Campers visiting Mauch Chunk Lake Park will not have to worry if they forgot to pack an item for their trip.
The Carbon County-owned park now has a new, "nicely equipped" camp store that should meet almost all of campers' needs.
On Wednesday, the park and county officials officially opened the new store during a grand opening ceremony. The camp store, fashioned in the style of a log cabin, is located inside the camping area of the park, right near the exit onto Lentz Trail.
Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, said the board was happy that this project, which has been discussed for years, has come to fruition.
"The store is nicely equipped with commodities and necessities that campers would typically need," O'Gurek said. "It offers them an opportunity to get what they need on-site instead of having to load up their car and go into town to buy what they forgot."
The camp store is operated by Bob Brown, who currently also operates the park's concession stand.
O'Gurek also noted that the county invested about $100,000 in improvements and upgrades to make the park and its facilities better for visitors.
Commissioners Charles Getz and Wayne Nothstein echoed O'Gurek's feelings on the new store.
"I feel this will make more people want to come to Mauch Chunk Lake Park" Getz said, "because they can go there and buy everything they need without leaving the camping area. It certainly is a big addition to the park."
He added that the store is also open to area residents who need an item.
Nothstein explained that campers can get everything from food items and camping necessities to firewood and even tick removers at the store. The firewood is being supplied by a local resident.
He credits Brown for the large selection of inventory and said that he feels this is going to be a very good venture.
The new camp store is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, but hours may increase if a need to open earlier is necessary.
The camp store was constructed last year, after the commissioners bid the project in 2009. The project was financed by two Pennsylvania Conservation Corps grants, totaling $30,000, and $10,000 from the county.
It replaces the former camp store, which was located outside the campgrounds at boat launch A.
Mauch Chunk Lake Park has been a tourist attraction for decades, offering swimming, camping, and other recreational activities to many who visit Carbon County.