Thursday, July 17, 2008

Unhappy campers: Weather, gas prices alter vacation plans

Detroit Free Press - United States
High gasoline prices and an unusually cool and wet June have dealt an economic uppercut to northern Michigan campgrounds, yet many state and private camping parks in the southeastern Lower Peninsula are enjoying a banner year.

"It's a tough one right now," said Maggie Pike, who owns the KIOA campground at Newberry in the Upper Peninsula, "although I wish I didn't own it today.

"It's not just the gas prices. The cold weather and the rain have been just as devastating," said Pike, adding that the owners of the biggest, most expensive motor homes don't complain as much about gas prices as people with medium-sized motor homes and trailers.

"I wish I had more tent campers and pop-ups," she said. "They don't complain much at all. They just enjoy camping and being in the UP."

Georgeanne Hornacek owns a Gaylord KPOA campground where she said that high gasoline prices and cool, wet weather have made people "wait until the last minute before they decide whether to go camping."

"They don't want to waste money on gas if the weather isn't going to be nice," she said. "I can understand why. One of our campers came up with a big motor home that has a 250-gallon tank, and he said it cost $1,000 to fill it. That's some real sticker shock."
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