Family camping gets a makeover

Posted 4/5/22

BARRYVILLE, NY — Dave Jones has always called the Kittatinny Canoes recreation enterprise an “Adventure Destination.” Northgate Resorts, the company that purchased the 81-year-old …

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Family camping gets a makeover


BARRYVILLE, NY — Dave Jones has always called the Kittatinny Canoes recreation enterprise an “Adventure Destination.” Northgate Resorts, the company that purchased the 81-year-old family-owned canoe and campground enterprise in December 2020, will call it Camp Fimfo in 2023, and market it as one of its newest camping brands. While the company plans to build resort-type amenities in three separate phases, its emphasis for its Barryville and Milford sites is on the outdoors and the Kittatinny tradition.

While the new amenities—a miniature golf course, a splash-pond water feature, activities area and sports courts—will be available for campers at the site, the zipline, paintball and daily river trips will continue to be provided for the public.

According to a published article in Woodall Campground Magazine, “Northgate Resorts has established itself as the largest corporate owner of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts in the nation, with 14 Yogi Bear-themed parks in nine states. It’s a portfolio that Northgate has built as a private company, working in partnership with Southfield, Mich.-based Sun Communities Inc. since 2018, a publicly-traded company with whom Northgate has a joint venture agreement.”

Beyond acquiring Jellystone Park locations and converting existing campgrounds into Yogi Bear-themed resorts, the company has also started acquiring well-established, independent properties such as Kittatinny as a way to further diversify and expand its portfolio.

To the established 225-acre property with 350 sites, Northgate will add the newly acquired Cedar Rapids livery and campground, which is located across Route 97, just south of the main Kittatinny entrance.

“Kittatinny is a very special property,” said Northgate Resorts Regional Operations Manager Brian Czarnecki. “We will be celebrating Ruth Jones and all that she accomplished for the river communities at the Kittatinny annual river cleanup, which is scheduled for July 18 and 19.”

Kittatinny opens on Friday, April 15. The restaurant at Cedar Rapids is expected to be open this summer, with menus currently being finalized, said Rocco Baldassari, Kittatinny general manger.

The project is currently in front of the Highland Planning Board, which is the lead agency for the environmental review process. The project is also under review with the Upper Delaware Council and the National Park Service, among other state and regional agencies.

While the development process is arduous, Czarnecki, who worked on the development of the Kartrite Waterpark, said, “We work as a company to make it happen.” Some of the challenges, he said, reveal themselves as you move through the process.

Northgate has projected that it will spend $43 million in developing the property and, working with the Sullivan County IDA, has estimated that $100,000 will be generated for other area businesses annually.

When asked how smaller businesses have fared in areas where Northgate has developments, Czarnecki said, “I always say that competition is good, and it brings more awareness for the area. There is a pro and con to every development. I believe in sustainable communities, and business is where that starts. Things work when they are planned right.”

Kittatinny Canoes, Norgate Resorts, Camp Fimfo, Cedar Rapids, camping


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