One of the six new sites sits at the ready for another busy weekend at the Kilby campground

Kilby campground expansion shows success so far

Estimated profits of $12,000-$15,000 from new campsites could help make Kilby Historic Site self-sustaining

It’s been less than a month of operations for the expanded campground and already, Kilby Historic Site has seen a jump in revenue.

The six new camp spots along the shores of the Harrison River have been booked consistently since opening May long weekend.

“The revenue has been positive,” shares Mel Waardenburg, Kilby Historic Site manager. “Every weekend at least half, if not all of them [are booked]. May long weekend all of them were booked and we had just opened them.”

Based on a 100-day camp season, from June 1 to September 30, Waardenburg says the new sites could bring an additional $12,000 to $15,000 per year depending on bookings. That will go a long way in helping Kilby to remain operational, based on provincial government requirements to make Kilby self-sustaining.

Waardenburg says while the new sites are not completed yet, with tree and shrub planting planned for the Fall, they’ve still been popular because they run along the shores of the Harrison River. Many campers come with their boats and like to park them along the shoreline in front of their spots.

The Kilby campground has another new feature, just announced June 9. Eleven of the 35 spots are now reservable. Waardenburg explains that after doing a lot of research, they decided to open up approximately a third of the sites for reservations to allow all campers an equal opportunity to book into the popular campground.

“We get a lot of calls for people that just can’t get in,” he explains. “We’re trying to find a fair balance for long-term campers that have supported Kilby for 15 years, and new people who want to camp here.”

It will also help staff to save some time on money collection as reservations are paid by credit card on the phone. To reserve sites for up to two weeks at a time, call Kilby Historic Site Tuesday and Wednesdays, from 10-3 p.m. at 604-796-9576.

They will be updating signage soon, based on feedback from the first few weeks of operation for the newly-placed boat launch.

The Kilby Historic Site is doing well this season since opening on Easter. Waardenburg says they have seen an increase in U.S. and foreign visitors in general, and are up roughly 20 per cent for visitors to the site’s special events so far. The restaurant is doing well and there’s even a couple cute new ducks that have just joined the Kilby family. All in all, Waardenburg says it’s shaping up to be a good year for Kilby.

Hours are Thursday to Monday, 11- 4p.m. Starting June 23 until September 7, open daily from 11-4 p.m. For more information, see www.kilby.ca

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