San Diego campground struggles to book Memorial Day weekend guests

Posted at 5:36 PM, May 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 20:54:46-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- We are one week away from Memorial Day weekend, but with the Coronavirus Pandemic, travel is close to a stand-still. This year, a popular local campsite is struggling to book holiday guests.

Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be Campland on the Bay's busiest time of the year. Last year, they were at 100% capacity, with about 3,500 people at the popular RV and campground.

This year, reservations are nowhere near that number.

"Everything has changed," Campland general manager, Ahmed Ait-Lahcen, said.

For the first time in 20 years, AAA is not issuing a Memorial Day travel forecast. They say COVID-19 compromised the accuracy of their data. Last year, a near-record 43 million Americans traveled during the holiday weekend. This year, they are guessing that there will be fewer people traveling to comply with stay-at-home rules.

Campland is feeling this first hand.

"We're continuing to see cancellations," Ait-Lahcen said.

At less than 70% capacity, the popular bayside campground is looking meager. To comply with city, county, and state rules, their restaurants are open only for pick-up orders, and their market has a five-customer limit.

Nearly all of their amenities, including group activities, pool access, and basketball courts, are taped off.

"We're not taking any chances there," Ait-Lahcen said. "We closed it."

There are not a lot of reservations for new Memorial Day weekend guests. Most of the people at the site now are out-of-state visitors who decided to extend their stay to protect themselves from worse COVID-19 situations at home.

"They can't go back to New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania," Ait-Lahcen said. "They're still here. It's safer for them to be here."

Ait-Lahcen says even without the usual fun activities the campground offers, families still have the beautiful San Diego weather and each other to get through the unusually slow upcoming holiday weekend.

"You can still go pick up a meal and stay within your site, which provides you a respite or an opportunity to get out of the house," Ait-Lahcen said. "You get that, but in a confined type of environment. "

For more information on Campland's COVID-19 changes, click here.