Eastern Iowa County Park Reports 'Staycation' Traffic

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May 23, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Pack up and camp out. That’s what some 35 families do each weekend at Morgan Creek County Park near Palo, Iowa. Since April, the campground has been operating at nearly full capacity. Staycations help shield families from the recession and rising gas prices, Eastern Iowa Outdoors reported.

“There are lots of nice parks here. You don’t have to go that far away to have a nice vacation,” said Jason Smith.

Jason Smith and his family are regulars at Morgan Creek County Park.

“It gets you away from the TV and all kinds of stuff. Do some things out here that you wouldn’t normally do at home,” said Smith.

“You know mainly just the peace, serenity, you know being out in nature,” said Morgan Creek County Park Ranger Steve Swenson.

That draws in the crowds. The campgrounds have been open since April.

“We’ve had a pretty good season so far,” said Swenson.

With rising gas prices and a tough economy, more families are looking for a cheaper way to spend time and not money.

“It makes you really sit down and do the math and see if it’s worthwhile to go camping or to stay in a hotel or go to a resort type deal,” said Smith.

More people are doing staycations like the Smiths who live two miles from the campground.

“It’s a pretty local campground,” said Swenson.

Staying closer to home but still getting away and enjoying time off work or school. That’s why Park Ranger Steve Swenson says he’s looking forward to a busy summer season at the park.

“Last season was probably down from previous years, but our anticipation is that we changed fees a little bit last year and we think things will even out this year and we hope for a good season,’ said Swenson.

The park is on a first come-first served basis.

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