Record numbers of people are heading to Golden Ears Park again this year.
During the Easter long weekend, from Thursday to Monday, the park saw more than 10,000 vehicles flood through the gate.
“That’s way more than normal,” said park operations manager Stu Burgess.
The average vehicle count for April is around 18,000 cars, he said, adding that after this past weekend the count is just shy of that, with half the month to go.
Every vehicle that passes through the gate of the park is counted – whether guests are there for camping, to use the day areas, boating, or just out for a drive.
The campgrounds didn’t quite fill up Easter weekend, noted Burgess. There were still a few empty campsites available both Friday and Saturday night.
“We were pretty close to full,” he noted.
This past weekend Burgess estimated around 1,300 or 1,400 vehicles entered the park on Saturday, and another 2,300 on Sunday.
Only Gold Creek Campground is currently reservable, and Burgess pointed out, it’s booked up every weekend reservations are permitted.
Alouette Campground is open to first come first serve guests until June, and there are 206 campsites available, added Burgess.
And, he said, if they need to they can open North Beach Campground for any overflow campers.
Burgess hasn’t heard anything about whether the day pass system will be implemented again this summer.
But, he said, everything is rolling along.
“We are trying to get the park cleaned up from the winter. We’re washing signs, and washing picnic tables down, and getting stuff ready to paint – scraping and cleaning,” said Burgess, adding about 50 per cent more maintenance staff have been hired for the summer.
“We’re just going to be right back to staff levels we had last summer and that will be happening by mid-May,” said Burgess who is expecting the summer to be busy.
And, he said, the season started much earlier this year.
Burgess wants to remind guests there are limits on gathering sizes, as well as limits on the number of people allowed on campsites.
“There’s a limit of eight people per campsite. If there are 15 or 20 people at a campsite, we’ll go and have a talk with them and remind them, and get everything sorted out,” he said, adding they enforcing limits in a friendly public relations oriented manner.
Burgess believes this year is going to be a replay of last summer.
“Expect if you are coming to the park on a nice day that it’s going to be extremely busy, and if you’re a late arrival you might be turned away.”
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