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Local campground gets creative during coronavirus

The Batesburg-Leesville faith-based campsite lost most of their business because of the pandemic, now anyone can stay in their dorm or hotel rooms

BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, S.C. — One campground site in Batesburg-Leesville has gotten creative to help their business get through the coronavirus Pandemic.

The Gunter Camp and Conference center has been around for more than 70 years. They host many Christian and faith conferences throughout the year.

The faith-based campsite lost most of their business during the summer because of COVID-19. They've had to cancel around a dozen events. This includes camps with up to 200 or 300 people. It's a lot of income the camp has now lost.

"We're definitely worried about having to close up," said Grip Lawson, the camp manager.

The spring, summer and fall is the time of the year where Gunter Camp and Conference Center makes most of their income.

So far they've only been able to host about two events so far during the pandemic. Lawson says they've been making sure to wipe down everything and to have hand sanitizer available.

"Right now, I've had to layoff most of my staff and I just hire as needed for the events. I'm one man taking care of 26 acres and it's a lot," said Lawson.

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To help get through this difficult time, Lawson came up with the idea of turning the campground into a place where anyone can stay if they visit the area. They'll have both dorm and hotel style rooms available.

The Big Mo will be hosting drive-in concerts for artists like Toby Mac, Garth Brooks and Casting Crowns.

With some events for The Big Mo going later into the night, the camp thinks it would be a good opportunity for people to stay at their facility.

Lawson had a conversation with The Big Mo owners about having rooms available. According to the camp owner, The Big Mo says they have a lot of people who come in from out of town who ask about places they can stay.

With the drive-in only being a few minutes away from the campsite, Lawson hopes it will give people a place to stay and help both these small businesses.

"With these concerts coming in, it brings people, people who are traveling, and need a place to stay. We'd love to minister to them and provide a room for them and we're very close. So if somebody is not traveling at night, we want everybody to be safe and have a good time but you've got to have somewhere to stay."

"We all have God to lean on but we also need one another and we'd like to lean on and help each the most we can. I like to be there for others and they can be there for us. It's the only way we're going to get through this."

Dorm style rooms will cost $60 and can fit up to six people. Hotel rooms range from $40 to $58. The camp will also be providing breakfast for folks.

For more information on Gunter Camp and how to make a reservation, visit their website.

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