BARRYVILLE, NY — Dave Jones calls the Kittatinny Canoes recreation enterprise an “Adventure Destination.” For most of his 66 years, he’s worked at or managed it. His …
BARRYVILLE, NY — Dave Jones calls the Kittatinny Canoes recreation enterprise an “Adventure Destination.” For most of his 66 years, he’s worked at or managed it. His grandparents, Ernie and Edna Olschewsky, purchased the original riverfront property in 1941; it came with six canoes and a few rowboats. Eighty years later, there are 350 campsites on 250 acres. Seven facilities range along the Delaware from Dingman’s Ferry, PA to the Kittatinny Canoes in Barryville, NY. Jones manages a fleet of canoes and rafts, the campsites and a zip line.
That is, until he sold his business to Northgate Resorts of Grand Rapids, MI, which he announced at the January 12 Highland Town Board meeting. Founded in 2013, the company has acquired 11 other campgrounds that it also operates. Nine are franchised as Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Parks Camp-Resorts. Northgate uses reservation software that allows campers to choose from a wide variety of locations: California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.
“I’ve had offers from wealthy people who wanted to turn the sites into [residential property] to make beautiful homes. This is our 80th year, and I wanted our legacy to continue. At this point in my life, I can’t keep up the pace. Northgate will focus on expanding and upgrading the infrastructure, to a standard that I couldn’t achieve.” The transition is expected take several years, but Dave will stay on as an advisor. “I was concerned that Northgate would eliminate jobs, but I’m confident they will be a good fit for our employees and the community.”