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Coloma/St. Joseph KOA Holiday Opens Early and Announces Changes – Applauds Governor Whitmer’s Clarification for Campgrounds

Like many small businesses that have been impacted by the national emergency, the Coloma/St. Joseph KOA Holiday announces that they too are stepping up and making necessary changes to protect the health and well-being of staff and guests.

Although the season does not officially start until April 17, they opened a number of sites up earlier than usual to be of immediate support and assistance to those “otherwise needy individuals” who have been impacted by the National Emergency and required essential services.

Mark and Karla Lemoine, Owners & Managing Partners shared, “During this challenging time, we’ve been pleased to help a handful of individuals such as ‘snow birds’ returning back home to Michigan or those traveling on their way to other states. We have also proactively reached out to other key community players making these sites available for critical infrastructure workers, such as traveling
nurses that may be serving locally at our nearby medical centers or contract employees working at the two nuclear energy plants in our area.”

As they continue to prepare for the official opening of the 2020 camping season on April 17, they intend to continue to provide only essential services in compliance with state and federal government guidelines. Accordingly, they have put several procedures and measures into place in order to limit staff-to-staff, staff-to-guest, and guest-to-guest contact. They include:

  • Reservations made for stays during the national emergency (currently through April 30) will only be accepted for guests in self-contained recreational vehicles (RV) that MUST include their own bathroom (e.g. no tents, automobiles/vans, pick-up campers or pop-up trailers);
  • All communal areas will be closed. This includes restrooms, playground area, and Club House. The pool and hot tub are also closed, and will not open any earlier than May 22 (Memorial Day weekend), as currently scheduled and depending on further directives from government authorities;
  • Curbside check-in will be provided in order to avoid congestion at Registration desk
  • General store items such as groceries, RV supplies, and firewood can be purchased, but will be brought to guests with “no-contact delivery” right to their site or will be available for pick-up outside of the main building. Propane and laundry services will also be available.

Starting April 17, the General Store Cafe’ will also be open with a limited menu via Take-out service, to once again serve up their own premium roasted coffee blend called, St. Joseph Sunrise, and specialty, made-to-order, Hunt Brothers pizzas and wings.

While on property, guests are invited to use their own equipment on the basketball court or mini-golf course, and engage in outdoor activity such as walking, hiking, running, or cycling on paved roads or throughout the 40 acre property, including a new nature trail in the woods. However, observance of appropriate social distancing is required and will be enforced.

The Lemoines also applaud Governor Whitmer for providing a clarification that has allowed campgrounds to operate under certain conditions while the “Stay Home. Stay Safe” Executive Order is in effect.

“There has been a chasm of understanding that is as big as the great outdoors itself,” said Mark. “As Governors across the nation have enacted similar orders, they have often failed to immediately understand the role RV Parks and campgrounds play in the hospitality industry, which is to provide accommodation similar to hotels and motels – only better because most of our guests bring their room with them. These Orders, have often initially declared that campgrounds must be closed, and has caused tremendous disruption and confusion. Therefore, we were actively engaged in providing Governor Whitmer with timely information that demonstrates how we can provide basic services that adapt to the current environment.” He added, “Our industry has also asked federal policy makers to make a similar clarification so there can be a consistent level of service everywhere.”

It is estimated that 10 million American households own a recreational vehicle, including one million who live full-time in their RV and rely on RV parks and campgrounds. At times they may live year-round at a single location. However, others travel throughout North America, sometimes in rigs worth well over a million dollars, allowing them to enjoy exploring exciting parts of our country, and quite simply, embody the saying, “Home is where you park it.”

As we look forward to the better days ahead, Karla offers some reassurance to everyone – especially the parents who have been cooped up at home with the kids not in school, “When the current public health threat is hopefully behind us soon, we will eagerly welcome all leisure guests who will be yearning to improve their own mental health by satisfying their instinctive need to get outside and enjoy a camping experience… most importantly, with plenty of room for social distancing!”

Fifth Level Hospitality, Inc., is locally-owned and operated by Mark and Karla Lemoine, and is doing business as the Coloma/St. Joseph KOA Holiday. Located in Hagar Township, this southwest Michigan campground destination is the closest KOA campground to Lake Michigan and offers guests 130 sites for tenting, RVs, twelve cabins and three luxury “glamping” tents. Amenities include an in-ground heated pool, hot tub, jumping pillow, Gaga ball, Carpet ball, mini-golf, fun bike rentals, and more. Find them online at www.stjosephkoa.com or “Like” them on FaceBook.