Maine Campgrounds Look for Quick Start to Season
Unseasonably warm weather and the perception that the economy is improving likely have helped fuel pre-season reservations at private campgrounds in Maine.
Rick Abare, executive director of the Maine Campground Owners Association (MECOA), shared that observation following MECOA’s 53rd annual convention and trade show March 30 at the Fireside Inn in Portland.
He reckoned that reservations were ahead of the 2011 pace by 10 percent, based on talks with many of the owners and operators of the 48 campgrounds represented at the convention. “That’s a very good turnout; we were happy with that,” Abare said.
The reservation uptick helped set a positive tone at the convention, which also drew 28 vendor firms and included three informative seminars.
Unlike most other states, MECOA holds its annual convention in conjunction with a spring RV show that it organizes at a nearby venue. MECOA’s Vacationland RV and Camping Show was held March 31-April 1 at the Portland Sports Complex, minutes away from the convention site. The show featured displays by seven RV dealers from Maine and New Hampshire and 50 campgrounds.
Abare pronounced the event a success, and participants are already looking ahead to next year’s show.
On the legislative front, MECOA members were pleased by the recent passage of LD 1809, which in Maine will tax the renter of an RV instead of the actual owner, just as people who rent cars or movies are taxed.
“We got that passed in a unanimous voice vote in the House and Senate,” said Abare, noting that MECOA had lobbied for its passage.
MECOA’s newly elected five board members will meet in May to elect officers for the coming year.
The association will reconvene in the fall after Columbus Day.