Campers angry, death threat issued over B.C.’s campsite reservation system
Published Friday, July 1, 2016 5:18PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, July 1, 2016 6:41PM PDT
The B.C. government’s campsite reservation system has been widely criticized as entire campgrounds sell out in minutes – and the growing anger has even led to a death threat.
The demand for campsites in B.C. is greater than ever. For example, places like Bear Creek Provincial Campground in Kelowna have been fully booked for the Canada Day long weekend since the sites went onto the provincial website 90 days ago.
Some people have even begun scalping reservations like sports tickets, forcing campgrounds to ask for ID when people arrive.
"It’s busy, busy, busy,” said Patrick Lacey, Bear Creek Provincial Campground manager. “If [campsites] are being sold off and you show up with someone else's name and the incorrect ID we're going to have to turn you away at the gate."
A couple from Salmon Arm has made a business out of helping Europeans book campsites. Now they say they are being falsely accused of scalping – and they’ve even had a death threat over it.
“They threaten that they know where to find us, and they will come to Salmon Arm and it won't end well,” said Carla Van der Kraats, co-owner of Canadian Camping Adventures.
The couple has also been contacted by companies that have been booking blocks of reservations.
“They told me they had a whole inventory for this summer if we were interested,” added Michael Van der Kraats. “And no, we’re not.”
B.C.’s New Democrats agree the current campsite reservation system is a problem.
“Many people have found that they go on a site and there’s nothing available - and they hit it right at 7 a.m. – or sometimes they get there and there’s 30 sites and a second later they are gone,” Heyman said.
All of this is proof that to get a perfect campsite – or even any campsite – being sharp and quick online is a must.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Kent Molgat