Summer seasonal businesses in North Country (New York), like campgrounds and marinas, were among the most affected in the region during the pandemic due to border closure. Things are starting to shape up now that the border is returning to normal.
As per a report, the signs are now in front of Monty’s Bay Campsites in West Chazy.
“We’ve had several customers who have been here for many, many years,” said Sheila Blair, the campground’s manager.
Boats are back on the slips across the street at Gilbert Brook Marina.
“Kind of unique in a sense; it’s one of the very few that has both a campground and a marina,” Blair said.
The business has experienced many changes in the past six decades. Richard and Linda Bridgeman from Greenfield Park, located south of Montreal, have seen it grow.
“This will be our 48th year down here,” Linda said. She says it’s the neighbors and the peace of mind in the “country” that make them come back each year. “Really, really good friends — we missed them a lot while we were away.”
The northern border closure kept the couple from traveling for two consecutive years. “A change in our summer lifestyle for sure,” added Richard.
Their campsite, full of all their summer essentials, sat untouched. “We went through withdrawal symptoms because we had everything down here. We had nothing at home, no camping gear, no lawn chairs,” Linda said.
A common sight at Monty’s Bay, where half of the 140 campsites are owned by Canadians. At the marina, 90% hail from Canada.
“It’s great to have them back, but we are still paying the price for going two years without income,” Blair said. She says while nearly all the slips, moorings, and campsites are full this year, they will still end the year in the red. “There is so much that didn’t get done because we just couldn’t do it because of lack of income… …if it would have continued this year, we wouldn’t have survived.”
Blair said that pandemic staffing issues also persist. “We have not been able to staff so; therefore, we’ve had to cut back on hours,” she said.
They’re hoping to make up the losses over the following seasons. Seasons that the Bridgeman’s say they are eagerly anticipating.