Monday, November 17, 2008

Economy may hinder Arizona snowbirds' spending

Arizona Republic - Phoenix,AZ,USA
Winter visitors are returning slowly, not flocking to the Valley as they traditionally have in stronger economies.

Several RV parks report that reservations are down and cancellations are up, although park managers warn it's too early to say for sure how the season will shake out.

"We're certainly going to see a little softer season than we have in the past," said Wendell Johnson, general manager of Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort in Casa Grande.

The 1,862-space age-restricted park typically gets reservations for about 1,500 spaces from October through December. Business is down about 5 percent so far compared with the same period last year, Johnson said.

Mesa has the largest number of RV parks in the Valley. Robert Brinton, president of the Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau, said it remained unclear whether winter visitors would arrive later or leave earlier because of the troubled economy. Also up in the air was how much they would spend in the Valley.
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