Parks pow­er­ing area econ­omy

Busi­ness own­ers en­joy­ing tourism boom in Up­per Trin­ity South


It’s a Satur­day af­ter­noon and the main en­trance to Drover’s Store in White­way is a vir­tual re­volv­ing door. Peo­ple are stand­ing in line to pay for the things they need for their week­end away from home. The freezer door is open more of­ten than it’s shut as other cus­tomers pick up beer, meat, veg­eta­bles, gro­ceries and other items to tide them over. Counter staff are busy ring­ing in sales. “I’ve never been so busy in the last three days in a long time,” says Craig Drover, op­er­a­tor of Drover’s Store.

Down the street at Brown’s Restau­rant, staff are pre­par­ing for an­other evening of feed­ing hun­gry pa­trons.

It’s a typ­i­cal sum­mer week­end in the Up­per Trin­ity South area. Now that the fish­ery is no longer the eco­nomic back­bone of the re­gion, it’s safe to say that tourism con­trib­utes greatly to the lo­cal econ­omy. The new re­al­ity is largely driven by a clus­ter of RV parks within the 15-kilo­me­tre ra­dius from Green’s Har­bour to Caven­ish.

Whether it’s Golden Arm RV Park in Green’s Har­bour, Back­side Pond RV Park be­tween Green’s Har­bour and White­way, Stillwater camp­sites in Ho­peall, Shag View RV Park in White­way, or Bishop Field’s RV camp­ground in Caven­ish, there’s a mas­sive in­flux of peo­ple, many from ur­ban ar­eas, each week­end.

All are on a per­sonal quest to get back to na­ture in a set­ting renowned for its scenic beauty.

And with an­other RV park un­der con­struc­tion near New Har­bour, those num­bers are ex­pected to grow in the coming years.

A swell in pop­u­la­tion

At the peak of the sum­mer sea­son, some say the pop­u­la­tion in this area swells by some 2,000 on week­ends. Peo­ple travel to the com­mu­ni­ties and pop­u­late the RV parks, cot­tages and sea­sonal dwellings.

They hike the trails, swim in the ponds, boat in the ocean and golf at Pitcher’s Pond in White­way.

Golden Arm’s com­mu­nity alone might grow by 500 peo­ple on a week­end.

“It’s an important part of the econ­omy,” says Bar­bara Brown, owner of Brown’s Restau­rant and Blaz­ing Horizon Cot­tages in White­way.

Lo­cal busi­nesses bask in the un­prece­dented eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity pro­vided by the campers, most of whom have sea­sonal camp­sites at the parks.

The amount of busi­ness at Brown’s Restau­rant has grown ev­ery year for the last 20 years, says Brown, with hun­dreds of hun­gry pa­trons fil­ing into the restau­rant on any given Sunday.

Eco­nomic spin-offs

Campers are bound to spend their money on a va­ri­ety of items and ac­tiv­i­ties, con­tribut­ing to eco­nomic spin-offs, whether “sup­port­ing the lo­cal golf course or spend­ing money in lo­cal con­ve­nience stores and restau­rants,” Brown states.

Then there are g a s sta­tions, drug stores, hard­ware stores, take­outs, and even Drover’s Store with its sup­ply of fab­rics, wools and gift-ware.

“ There’s a lot of ac­tiv­ity in the lo­cal area,” says Brown’s brother, Mur­ray Crocker, owner of both Golden Arm and Home Hard­ware in Green’s Har­bour.

“ The cot­tage and camp­ing de­vel­op­ment around has cer­tainly aided ... the lo­cal area,” he says.

Drover, mean­while, has been op­er­at­ing his store for more than three decades.

“ Years ago, sum­mer­time from May 24 to Labour Day was usu­ally a dif­fer­ent clien­tele,” he says.

How­ever, he points out there was only one park — Back­side Pond — in the area in those days. “ The last eight or 10 years it’s been re­ally good for us,” he says. He now sees a new clien­tele of “dif­fer­ent

peo- ple passing through each week. Most of them are reg­u­lars now sum­mer­time.”

Of course, the in­creased vol­ume of busi­ness means more hours for staff.

At­trac­tive area

What’s the at­trac­tion of the area? Brown an­swers with a smile: “ This is the best place on this is­land to live. The sun­sets here are un­be­liev­able.”

Ap­par­ently, many oth­ers feel the same way. In­deed, some park own­ers are even hes­i­tant to ad­ver­tise their fa­cil­i­ties, as there’s a wait­ing list for sea­sonal sites. Word of mouth does the job nicely for them.

The re­gion’s econ­omy is both healthy and strong as the re­sult of peo­ple’s de­sire to live quiet, peace­ful lives in a ru­ral and tran­quil set­ting far re­moved from the hus­tle and bus­tle of ur­ban life.

Close-knit com­mu­nity

Bishop Field’s RV camp­ground even of­fers week­end en­ter­tain­ment and par­ties, de­signed to cre­ate a tem­po­rary close-knit com­mu­nity.

And the good times roll for lo­cal busi­nesses, es­pe­cially from the mid­dle of May to a week or so after Labour Day.

Drover will soon be cut­ting back on the num­ber of hours his staff works, since the busi­ness drops off sig­nif­i­cantly. At Brown’s Restau­rant, busi­ness hours will be also be reduced in the coming weeks.

The eco­nomic trends por­tend great things for the fu­ture.

Where would this gen­eral area be without all these parks?

Crocker has the last word, in­di­cat­ing that without the parks, “it wouldn’t be very ac­tive here sum­mer­time.”

Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

Mur­ray Crocker and his mother, Nita. The Crock­ers own and op­er­ate Golden Arm RV Park and Home Hard­ware in Green’s Har­bour.

One of the at­trac­tions of the Up­per Trin­ity South area is its pris­tine beauty. Nowhere is this more ev­i­dent than the ma­jes­tic nat­u­ral rock out­crop­ping known as Shag Rock, White­way.

Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.