
— Rocks Pond Campground & Marina in Eutawville: This park has lakeside campsites and two boat ramps. This campground is popular with fishing enthusiasts, offering opportunities to catch largemouth bass; striped bass, blue cat catfish, flathead catfish, crappie and redear sunfish. http://www.rockspond.com
— The Campground at James Island County Park near Charleston: This 643-acre park and campground is often used as a base camp for trips into Charleston. https://ccprc.com/1729/Camping-Lodging — The Oaks at Point South RV in Yemassee: This pet-friendly park features hiking trails and can be used as a base camp for exploring historic sites in both South Carolina and Georgia. https://www.rvonthego.com/south-carolina/the-oaks-at-point-south-rv/?utm...
— Willow Tree RV Resort and Campground in Longs: This campground has all new landscaping as well as a newly remodeled bathhouse and updated office and camp store. A new dog wash area with a groomer style sink has also been set up and a fenced bark park will soon be in place. https://willowtreervr.com
All of the campgrounds, RV parks and resorts referenced above are affiliated with the Carolinas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. For more information, please visit CampingCarolinas.com.
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