A New Vision for the Campground

Posted on August 18, 2010

The Lakeside Campground, home to more than 50 families and visited by hundreds of temporary campers each season, will undergo the first phase of a renovation project beginning this fall. Because Ottawa County guidelines now require more space between camping units, some Lakeside campsite boundaries will be adjusted to become compliant with all current county regulations.

The first phase of the project will focus on sites along the north border of the Campground, and electric, water and sewer hookups at these sites will be upgraded as well. Construction will begin October 15 and will take up to six months to complete. The Lakeside Campground will reopen in April 2011 in full compliance with all current guidelines.

Lakeside Association President/CEO Kevin Sibbring and Vice President of Operations Wendy Eller hosted a "Town Hall Meeting" with Lakeside Campground site owners on July 31. The meeting was a culmination of months of behind-the-scenes work and various committee meetings.

Sibbring reaffirmed Lakeside's commitment to the Campground, stating that camping was an historic aspect of its past and it figures highly in the future. He also shared a vision for how Campground renovations are a key anchor to developing and enhancing Lakeside's south border.

During the meeting, Sibbring thanked the campers, commending them for being amongst the most active and supportive volunteers and financial contributors to the Chautauqua community.

Larry Gordon, one of the two Campground Steering Committee members who addressed the town hall crowd, shared a summary of his research about what improvements needed to be made to become compliant with all federal, state and local codes. Melissa Riggins expressed her appreciation for Lakeside's proactive approach of working with the committee. She was impressed with the commitment to go beyond meeting code and work with the campers to enhance the Campground.

Eller addressed plans for Campground renovations, which are to begin immediately after the Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival. Plans call for the Campground renovation to be completed in phases. The first phase will entail renovation of the entire north end to be inclusive of water, sewer, electric and site development. Later phases will include the renovation of the south end and upgrades to the grounds, fence line and bathhouse.

Mark Nurnberger, chair of the Moving Criteria Committee, which was responsible for working with all campers who needed to move sites due to renovations, shared how pleased he was with how many campers volunteered to change sites to aid the renovation project.

A lengthy "Q&A" session allowed campers to share concerns and hopes for the Campground. Questions were answered by Sibbring, Eller, Vice President of Municipal Services Dave Geyer and members of the Steering Committee.

The Campground is working in conjunction with the Lakeside Association and has formed working committees including: Steering - Greg Linville, chair; Beautification and Socialization - Laura Whitkofski, chair; Moving Criteria - Nurnberger, chair; Social Networking and Website - Michael Whitkofski, chair; and Long-Term Vision - Greg Linville, chair.

While no one likes change, campers who were interviewed were almost unanimous with the belief that short-term disadvantages are far outweighed by long-term improvement plans. The theme of the Campground during this renovation period, "Turning Obstacles into Opportunities," has permeated the entire process.

For more information, visit www.lakesideohiocampground.com.