SALOMON, Maryland – Staff at Navy Recreation Center (NRC) Solomons took the lemons served by COVID-19 in 2020 and turned them into lemonade for the summer of 2021.
One of two newly renovated yurts at NRC Solomons, now called the Luxury Family Tent Sites. Each pitch can accommodate up to five camping tents on the adjacent land. (Courtesy photo)
“We took advantage of the lack of regular traffic,” said Carrie Jay, director of NRC Solomons. “It gave us the opportunity to do a lot of work and various projects in the field. “
One of those projects was the complete interior and exterior renovation of sanitary block G. Completed just before Memorial Day weekend, work included new siding, metal roofing, interior tiling, beautiful partitions and soft LED lighting. Now ADA compliant, this larger bathhouse has new showers, toilets and laundry facilities.
“Everything that was done was environmentally friendly,” Jay noted. “Currently underway is the sanitary block in zone A, and we have moved to phase 3, which will include the sanitary block in zone B. They will not be ADA compliant, but they will be fully renovated to match. at the sanitary block in zone G. “
Another big project has been the renovation of two old yurts in what are now called luxury family tent sites to serve that special niche of family or friends who prefer to be together in a more intimate camping group, rather than staying at a larger campsite. with many tents.
“We captured the existing [yurt] structures and removed the sides, framed them and threw them up to create a large dining tent, or gazebo, for lack of a better word, ”Jay explained. “It’s still primitive camping; people still bring tents to sleep outside, but now there is also a shelter with picnic tables inside for people to congregate. We saw it as an opportunity to capture customers who love tent camping, but want a more enhanced experience.
Preferring to use existing resources rather than create an expense, Jay used leftover vinyl siding from another renovation project to dress the structures and improve their facade.
“I’m all about reusing, recycling and reusing what we can,” Jay added. “We also had rock fill from another project, so we built some beautiful fireplaces for them and added some recycled Adirondack chairs. We have two yurts and each can accommodate up to five camping tents on the site next door. It’s a unique space, it looks beautiful, and we are delighted that people are coming to enjoy the space and share their experience with us.
The interior of the Snack Shack has been gutted and rebuilt with custom cabinets, shelves and counters, making it easier for staff to serve pool guests or those who pass by and just want a quick drink or snack . Shade structures damaged in a storm last August have been replaced, a dramatic cleanup has taken place along the shoreline, repairs have been made to the marina docks and even the sand on the beach has been aerated. .
“It’s sad not to have all of our guests here, but it’s been an amazing opportunity to have the time to dig in and see the details, sort it out and do it,” Jay said. “Whenever we could, we capitalized on the assets we already had so as not to spend a lot of [non-appropriated fund] dollars because we prefer to reinvest them in programs that benefit our clients.
On July 1, the facility resumes recreational accommodation, but at reduced capacity and everything on board has not yet reopened.
“At that point, we are already booked; which is awesome, ”Jay said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had a crowd here and we can’t wait to pick up the pace. Since we know things are safe, we will increase the occupancy rate.
To see the latest updates and information on MWR programs, including NRC Solomons, visit https://www.navymwrpaxriver.com/covid-19-update