By Stan Friedman
ESTES PARK, CO (September 23, 2013) — Covenant Heights Bible Camp already has lost up to $40,000 in business and could lose up to $100,000 in the wake of the flooding in the region due to cancellations, even though the facility is open for business, said Jesse Bolinder, director of development.
The lost business includes schools that participate in the Outdoor Education program and use the facility Mondays through Fridays through November, Bolinder said. “We also host churches and youth groups and various other retreats nearly every weekend between August and November.”
The revenue is essential to meeting the camp’s budget. “We plan on these groups and then staff accordingly to make sure we can provide a great experience,” Bolinder said. “Without these groups the camp will suffer for a long period of time and likely accrue large amounts of debt.”
Seven groups have canceled in the last week and a half, Bolinder said. “More than half of our outdoor education and weekend groups are teetering and tentatively canceling because of the increase in travel time and just a general sense of uneasiness given news reports.”
In spite of those reports, the camp is fully operational and accessible. He emphasized, “The route isn’t just safe and secure, but it’s beautiful!”
Phone and Internet service, which had been lost during the height of the flooding, has been restored. The camp also is receiving all deliveries of food and mail.
“We have full access to Estes Park and medical services, as Highway 7 is fully open to town,” Bolinder said. He noted that the entire town of Estes Park is now open.
Bolinder said Covenant Heights would re-start its outdoor education program today. It is hosting a group that was previously scheduled to attend another camp that was forced to close for the season.
That group is filling a slot that was vacated by a school that had been scheduled for more than a year.
The lost revenue could be as high as $100,000 if slots are not filled, Bolinder said. That would be equal to 10 percent of its total $1 million budget.
“Sadly, we were on track to have one of our best years,” Bolinder lamented.
Anyone interested in donating to help cover the losses can donate to a special fund.