Part of Strathgartney Provincial Park is leased for 10 years to two PEI contractors. who wish to build a year-round campsite there.
Mike Robertson is co-owner of Meridian 63 Luxury Camping with his partner, Stéphane Labrosse. He said their plan was to make smaller units with an emphasis on the “off-grid” luxury experience.
They will convert the old campground into a luxury camping facility.
“It won’t be tents and motorhomes, it will be structured units… it will all be very small units, off the grid, you know, wood heating. We really think it’s more about the experience in the area, “he said.
“We want you to feel like you are actually camping without the camping work.”
“The new facilities will be perfect for travelers looking for a camping experience but have limited equipment and time,” said Labrosse.
“We will provide everything they need so they can spend more time exploring the outdoors.”
The province rents the park for $ 1 per year. He also loaned the company $ 420,000 to help set up the campground.
Matthew MacKay, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, said the idea came from the two provinces and was a welcome addition to Strathgartney.
“We thought it would be a good fit,” he said. “It’s not going to bother the public at all, the park is not going to change.”
MacKay said he has seen a “huge” increase in the number of visitors to the area, especially cyclists and walkers, and sees the provincial park as something people can enjoy 12 months a year.
When asked why the province wouldn’t do it on their own, MacKay said it was an idea the two had come to the province with and they wanted to see them use it.
“They are the ones who put the work and their heart and soul into it, and that’s how we thought the best approach would be the best,” he said. “It will be a great tourism product and we can’t wait to see how successful it will be.”
There was no request for proposal because it was not a government project, he added.
“I think the government really failed on this one”
Travel critic and Liberal MP Heath MacDonald said the province’s lack of communication on the project “is certainly raising some red flags within communities and within some other businesses.”
He said there are hundreds of people exploring this park and its trails every week, and Strathgartney hosts organizations and their functions.
“It is important for the government to know exactly what is going on with this,” he said. “I think the government really failed on this one.”
He said he hoped the companies would be successful, but questioned the government’s transparency on the whole project.
“When you get questions from organizations and people who say, ‘What’s going on in Strathgartney? Are we losing our park? Are we going to have access to our park? Who are the new owners? These are some of the questions that I think people are raising, ”he said.
MacDonald said he wanted to see the plan for Strathgartney and the contract between the province and the company.
Work will continue throughout the summer to remove old asphalt, concrete and building structures to restore the park to a more natural state.
The new campsite is slated to open in the fall and will operate year round.
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