Traditional camping has been banned at Fort Tilden since 2012, but if you've got $200+ bucks you can shell out for a luxury "glamping" experience, complete with showers and queen-sized beds.
According to a press release, California-based company Terra Glamping is teaming up with Gateway National Recreation Area to launch a five-tent "glamping" pop up from August 11th to September 24th. The company will provide safari tents, beds, a restroom facility with showers, a communal outdoor grill, a continental breakfast and other assorted amenities, to the tune of $200 to $250 per night. Visitors are advised that "an insect may get inside your tent," but you should not freak out.
For any potential glampers (ugh) note that there is no smoking, no booze and no outside food permitted at the site [Correction: you can bring outside food but have to store it in your car]. This isn't the only high-end camping pop-up situation at Gateway beaches this summer, however—Getaway, a company that creates tiny pop-up houses for campers, brought in three of their little homes as well, which are renting for $150-a-night.
The National Park Service has allotted a temporary permit to Terra Glamping at Fort Tilden, though "the NPS may choose to authorize an extension of the pilot program at its
sole discretion," according to records, which also state that the "Superintendent retains the right to issue determinations as to compatibility with and impact to natural and other Park resources."
The environmental impacts of campsites have been a concern in the area. In 2014, designer/surfer Kent Johnson launched a Kickstarter in hopes of creating his own "luxury" campsite in the Rockaways, and cited the cost of minimizing the negative effects of sticking campers in such a delicate ecosystem.
For a less expensive, more classic camping set-up you'll need to go to Floyd Bennett Field, which is across the Bay but within the Gateway system. That area boasts 32 tent sites and 9 RV parking sites for campers, at a $30/night rate.
We reached out to the National Park Service to find out a little more about glamping at Fort Tilden, and whether or not New Yorkers can expect more affordable pop-up campsites in the area in the future. Meanwhile, folks who'd prefer to fancy-camp without being bothered by "insects" can pitch a tent inside the Trump International Hotel & Tower at Columbus Circle for $1,425. It's a small price to pay for a lifetime of memories [of sleeping in a tent in a hotel room].