FIMFO: No piece of cake

Posted 9/20/22

When is a campground not a campground?

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FIMFO: No piece of cake


When is a campground not a campground? 

When it is a resort. 

You can’t fool me, I know the difference. And I’m pretty sure everyone else does, too.

Camp FIMFO at the old Kittatinny campground in the Town of Highland is planned to be many things—a high-end resort with numerous amenities, including an on-site bar and restaurant, laundry service, individual “glamping pods” with heat and toilets and microwave ovens; a massive new septic system; and a proposed mountain coaster.

But what it certainly is not is a campground, no matter how much they insist that it is, so that they may skirt by the existing town zoning laws.  

FIMFO is fond of saying, “This is the future of camping.” I am fond of saying, “My spidey-sense is  tingling,” which is the polite way to say, “My BS detector is going off like a fire alarm.” And I am sure I am not the only one.

At their meet-and-greet last week, the owners of Camp FIMFO did not even refer to their new park as a “campground”—they call themselves a “camp resort.” Nothing wrong with that in itself, of course, but their promise that a glamped-up FIMFO is the “future of camping” is about as reassuring as Westworld claiming to be the future of resorts, “where nothing can go wrong.” 

Reminder: everything went wrong.

One other telling thing—when asked about what kind of taxes they’d be paying, one tax they mentioned was a room tax. As far as I know, campgrounds don’t pay “room” taxes, only hotels and resorts do.

I know that many in Highland are eager to welcome FIMFO to the town with the hope of stimulating and boosting the local economy. But we should demand honesty and clarity, as well as above-and-beyond environmental responsibility.  There are many questions that remain unanswered. We must insist on complete transparency with our corporate partners.  

I don’t know anyone who is against new business, I only know people who care deeply about the Town of Highland and the spirit of the Upper Delaware. Going forward slowly, and asking the hard questions of a multi-million-dollar development that promises so little, is how we show our love for where we live. It is the best way to protect our families, our river, and the character of our town. It is about protecting our future. 

By the way, if there is a future of camping, I would hope it would include actual, responsible camping, the kind of thing that I was taught as a young man, where you leave the place better than how you found it.

You can call a resort a campground all you want, but that doesn’t make it so, just like you can call a piece of pie a cake, and jump up and down and close your eyes and huff and puff and insist on it, but no matter how much you want it to be true, it doesn’t change the facts. FIMFO is not a campground. 

Mike Edison lives in the Town of Highland.

fimfo, campground, kittatinny, development


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