City of Dubuque opens popular riverside campground, hopes to make up lost revenue

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Each year, it's up to Mother Nature to decide how often Miller Riverview Park will be open. Dubuque's Park Division Manager Steve Fehsal says it takes a lot of time to clean up the park after a flood, but in his opinion, it's worth the money.

Miller Riverview Park in Dubuque reopened for the first time in 2019 (Allison Wong/KCRG)

Fehsal says the city spends between $5,000 and $10,000 each year on clean up materials for the park. That includes things like gravel, mulch, and electrical components. This year, Fehsal estimates they spent closer to $10,000.

The city also spends $5,800 on the campground manager position. Fehsal says that salary is made up in revenue from just one weekend when the campground is open. He thinks it's something worth keeping around.

"Yes, when it floods, we have issues," Fehsal said. "But it's one of the only campgrounds in the area where you can camp right on the river. People love to be on the river. We have a ton of locals that love to come down here just for the weekend and camp."

Revenue from the campground can vary greatly each year. During the fiscal year 2016, it brought in more than $102,000. In the fiscal year 2019, it brought in only $33,000.

Fehsal said, "We got about two months to gain some revenue and if the weather holds, you know people love to come down here in the fall, watch the leaves change, and just watch the river. So we're super excited."

If the river cooperates, the park should be able to stay open until the end of the season, which is October 27.