Vermont Campers Coping with the Elements
The following story and video are courtesy of WCAX-TV, Burlington, Vt. Click here to watch the video.
Steve Blum purchased the Lazy Lions Campground near South Barre, Vt., six years ago to keep busy. "The campground is never a time when there's nothing to be done, Blum said.
But this season has been rough. "It has been because the weather — when it would get into a pattern, it would just stay that way for weeks," he said.
Business was down in June and July, namely due to rain then extreme heat. But now the weather has turned around and business at Lazy Lions Campground is following suit.
"This has been the best month that we've had. The last two weeks that we've had the campground since summer started," said the campground's Marcia Bresette.
RVers are still waiting until the last minute to make reservations. "They'll call on Thursday. 'The weather looks good for the weekend. I'll be there tomorrow afternoon — if you still have space,'" Blum said.
Regardless of the weather, Annette and Owen Gray of South Barre say there's one thing that keeps people RVing. "I like the lifestyle. It's a good way of living. You meet nice people — nice owners," they said.
The weather swings have also impacted some RV dealerships.
"We were on a record year through May. Then June came and then the rains came — that slowed business down," said Bruce Mekkelsen, owner of Mekkelsen RV.
Mekkelsen says that even though overall sales dipped, the rains actually prompted some folks to upgrade their RV. "They'll buy something larger if they spend a lot of time in the camper when it's raining out," he said.
Like camping reservations, RV sales are back up at Mekkelsen RV. "August is starting out with a showroom full of people buying. The unit we're in has actually been sold today," Mekkelsen said. And he's optimistic that the year will finish strong.
And with foliage season just around the corner, campgrounds are hoping to post good numbers too. "We do get a lot of foliage traffic, so beginning in the middle of September through the middle of October is one of our busier periods," Steve Blum said.
If the weather cooperates over the next several weeks, Blum could still be in for a decent camping season.