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CALARVC Survey: Parks Doing Better in ’08

July 1, 2008 by   - () Leave a Comment

The California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (CALARVC) reported encouraging results from 77 parks responding to a recent performance survey.
“Well more than 50% have indicated that their seasons are better or the same as last year,” Debbie Sipe, CALARVC executive director/CEO, said in this week’s “5-Minute CALARVC Update.” “Of those parks that have seen a slowdown, only seven parks indicated that gas prices were a factor. While I would assume that there is a significant number of campers who are changing their vacation plans based on fuel prices, I would say that it is having a relative small impact on our members. In fact, we know of several parks throughout the state which are significantly up this summer season.”
Sipe reported the results of several questions. To the question, “how was Memorial Day for your park?”:

  • 19 parks answered best ever.
  • 32 said good, but not great.
  • 16 said so-so.
  • 10 said poor.
    Further:
    • 20 parks said they were up from last year.
    • 30 said they were the same.
    • 27 said they were down.
    Comments regarding Memorial Day, of those that said best or good:

  • Several parks were 100% full.
  • Another was up 2%.
  • One only had nine spaces available over the 3-day weekend.
    Other Best or Good comments:

  • Tent camping is up, but our RV overnights are down.
  • The Europeans have landed!
  • Best ever since 2002.
  • Rain helped fill all our cabins.
  • Better inventory management tool.
    Of those that said so-so or poor, it was an even split among the rain, wind and lightning and fuel prices. Another noted that the closing of salmon season was a factor in their decrease.
    Of the 26 parks that responded so-so or poor, nine of them are from the Bakersfield area. “With the opening of four new parks in the area, it would appear they have an abundance of RV sites for the region,” Sipe said.
    Meanwhile, on the question, “how is your 4th of July looking?”:

  • 31 replied they are expecting a strong turnout. The exact same number said it will be a normal turnout and 16 parks are projecting a slow 4th.
    Snowbird parks were asked about their winter season:

  • 11 said it was their best ever.
  • 15 said it was good, but not great.
  • 10 said it was so-so.
  • 3 said theirs was poor.
    Comments included:

  • Best since 2004.
  • Best Ever Winter Season and we aren’t a Snowbird park.
  • Another Best Ever said theirs started early and didn’t finish until 4/15!
    “As you can see, current research suggests that consumers still want their vacations,” Sipe concluded. “While many are opting out of flying and staying in hotels, those same folks are choosing camping and RVing. Make sure you are marketing to your local and regional metropolitan areas. You don’t want to miss out on this new breed of camper.
    “Also, while the past trend has been frequent but shorter camping trips, this year campers are choosing fewer but longer camping trips. Make sure to offer lots of activities at your park and around your area. Make sure you have packages that include golfing or visiting a local historic landmark, museum, or attraction … anything that will help them extend their stay.”
    The responses represent about 19% of the 400 parks who are CALARVC members.

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