Sebasco Harbor Resort, a seasonal vacation spot in Phippsburg, could be adding a 24-site campground by this summer.

The proposed campsite would be on about seven acres on Pine Drive on the northern side of Wat-Tah Lake.

Owner Robert Smith said he wants a “unique ‘glamping’ experience” on part of the site, with “retro” campers and trailers, such as Airstreams. He wants a more rustic outdoor experience while still providing access to luxury amenities at the resort, which has a pool, spa, 12-hole golf course, fitness center and dining.

Local and state-required campground amenities, such as a bathhouse, will be provided, said Smith.

Smith said he isn’t sure how many campsites will be designated for trailers compared to tents.

“We’re trying to look at this as a new amenity for the guests we’ve had for years,” said Smith. “This would allow them to have a Maine camping experience without having to haul their own tents or rent their own RV. We’re trying to make this a wooded, natural experience.”


Smith on Tuesday told the planning board his idea stemmed from a few summer employees who traveled to Phippsburg in vans and RVs. The employees, however, had to camp elsewhere because the resort didn’t have the space or necessary hook-ups.

Planning Board Chair Marie Varian said the “idea is fine, but trying to fit it into that piece of property will be the kicker.”

Smith will approach the planning board with a more concrete plan next month.

Phippsburg Police Chief John Skroski said Sebasco guests cause little traffic during the summer, so a few extra visitors likely wouldn’t make a difference.

“The only exception is around the Fourth of July because they set off fireworks, so we have a couple of officers directing traffic on that day,” said Skroski. “Sebasco Harbor Resorts has always been a good partner in the community. Most of our traffic issues during the summer comes from Popham Road and Popham Beach.”

The resort offers 65 rooms in the main inn and suites and 23 cottages. At its full capacity, it can host almost 300 people, but Smith said the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing shortages have limited capacity.


“The last few years have been very challenging, but we’re coming into our 93rd season, so I think we’ve done well,” said Smith.

Some nearby campsites say demand and interest in camping increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as a safer alternative to indoor lodging.

Katie Westrum, administrator of Hermit Island Campground in Phippsburg, said reservations rose from 1,064 in 2020 to 1,216 last year. Westrum said she already has 1,205 reservations for this summer.

“Some of our regulars have returned and we had a lot of new campers from around the state trying camping for the first time,” said Westrum. “The past few years have been steady business and better than normal for us.”

At Sagadahoc Bay Campground in Georgetown, owner Patricia Kosalka said her business skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic even though she enforced mask and vaccine requirements for all guests.

“I’m following the CDC guidance,” said Kosalka. “They say masks, vaccines and boosters are necessary, and I completely agree. I haven’t lost any business.”

Kosalka said her 75 campsites and six cottages are almost fully booked for this summer.

“I feel so bad for my friends who have restaurants, but the pandemic has been good for all the campgrounds,” said Kosalka. “All the campgrounds probably made more money in the last few years than they made before. I’m grateful that we have the kind of business that allows us to keep going during the pandemic.”

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