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Possibly the most expensive military campground in the natio 15 years 2 months ago #1694

  • mikecfr
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Pine View campground at Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin is increasing it's rates effective October 1, 2007. Weekday camping will be $25 for military and weekend camping will be $40 for military. Civilians will be charged $5 more a day. The weekend rate has a minimum of 2 night stay. At those rates, they have lost me as a patron and I will be writing to the head of MWR and CC the post commander my feelings about this rate hike. >:( If you doubt this information, you can go to their website and see for yourself. It's too bad, I really like Pine View. I have plenty of ideas of how they can save money without gouging military campers; I wonder if they will listen to me.

This is a heads-up for anyone passing through Wisconsin and wanting to stay a couple of nights. Since there are no military campgounds in Minnesota and only one in Wisconsin, maybe I can compile a list of military friendly campgrounds in the area at a reasonable rate so you won't have to stay at Pine View.

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1696

  • larryf
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WOW! :o

The campground manager at Pine View visits this website. I suggest leaving a review here on Pine View. In addition, leave feedback through the DOD ICE program (I did). There's a link for the ICE feedback on the campground's information page: Pine View Recreation Area
Larry Farquhar, USAF (Ret)
Owner/Operator of this website.
The Happy-Wanderers
Casino Camper Website

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1699

  • wb4zit
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Are those people out of their friggin' minds ? Maybe active duty and civilians can afford those rates but I certainly cannot. I hope they don't depend on retired military to keep those camp sites occupied.

$40 for a full hookup on the weekend ! It should have a jacuzzi, sheltered picnic table, and built in stone barbecue pit for that.

Apparently they do not care about GIs, and retirees in particular. They obviously are targeting these rates at the "General Public". You know, the people who are NOT supposed to be authorized to use these facilities anyway.
Mel Linville
US Army MSG (Ret)
2020 Ram 2500 Hemi and shopping for a cheap, used, small 5th wheel

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1700

  • mikecfr
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Larry, I do intend to leave a review on ICE. I just need to get one of those "round to its". I don't think they are considering the military retiree on a fixed income or the young troop that is assigned there for a few weeks of training and wants to bring their family. I even wonder if the director of MWR has a military background.

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1701

  • mikecfr
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Mel, they don't count on retirees to fill the campground. The bulk of their business is the general public. Many weekends, you can't even get in there because it is filled up with civilians. It's hard for me to understand how anyone can justify allowing the general public to use MWR facilities that are by and large paid for by our purchase through AAFES and MWR activities.

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1702

  • monkey44
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Guess I'm a little confused -- is this actually a MCG but civilians can use it anytime?? Can someone explain for me please ...thanks M44

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1703

  • mikecfr
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M44, it's my understanding that they have to get a waiver from the department of the Army to allow civilians to use it. The decision can't be made at the local level. I think it's wrong to let civilians into a MWR facility that is built with non-appropriated funds since civilians didn't fund it with tax dollars. BTW, Larry, if you read this, I sent a form to Ft. McCoy ICE and requested a response. I'll let you know what I receive back.

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1707

  • monkey44
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Hey guys, please keep me in the loop here because I believe we should have first priority -- and this is a little upsetting to me, unless I am misunderstanding something here...

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1710

  • lifermc
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hello,

i have noticed that camp pendleton in california is getting more expensive also. $30 per night at the ocean but not always on the water. no cable or wifi. no off season rates. no monthly discounts.

bottom line is the civilians now run MWR and they are in the profit business. end of year bonus depends on them making money.

after i retired from the marines i went to work for MWR and it was an eye opener. the days of cheap family entertainment are over.

david,
socal

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1722

  • larryf
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Received a reply back from my ICE comment. While polite, the letter doesn't provide any real justification for the high rates. Here's the reply I received:

Larry,

Thank you for the opportunity to address your concerns referencing the pricing at Pine View Campground.

The $40.00 price you mentioned is the military price for a Friday/Saturday stay on a full hook-up site that includes water, sewer, electric, cable and telephone line for computer use. The weekly military rate for a full hook-up site is $25.00 for stays that cover Sunday through Thursday and may be more appealing to you. You are entitled to the military rates because of your status as a retired military and as you noted civilian prices are higher. Additional reduced pricing can be obtained by selecting an electric only or tent site if that fits your camping style.

The fee structure is comparable to the escalating operating expense. As a returning customer you are aware that pricing has not changed over the past 8 years. Unfortunately, it is not feasible for Pine View Campground to continue operations without adjusting prices.

Pine View Campground by nature of being on a federal reserve provides a more secure campground along with privacy due to natural landscaping.
Other amenities include weekend crafts, games and activities along with themed type weekends throughout the summer with the most recent being the Halloween Haunted Forest. Additionally, Pine View Campground does not assess a per person rate charge for 3 or more people occupying the units or campsites each night. This is a very positive amenity to larger families.

I appreciate the feedback concerning the pricing structure and the opportunity to address this issue and hope that you weigh all the additional costs when determining the location of your next outing. We hope to see you again.

Again, thank you for your comments.

Daryl Budda
Chief, Business Activities Division
608-388-3240 or DSN 280-3240

Larry Farquhar, USAF (Ret)
Owner/Operator of this website.
The Happy-Wanderers
Casino Camper Website

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1723

  • mikecfr
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Must be a form letter. Here is the same response, to me. I won't be camping there again. I would like to warn all other military campers to be sure to check the fees before they camp there or they are in for an unpleasant surprise. >:( They might as well turn it into a civilian campground. Maybe if enough of us send in an ICE review, they may see the error of their ways. Ha! I wonder if the post commander should be contacted. What do you think, Larry?


Thank you for the opportunity to address your concerns referencing the pricing at Pine View Campground.

The $40.00 price you mentioned is the military price for a Friday/Saturday stay on a full hook-up site that includes water, sewer, electric, cable and telephone line for computer use. The weekly military rate for a full hook-up site is $25.00 for stays that cover Sunday through Thursday and may be more appealing to you. You are entitled to the military rates because of your status as a retired military and as you noted civilian prices are higher. Additional reduced pricing can be obtained by selecting an electric only or tent site if that fits your camping style.

The fee structure is comparable to the escalating operating expense. As a returning customer you are aware that pricing has not changed over the past 8 years. Unfortunately, it is not feasible for Pine View Campground to continue operations without adjusting prices.

Pine View Campground by nature of being on a federal reserve provides a more secure campground along with privacy due to natural landscaping.
Other amenities include weekend crafts, games and activities along with themed type weekends throughout the summer with the most recent being the Halloween Haunted Forest. Additionally, Pine View Campground does not assess a per person rate charge for 3 or more people occupying the units or campsites each night. This is a very positive amenity to larger families.

I appreciate the feedback concerning the pricing structure and the opportunity to address this issue and hope that you weigh all the additional costs when determining the location of your next outing. We hope to see you again.

Again, thank you for your comments.


Daryl Budda
Chief, Business Activities Division
608-388-3240 or DSN 280-3240

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1724

  • jgrgg
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Why wouldn't MWR put mil retirees workampers running the famcamps? Seems to me they would their cake and could eat it to. It would save money and have better services also. Do you think?

Joe

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1725

  • mikecfr
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I think that's a great idea. I called Mr. Budda today and told him I knew of some ways they could save money and he wasn't interested. Their mind is made up. I told the I feel that they hire too much help during the summer. According to 2 of the college kids that work there, they hire at least a couple of dozen. I don't know if that's accurate but I don't think it's too much of an exageration. I also feel they could have raised the rates for civilians and left the rates for military alone or at most, a small raise for military. I told him that we would'nt be camping there as long as the rates remain that high. I think everyone who feels the rates are out of line should contact Ft. McCoy either through ICE or direct contact with the director of MWR. I wonder about the young soldier that has a short TDY there for training and wants to take his or her family to camp. Lodging for a short TDY for training isn't usually conducive to including families. And, now I think the campground is out of range of a reasonable price for those young soldiers.

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1727

  • johnandmari
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The fee structure is comparable to the escalating operating expense. As a returning customer you are aware that pricing has not changed over the past 8 years. Unfortunately, it is not feasible for Pine View Campground to continue operations without adjusting prices.


The fee structure . . . what in the world is this individual talking about? He purchased no land, he pays no taxes, he has no utility costs ? the campground is on a federal base/post/station, is it not? As I have mentioned in the past, Family Camps are quickly becoming a ?cash cow? to many military facilities. The powers-that-be who operate these Family Camps are driven by returns on . . ., what, they did not invest anything. All FamCamp rates seem to be increasing ? although for what reason, I can not say, but certainly not to the extent of Pine View. Pine View is unquestionably not alone in raising their rates, as many other FamCamp rates are excessive for what is offered ? last October we stopped at the U.S. Military Academy for a couple of days. For water, electric, but no sewage hook-up, and, in my opinion, an extremely difficult and hazardous access road, the Army charged us $22/day. By comparison, Admiral Baker FamCamp, located adjacent to the beautiful Admiral Baker Recreational Facility, less than five miles from downtown San Diego only charges $22/day. I truly believe the days of affordable military FamCamps will soon be a thing of the past. As Non-Appropriated Funds management (MWR is after all, part of the NAF system) begins to understand the monetary rewards to be gained by increasing the cost of ?camping? on base, we can only expect rising rates as the outcome.

John

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1728

  • FastEagle
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My suggestion to you Mr. Budda is to get into the real Military world of providing recreation for THE Military. Contact managers of campgrounds like yours and check their pricing. Two very nicely run Navy recreational areas come to mind. Admiral Baker in San Diego, CA and Short Stay at Moncks Corner, SC. Both are off base and have RV sites along with loads of other recreational opportunities. Neither one is supported by the civilian population unless they are employees or guests of authorised users.

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1729

  • monkey44
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As a comparison: Anyone ever stay at Kings Bay in Georgia -- A grand total of $15 per night. Includes: Concrete pad, water, electric sewer, Cable TV, WI-Fi and/or Web hook-up in the Rec Room, Hot Showers, free laundry, and overflow camping section that has water and electric and TV, just no sewer. And the whole place is SPOTLESS.
Full base facilities including gas station, car wash, mechanic hobby shop you can rent bays to work on your truck/camper ... and it only about a half-hour drive to Jacksonville and a couple hours to Savanaha if you like off-base entertainment ...

Did I say $15 per night -- that's right !!! (might have just gone up to $17, big deal)

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1731

  • karylkoch
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I agree, about Kings Bay GA. We have been Blessed, to travel to a number of Famcamps. I have never understood, why there is not a more uniformed pricing system. We had to come home from FL, because of a family illness several years ago, and spent the winter at Ft Meade. It was very, very cold, and we couldn't believe we were paying a couple hundred more a month, than we were in beautiful FL. Ft Meade also had a problem, with more employees, than they needed. They since have raised there rates, and you pay the same in the winter as the summer. Sure would be nice, if the right people, would understand, what is happening to our Famcamps. >:( ???

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 months ago #1732

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I'd like to encourage everyone who is concerned about this outrageous price to fill out the ICE form located on Pine View Campground website. It may actually change things but, I'm not optimistic. I wonder if Mr. Budda is former military, current military, retiree, or strictly civilian. My guess is civilian.

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 3 weeks ago #2053

  • rwarner11
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This is an eye-opener on the rising costs of staying at FAMCAMPs. My wife and I concur with the comments at Short Stay in SC. It was a very nice place, a little out of the way but very affordable with a great group running it.

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Re: Possibly the most expensive military campground in the n 15 years 2 weeks ago #2062

  • christhebigfoot2000
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Well prices are going up all over and that sure does include "our" campgrounds. I get a little moved at seeing prices go up just like the rest. But I wonder to myself and now out loud I guess what do you guyz do about civilian campgrounds that are in most cases much more pricey than "our" campgrounds with no more amenities and some that are downright dumps. When we started full timing 7 yrs ago campgrounds averaged just around $20 a night. They sure run a lot more than that now. Still beats staying in a motel. Several of "our" campgrounds were opened up to "civilians" because "we" were not utilizing them and they were becoming a burden to maintain in a manner to which "we" thought they should be maintained for the day we might arrive there. Nothing is free. Everything has a price and it has to pull its own weight. I think about when I retired that there was no such thing, at least that I ever heard about...military campgrounds. I go into the PX/BX's and look at the price of casual clothing and it is out of sight...in my opinion, so I buy someplace else where I can find a larger selection and better price for a polo shirt and shorts. Price or cost of stuff was not included in anybodys retirement contract that I remember.
Chris the Bigfoot

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