Labor Day weekend makes up for slow camping season
PINEVILLE, Mo. — Many families make their way to Big Elk Campground every summer, whether it is to enjoy the water or camp out.
However, this year was a bit different. Some did not go as much as they wanted to this year because of all the bad weather.
“It’s kind of hard because it has been rainy, but we just try our best to still have fun” said Ella Schwab, a camper at Big Elk.
Another camper, Lance Massey says the weather has impacted their summer.
“There’s been several weekends that we might have wanted to come to the campground and haven’t been able to because of too much rain and too much weather.”
Bad weather impacts businesses like Big Elk Campground immensely. The season started off extremely slow because of the storms.
“Horrible, absolutely horrible, if any outfitter tells you they were busy in April…nope, they were lucky, we weren’t” said Toby Daniel, an employee at Big Elk Campground.
The amount of storms that the summer was already seeing, had them worried about the rest of the season.
“It made us nervous, you know our window of opportunity being a seasonal business is so short you know we’re looking at April, May, June, July, August. After the Labor Day holiday, so many outfitters close, but we don’t close, we gear up, we get ready, we’re cleaning boats, we’re fixing equipment saying come on lets go” added Daniel.
A recent storm cost Big Elk around $14,000 in lost equipment, but Daniel says big holidays like Labor Day weekend help them tremendously.
“Even though we lost the first six weeks of business due to foul weather, we’ve made it up and surpassed it, and we’re way ahead of last year.”
He says they changed game plans when they realized the kind of weather the summer would be seeing. He says they came together as a team to provide above and beyond customer service to their guests, as well as quick clean up efforts for any damage from the storms so that their customers had a comfortable stay.
And skies were clear for Labor Day weekend, giving those that work at Big Elk a sigh of relief, and families got to celebrate the end of summer.
“I’m kind of sad summer went by really fast, but the good thing is we got to be here on Labor Day weekend as a family, and we got to hang out together” said Schwab.
Big Elk’s season is not done yet, they will stay open until October.
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