VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With thousands of people waiting eagerly to snag a camping spot at one of the provincial parks open across B.C., many people have been left frustrated and out of luck.
It appears with demand high for the outdoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Discover Camping website, unsurprisingly, given the 11,000 cancellations confirmed by the province, crashed.
British Columbians have taken to social media to air their frustrations.
Sooooooo frustrating!!! This is brutal, site crashes over and over….
— MrViddles (@mrviddles) May 25, 2020
I'm getting gobbledygook pic.twitter.com/OUzPJn58hJ
— Lizzie Lau (@actionevans) May 25, 2020
Many have likened the process of reserving a campsite to buying concert tickets or just shopping online during big sales.
“I had an easier time getting tickets to Madonna. Still trying,” one person writes, while another tweet reads, “I have had an easier time buying online on Black Friday,” accompanied by screenshots of an error page.
I had an easier time getting tickets to Madonna. Still trying.
— Janine M. (@plantforwardfam) May 25, 2020
“It’s brutal. More stressful than any concert I’ve ever tried to get tickets for,” Vancouver resident Daina Lawrence says, adding she booked a group spot at a local park more than a year ago and was trying to replace that booking.
Others have called the whole ordeal an “epic failure,” with some giving up completely.
BC’s Discover Camping reservation system is failing hard right now. Had a plan, got up early, logged in and spent more than an hour hitting website error after error after error and still haven’t been able to make a single booking. Boo! #BCparks pic.twitter.com/nfFYc0wunZ
— Steven Godfrey (@itcaughtmyeye) May 25, 2020
A reader tells NEWS 1130 they tried to book starting at 7:00 a.m. Monday, when the Discover Camping website went live, but were unsuccessful in securing a campsite close to an hour later.
Others, however, have been lucky.
“I relentlessly refreshed at every error and managed to get a reservation! Just got the confirmation email. Feel like I won the lottery!” Janelle tweets.
I relentlessly refreshed at every error and managed to get a reservation! Just got the confirmation email Feel like I won the lottery!
— Janelle Blackman (@janelleblackman) May 25, 2020
10 tries, 1 successful!
— Christine (@daisydazes) May 25, 2020
When asked about the Discover Camping website crashing Monday morning, BC Parks directed NEWS 1130 to a statement, which made no reference to the online failures across the system.
Meanwhile, speaking on BT Vancouver Monday morning, Environment Minister George Heyman said the province did everything it could to be prepared.
“We know demand’s high in B.C. and we just encourage people to keep going on the site. It’s going to settle down, we are going to be able to get people reservations,” he said.
This pretty much sums up the experience across BC this AM: nothing from #bcparks confirming crash or response a 7:30 release says nothing of massive failures across the system. I asked for a response (twice) to crashes and got sent here https://t.co/UY09bTHAxE
— Ash 'I work from home now' Kelly (@AshDKelly) May 25, 2020
Campsites have been closed since provincial parks restricted access in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.