One RV Park Faces a New Threat: Its Own State

One RV Park Faces a New Threat: Its Own State

As America emerges from lockdown and focuses on recovery, small businesses struggle with solvency, and state governors around the country try to strike a balance between safeguarding citizens and opening enterprises.

Governors are under attack

Governors in a number of states are facing or have faced criticism for their varying COVID-19 reopening policies. Maine and Governor Janet Mills are currently under criticism. In a recent lawsuit filed by Bayley’s Camping Resort in Scarborough, Maine, the owners claim that Governor Mills’ executive order violates the 14th amendment and the ability to travel without being discriminated against under the constitution.

Though Bayley’s has been allowed to reopen, it’s practically a moot point as RVers, who have seen their spring slip away while in quarantine, now begin venturing outside to rescue summer. Many New Englanders would travel north into Maine to spend their hard-earned, or stimulus-earned, dollars in vacation areas like Scarborough.

The stumbling block and rationale for the lawsuit is this statement from Governor Mills’ pamphlet Restarting Maine’s Economy. According to Stage 1 of the reopening plan, “Stage 1 assumes a prolonged prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people as well as a 14-day quarantine of any people entering Maine.”

RV Park Faces a New Threat
Bayley’s lost revenue from over 715 cancellations. Photo – Bayley’s Campground website

The ten-person limit isn’t an issue for an RVer or a vacationing family. The 14-day quarantine is the most tough phase. With most camping trips lasting fewer than three days, entering Maine right now is simply not feasible. As a result, reservations were canceled, and Maine tourism funds were diverted elsewhere.

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Bayley’s, like many others whose best-laid plans were thrown off by the coronavirus, was looking forward to celebrating their 50th year in business in the coastal resort town. With 747 camping sites, they have been a mainstay in Maine for half a century, and they, along with a slew of other Maine small business owners, are just trying to weather both COVID-19. Already facing criticism from Republican lawmakers, the Governor’s stated goal is to “…look at the forces that demand us to re-imagine how we do everything in the long run.”

While long-term goals are desirable, they can be difficult for businesses such as Bayley’s Camping Resort, which must deal with cancelled camping bookings at a time when they should be full. Bayley’s and Little Ossipee Campground in Waterboro claim to have lost over a quarter-million dollars in canceled reservations.

 

“Bayley’s is just asking for some common sense to be applied to the restrictions. They have done everything asked of a campground owner and now they want to get back to serving their customers. Campers will self-quarantine, they will stay in small groups, they will wear masks – they just want to be able to enjoy their RVs and be with their families around the campfire and enjoying fresh air.”

Said New England RV Dealers Association’s own Bob Zagami

 

Tourism has dropped.

Many people believe Maine’s tourism industry is already on the verge of collapse. As limitations ease, all small businesses in Maine should benefit in the coming weeks.

 


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