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Michigan Residents turn to Camping, RVing Vacations in Challenging Economy

WIXOM, MI -- 06/19/08 -- The tough economy has put stresses on families, forcing cutbacks due to increasingly expensive fuel and food prices. With airfares and travel expenses rising rapidly, vacation plans have been affected too. Many Michigan residents have discovered RVing can be the most economical way to travel. In fact, RV vacations are, on average, 26 to 74 percent less expensive than by personal car, airline or cruise ship.

According to online bookings at and reservation statistics from Friend Communications, total campground bookings are up nationally about 23 percent from January to March 2008 versus the same period last year. RV sales in Michigan have risen in the last year, totaling 12,863 in 2007.

"These numbers show that camping continues to be a strong and viable vacation option even in this uncertain economy," said Linda Profaizer, National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds president. "People still have a great desire to get outdoors and travel. The statistics show they are turning to camping and RVing as a getaway."

While Michigan's economic downturn has hurt many local businesses, a local RV dealer continues to prosper, and has recently expanded their market area with the opening of a new location. With six successful locations in Michigan, General RV Center has become Michigan's largest RV dealer, and is opening its newest store in North Canton, Ohio. The Ohio location is General RV's seventh superstore, but first outside of Michigan.

General RV's legacy began over 50 years ago when founder Abe Baidas began renting out camping trailers from his gas station. Five decades and three generations later, the family-owned and operated Michigan business has grown to serve 250,000 customers, employ over 400 Michigan residents, and has remained one of the top five RV dealers in the country since the mid 1990s.

"Customer response at our new Ohio location has been overwhelming," said Rob Baidas, General RV president. "They welcome the warmth of a family dealership."

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