We made reservations with Hideaway Campground (Silver Lake, MI) and were pleasantly surprised with how nice the young lady was that took our reservations. They seemed like a nice, family oriented campground much like the one we normally camp at.
We ended up leaving town later than we had wanted and before leaving we called the campground to let them know we’d be cutting it close to their 11pm closing time and wanted to make sure it was ok. “No problem” we were told. Great… they sounded understanding.
After a couple potty breaks and an exit onto the wrong highway, we knew we might be a few minutes later than 11pm. I called Hideaway at 10:30pm and let them know we had passed Muskegon and would be there as soon as possible, but may be a couple minutes late. “No problem… someone will be here”. Great! I think we’ll like this place, we thought…. they seem understanding and accommodating.
We booked it as fast as we could to get there because we didn’t want to make a bad first impression our first time camping there. We pulled into Hideaway at 11:04 (we looked at our clock) and were astonished to see it closed down… completely dark, doors locked. We knocked on the door, no one answered. Here we were, 3 hours from home with our two young kids, the truck was on empty and everything in the town was shut down. A camper walked up to throw his garbage away and Ryan asked him if he knew how we could get in touch with anyone. He graciously tried to help us find the security guard but he was nowhere to be found. At 11:13 we realized we weren’t going to be able to camp there that evening and decided to go find somewhere else to stay.
All the other campgrounds were closed at this point, as were all the shops and gas stations. We walked into the motel to get a room and their clock read 11:16. Seriously. $100 later we had some nice box springs to sleep on until morning.
The next morning I took the kids to the continental breakfast while Ryan went to the campground to let them know what happened and to let them know that he was very unhappy that we were told someone would be there and 4 minutes past closing they were not. The girls at the counter were incredibly rude and basically told him “Sorry, that’s our policy.”
One young girl snobbishly told him “I was here until 11:35. Do you want to see my time card?” Ryan told her “I don’t care what your time card says, I pounded on the door, I had 2 young kids in the car and no one came to the door to check us in.”
He told them that he understands and respects their policy of closing at 11pm but the fact was that someone told us TWICE that they would be there even though we were going to be a couple minutes late. The owner refused to come up to the registration desk to resolve the matter. They told Ryan “You can either get a refund and go somewhere else or get over it and camp here for the weekend.” Ryan took his money.
On his way out he saw the owner at the pool cleaning. He asked if he was the owner and told him “You just don’t treat people this way.” The owner shrugged his shoulders cockily and said “That’s our policy.” Ryan said “I understand your policy, but we were told otherwise. My wife and my father are business owners and you just don’t treat people that way.” Basically, the didn’t care.
Luckily we were able to get a site at our normal campground as they had a last minute cancellation. So, word of advice, steer clear of Hidewaway. I’m sure the campground is great but just don’t expect them to do jack shit for you in a pinch or to follow through with anything they say.