Phippsburg resort looking to add 24 glamping campsites

Sebasco Harbor Resort, a seasonal vacation spot in Phippsburg, could add a 24-site campground by this summer.

The proposed campsite would be on approximately seven acres on Pine Drive, on the north side of Wat-Tah Lake.

Owner Robert Smith said he wanted a ‘unique ‘glamping’ experience’ on part of the site, with ‘retro’ campers and caravans, like Airstreams. It wants a more rustic outdoor experience while offering access to the luxury amenities of the resort, which has a pool, spa, 12-hole golf course, fitness center fit and a restaurant.

Local and state-required campground amenities, such as a bathhouse, will be provided, Smith said.

Smith said he didn’t know how many campsites would be designated for trailers versus tents.

“We’re trying to look at this as a new guest convenience that we’ve had for years,” Smith said. “It would allow them to have a camping experience in Maine without having to haul their own tents or rent their own RV. We try to make it a wooded and natural experience.

Smith told the planning committee on Tuesday that his idea came from a few summer employees who traveled to Phippsburg in vans and RVs. The employees, however, had to camp elsewhere because the station did not have the space or the necessary hookups.

Planning board chairwoman Marie Varian said “the idea is good, but trying to fit it into this property will be the boost”.

Smith will approach the planning board with a more concrete plan next month.

Phippsburg Police Chief John Skroski said Sebasco guests cause little traffic during the summer, so a few extra visitors probably wouldn’t make a difference.

“The only exception is around July 4 because they set off fireworks, so we have a few officers directing traffic that day,” Skroski said. “Sebasco Harbor Resorts has always been a good partner in the community. Most of our traffic problems during the summer come from Popham Road and Popham Beach.

The resort offers 65 rooms in the main inn and suites and 23 chalets. At full capacity, it can accommodate nearly 300 people, but Smith said the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing shortages have limited capacity.

“The last few years have been really tough, but we’re entering our 93rd season, so I think we did well,” Smith said.

Some nearby campsites say demand and interest in camping has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as a safer alternative to indoor accommodation.

Katie Westrum, administrator of Hermit Island Campground in Phippsburg, said reservations fell from 1,064 in 2020 to 1,216 last year. Westrum said it already has 1,205 reservations for this summer.

“Some of our regulars have returned and we’ve had a lot of new campers from across the state trying to camp for the first time,” Westrum said. “The last few years have been stable and better than normal for us.”

At Sagadahoc Bay Campground in Georgetown, owner Patricia Kosalka said her business skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, even though she mandated masks and vaccinations for all guests.

“I follow the advice of the CDC,” Kosalka said. “They say masks, vaccines and boosters are necessary, and I totally agree. I haven’t lost any business.

Kosalka said its 75 campsites and six cabins are nearly fully booked for this summer.

“I feel so bad for my friends who have restaurants, but the pandemic has been good for all campgrounds,” Kosalka said. “All the campgrounds have probably made more money in the last few years than they used to. I am grateful that we have the kind of business that keeps us going during the pandemic. »

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