Iowa Campground Prospers Despite Flooding
Did the flooding and excessive rain put a damper on Ottumwa Park’s Campground in Ottumwa, Iowa, this year?
KTVO-TV, Ottumwa, investigated and found that, surprisingly, the rain, did not negatively affect the numbers.
“Our results this year [showed] our attendance and revenue [were] up by a factor of two – three times over last year; two or three-fold increase, and we think one of the reasons is before the season started we sat down and talked with the campground hosts and they had a lot of good ideas, and we decided we wanted to try as hard as possible to create a positive, family-oriented environment here that was friendly for everyone,” said Parks and Recreation Director Gene Rathje.
Even a popular event, which drew crowds of people to Ottumwa’s Campground last year, could not top this year’s numbers.
“Last year, we had RAGRAI in town and both parks were full of people, and even, last year, when you figure in the RAGRAI results, this year's July was way ahead of last year's RAGRAI.”
Rathje speculated on next year.
“I anticipate next year's results will be very similar to this year. We're just going to continue making improvements to the campgrounds. Like I said, our new campground hosts have a lot of good ideas, and what we're doing are things like numbering the campsites, which has never been done before. We painted the shower house restroom facility, which before it was white and now it's brown, which is more of a regular campground type of color. We eventually want to pave our interior roads."