'Snow Birds' Quickly Filling Arizona RV Parks
Most Bullhead City, Ariz., area RV parks surveyed by the Mojave Daily News report they're filled up for the winter and are not experiencing the effects of the recession.
“We're booked, especially after the first of the year,” said Paddy Oliver, manager at El Rio Waterfront Resort in Bullhead City. She said the average stay for winter visitors is “about two months.” The park is visited by “a lot of Canadians,” Oliver said.
“We've been full for about a month,” said Melanie Shetley, manager of the Mirage RV Resort in Bullhead City. She said the average stay for Snow Birds at her park is five months.
“We're filled up. We're filled up every year,” said Kim Taylor at Silver Creek RV Park in Bullhead City. Snow Birds usually arrive in October or November and stay an average of six months, Taylor said. “We've got 'em from Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota, Washington, Canada, Idaho. You name it, they come from all over.”
Lisa Lucchino of Snowbird RV Resort in Fort Mohave, said business is “about the same” as last year. Currently, “we're pretty full.” They have several reservations for the next month and expect to be at capacity by the end of December, she said. The average stay is four months. “A lot of Wyoming people” favor her park, Lucchino said.
Some parks are seeing a slight decline in visitors. Two Fort Mohave parks report they are down about 10% from last year.
But for the most part, the picture is bright, according to Connie Fields, tourism specialist with the Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. “Since the beginning of October, they have been coming in. As soon as it starts to get freezing or snow they come,” she said.
“Today, already, I've probably had 60 phone calls from people wanting information for apartments or vacationing or wanting to come for a couple of months, needing a property management company,” Fields said. “So it's going strong. It's alive and well as far as I'm concerned.”