b'CAMPGROUNDSome snowbird parks are seeing an influx of traffic from full-time RVers, local workers and othertravelers that is helping to fill the void left by snowbirds that are not trekking south. BY JEFF CRIDERSunbelt Parks Still See High Levelsof Traffic Amid COVID-Related Issues, Canada Border ClosureWhile Sunbelt park operators have been While many Sunbelt park operators wor-bracing for a major downturn in business this ried that their winter business would be downwinterwiththecontinuedclosingofthe somewhat this winter as a result of the con-Canadian border and continuing concerns tinuing closure of the U.S.-Canadian borderabout the pandemic, business levels have re- and other concerns involving the COVID-19mained strong at many parks that cater to pandemic, its not hard to find operators whosnowbirds. expect their winter business to be just asAcross the Sunbelt, park operators say strong as last years figures. Some park op-newcomers to the RV industry are joining the erators expect to be even busier this winter.scores of existing RVers to help offset the loss Since this pandemic hit, were busierof Canadian snowbirds due to the continuing than weve ever been, said Fran Myers, whoborder closure. has owned the 250-site Red Coconut RV ParkSunbelt park operators also tell Woodalls on Fort Myers Beach with her husband, Tom,Campground Management they are seeing for the past 40 years.increasing numbers of people with mobile For this winter, were totally sold out al-jobs who are working from the road and en- ready. Were just phenomenally busy rightjoying the snowbird lifestyle now rather than now. This year, we hired two more people justwaiting until they are retired.in the front office to answer the phones, sheSome Sunbelt park operators are also said. ADVERTISERS INDEXseeing something they dont typically see at Aside from being in a spectacular locationthis time of year: Large numbers of families with beachfront campsites, Myers said shetraveling with young children. believes shes busy because people feel safe Advertiser Page # Advertiser Page #The Springs at Borrego RV Resortin Bor- in the comfort of their own RV. Access Parks.9 Lancaster Log Cabins.20rego Springs, Calif., is a case in point. Instead I think folks feel safe in an RV, she said.of seeing its normal large influx of Canadians They have it sterilized. They have their own Applebrook RV Parks88 Montana Canvas.20who stay for weeks or months at a time, the restrooms. Athens Park21 MySites/Southeast Publications.32160-site desert park is going gangbusters Other Florida park operators also antici-with weekend visitors, mostly young families pate a busy winter season. B&B Electrical.8 Newbook.15from San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles John Peter Winkler of Fishermans Cove Business Finance Depot26 Outstanding Tent.22counties.RV Resortin Palmetto, Fla. said he expects toWere having 50, 60 and 70 rigs checking be as busy this winter as he was last winter By the Yard Inc.16 Pacific Yurts.4ineveryThursdayandFriday,saidDan before the pandemic. Its looking OK, he Cavco Industries17 Pelland Advertising.33Wright, assistant manager of the 160-site The said, noting that he is seeing the normal flowSprings at Borrego RV Resort. of 55 and over snowbirds come into the park. Chadwick Mfg. Ltd36 Phelps Honey Wagon.10While the influx of overnight campers is We are full for this coming season, said CheckBox Systems.10 Pinnacle Park Homes.22great from a revenue standpoint, since they Amir Harpaz, co-owner and developer of Tor-pay more than campers who stay a month or rey Trails RV & Golf Re- CheckBox Systems.16 Pilot Rock/RJ ThomasInsertlonger, it has created an extraordinary work- sort in Bowling Green, Delta Treatment Systems.4 Polly Products32load for park staff and has also changed the Fla.,aboutanhourambience of the park. This is completely dif- southwestofTampa. Dogipot25 Shore Park by Skyline.21ferent from the way the campground typically Theparkdebutedits Doty & Sons Concrete Products.26 Staylist.11operates at this time of year, Wright said. first 159 sites Dec. 1 and Duragrid29 Tengo Internet2Campers at Verde Ranch RV Resort in alreadyhad30sitesCamp Verde, Ariz., about 30 minutes south of rented, he said. Eaton Corp36 Tower Company.12Sedona, have also been surprised to see fam- Harpaz said Torrey Fluid Mfg.14 The Towne Law Firm, P.C8ilies traveling with chil- Trailshasalsobeen Amir Harpazdren at this time of year. equipped with powerful Wi-Fi as well as fiber Forest River Park Models.23 Utility Supply Group Inc5Weseealotof optic lines at each campsite to accommodate Gama Sonic31 Utility Supply Group Inc88people with their kids. the growing numbers of people who are stillTheymustbehome- workingbutwanttoenjoythesnowbird Great American Direct.28 Woodford Manufacturing Co27schoolingthem.They lifestyle now, rather than wait until they are Hialeah Meter2 Wilcor International13dont leave on Sundays. retired.They stay for a couple I have people who call and ask about Kay Park24 Workamper News.33ofweeks,saidJen- Internetaccessbecausetheyhaveto Kampgrounds of America/KOA.7 YESYour Electrical Solutions.14nifer Oswald, a retiree Dean & Jennifer Oswald work, he said, noting that many of thesefrom Oregon who is snowbirding for the first new telecommuting snowbirds are in their LaMotte.24 Yog Bears Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts.30 time this winter with her husband, Dean. 50s and 60s. 34 -February 2021 Woodalls Campground Management'