Tipsinah Mounds Campground has another busy season despite slow start [UPDATED]Published 9:26am Tuesday, August 20, 2013 Updated 11:28am Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Like many other business owners and managers who rely on warm weather and sunshine, Tipsinah Mounds Campground manager Scott Cleveland was left scratching his head earlier this year as ice floated in the water on fishing opener and cold rains came down in June.
“It was probably one of the lowest averages for the month of June that I’ve ever seen,” Cleveland said. “Starting with fish opener and Memorial Day weekend, all the way up through mid-June almost to the end of the month, it’s probably the poorest I’ve seen camping.”
July and August, however, have been a different story.
The campground rebounded as warm weather was more inviting to campers across the state. As gas prices moved away from $4 a gallon, Cleveland said he saw more as well.
For the Fourth of July weekend, the campground has 500 guests. For Flekkefest, Cleveland welcomed 450 and just last weekend he had 300 guests set up for camping.
Next year looks to be busy as well. For 2014, RV sites are already 70 percent reserved and Cleveland expects seasonal sites, which are reserved by deposit in the fall, to fill up as well.
While many will come to the grounds and camp with tents in the traditional fashion, Cleveland said the number of those types of campers is getting smaller as more people have invested in larger, more expensive equipment, like RVs and campers.
But as he walked through a room filled with pictures from his 17 years at the campground, a collection of some of the best catches from the water of Pomme de Terre Lake, Cleveland pointed out what has driven their success each year.
“I think one of the biggest draws is that we have areas where groups and families to get together. Cousins, and aunts and uncles, and grandmas, brothers and sisters, they can all bring a family and get together,” said Cleveland, who keeps track of how many years each group has come to the campground in the reservation book. Many of the families have come back for over five to 10 years, including some who have been there every year of Cleveland’s tenure.
“When I first came here, there were young families with little kids who were camping. Those kids now are married, in their late 20s early 30s, and they’re coming out with their little kids,” Cleveland said. “I’m actually seeing a second generation.”
The campground is keeping up with the times, however.
A 20 by 80 foot FEMA approved weather shelter offers visitors protection during severe storms and Cleveland plans to have the entire grounds wi-fi accessible by next year. Cleveland said they are also in the process of procuring funds for a trail to Elbow Lake as well. The movement towards larger recreational vehicles from traditional camping sites has the grounds converting five tent sites for the next year as well.