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Sunday , 27 September 2020
Lac Bellevue - The boat launch was just one of the amenities kept busy at County of St. Paul campgrounds during the summer of 2020.

County of St. Paul campgrounds closed for the season

Capacity was full for most of the summer at three of four campgrounds.

County of St. Paul campgrounds are now closed for the season, following what the municipalities’ spokesperson Arlene Shwetz called “a busy summer.”

The municipality operates four campgrounds, located at Floatingstone Lake, Lac Bellevue, Stoney Lake, and Westcove. The Westcove campground closed early in the season because of a personnel issue and much reduced bookings.

“In past years a lot of people camped there because of the rodeo and the music festivals and whatnot,” said Shwetz, noting both events had been cancelled because of COVID-19.

According to Shwetz, the average occupancy for the other three campgrounds was 70 per cent, with Floatingstone, Lac Bellevue, and Stoney Lake all at 100 per cent capacity on weekends from June 25 through Sept. 7.

“The feedback is very positive in terms of how they’re set up and maintained and the friendliness of the park attendants. I think there’s going to be a lot of return visitors based on the experience of this year,” said Shwetz.

“We didn’t anticipate that there would be so many people from outside the area camping but there certainly were,” said Shwetz.

Information on where exactly people had travelled from to use the campgrounds was not available at the time of the interview, but anecdotally, Shwetz said a number of the visitors had come from the Edmonton and Lloydminster areas.

She noted the safety of everyone was a top priority for the County and they had asked people booking multiple campsites to register all of the people in their group for easy contact tracing in the event of an outbreak.

“This year, the camp attendants weren’t selling concessions or ice. The sports equipment wasn’t being rented out. Everything was on the website pretty early on. But everything was done to make sure the public were safe, the camp attendants, and other county employees were safe,” said Shwetz.

About Meredith Kerr

Meredith Kerr moved to St. Paul for a career in journalism and morning radio in 2014 expecting to stay for six months to a year. Since then, she has put down roots in the form of a husband, a mortgage, two babies, and a poorly behaved dog. She continues to work as a reporter until such time as she finishes her book and becomes fabulously wealthy from the royalties. Meredith also serves as a member at large on the St. Paul Library Board and volunteers as a Beaver leader for the 1st St. Paul Scout Group.