SALEM, Ohio (WYTV) – Ohioans learned Thursday that campgrounds across the state can soon reopen.
“Campgrounds, many of them are already open in a limited fashion throughout the state, but they will be opening up completely on May 21,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted during Ohio daily press conference.
Campgrounds such as Chaparral Family Campground in Salem will be allowed to welcome back campers for the start of their busiest time of the year.
“About 50% of our business is overnight, short-term camping. Not just the seasonal and residential,” said owner Tim Armbruster.
While restrictions such as closing down the playground and bathrooms are necessary, Armbruster said it’s been hard to change their culture.
“Campers are usually a loser-knit bunch, you know. They like hugging and, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ and that’s one of the hardest things for everybody at this point is just the distancing we have to keep from everybody,” said Armbruster.
The only people allowed right now are their residential and seasonal customers. Most of them have their own RV’s and campers, but Armbruster is looking forward to the day he can safely operate business as usual.
“Let people come out and get away from what they’ve been cooped up doing the last eight weeks, looking at the same four walls. Outdoor experience, I think, is one of the better things that we can do as human beings. It will help a lot of people,” Armbruster said.
Armbruster said that they plan to follow all of the reopening guidelines set by the state. This includes adjusting traditions like potluck dinners and live entertainment.