New Brunswickers Support Own Campgrounds
Campground managers in and around Fredericton, New Brunswick, say they’re seeing a noticeable decline in the number of out-of-province campers this summer, pointing to high gas prices as the chief cause.
The good news, however, is that the number of people pitching tents and parking recreational vehicles at local campgrounds from within the province remains steady; even climbing in many instances, administrators say, according to the Moncton (N.B.) Times and Transcript.
“Our numbers this year versus last year have increased noticeably with people from New Brunswick,” said Judy Christie, office manager of the Mactaquac Provincial Park campground. “We’re booked for Labor Day weekend.”
Christie said the campground measures its success based on the number of campsites occupied on a given night, as well as the number of overall people who stay there.
“So far this summer, we’re up in both of those categories,” Christie said.
The situation appears largely the same at other area campgrounds. Debbie Caissie, office manager of Hartt Island River Valley RV Resort, said that although numbers this summer seem to be moving away from out-of-province travelers, New Brunswickers have stepped in to fill the void.
“We have noticed that both this year and last year, the majority of our campers are coming from New Brunswick,” she said. “We still have our pockets of campers from Ontario, Quebec and the United States, but there have been fewer.”
Caissie said business has been brisk, but the recent stretch of wet weather in the region has done little to persuade people to leave the dry comforts of their homes. She said a consistent stretch of sunshine would do wonders for an end-of-summer spike in campers.
“I think that would be lovely and that is exactly what we need,” she said.
And it’s exactly what they got on Aug. 15. Clear skies coupled with warm temperatures equated to lots of activity on the waterslides and few vacant campsites.
Suzanne Parlee, camping at Hartt Island with her family for the weekend, said the high cost of gas has pushed her family to stay within an hour’s drive of home whenever they go camping.
“This is our third time coming here so far this summer,” Parlee said. “We don’t go camping as much as we used to, but when we do, we try to stick fairly close to home because gas prices are through the roof.”