Popular northern campground set to close, 'It's almost like losing a family member'
Published Thursday, August 10, 2017 12:25PM EDT
Seasonal campers at a popular campground in Sturgeon Falls were puzzled and unhappy to recently receive eviction notices.
Some people have had trailers at Dutrisac Cottages and Campground for decades.
Denis Dagg is one of those people.
Dagg has camped there for 35 years and he called the news 'devastating'.
"It's not just the fact that we have to pull trailers out and go elsewhere, it's almost like losing a family member," said Dagg.
"We have been here and we have seen it all. We have been through a tornado. We have done everything together."
Mike Stevens has owned the campground for the past 10 years and he's worked in the park for almost 50 years.
Stevens said he can't continue running the place due to his own health issues, along with not being able to afford septic system upgrades required by the province.
"The government decided we cannot operate with a lagoon system and putting in a (new) system would be in excess of $500,000 to over $1 million,” he explained.
Campers say they are very sad to hear of the news, many have made it a tradition to come with their families; forming a community with others.
"It's a family place. It's a family tradition," said Denis Charlebois, a long-time camper.
"We have been here for many years and we just keep coming back because it's such a great place, so it's a shame that we have to shut it down."
“We have made many, many friends since we have been here, so it's going to be very, very sad not to be coming here anymore," added Peggy Hicks, also a long-time camper.
Stevens said he's been trying to sell the place, but hasn't had any success
"The park looks beautiful. We are full and now this is getting the rug pulled out from under me," he said.
Staff says the campground won't officially close until the fall and customers can stay throughout the winter to make other arrangements.