Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fewer Snowbirds may come to Arizona

Tucson Citizen - Tucson,AZ,USA
PHOENIX - Winter visitors can escape the cold weather back home but they can't run from a downtrodden economy.

Recreational vehicle park operators in the Phoenix area worry that some snowbirds will stay home this winter instead of packing up and heading west.

Several parks report that reservations are down and cancellations are up.

Wendell Johnson, general manager of Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort in Casa Grande, said the 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.

The most recent estimate of the economic impact that snowbirds have is from five years ago, when Arizona State University surveyed 300,000 winter visitors and found that they spent about $1 billion on food, entertainment, lodging and other goods and services during their time in Arizona.
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