Reservations for the Dell Rapids campground will be handled in a new way starting in 2017. The Dell Rapids City Council approved the booking of campsites through an online service called Camp Native. This is a South Dakota based company. They currently serve reservations for about 12,000 campgrounds on their website. The website to register is www.campnative.com.
City Administrator Justin Weiland said, “We’ve been thinking about this for several years and have done quite a bit of research…what the best method of doing this, what other campgrounds do. We do get this request about making it more convenient.”
Sites can still be reserved between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at City Hall for those who may not have online access in which city administration can log onto the website and make the reservation through the website. One big change will be the removal of the self-registration by placing a payment in the campground’s dropbox. For those that enter the campground outside of city hours and don’t preregister either online or through City Hall, they will need to register online instead of using the dropbox. The city is planning to have free Wi-Fi available at the campground by the time it opens for the season to offset this change.
It was reported during the meeting that the majority of the weekends are usually filled by preregistrations in advance of the weekend, especially the big camping weekends. Moving to the website will allow people to now see what’s available real-time for open camping spots rather than having to contact City Hall.
The nightly rate for the campground was also raised from $15.00 to $18.00 by the City Council. The cancellation policy of No Cancellations was also amended during the meeting. That policy was removed and replaced with Camp Native’s cancellation policy that allows for any cancellations up to two weeks prior to the stay and a one-night penalty within the two week period. All the cancellations will be handled by the Camp Native website.
Other changes happening to the Dell Rapids Campground in 2017 are plans to construct a comfort station/bath house near Rickeman Field and also expand the campground to the former tractor pull area.