NEWTON — While fall draws near and brings about the close of the camping season at the Harvey County parks, the county commission got a look at a new amenity that will extend that experience year-round. The commission toured the new cabins at Camp Hawk on Tuesday.
After being installed on site over the summer, parks staff has been progressing with finishing work (installing electric, HVAC, etc.) on the cabins since Aug. 1. Parks director Kass Miller noted he is hopeful the cabins will be open for public use by the Thanksgiving holiday.
"I'm glad that it's happening this way so we have the winter months to work through the kinks and get a little experience with how it's going to go over, because if we were to open up during the summer it would've been crazy for us," Miller said. "We're getting calls all the time. I think they're going to be popular. If the state's popularity is any indication of how these are going to be, it'll be successful."
Partitioning the rooms in the cabins in both the standard and ADA-accessible models has been a focal point of the finishing work, with each to feature a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom(s) — including a large, upper loft in the ADA-accessible cabin — and living room. Equipment, such as water heaters and A/C units, still has to be installed as well, with Miller pointing out that the A/C units in particular will be similar to those used in many motels, running both hot and cold air. That is a key feature as it will allow the cabins to be rented year-round.
Miller has been working with the Parks Advisory Board on potential rental rates for the cabins, which will soon be brought before the commission for consideration.
Given the relatively low total cost of $45,000 for both cabins (for which funding was received through a grant from the R. Michael Rhoades Foundation), commissioners were optimistic that success of the cabins at Camp Hawk could lead to expansion of the amenity to other county parks.e counties (just shy of the 75% benchmark).