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“Another Great Camping Experience”

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Saco River Camping Area
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 July 2014

We have been camping at the Saco River Camping Area on and off over the past 25 years. This year we have noticed, under the new ownership, nice improvements. Although we were not able to have a site along the river, we were very pleased with the site which we chose. The new management responded very quickly and professionally to issues that arose during our stay. The washrooms were, for the most part, kept clean, however having said this, we also believe that it is the responsibility of the campers to keep this common area clean. We will definitely be back next year.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
Thank JudeGreg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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78 - 84 of 124 reviews

Reviewed 23 July 2014

In reading some reviews of this campground I just don't get it. Either some of these folks are part of a vendetta against this campground or they are just plain unreasonable.

Powers out and wants compensation....really??? I don't even think it was out 2 hours.

We've been camping here for the last three years and just wrapped up another great week.

If you don't immediately see and feel the amazing difference from last several years you must have your eyes closed. It's never been in better shape.

The pool area looks like something from a resort.

Almost every time we were in the bathroom someone was there to clean it...we've never seen anything like it.

We loved the karaoke and the kids had a blast on the new outdoor ping pong table. The mining station was lots of fun too.

We also found everyone from reservations to office staff welcoming and easy to work with. The maintenance staff even helped us with our TV issue which had nothing to do with them, but they fixed it anyhow. Thank you.

The new owners are doing a great job and the complainers should find another place to camp. Some people recognize something good when they see it and this place has gone from just okay to great!

Keep up the good work and don't let some of these nay sayers get you down. Your place is packed with lots of happy guests.Good luck.

  • Stayed: July 2014
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1  Thank Waterlover56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SRCA1550, Manager at Saco River Camping Area, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2014

Hi There,

Thanks so much for the great review and we appreciate your support and enthusiasm for the campground.

We're trying very hard to get it right and appreciate everyone's feedback. We're constantly learning how to do things better, but reviews like yours tell us we're getting there.

Thanks again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014 via mobile

We won't be coming back. Too crowded, noisy, and staff doesn't really respond to concerns or requests. Advertised internet, which either nonexistent or horrendously slow when I could finally connect. Lost power on our second day for most of the afternoon. No explanations, no refunds to compensate. Being on the River could have been a lovely experience, over crowding and subpar management were very disappointing. There are a few amenities and kids activities on the grounds, pet friendly, of course access to the river, and restrooms were kept cleaned and stocked. If you have any expectations of privacy at all, look at other camping areas.

Stayed: July 2014
2  Thank Nancy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SRCA1550, Manager at Saco River Camping Area, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2014

Hello There,

I read your review and while it was great to see that you enjoyed the activities onsite, the cleanliness of the property and the river I also noticed you had some concerns which I wanted to respond to:

1. The internet is a free service and is limited to the amount of bandwidth available to our property. You're camping in a rural area and we simply don't have the bandwidth available to us to provide high levels of service when the system being used by hundreds of guests at the same time. If fiber becomes available at some time in the future that may change, but for now we have increased the service 10 fold over last year, but it's still not enough when were very busy. It's a common problem in rural areas.

2. Power was lost on Saturday early afternoon for less than 2 hours due to a power transformer fuse blowing down the road from us. It impacted us along with other areas businesses. Maintenance went around and notified guests they saw about the issue. This was not an issue created by us or some lack of maintenance on our end. Just your typical power outage we could not control.

3. As you discovered the campground is very popular and many guests love our waterfront sites. So much so, they have been coming back for decades to the very same site. This said, we are busy place and you might have found a better experience in some of our wooded and secluded sites where you would have had lots of privacy.

We hope we'll see you again.

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Reviewed 20 July 2014

We have been dedicated campers for many years at Saco River Camping Area......this year was no exception, with understanding the 3 new owners were putting their spin on running the campground. Sure, there are some changes we aren't quite happy with....such as a $150 deposit for camping the same week of 2015. After vacationing for a week, not everyone can afford an additional $150 for a vacation deposit...a YEAR later !? Understandably, some people have ruined the policy of making the reservation upon departure, and deposit due come February of the next year.......but $150 ! That's not going to go over well with a lot of dedicated yearly campers. A lesser deposit, say $50, should be sufficient in showing good faith.

We also noticed that some campground rules were not enforced equally. Our neighbors were asked to take down their clothesline.....at 5pm ! Yet, no one else seemed to be taking down their clotheslines.......really? and at 5pm ? Many folks don't even get off the river much before 5pm........and it doesn't get dark until 9pm...........and how much difference is there between clotheslines and tarp/tent lines anyways ? We found similar discrepancies with quiet time, barking dogs, loud music and fires extinguished by 11pm.

Overall, we are keeping an open mind. Not only do the 3 new owners have to be able to work together, making decisions on how to best run the campground, they also have to enforce new policies they feel will benefit the campground as a whole. Some policies make work, some may not......and some may need adjusting.

This review system is a great way to make suggestions. Its nice to see management responding.......unfortunately, it seems the response in mostly towards the negative reviews. ALL reviews deserve feedback from the management.

Thank you !

Happy Camping Kayaker

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank jl12566
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SRCA1550, Manager at Saco River Camping Area, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Hi There,

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on Trip Advisor. I also wanted to respond to your comments.

The decision on the deposit amount was made based on other high demand campgrounds and what they charge. Just in our area there are campgrounds charging more for their advanced deposits and in some cases they make it completely non-refundable. Still, others don't even offer the ability to advance reserve. We understand $150.00 may be a lot for some. Keep in mind the deposit is not a requirement, but an option for guests who want to reserve a year in advance. However, we will review this policy along with others after we close for the season.

Rule enforcement is something we consistently work on with our staff. Being seasonal we have many new staff members that require education and reinforcement on our rules. Still, you're correct they should be applied consistently and we strive to do just that.

Clothes lines can be very dangerous, particularly with the amount of children at our campground. Also, they are typically hung lower then tarp/tent lines. As a result, we request them to be down by 5:00PM.

Thanks for keeping an open mind and you're right all feedback deserves a response. We'll work on that.

BTW - Trip Advisor is a great tool for feedback, but stopping by the office and providing in person feedback is often even more helpful.

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Reviewed 16 July 2014

We have been camping here for 16 years and are upset to see some changes. Tonight and a couple of nights this week we have seen several kids waiting for the haydride which has always gone on every night. Tonight several kids were turned away & told they did not have enough staff. Yet I've seen much more staff then there ever was before. How sad for the kids. They also use to have ice cream socials, candy bar bingo & other activities for the kids. They did however have karaoke which was fun.
The bathrooms also are not 1/2 as clean as they use to be. Even at 6 a.m this morning. These need to be kept up with.
We realize with new ownership comes changes, but this is a family campground & the hayrides were a huge part of what made all the campers evenings special..for young and old.
Also not happy with having to make a $150 deposit with in 10 days after being on vacation here for almost 2 weeks.

I also was told that someone would open the gate for me today, I waited a couple minutes..nothing. The person who was supposed to open the gate walked out & drove off. I called the office & got an automated system & put on hold when there were 3 staff members in the office & not on the phone, minutes before? Is there a direct line to talk to someone?

We love being here & always have but hope that the focus remains on the "family", "cleanliness", & "friendliness" to everyone. Obviously people dont like change but somethings definitely need to be worked on.

  • Stayed: July 2014
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2  Thank goldilocks1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SRCA1550, Manager at Saco River Camping Area, responded to this reviewResponded 19 July 2014

Hello There,

I see your stay did not meet your expectations and for that were sorry. We would like to speak to some of your concerns and comments.

You're correct, we have significantly more staff than in the past and now clean the bathrooms 7-8 times per day compared to less than half that before. Unfortunately, there are still times when they are cleaned and nearly immediately dirtied again. We are working to better perfect this, but clearly we're not there yet.

As for the wagon rides, we are having them nightly during the summer (less rain days). However, if we don't have a trained person to operate the equipment (sickness or otherwise) we don't run it. The safety of our guests is just too important.

It was nice that you noticed we added Karaoke and that you enjoyed it. We continue to invest to entertainment options for our guests and added or updated such things as Bocce, Wi-Fi, horseshoe pits, table tennis, ring toss and more all with one's family in mind. However, we are working to add more activities; ones that have been done in years past and some new activities as well!

Finally, the deposit requirement was needed. Sadly, too many guests never paid for their reservation, but still had us turning away potential new guests while we waited to hear from them. It's unfortunate for those who did the right thing, but holding a reservation for 8+ months with no money wasn't sustainable.

Hopefully, if you choose to visit us again you'll see additional improvements and we'll show you that we heard you. Family camping is our focus now and into the future.

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Reviewed 4 July 2014

Nice family campground. Dog friendly. Bathrooms were clean and facilities were nicely kept. Not very woodsy campsites unless you're in the waterfront sites, so if you're looking for a real woodsy camping experience you might consider Jigger Johnson, but for a family campground close to all North Conway has to offer this is a great campground and location.

Room Tip: Sites near the water are more woodsy.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank CGris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SRCA1550, General Manager at Saco River Camping Area, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Hello There,

Thanks for providing your review of our campground and we're glad you enjoyed it. You might be happy to know we have several very woodsy sites which might interest you. D1 and D2 are both very woodsy. We also have several other woodsy sites which might interest you. Many guests don't even know they exist as several are hidden away from sight ...a secret of sorts :).

Thanks again.

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Reviewed 3 July 2014

In my last review I stated I was disappointed with the Saco River Camping Area. Just returned home , and received a call from the new owner. After talking to him I feel maybe I jumped to fast and did not give the new owner a chance . I should have spoke to him before I posted my review.. It is their first year and they are trying to make improvements for the better. I will return next year because I do like the camp ground, and it is not an easy task to please everyone while in the process of making improvements

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
1  Thank valliere48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Saco River Camping Area

Address: 1550 White Mountain Hwy, North Conway, Conway, NH 03860-5144
Region: United States > New Hampshire > White Mountains > Conway > North Conway
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in North Conway
Number of rooms: 171
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Saco River Camping Area is in the heart of the Mount Washington Valley, at the center of it all. We offer peaceful camping in a nature filled setting with loads of onsite things to do, yet we're within easy walking distance of stores, restaurants, entertainment, and TAX FREE factory outlet shopping. Hop in your car and churches, hospital, hiking and bicycle trails, tennis courts and golf courses are just minutes away. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Saco River Camping Area Hotel North Conway

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