KLPW – Reservation Information

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STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA RESTORES 50% CUT TO SENIOR DISCOUNTS FOR CAMPING AT KERR LAKE & UPS THE DISCOUNT FOR ALL STATE PARKS

Kerr Lake Park Watch has been notified by the NC Division of State Parks that the 50% cut for discounts to senior citizens who camp at Kerr Lake has been rescinded and the full discount of $6 per night for seniors 62 years of age and older has been restored. In addition, that discount now applies throughout the entire park system for the State of North Carolina.

For more than a week though, the Reserve America system that takes NC State Parks reservations would not give campers the $6 senior discount, only the $3. But as of sometime Thursday, the computer glitches in Reserve America’s system were fixed and the statewide $6 per night senior discount restored.  The pictures below show that the system said $6 but only allowed $3 discount.

2016 KL Reservation that says $6, but only gave $3 #2 (2)     2016 KL Reservation that says $6, but only gave $3 (2)

 

For a number of years, senior campers at any of the seven Kerr Lake NC State Recreation areas have enjoyed a $6 per night discount applied when they made their reservations. Around the first of May of this year, the Division of State Parks and Recreation which manages all state parks including the recreation areas at Kerr Lake put a “dynamic rate plan” into effect and at the same time, cut the senior citizen discount from $6 to $3 per night or by 50%. One of the Kerr Lake Park Watch members was in the process of booking a site and noticed the change; almost immediately, several other campers found out about the change.

A news release and several radio broadcasts brought an initial response from NC State Parks that there had been no cut in the senior discount for camping. Adrian O’Neal, Chief of Operations told Kerr Lake Park Watch that sometimes when implementing something new like dynamic pricing that related items are inadvertently affected. O’Neal stated, “After some additional research, it seems there has been some inconsistency in the administration of the Senior Discount (for camping) not only at Kerr Lake, but throughout the system.  To remedy this, we will be restoring a statewide $6 Senior Discount (for camping).  I assure you this was not an attempt to sneak in a price increase. With that said, we are implementing a model that does charge premium rates for premium times such as holidays and weekends in season, but additionally, provides for reduced rates during off peak times such as weekdays and winter months. This model is used widely throughout the travel industry.  You will also see some minor increases in entrance fees later this year.   Again, we hope dynamic pricing will allow us to make fee changes incrementally so visitors will not see drastic changes from year to year and can plan appropriately for upcoming visits.

“The members and the leadership of Kerr Lake Park Watch are pleased with the swift action by the Division of State Parks to restore the senior citizen discount to 100% of what it was at Kerr Lake. It’s even better that the discount has been further extended, uniformly, to all state parks in North Carolina,” said Kerr Lake Park Watch’s Lead for Public Affairs, Frank Timberlake adding, “As far as Reserve America, we’re used to their glitches and foul-ups.”

Timberlake added, “Regarding the dynamic pricing, we now have the beginnings of a rate schedule from O’Neal and that helps. We will study it and at the same time listen to our members and the public to gather any and all reactions.”

“People sometimes forget that yes, sometimes we are a whistle blowing operation, but that we also are a strong support group of our rangers, our maintenance professionals, other park personnel and the parks themselves. We appreciate the way that Mr. O’Neal stepped up to our issues and the way he and the other leaders dealt with them quickly and to our members’ satisfaction. I truly appreciate Mr. O’Neal’s interest in Kerr Lake Park Watch and his spending time to find out more about what we see as opportunities and issues, said Timberlake.”

Regarding rate increases, most Kerr Lake campers who talk to members and leaders of Kerr Lake Park Watch are not opposed to incremental rates increases as long as they see money being put back into the parks for things like improved campsites with more camping pad gravel, improved bath facilities and possibly lighted boat ramps operated by the park system.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Reservation Information

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KERR LAKE BOSSES TO CLOSE CORPS PARKS BY THURSDAY!

“When it comes to government kicking at the people and to the people, add one more insult to injury; that’s right the feds are going to close Kerr Lake parks right here as leaf season comes into play,” says Kerr Lake Park Watch PA Lead Frank Timberlake.  Kerr Lake facilities owned and operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers will be closed beginning on Thursday.  Timberlake added, “That means if you are planning to picnic, jog, fish or camp from the shores inside a USACE operated facility you will have to do it somewhere else.  We are as amazed as you might be that while Washington dances and drinks on as if nothing has happened you will not camp nor eat nor drink in a park that you own.”


In a prepared news release, the Corps said, “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE),
Wilmington District, is preparing for the closure of its Corps-managed campgrounds
and day-use parks beginning Thursday, October 10, unless fiscal 2014 funding
legislation is enacted by Congress. This will have no effect on leased
recreation areas operated by state or local entities.”

KLPW checked with Bryce Fleming, Superintendent of the seven NC State Recreation Areas around Kerr Lake and also with Virginia District 5 Visitors Services Specialist Pat Eastwood and found that the regular seasonally operated parks NC parks and the Virginia state parks on Kerr Lake will continue to operate under normal schedules.

There is a recent post on KLPW that shows the schedules for the NC State Recreation Areas.  You can either scroll down or paste this link in your browser:  https://kerrlakeparkwatch.org/2013/09/25/nc-kerr-lake-parks-announce-seasonal-closing–cutback-schedule.aspx

Staunton River & Occoneechee State Parks on the Virginia side of Kerr Lake will close seasonally to campers on December 1.  Other facilities at the park will continue to operate on the regular year round schedule.

Parks, some ramps and day-use areas operated by the Army Corps of Engineers are to be closed until some funding resolution is reached by Congress.  Parks affected are at John H. Kerr Reservoir, Philpott Lake, B. Everett Jordan Dam and Lake, Falls Lake, W. Kerr
Scott Dam and Reservoir and Cape Fear Locks and Dams.  They will close by 8 p.m. on
Thursday and all campers must vacate the campgrounds by noon on Friday, Oct. 11.
  Campers with reservations in the future may
elect to leave their campsite reservations open for possible use after the
shutdown is lifted. Campers will receive a refund for any unused portion of
their reservations.  
Visitors are
encouraged to contact their local park office for information on other nearby
facilities that may be available for recreational use.

Primary impacts of the Corps actions will be the closing of North Bend Park, Rudds Creek, Longwood Park, Buffalo Creek Park, Palmer’s Point Day Use Area and Island Creek Day Use Area as well as more boat ramp areas.

If the government goes back to work you can see current
information on the closure and reopening of Wilmington District recreational
area facilities will be posted at
www.usace.saw.army.mil District’s facebook
site at
www.facebook.com/usace.wilmington as well as this site.




Posted in: KLPW - Corps of Engineers Campgrounds, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Occoneechee State Park, KLPW - Reservation Information, KLPW - US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, KLPW- Staunton River State Park

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NC KERR LAKE PARKS ANNOUNCE SEASONAL CLOSING & CUTBACK SCHEDULE

The schedule for Kerr Lake State Recreation Areas (7) has been updated and released by the superintendent over those North Carolina parks.


” We start scaling back after Labor Day when staffing scales back,” according to Bryce Fleming, the Kerr Lake State Recreation Area Superintendent.  “All parks that are closed over the winter are scheduled to have some sites open in 2014 by March 24th.”
 
Here are the 2013 closing dates for each park:



Henderson Point



Campground Closed




Hibernia



Area 1 (Sites 1-55) – Closed


Area 1 (Sites 57-70) – Open as overflow only- Closes October 27


Area 2 (Sites 77-110, H1) – Closes on October 27


Area 3 (Sites 113-152) – Closed




Nutbush



Area 1 (Sites 1-31, H1) – Closed


Area 3 –- (Sites 51-61, 88-109, H2) Open Year Round




JC Cooper Campground at Satterwhite Point



Area 1 (Sites 1-42, 80-104, H1, H2, and H3) – Open Year Round


Area 2 (Sites 43-79) – Closed


Area 3 (Sites 111-123) – Closed




Bullocksville



Campground Closed




County Line



Campground Closed




Kimball Point



Area 1 (Sites 1-37D) – Closed


Area 2 (Sites 38-78D) – Closes October 27



All parks that are closed over the winter are scheduled to have some sites open in 2014 by March 24th.




You can get additional info by contacting the KLSRA office at (252) 438-7791 or the office is at 
6254 Satterwhite Point Road, Henderson, NC 27537.  You can also see more info at www.ncparks.gov.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Reservation Information

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KERR LAKE SUPERINTENDENT RESPONDS TO CAMPERS’ RESERVATION QUESTIONS


Questions:



  1. Are the reservation system charges the same for “parks” as they are for “recreation areas?”

  2. Did NC State Parks shoot itself in the foot money-wise when it stopped the policy of reserving a campsite for a minimum of seven nights versus having the weekends cherry-picked?

  3. “I have a question….Now that we have been using the computer based reservation system for a couple of years, and been allowed to reserve less than seven days per stay, what has been the impact? Has the number of campers increased, has the net revenue increased? I know from my personal experience that it is more difficult to make week-long reservations with this system. I also see the parks nearly empty during the week and full on the weekends. So what does NC Parks say about the change?”

  4. Why am I charged a transaction fee for every day of my camp time? Whether we camp for two nights or seven, there is only one transaction and should be only one charge per transaction?”  

Answers:


1. The transaction fees are the same for parks and recreation areas. The fee is $3 per night/ campsite.


2. System-wide, the ability for campers to make reservations with a minimum of one night has worked well. There may have been a slightly lower number of nights reserved at Kerr Lake, but that is at least partially attributable to campers only having to pay for what they will actually use. The remaining vacant sites are available for use, where in the past, many sites would be reserved but unoccupied during a portion of the renters’ rental period, which prevented other campers from using them.


3. Kerr Lake camping nights did drop a little since the last year prior to having the reservation system (July 1, 2008-June30, 2009) but last year it was only about 3% lower than 2008-2009. System-wide reservations in NC State Parks have increased each year since the reservation system was implemented and trends indicate they will continue to increase. The use numbers are subject to fluctuate from year to year. A number of factors influence fluctuation such as weather, fuel prices and the economy.


As an observation, we have noticed fewer occurrences of campers having unused nights that they paid for now compared to when we had seven night minimum.


I see two things that could make getting 7 day reservations harder now than prior to the implementation of the reservation system. 1. Many visitors are gravitating toward shorter, weekend reservations because that is what they want and need. 2. Visitors can make their reservations as far as 11 months in advance with the reservation system, so they often have to make reservations farther in advance than they used to in order to get the site # and days they want. We used to not accept any reservations prior to the beginning of January.


4. The cost of the reservation system is funded fully with the reservation transaction fees which are $3 per facility per day. This enables N.C. State Parks to have a system that is paid for by the users and not by general taxpayers.



The present system is fair for all users. It is standard across the state, which makes it simpler for users who want to make reservations in a variety of state parks and recreation areas across North Carolina. The system also helps the Division of Parks and Recreation view and understand trends in park use.



I am happy to talk to our visitors about this if they would like to do so. I am generally available at the park office (252)438-7791.






Bryce Fleming


Park Superintendent


Kerr Lake State Recreation Area


6254 Satterwhite Point Road


Henderson, NC 27537


(252) 438-7791


www.ncparks.gov


Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Reservation Information, KLPW - Similar Circumstances/Situations at other Locations

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CAMPERS QUESTION KERR LAKE RESERVATION REVENUES & PROCEDURES

Ride through most any Kerr Lake State Recreation Area on the North Carolina side on a Thursday or Friday and you will see some campers packing up to leave.  That might seem unusual except that  the new online reservation system now lets weekend campers “cherry-pick” weekend camping.  So many times, campers wanting to camp have to either accept a site in the woods or take a waterside site for a shorter period, forced to leave before the weekend campers arrive.

The old system required campers making reservations to rent the campsite for a 7-day period. 
Think about it, not a bad proposition to be able to rent yourself 8 or 10 or 12 summer weekend sites on multi-million dollar waterfront property for less than $30 a night.

KLPW has recently received several emails and calls about the policy.  We have taken these questions about revenue and posed them to the Kerr Lake Superintendent for NC State Parks, Bryce Fleming.  We need to provide Fleming with some time to prepare and return answers.

HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS:

From Gerald R. – (1) “Are the reservations system charges the same for “parks” as they are for recreation areas?”

From Mike Sawaya –    (2) “Now that we have been using the computer based reservation system for a couple of years, and been allowed to reserve less than seven days per stay, what has been the impact?  (3) Has the number of campers increased? (4)  Has the net revenue increased?  I know from my personal experience that is more difficult to make week-long reservations with this system.  I also see the parks nearly empty during the week and full on the weekends.  (5) So what does NC Parks say about the change?

From Wanda P. – (6) “Are the reservation system charges the same for “parks” as they are for “recreation areas?”  (7) Why am I charged a transaction fee for every day of my camp time?  Whether we camp for two nights or seven, there is only one transaction and should be only one charge per transaction?”

PLEASE!  When you make reference whether questions or comments,  make your response clear as to which question your comments are about.

KLPW will be waiting right along with all of our readers for the answers.  If you want to know when something is posted, simply sign up below with your email and you will get a notice!  KERR LAKE PARK WATCH…we’re working hard for you!

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Reservation Information

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