NO SOLUTIONS PRESENTED BY STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA AS CAMPERS CONTINUE TO MOUNT COMPLAINTS ABOUT KERR LAKE
Clouds are surely gathering at Kerr Lake on the North Carolina side where customer service from NC State Parks has been replaced with Gestapo-like rules.
With some new management rule changes, these complaints are against changes that bottle up park entrances, which are still unmanned about 75% of the time.
This complaint is filed by a longtime camper and former camp host, known and respected by many. His correct perspective follows in a letter written to Interim State Parks Director Brian Strong and copies to Representative Frank Sossamon, the Vance County Tourism Bureau and Kerr Lake Park Watch:
“Good Morning ,
I am writing this to pass along my a many others frustration with the new management with the Kerr Lake Park Systems actions.
My family has been camping at Kerr Lake since the late 1970’s. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, myself and now my children and grandchildren five generations of campers. This is mostly about Hibernia which is where we stay most of the time, but I believe this will pertain to most if not all of the 7 parks in the Kerr Lake system.
This year new management started enforcing 4pm check in time. While this has always been the rule it has never really been enforced. If you got there and your site was empty you got on it. My wife and I have been host at Hibernia for over 12 years only a few times has someone not left there site by 3pm which is check out time. While I understand that this is to give the maintenance staff time to clean sites mow weed eat ect. If all campers stay until 3 there is not enough staff to clean all the sites in an hour. This year if you show up and want to go in and sit in you truck or car in the hot sun until 4pm you are being charged a $7 day use fee, and in some cases where campers got on sites they have been charged another nights fee. That is double charging for a site that someone has already paid for. Enforcing rules is fine if they are enforced across all of the North Carolina State Parks and they are not. An email was sent out in June about the water in the park being turned off for about for hours. If an email can be sent about that then an email could have sent about rule enforcement instead of campers / customers showing up at 10am and being told they can not get on there site till 4pm ( I would be upset too ) and being told you have to pay a fee to sit in the sun. An email would have saved a lot of abuse that the booth workers have suffered.
The 14 day rule is also being enforced. This is a reservation system problem, people have been booking in different names since reservations went on line. If you want to solve it, it should have been addressed on an individual basis.
Or it could be prevented completely by a simple change to the reservation program and make you list your RV unit tag number. If that number has been used more that 14 days in a 30 period I would block you out.
While the grass is mowed and the bathrooms are clean. Many other investments need to be made in the parks upgraded electrical ( 50 amp ) level sites. More electrical sites are needed overall.
My wife and I were fortunate more than 12 years ago begin hosting in Hibernia, we wanted to do this because this park is like a home to us and we wanted to give something back to a place that has given us so many happy times and memories that will last a lifetime. This is why when this summer so many campers have told us they will be going other places in the future it was very upsetting that campers / customers who have been camping in this park since I was a child are so frustrated that they want to take the money and go elsewhere. Vance County is 23 on the list for poorest counties in North Carolina out of 100, it depends heavily on tourism. Money that is spent elsewhere takes funds away from first responders ( Police, Fire, EMT ) schools and local agencies that help support the good people of Vance County. The argument was made that there are people waiting to get reservations that can’t (and that may be true ) the campers / customers that are the most upset are the ones that support the parks on a regular basis and drive the economic engine of Vance county when it come to tourism. I don’t think the county leaders would be very happy about money going elsewhere.
In a press release on 12/08/2022 the new management said ( he is setting a new standard for the visitor experience at Kerr Lake ) so far that has been true just not in the direction it was meant.
Looking forward to serving the campers / customers of Hibernia for many more years to come.
There are many such mounting complaints, and thus far, no response from Director Brian Strong.
We will have to pursue such matters to higher authorities.