Michigan Campground Owner Sees Record Year
At least one Livingston County, Mich., campground has seen a drastic hike in business this year as more campers choose to pitch their tents closer to home.
Alan Taylor, owner of Taylor's Beach Campground in east central Michigan, said the economy has significantly impacted his business because many area residents are less willing to pay the travel expenses to camp in upper Michigan, according to the Livingston Daily.
Taylor said his campground, about six miles north of downtown Howell, had record earnings last year and that he expects a 25% increase in business this year.
"We've seen a substantial increase in business," Taylor said. "Economic distress is forcing people to camp closer to home."
Additionally, Taylor said he's had several requests from families seeking permanent residence in the campgrounds because they've lost their homes to foreclosure. He said, unfortunately, he's had to turn those people away because the campground hasn't had the space availability.
"That has not been an uncommon request these days," Taylor said. "It'd sad. It really broke my heart to take those calls."
However, most campers at Taylor's Beach are vacationers who have chosen the campgrounds for affordability reasons or because of its proximity to their homes.
William Bennett of Waterford Township, who camps at Taylor's Beach about four nights per week, said he decided to purchase a camp trailer three years ago. Since then, he has lost his job in the auto industry.
"I used to go to Houghton Lake all the time, but driving 300 miles to get there and back became expensive," Bennett said. "This is much easier."
Similarly, Judy Butler of Livonia said she and her husband recently began camping at Taylor's Beach Campground.
"The economy has a lot to do with it," Butler said. "It just costs too much to pull a trailer way up north. We can't afford to go too far on vacations."