Campground Owner: TVA Regulations Don't Add Up
By WestKyStar Staff
MARSHALL CO., KY - Some new TVA regulations regarding extended campground use is not setting well with some campground owners, including one in Marshall County who says the rules just don't make sense.
Larry Hellkamp operates Southern Komfort Resort and Marina, and owns part of the campground. Due to elevation standards, TVA owns the marina, restaurant, and some lots. Hellkamp says one regulation requires that people who leave their campers at a site long-term move their equipment off-site for two weeks per year so that others may use the sites, and to allow for inspection.
Hellkamp says the rule does nothing but discourage camping.
"The trend for the last twenty years has been for folks to buy bigger and bigger campers. I mean, you see some of them now, they're forty feet long, and to park them someplace. And the place to park them has been in campgrounds. So the campgrounds have been gearing up over the last twenty years to handle what the public wants. This concept of pulling them out two weeks out of the year supposedly is to provide opportunity to people who haven't been able to camp there before because the campground has been full...if they do a lottery."
The problem with the lottery, says Hellkamp, is that running a campground is much like running a hamburger shop.
"When the need is there, you do something different so you can handle the need. You add another cook, you add some more tables, or in the campground, you make more campsites." He says if the current consumer trend was moving away from the larger campers, "...then you would go after the smaller campers. Supposedly, they're on the road circling campgrounds for a place to park. Well, that's not true. They're not out there circling. So the market is what TVA has failed to read."
Additionally, Hellkamp says there are those who don't have the vehicles or equipment necessary to move their campers, and would have to pay someone to do it, just for two weeks.
Hellkamp on Tuesday turned in a proposal to TVA that would allow for an alternative paperwork and inspection process that he says would save time and money for all concerned.