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Ponil Campgrounds is an RV park in Cimarron, New Mexico, with 37 full-hookup RV units and space for several tents. The property is seven acres of grass and mature trees with a creek at the back. It also features a shower house for men and women, a laundry facility, a game room, an outdoor closed-in pavilion, a community fire pit, and a basketball court. One of the owners remarks that the park's most unique attributes are its connection to nature, as visitors can see several different kinds of wildlife, such as wild turkeys, deer, bison, horses, and an owl that visits often. The owner also says the campground is set apart by its rural location, a place "where the Rockies meet the plains." Some local attractions include places to hike and fish for trout.
Ponil Campgrounds is a seven-acre RV park in Cimarron, New Mexico. The park offers 37 rentable RV spots with hookups and picnic tables, along with some space for tent camping, which one of the owners says can accommodate 10+ tents. One RV is already set up at the park and available for rent as well. The owner also states that the pull-through RV sites tend to be the most popular among guests because he believes that these sites facilitate the task of parking their vehicle.
The campground features a shower house with men's and women's bathrooms and showers. Nearby is a laundry facility for guest use. Additionally, Ponil Campgrounds has a game room where visitors can spend time together and play indoor games, including the up-and-coming foosball and air hockey tables. The outside space comprises grass and mature trees that can provide shade. Furthermore, Ponil Campgrounds has a community fire pit, a closed-in pavilion, a basketball court, a horseshoe pit, a swing, and outdoor benches to the sides of the lot. The campgrounds also recently opened their "variety store" that sells souvenirs, fishing gear, and the "essentials," according to the owner.
One of Ponil Campgrounds' owners explains that the property belongs to a rural area. Across the street from the park is a farm, and the owner remarks that there are several local bison and horses in the vicinity. Because of this rural setting, most of the attractions in the area consist of hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities. The owner says Cimarron is about an hour from Taos, another common guest attraction, and a nearby lake known for its trout fishing. For dining, she recommends guests visit the restaurant at St. James Hotel.
Ponil Campgrounds visitors should feel welcome when visiting the park, says one of the owners. She and the rest of the park staff try to take care of their guests and "cover all of their needs" to help promote such an experience. For example, they make an effort to help occupants pull in their RVs or offer information about the area upon request. Ponil Campgrounds can also host family reunions and other large gatherings, and it has even hosted the Boy Scouts on several occasions.
One of the owners says Ponil Campgrounds is unique for its mature trees and for having "plenty of space." People can enjoy grass, trees, and a creek at the back. Local wildlife can also be seen at or near the park, such as wild turkeys, deer, and a resident owl that frequently visits. The owner continues, saying Ponil Campgrounds is the place "where the Rockies meet the plains," and she notes how the location is far from big cities.
Several guest reviews reflect such positive experiences; one visitor wrote, "My family and I stayed here for almost two weeks. Everyone is very friendly, and the price was excellent. The trees are beautiful and color-changing. The facilities are clean." Another guest said, "My husband mountain bikes, so we wanted to find a place close to Angel Fire. It was quieter and more peaceful than any other park we'd been to. Lots of trees and shade and room between sites."
Ponil Campgrounds' most prominent policies require visitors to clean up after themselves and be kind to their neighbors. Pets of all sizes are allowed on the condition that they are cleaned up after. Furthermore, smoking is only permitted in designated areas at the park. A quiet time is also enforced to prevent visitors from disturbing each other at night.
The park has a blend of seasonal sites open from April to September, full-time residency, and short-term visitors, operating year-round. The owner says, "Snowbirds are welcome," as she observes that many of her visitors are escaping the winter from their homes. Ponil Campgrounds' peak season is during the summer, and the owner affirms that many people return repeatedly.
The current owners mentioned that the area where Ponil Campgrounds is located had historical figures like Annie Oakley coming through the town in the wild west period of the United States. One of the owners mentions that the St. James Hotel, located nearby to the campground, has a significant history that attracts visitors. The St. James Hotel has a reputation for being one of the most haunted hotels in the United States. Originally built in 1872 as a saloon and gambling house, the building was later converted into a hotel that attracted many notorious figures such as Jesse James and Wyatt Earp. Despite its reputation, the St. James Hotel continues to attract visitors from around the world.
According to one of Ponil Campgrounds' current owners, the park got its name from a Native American tribe. In the 1920s, the park officially became a campground. The current owners are working to "[revive] and [update] the park." They acquired the property in June 2022, and they were led into the lodging industry because of their past experiences living in RVs over the years, and they felt they would like to take on the endeavor. One of the owners remarks that she enjoys owning an RV park and loves being outside in nature; she likes to see the local deer and the resident owl that visits the park.
Ponil Campgrounds has seen several changes since its last acquisition, mainly "polishing, revamping, [and] painting." The current owners plan to expand the outdoor closed-in pavilion, implement two glamping tents, and install fiber optic cables for better WiFi service. As previously mentioned, foosball and air hockey tables are on the way, and a "variety store" was recently opened. The campground is also planning on opening up two fifth-wheel RVs available for the guests to reserve. These RVs can sleep four people, and one of them has a backyard that is facing Ponil Creek and the national park. Additionally, vending machines are another near-future addition to the park. One of the owners adds that they are willing to add new amenities as needed to "add to the pleasure" of staying at Ponil Campgrounds.