Cooler Summer = Good Season in Texas Parks
Campground operators in Texas say they’ve had a good summer camping season, fueled by travelers as well as increasing business activity.
“All over Texas, our members are telling us their year-to-date business levels have surpassed last year’s figures,” said Brian Schaeffer, executive director and CEO of the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).
Gwen Craig, co-owner of Rayford Crossing RV Resort in Spring, in the Woodlands area north of Houston, is a case in point.
“We had our best summer ever,” she said. “Lots of people just vacationing, lots of people selling houses, building new ones. Lots of people moving to the area. Lots and lots of new RVers.”
Allan Hughes of Traders Village RV Park in Grand Prairie attributed the improvement in part to milder summer weather.
“Last summer was brutal,” he said, noting that northern Texas suffered 71 days in a row of 100 degree plus days. This summer, however, the weather was much better. So much nicer, in fact, that Hughes saw more tent campers than normal this year.
People also weren’t as affected by fuel prices. “We didn’t have that as an issue,” Hughes said.
Joe Moore, general manager of The Vineyards Campground and Cabins in Grapevine, near the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, said he was surprised by the strength of the 2012 camping season.
“We’re seeing a 10 percent to 15 percent increase over last year’s revenues,” he said, with RV sites increasing by 10 percent while revenue from the park’s new park model cabin rentals increased by 15 percent.
Moore added that advance reservations for cabins at The Vineyards remain strong. “We’re very strong over the next three or four months. We have a lot of requests or long-term stays at the campground, more so than in the past. We’re hoping it stays strong.”
Some Vineyards campers, in fact, are booking their sites nearly a year in advance. “We only have a handful of reservations left for July 4th next year,” Moore said.
Weather was also improved in the Texas Hill Country, where campgrounds catered to tubing, rafting and kayaking enthusiasts.
“We had the best summer we’ve ever had,” said Doug Shearer of Parkview Riverside RV Park in Concan, which opened in March 2001.
He attributed the strong business levels to the abundance of water. “The river was in the best shape we’ve had in about five years,” he said.
Based in Crowley, TACO publishes and distributes the Texas RV Travel & Camping Guide each year.