Ohio state park lodges shuttered temporarily
With the continued ratcheting of daily life in Ohio, the state’s nine state park lodges were shuttered on Wednesday, March 18.
The Ohio DNR announced Wednesday evening that the lodges were to close today, Thursday, March 19, after normal check-out.
This, says the natural resources department in a press release issued Wednesday evening, “…to the developing public health situation with COVID-19 and the Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) guidance…”
Ohio State Park lodges closing include Burr Oak, Deer Creek, Hueston Woods, Maumee Bay, Mohican, Punderson, Salt Fork, and Shawnee.
“U.S. Hotels, the lodge operator, is working to cancel or reschedule current reservations. Closure is expected to be temporary until COVID-19 guidelines change or are lifted. U.S. Hotel staff will minimally staff the facilities for security and safety,” the natural resources department’s release states.
“For state park lodge or lodge cabin customers who wish to modify or cancel current reservations, please visit www.greatohiolodges.com or call 866-806-8066. The lodge operator, U.S. Hotels, is offering refunds for reservations made prior to closure,” the release states.
Operated locally by Delaware North, and owned by the Ashtabula County Commissioners, the Lodge at Geneva State Park and its cottages also will close by noon on March 19, the release further says.
The Lodge at Geneva guests may visit www.thelodgeatgeneva.com or call 866-806-8066 to inquire about current reservations and/or transfers and refunds.
At the moment – since this unprecedented event is still evolving – Ohio State Park sites and lodge cabins, campgrounds, and day-use areas as well as the agency’s golf courses are still open.
In other COVID-19-related matters, on Wednesday also the Buckeye Firearms Association announced that some Ohio sheriff offices are canceling appointments for concealed handgun licenses, temporarily suspending applications and renewals, or limiting hours for license processing.
“The situation varies from county to county,” the associationl said in its release.
In Ohio, county sheriff departments are assigned the task of performing background checks on prospective concealed carry license holders and issuing the required permits as well as documenting and processing renewals.
“(The) BFA has contacted Attorney General Dave Yost and is discussing the matter with the governor and leadership in the House and Senate to assess the situation and explore options to address the problem,” the association said in its release.
Ohio law currently specifies that a current concealed carry permit holder has a 30-day grace period after its expiration date during which time the license remains valid.
“One option we will propose is to have the legislature extend the grace period on (concealed carry licenses) so that Ohioans can continue to carry a firearm legally even after the normal grace period ends,” the association’s release states.
BFA strongly urges that if a person’s license is coming due for renewal, or if a prospective license applicant is planning to apply for a license, to check with the individual county sheriff department for further information and instructions.