CROOKED LAKE — The Steuben County Campground reopened to seasonal campers on Friday but other amenities at the park did not.
Because of logistical reasons and security, the beach at the campground will not be open this weekend.
That’s because the park’s playground is adjacent to the beach, which is closed under the state’s Back on Track rules. With one closed and the other open, it would make it difficult to police keeping people off the playground.
“It’s hard to stay within the guidelines,” Steuben County Commissioner Lynne Liechty said during a county park committee meeting Friday morning.
Because parks Superintendent Frank Charlton and assistant Mara Emerick had been turning down transient camp reservations because the Back on Track order was not allowing camping until Sunday — a new order on Thursday opened campgrounds up on Friday — it was felt that it would be easiest to only open the campground to seasonal campers.
“Those who had their campers there and paid their dues, they can come out,” said Commissioner Jim Crowl.
While the beach could reopen under the Stage 3 regulations of Back on Track, Charlton felt it would be best to keep it closed until the adjacent playground was back open.
“I guess my thought at this time is close that beach down,” he said.
The playground was open for a short while Thursday afternoon. A woman and her three children were on the campground a day earlier than the amended regulation went into place. Charlton said the woman said she could not take being cooped up with her children any longer so she had to let them out to blow off some steam.
Meanwhile, Emerick reported that bookings for rentals of the Steuben County Event Center were going strong until the state was shut down due to COVID-19. Nonetheless, the losses due to cancellations in April and May might be offset by people from neighboring states booking with Steuben County for fear of continued restrictions in their states.
Between campground rentals and Event Center bookings, Emerick said revenue was up. She said so far revenue was at $288,000. And that includes the park only taking half a season’s worth of rent from some campers because there was a fear that a large part of the season would be lost due to stay-at-home orders.
Even with some people opting out of camping this season, the park has quickly filled its vacancies.
Charlton said the restrooms at the campground were going to remain closed because most if not all of the campers have restroom facilities. This will allow the park to avoid stringent cleaning requirements had the restrooms been open.