SHELBY — With Gov. Mike DeWine lifting restrictions on camping May 21, Ohioans flocked to campgrounds across the state over Memorial Day weekend, including to the Shelby-Mansfield KOA, where all sites were full with the exception of a couple cabins and a few tent sites.
Vicki and Garry Cole own the Shelby-Mansfield KOA, and recently purchased the former Pine Lakes Golf Course near Mount Gilead with another KOA owner.
It is being refurbished and will soon open as the Mount Gilead-Mid-Ohio KOA Holiday campground, located across from Mount Gilead State Park on Ohio 95. It is expected to open July 1.
Vicki Cole said they were excited to open the gates at the Shelby-Mansfield KOA to guests, pointing out seasonal campers were allowed to start camping May 1.
Although there are some regulations and not all activities are open at this time, Vicki said people were happy to get back out and enjoy Mother Nature this past weekend.
“It was busier than we thought it would be,” she said.
She pointed out on Tuesday, May 26, they were allowed to open their swimming pool for campers.
“But we don’t have any dates on when we can open the jumping pillow or out pedal carts or the playgrounds,” she said. “Those are the only things that aren’t open yet. The boats are open, and the basketball courts and tennis courts are open as of (May 26).”
Discussing some of the other regulations now that they are open, Vicki said no visitors are allowed at camp sites, pointing out everyone on a camp site must be a registered camper, unless they are family. Family members can visit each other on different sites.
She said all linens and pillows in the camping cabins have to be cleaned and sanitized before they are used again.
“And the salt and pepper shakers and mustard and ketchup bottles on the tables at the Kafe? Those are all off the tables and we have carry out packages of mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise and everything for them. And with coffee, all the stirrers have to be wrapped. The straws are wrapped and cups for the cappuccinos are behind counter so people aren’t touching them.”
She also since April.
KOA also rents out golf carts to patrons and Vicki noted they sterilize those between each use.
Vicki said it is obvious people are ready to camp again, as this weekend, all RV sites are completely booked.
“From here on out it’s pretty full,” she said. “People are ready to get out and go. We had some cancellations because some people aren’t ready to go out, but that’s OK. People who want to get out are going to come. They want the fresh air, they want to relax and enjoy family time.”
People wanting to make a reservation at the Shelby-Mansfield KOA may call 419-347-1392.
For the Mid-Ohio KOA in Mount Gilead, call 419-946-1856.