Monday, August 04, 2008

MN RV parks stay busy despite gas prices

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN
Even with gasoline prices lingering around $4 a gallon, local RV parks say it's had just minimal impact on the number of visitors staying with them in the big, gas-consuming campers.

"At the start of the season, which is April, we did (see an impact) for the months of April and May," said Mike Wilson manager of the Silver Lake Motor Coach Resort on North Broadway. "What we found was, instead of coming up ahead of time, people were trying to plan more. But now, this summer, since June, our number of reservations is about the same as last year."

However, Wilson said that they are seeing shorter stays.

"People are not coming a day or two ahead," he said, "and they aren't lingering a day or two later like they used to."

Galen and Patricia Youngkrantz, owners of the Autumn Woods RV Park just south of Rochester haven't seen a change.

Carol Harper from Madison, S.D., works and camps at Autumn Woods.

The biggest change for her has been the lack of spontaneity.

"You don't just go on a whim anymore," she said. "You spend a long time here to make the trip worthwhile."

This is proving to be the case at Beaver Trails Campground and RV Park near Austin, which has seen a recent increase in seasonal RVs -- RVs that stay at the park permanently from April 15 to Oct. 15. Currently, the campground has a waiting list for this summer and 25 units waiting for next year.
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