Campground closing, but Rock the Boat still going

On Jan. 2, Dale and Bonnie Wood announced they would be terminating their lease with the provincial government to run the Green Park Campground in Port Hill. Damage from post-tropical storm Dorian and other business opportunities were the main reasons for terminating the lease.     Jillian Trainor photo

The closure of Green Park Campground should not have any effect on the Rock the Boat Music Festival.

“We have our own lease agreement with a province for a field inside Green Park,” said Adam MacLennan, organizer of the music festival. “We do on-site camping for Rock The Boat, 200 sites, so there are still plenty of sites available right now.”

On Jan. 2, Dale and Bonnie Wood, the couple leasing the campground, announced on social media they were terminating the lease with the provincial government.

“After many decisions and thoughts Dale and I have decided to terminate our lease with the provincial government... We had just finished our 8th year, we have enjoyed it and learned a lot from it. We have been very lucky to have great staff over the years which has made it a lot easier for us but we just don’t feel we have the time to commit that it requires.”

The post continues on say they have no idea on what the province’s intentions are or what the future holds for the park, and they would like to thank each and every camper for their business over the last 8 years.

Damage from post-tropical storm Dorian and other business opportunities were the main reasons for terminating the lease.

Since the announcement, Mr MacLennan said there has been an increase in bookings for Rock the Boat’s campsites.

He said while Rock the Boat is a major part of tourism in the summer, Green Park is also a beautiful campground, and organizers with both Rock the Boat and the Tyne Valley Oyster Festival want to make sure it’s operated in 2020. He added that without that park in operation, it would be a decline in what Tyne Valley can offer.

“The Festival will do whatever we can to help another group or another person come in and operate the campground,” he said. “I’m not saying that potentially it might be us that comes in and operates it in the summertime if need be. We would be potentially looking at operating it around the festival, but hopefully there’s a group that comes in and operates it.”

Mr MacLennan said Rock the Boat has a lease agreement with the province for another 10 years, and have made significant investments in infrastructure and will continue to improve that site to have great events in West Prince.

The province has started the process for a Request For Proposal, and is hopeful it will receive proposals and accept a submission for a new operator. The hope is to have a new operator by the time Rock the Boat takes place in August.

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