Wisconsin News

Campground outlook for Memorial Day weekend

LA CROSSE COUNTY, Wis. (WKBT) - Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner and many people will head to campgrounds hoping for a nice weekend.

Local campgrounds are doing their best to prepare, but the long winter and rainy spring has made it more difficult.

Campgrounds in the area are nearly full this weekend, but full doesn't necessarily mean max capacity. For some local campgrounds that means there aren't enough dry campsites to house anymore campers.

It will be tough to find a campsite at Neshonoc Lakeside Camp Resort Memorial Day weekend.

"We are full,"  Resort Manager Patty Stellmaker said.

Stellmaker said the campground is in great shape. The only thing left to do, "We need to get some mowing done because it actually stopped raining."

At Goose Island Campground they're not as fortunate, however. High waters are forcing nearly half the campsites to be closed.

"The campground is underwater," Mary Kaufmann, parks and office supervisor for La Crosse County facilites, said.

Kaufmann said 100 campsites are not suitable for campers, but the campsites that aren't too wet are filling up fast.

"We're working off of a waiting list right now," she said.

Kaufmann said the fun and activities this weekend will go on as planned.

Having half the campers could affect more than just the campgrounds though.

"You're probably having thousands of dollars of impact on the businesses themselves, the campsites, not to mention the money that people would spend that would be in those campsites," Dave Clements, executive director of the La Crosse Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said.

Clements said La Crosse tourism is a big pie and camping is a big slice of that pie.

"They're certainly going to eat in some restaurants, they're going to spend money at convenience stores, they may go to the mall and spend money shopping or come downtown and shop," Clements said.

"I hope for no more rain, no more high water, dry sites and just the fun," Kaufmann said.

Goose Island staff are monitoring water levels throughout the week. If sites become dry enough they will open up all available campsites.

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