Gulf Resort Counters Inaccurate Spill Reports
Click here to watch a video about the following resort.
For weeks, Pam Hillman heard incessant news reports about BP’s oil spill and how it was devastating beaches along the Gulf Coast.
But when she arrived at Camping on the Gulf in Destin, Fla,. for her family’s annual vacation last week, there was no oil to be found.
“The news in Alabama keeps saying the beaches are all covered and I come down here and I don’t see any of it,” Hillman said in a news release. “It’s just beautiful here. There is no oil in sight.”
That’s a message Camping on the Gulf and other beachfront campgrounds, RV parks and resorts would like people across the country to hear. “The media talks about the beaches as if everything is covered with oil and that’s not the case,” said Camping on the Gulf General Manager Pat O’Neill, whose park is half empty due to consistently inaccurate reporting about extent to which the oil spill is affecting Gulf Coast beaches.
In fact, since the oil spill began there has only been one day when tar balls showed up on the beach in front of Camping on the Gulf, and those were immediately picked up by county crews, O’Neill said.
In an effort to counter misleading media reports, Camping on the Gulf posts daily video clips on its website at www.CampGulf.com, which include detailed footage of the beaches, the surf as well as interviews with RV resort guests who provide their own commentary regarding the cleanliness of the beaches, while encouraging people to come down and enjoy the Gulf Coast.
O’Neill said he had no choice but to post the daily videos because inaccurate and sensational media reports are prompting people to cancel their reservations.
“Normally, we’re booked solid all summer long and have to turn people away. But right now, we’re sitting at 50% occupancy,” O’Neill said, adding that misleading news reports involving the effects of the oil spill are costing Camping on the Gulf more than $3,000 a day in lost reservations.
“I feel bad for all the companies that have lost business as a result of the oil spill,” Hillman said, adding that her family has come to Camping on the Gulf every summer for the past 11 years.
Fortunately, O’Neill said, there are plenty of Camping on the Gulf guests who are willing to share their experiences about camping on beaches that, so far at least, have not been negatively affected by the spill.
“The beach is wonderful,” said Kent Calfee, a Camping on the Gulf vacationer from Tennessee during a video interview last Thursday. “Everybody needs to come on down because it’s a great time on the beach.”
“The water color here is excellent,” said Daniel Reyes, a Houston, Texas-area resident who was interviewed on video by Camping on the Gulf on Friday. “We’ve been here a little over a week and everything has been absolutely wonderful.”
Camping on the Gulf has 201 RV sites and 19 park model cabins and cottages, which are available for rent. For more information about the park, visit its website.