b"Halloween Activities are Some ofthe Most Popular, Leading OwnerstoIncorporateMoreFallEvents n BY BEN QUIGGLEWhether you like Halloween activities that are a little scarier or ones that attract families, there is something for everyone at campgrounds across the Unites States this year. Credit: Rustic Knolls Campsites and CabinsCredit: Akron, Ohio Jellystone Park Credit: Cleveland/Sandusky Jellystone Park Credit: Hagerstown/Antietam KOA Credit: Rustic Knolls Campsites and CabinsT he Halloween/fall season is coming into focus amid a very busy 2021 forThe park now hosts five Halloween-themed weekends. mostparkownersanditappearsthatparkownerswhoofferThe whole month of September is busy, and October is just crazy, she told WCM. of October. At the Hagerstown/Antietam Battlefield KOA Holiday in Williamsport, Md., Hal-Halloween/fall events are expecting even more campers through the end loween-themed weekends sell out an entire year in advance. Halloween has been a very popular holiday for the outdoor hospitalityOur cabins are booked out for the whole month an entire industry for decades nowperhaps even growing in popularity over theyear in advance too, noted Judith Durham, who owns the last 10 yearswith more park owners expanding their offerings and evencampground with her husband, John. introducing new things to keep campers coming back.At the Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Akron, Kampgrounds of America Inc. recently noted the popularity of fall camping in itsOhio, they see campers begin booking sites for fall weekends Monthly Research Report released in mid-August, pointing out that 28% of all campersabout two to three weeks in advance, according to Alex Bur-say they plan to take more trips this autumn. While COVID remains a concern, overallkett, who manages marketing for the park. cancellations and changes to camping plans will be lowonly 1-in-5 note they haveRustic Knolls Campsites and Cabins, located in Central made changes to fall camping plans.Ohio, hosts three Halloween weekends and Frank Biffath, Last year we experienced our best fall on record at KOA, said Toby ORourke, pres- owner of the park and affectionately called CampMaster ident and CEO of KOA. As people felt more comfortable traveling and restrictions con- Frank, said that those weekends sell out fast.tinued to loosen, we saw people extend their camping into the fall shoulder season. FallThis year they were sold out before May, he noted.is such a wonderful time of year to camp and 2020 let a lot of guests experience thatWhat attracts campers to these types of weekends? It de-again or for the first time. The results of this months research, as well as our advancedpends on the park. From trick-or-treating to costume and site decorating contests and reservations, make it clear that fall camping is only becoming more popular.more, there is no shortage of ideas. For many of the park owners that Woodalls Campground Magazine (WCM) caughtAt the 100-site Hagerstown KOA, the main attraction is a haunted house that the park up with, putting together their annual Halloween/fall activities are a labor of love andhas been hosting for more than 25 years. something they look forward to every year.It started as a hobby and evolved into a permanent fixture at the campground during Most parks have expanded their Halloween weekends into September, as well, afterthe fall months, John Durham explained. We started charging money for it and that seeing camper demand soar.allowed us to start buying professionally made props. Now we have a house full of special Started more than 32 years ago, Land-O-Pines Family Campground in Covington,animatronics, air-operated equipment and more. We put on a pretty good show. La., has had to increase the number of Halloween-themed weekends it hosts to keep upJohn Durham said that it takes about eight to ten people to keep the haunted house with demand, according to Carol Everhardt, owner of the park.up and running and that 90% of the haunted houses staff are volunteers. The park op-Credit: Cleveland/Sandusky Jellystone ParkCredit: Cleveland/Sandusky Jellystone Park Credit: South Haven Jellystone Park18 October 2021Woodalls Campground Magazine"