Couple looks to open Quabbin Pines RV Resort in Orange

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 01-14-2021 3:02 PM

ORANGE — Roughly 20 acres at 300 Daniel Shays Highway is expected to be the site of a campground again soon, as husband and wife Michael and Chrystal Snow prepare Quabbin Pines RV Resort for business.

The Snows purchased the property, formerly the home of Lakeridge Campground, from the daughter of the couple that previously owned and operated the site. Lakeridge closed in the early 1990s.

“It’s been a dream of ours forever,” Michael Snow said this week. “We watched this property that was for sale for a while and decided to do it.”

Michael, an excavation contractor by trade, and Chrystal, a nail artist with clientele in the Orange-Athol area, need to get the special permit required to run a campground, but hope to open by the end of April. They also plan to install another septic system.

Orange Community Development Director Alec Wade explained the Snows need a standard Planning Board special permit, but a meeting cannot be scheduled until an application is submitted. Wade explained all abutters within 300 feet of the Snows’ property will be invited to the Planning Board meeting, which will be held via the online video conferencing platform Zoom. Residents can also send letters to the Planning Board.

“It’s a pretty straightforward process,” Wade said, adding that the Snows will have to detail expected impacts on the area, such as increased traffic flow.

The Snows, who live at the campground, plan to have RV sites, campsites and cabin rentals. The campground will not have permanent residents, only vacationers.

The plan, Michael said, is for the campground to stay open year-round, though they will see how their first winter goes. Prices are still being hammered out and will likely be on the RV resort’s website, quabbinpinesrvresort.com, at the end of the month.

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“I’ve been a lifelong camper,” Michael said. “I’ve always had it in the back of my mind that this is what I wanted to do — build a family-friendly campground that people are going to enjoy and have a good time at.”

Chrystal said the campground will also operate a store out of its main office, where local crafts and goods will be sold.

“It may have a name, we just haven’t gotten there yet,” she said.

The Snows said the campground will benefit the local economy because vacationers will visit local shops, gas stations and restaurants.

“This is a big deal for the town,” Michael said. “It’s going to bring in huge revenue.”

He also said he has been approached by management at the Orange Municipal Airport about collaborating to boost tourism. The Snows said they will likely set up a shuttle service with the airport.

Wade explained the new business, if approved, will likely generate standard taxes.

“With an RV park like this, you consider it kind of a privatized version of camping,” he said, adding that Quabbin Pines RV Resort fits in with the region’s push for increased ecotourism. “This is really in line with a lot of the goals of the North Quabbin.”

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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