Campground expansion is city’s next big-ticket itemA $1.5 million Burlington Bay Campground addition may become a reality this spring if bonding is approved in the state legislative session opening in January.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
A $1.5 million Burlington Bay Campground addition may become a reality this spring if bonding is approved in the state legislative session opening in January. The project would add 36 RV spots to the campground. The city will ask for $1 million from the state and pay the remaining $500,000 itself.
“I think we have an excellent chance of getting bonding,” said Tom Gelineau, public works director for Two Harbors.
If it were to be completed, the entire campground could generate about $500,000 in revenue annually, he said. This year, the campground is projected to bring in about $300,000.
“It’s a tremendous money making opportunity,” Mayor Randy Bolen said. “It keeps our taxes low.”
It would create temporary construction, utility and landscaping jobs. Once it has been completed, it will require an increase in grounds maintenance and campground office staffing.
Funds are not only created for the city, but for area businesses.
In a letter recently sent to Gelineau, one camper said she spent about $6,000 in the area during her extended stay.
She was one of the lucky people to get a spot. “This year we turned away 50 to 100 campers a day,” Gelineau said. “We turned down so many tenters it’s unbelievable.”
“I wanted this to be a destination … not a stop off point,” Gelineau said.
The new grounds would be used for “big rigs,” RVs, and would have the ability for 50, 30 and 20 amp power (the old camp doesn’t have 50 amp service). The 36 sites would be built on tiers, meaning each one would offer a view of Lake Superior.
The expansion would include kiosks for serving the various trailheads in the area.
A new heated bath house would be created (which would include piping that wouldn’t freeze during the colder months), keeping part of the campground open a month longer. The campground closed this year on Oct. 15.