With the popularity of camping in general – and RV camping specifically – on the rise, the Hamilton County Park District in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio, is making plans to handle the growing number of enthusiasts.
Work will begin in February on a $2.6 million campground improvement in Winton Woods, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The project will add 25 camping sites (for a total of 125), including 12 new RV pull-through, eight cabins that sleep up to six, a new 2,200-square-foot campground office and retail complex, and a playground and group activity shelter.
The project is expected to be completed in May 2009.
“The reason for the (campground) expansion is the demand for camping in this region is tremendous,” said Bill Mowery, the park district’s recreation general manager. “The whole camping industry is on the rise.”
“Right now, we run pretty much at full capacity from April to September,” said Tim Hendrixson, a park district engineer. “We’re pretty much booked all year.”
The improvements will allow the campground to increase its capacity by nearly a third.
“Basically, 15,000 additional people will stay at the campground because of the additions,” Mowery said.
Most recently, about 50,000 campers have stayed at the campground annually, he said.
The 15,000 new campers, Mowery said, are expected to generate an estimated additional $275,000 annually, which will help pay for the improvements.
Mowery believes camping is surging because it’s a good family activity. And there has been a shift from tents and pop-up campers to trailers and RVs to handle the larger group outings, he said.
Also, part of the increase in RV camping can be attributed to retirees who rent or buy the vehicles and travel around the country at a leisurely pace, Mowery said.
“The whole RV thing has made camping more pleasant . . . and less of a hassle,” he said
The 12 new RV pull-through sites can accommodate the larger RVs.
“Because they don’t have to back up, the folks that drive the 30- to 40-foot RVs love the pull-through sites because they’re more convenient,” Mowery said.
The pull-though sites have hookups for water, 50-amp electric and sewer, a concrete pad, concrete patio and picnic table, Hendrixson said. The new cabins will feature a loft area for children, kitchen, bathroom, heat/air conditioning, linens, dishes, cookware, television, wood deck and picnic table. The campground currently has 10 basic cabins with few amenities.