Breaking News
More () »

A limited number of reservations is not the only challenge for Maine's campgrounds

The owners at Bass Harbor Campground say opening this weekend for Maine residents wasn't easy as the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the industry.
Credit: NCM

MOUNT DESERT, Maine — Memorial Day weekend is referred to as the unofficial start to summer. But this year, the end of May and the summer as a whole will look a little different for Mainers. 

Already, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted Maine's tourism season. Under Governor Mills' executive order, all out-of-state residents have to self-quarantine for 14-days after entering the state. That means campgrounds across the state are relying on Mainers to help keep business afloat.

Campgrounds in Maine were permitted to open Friday, May 22 – ahead of Memorial Day weekend. 

Brett Metzger is the General Manager of Bass Harbor Campground in Mount Desert Island and he says opening this weekend was crucial for his campground financially. 

“It was super important for us to open right now. I had to go through the whole month of May and cancel every reservation we had, and refund those," Metzger said.

Credit: NCM

RELATED: Maine small businesses got federal money, now what?

Despite the delayed start to the season, Metzger is confident his campsite and other seasonal small businesses will withstand the COVID-19 pandemic, that is if tourists will not be required to quarantine for 14 days when summer is in full swing.

“Most of the season happens in July and August and that is the peak of the season and I think if you can still hit the peak you can still come out decent this year.”

Besides the limited number of campers, the Metzger says the campground faces other challenges. He says a lack of bathroom supplies and seasonal workers are hurting Bass Harbor Campground – but its 'Work Campers' program is helping solve one of those issues. 

Credit: NCM

RELATED: Campgrounds, RV parks reopen to Mainers -- but some still have business concerns

Jeff Trainor is one of the campers, he helps works at the campsite 16-hours a week helping with yard work, cleaning the restrooms, and answering other camper's questions. In return, he gets to stay at the campground through July.

Trainor says this summer will look a little different than last year.

“We were here last summer, and you could hardly walk around bar harbor there were so many people and I don’t think it’s going to be that way this year," Trainor said.

“This will be an opportunity to come out before the crowds and get out and see this area before it gets too crowded," says Metzger. 

Only time will tell how Maine will fare this summer. 

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus


NEWS CENTER Maine Coronavirus Coverage

RELATED: Wardens remind Mainers to have fun while staying safe this Memorial Day Weekend

RELATED: Memorial Day weekend crowds spark warnings from experts citing coronavirus

RELATED: Volunteers place flags to honor Veterans at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Lewiston for Memorial Day

RELATED: Downtown Bangor restaurants renovate during COVID-19 pandemic

RELATED: How to stay safe if you plan on heading to the beach, BBQ or pool this holiday weekend

The video below shows you how to make hand sanitizer. MaineHealth’s Dora Mills gives NEWS CENTER Maine the recipe. https://youtu.be/RpGddF9ZAm4 

Before You Leave, Check This Out