The Golden Municipal Campground had a few obstacles to overcome this past year, but managed to have a successful season regardless.
“The Alberta floods resulted in a lot of cancellations for us, especially early on in the season, but we lost some all the way to September,” said Joy Guyot, campground operator. “We did recover, however… We did see an increase in U.S. visitors coming up Highway 95, so that was a nice change.”
Despite the cancellations, the campground did see an increase, which could possibly be attributed to an increase in advertising, social media use, and co-op advertising with other tourism operators like the rafting companies.
Aside from weather impacting the season, the operators seemed to have one equipment break after another throughout the summer, including their truck, freezers, and washing machines, making it a challenging year.
Last year the operators (Guyot and Michelle Nagy-Deak) asked council to approve an upgrade the showers in the exterior of the campground, which they did, so that the campground could maintain their standards with Tourism BC (who provides advertising for the facility).
The upgraded building has been a great asset to the campground, as has an increased Wifi accessibility, and a new website. And the Canada Day celebrations were a hit again this year, especially since they partnered with Little Mittens Animal Rescue for the beer gardens.
But there has been one major setback that has resulted in some poor publicity for the facility.
“Crime was one of our biggest challenges last year,” said Guyot. “We did have the police set up a campsite to trap whoever was doing it, but it didn’t work out.”
A request has been made to put up signage prohibiting pedestrian traffic around the campground after dark. The Rotary Trail network encircles the campground, making it difficult to limit foot traffic within the campground. This would require a bylaw from the municipality.
“We have looked at a couple different bylaw options that we could bring to council for future consideration around the closure of that specific place for those times,” said Manager of Recreation Services Jordan Petrovics. “The one challenge there, and the reason it hasn’t yet come forward, is the level of enforcement we can place there, especially in the night hours… The campground operators have been communicating with the RCMP which has helped, but perhaps not enough.”
Guyot said the RCMP would regularly come by and do checks, as well as warn campers to put their belongings away. But thefts were still taking place throughout the summer.