Pennsylvania Campgrounds Note Changes
The changing patterns in camping are apparent at Highland Campgrounds in Clarks Summit, Pa., and elsewhere in the northeast portion of the state. Campers with smaller trailers and in tents are staying longer, while those in larger RVs are camping as usual, according to campground manager Nancy Mayer.
"People are still taking their rigs," Mayer said. "Someone who spends $250,000 on an RV isn't worried as much about gas prices."
In addition to those staying longer at the 31-site Good Sam Park, she has seen a lot more local clientele, according to the Tunkhannock New Age Examiner, Tunkhannock, Pa.
"Instead of people traveling farther away, they're thinking, 'Why don't we just have our vacation here?'" Mayer said.
Mayer also noted that Highland's weekday business has been on the rise, instead of the majority of the business happening on weekends.
Jay Hott, owner of Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park in Tunkhannock Township, said that his 109-site campground has been seeing an influx in people traveling from nearby to stay.
"People are coming in from the local area, traveling about two hours," Hott said. "And they seem to be staying a bit longer." Hott said that instead of coming for two days, he is seeing people stay for three or four days at a time.
Their business this year is coming mostly from the Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Towanda areas. Although the campground is seeing clients from New York and New Jersey, Hott said they're still only traveling about two hours to come and stay.
Although people aren't traveling nearly as far, Hott said that this new trend isn't having any detrimental impact on his business.
Yogi Bear's averages close to 40 campers per weekend, which according to Hott is well above the number of campers the campground has had in the past 20 years.
Liz McCarthy, owner of Shore Forest Campground in Hop Bottom, said that since gas prices have skyrocketed, her 160-site campground has seen more local business.
"Most of our campers come from the Hop Bottom area since there isn't a whole lot else to do," McCarthy said. "But once gas started going up, people really started finding us."
Endless Mountains Campground in Laceyville has been feeling the effect of gas prices in a different way.
Owner Linda Frey said that the campground has seen a slight drop in tent campers from previous years. "A lot of our tenters are from New York, Philadelphia and Virginia," Frey said.
Frey said, however, that the business has not seen a drop in the amount of RVs that stop in at Endless Mountains.
"A lot of people that come to our campground from a distance, they come every year," Frey said. "It's a planned vacation, so gas doesn't affect them because they're prepared for it."