Canadian border closure, pandemic leads to quiet RV park

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The US-Canada Border remains closed for another three weeks – which means no Canadian tourists. At Plattsburgh RV Park, the sound of chirping birds and wind chimes fill the air. The volleyball court is empty, and swings on the playground sway in the wind. “This place is a lot of fun when it’s going full-tilt. Going to each other’s places, sit around a fire, have barbecues,” said camper and groundskeeper George Freeman. “Good people here. Sure miss the Canadians. I miss them a whole bunch.”The RV park relies heavily on Canadian campers, and the owner says nearly 95 of their regular visitors are Canadians who call Plattsburgh a second home. “I mean it’s been really, really bad,” says owner Keith Fesette. “I can just tell looking at our reservations, it’s, I mean we’re going to be just way off from what the norm is. So, it’s not going to be the best year, I can tell you that.” A pandemic and an extension of the Canadian border closure until June 21 has a place like the RV park going from nearly 1,000 visitors on a busy summer night in the peak season, to only a handful of campers now. Debra Dubray and her dog, Buddy, miss their Canadian neighbors. “It’s quiet, but too quiet. We miss our friends,” said Dubray. The North Country Chamber of Commerce says every facet of the North Country’s economy, in some way, relies on Canadian traffic. “Not having them necessarily on the campground, means those other businesses aren’t going to see that business as well. Which, again, I think that’s why it plays back into so strong that as a resident here, we need to support those businesses,” said Kristy Kennedy, Vice President of Marketing at the North Country Chamber of Commerce. Their new marketing focuses on asking New York residents to consider a staycation, so places like the Plattsburgh RV Park are brought back to life. “I wouldn’t go as far and say it’s depressing, but, I just miss the bustle and just everybody coming by and saying hi and stuff. ‘How are you doing? What’d you do all winter?'” said Freeman. Fesette says he’s praying for good news about the border at the end of the month. “We’re really looking forward to the day they can come back, not only to the Plattsburgh RV park, but to support our whole community,” he said.

The US-Canada Border remains closed for another three weeks – which means no Canadian tourists.

At Plattsburgh RV Park, the sound of chirping birds and wind chimes fill the air. The volleyball court is empty, and swings on the playground sway in the wind.

“This place is a lot of fun when it’s going full-tilt. Going to each other’s places, sit around a fire, have barbecues,” said camper and groundskeeper George Freeman. “Good people here. Sure miss the Canadians. I miss them a whole bunch.”

The RV park relies heavily on Canadian campers, and the owner says nearly 95 of their regular visitors are Canadians who call Plattsburgh a second home.

“I mean it’s been really, really bad,” says owner Keith Fesette. “I can just tell looking at our reservations, it’s, I mean we’re going to be just way off from what the norm is. So, it’s not going to be the best year, I can tell you that.”

A pandemic and an extension of the Canadian border closure until June 21 has a place like the RV park going from nearly 1,000 visitors on a busy summer night in the peak season, to only a handful of campers now.

Debra Dubray and her dog, Buddy, miss their Canadian neighbors.

“It’s quiet, but too quiet. We miss our friends,” said Dubray.

The North Country Chamber of Commerce says every facet of the North Country’s economy, in some way, relies on Canadian traffic.

“Not having them necessarily on the campground, means those other businesses aren’t going to see that business as well. Which, again, I think that’s why it plays back into so strong that as a resident here, we need to support those businesses,” said Kristy Kennedy, Vice President of Marketing at the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

Their new marketing focuses on asking New York residents to consider a staycation, so places like the Plattsburgh RV Park are brought back to life.

“I wouldn’t go as far and say it’s depressing, but, I just miss the bustle and just everybody coming by and saying hi and stuff. ‘How are you doing? What’d you do all winter?'” said Freeman.

Fesette says he’s praying for good news about the border at the end of the month.

“We’re really looking forward to the day they can come back, not only to the Plattsburgh RV park, but to support our whole community,” he said.

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