If the opening week for campsite reservations was any indication, campgrounds in Manitoba might be a little less busy this summer than last year.

According to a provincial spokesperson, there were 45,148 reservations made from Monday to Friday during opening week. That is down 2.1 per cent from opening week in 2023. Of those reservations last week, 97.6 per cent were made online and 2.4 per cent were made through the call centre.

About one-third of all reservations were for campgrounds in this corner of the province. There were 15,062 reservations for Birds Hill, Falcon Beach, Falcon Lakeshore, St. Malo, Moose Lake and West Hawk Lake campgrounds. That too is about eight per cent less than in 2023.

Meanwhile, our province announced that it is freezing provincial park pass fees and camping fees this season. However, a provincial spokesperson says park pass fees have not increased since 2020. And in fact, annual park pass fees have only gone up by $4.50 since 2013. The cost for an annual park pass is $44.50.

Our provincial government has announced free provincial park entry for the periods of June 7-9, July 15-21 and August 30-September 2.

As for camping fees, a provincial spokesperson says those have remained the same even longer. The last increase for camping fees was in 2013. However, those fees can fluctuate based on level of service. For example, if pay showers were introduced to a site, the surcharge for showers in the camping fee would have been removed and the fee would have gone down.