New York State Campground Reservations Up 3%
New York state officials reported that reservations at the 69 campgrounds overseen by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation were up 3% as of last week.
In all, 130,860 reservations have been made so far this year, an increase of 4,050 over last summer's record-setting year, according to the Glenns Falls Post Star.
The Department of Environmental Conservation, which oversees 50 campgrounds in the Adirondack Park and the Catskills, reported that reservations this year are up 4% year-to-date.
The total number of camping nights, which combines reservations and walk-in campers, is up just over 2%. In all, just over 321,300 nights have been booked at the DEC's campgrounds, officials said.
The trend has hit Lake George Battleground, which is said to be among the most popular DEC campgrounds in the state.
The 68-site campground has been full every weekend this summer, and was also full for the Labor Day weekend and is booked over the Adirondack Balloon Festival weekend later this month.
Ralph Farrell, the campground's facilities supervisor, said part of the reason he feels the site has become so popular is that a night's stay costs just over $20.
"Across the street, especially during the big events, rooms are going for $250 to $350 a night," said Farrell, who has spent the last 25 years working at the campground.
It's not just back-to-basics tent campers who are coming out in droves.
Gary Thornquist, manager at the 360-site, 200-acre Lake George RV Park on Route 149, said campers from throughout the Northeast have been showing up.
Despite cold, rainy weather for much of the summer and despite the poor economy — a "double whammy," Thornquist said — he is "terming the season a success."
"What could have been a very bad summer ended up being OK," he said. "We didn't break any record, but we certainly did all right."
Given the increasing demands on campgrounds, some of which closed this year because of state budget cuts, officials are hoping state leaders will restore some funding for next year.