b"Gas prices significantly rose before stalling out in mid-March, causing some to wonder how it might impact summer travel.(Photo:Shutterstock)Park Owners Expect More Local Traffic as Gas Prices Rise, Still See a Busy Year nBY BEN QUIGGLE According to AAA, a year ago gas pricesother busy year. ably arent worried about the cost of fuel this As the Russian/Ukraine war continues tosat at $2.88 a gallon, which means con- WCM has broken down the questions askedearly in the planning. I believe that rising costs rage on, gas prices in the U.S. and Canadasumers are keeping an eye on gas price in- and the responses it received below.of fuel prices along with inflation could have a have steadily climbed, breaking the formercreasesastheylookattravelplansthismore positive impact on our industry as peo-gas price average of $4.11 set in 2008. summer. WCM: Historically, how have gas pricesple will opt for a more affordable vacation al-AsWoodallsCampgroundMagazineWhile most in the industry believe thisimpacted campers? Are you worried aboutternative. With fuel cost increasing, we'll likely (WCM) prepared to go to print in late March,wont negatively impact camping too much,rising gas prices, along with inflation, andsee the cost of air travel increase as well. Trav-the national average of gas had settled at rightWCMdecidedtoreachouttoparkhow it could impact travel this year?elers will likely look to domestic travel, road about $4.25, according to the American Au- owners/operators around the country to seetrips and weekend escapes as a vacation al-tomobile Association (AAA), with some stateshow gas prices are affecting their mindset asHistorically, when gasternative closer to home.Lloyd Lauland, seeing gas prices reach over $5 a gallon. they prepare for what is expected to be an- prices have increased, thepresident of RVC Outdoor Destinations outdoor hospitality indus-try has seen an influx ofIcantrecallatime campers. People still wantwhen gas prices affected to camp, so they will typi- occupancy at any of my cally camp closer to homeresorts. RVing and camp-and extend their stays. ing still remain among the PaulBambei,presidentmost cost-effective forms Paul Bambei and CEO of the Nationalof vacationing, so, if any-Association of RV Parks and Campgroundsthing,Iwouldimagine (National ARVC) people may stay at parks Amir Harpaz closer to their origin, but I Jellystone Park loca- have not experienced any shifts in bookings tions have performed wellto support that. The beautiful thing about in a variety of economicRVing is that once youre at a campground, climates, including reces- there are so many activities that do not cost sions.Whengaspricesyou anything or very little. If anything, these haveincreased,moreeconomic trends will reinforce RVing as the families tend to vacationpreferred vacation format. You dont even closer to home and thatneed to go and eat out, you can cook right in benefits Jellystone Park lo- your RV.Amir Harpaz, an owner and de-Trent Hershenson cationsasnewfamiliesveloper of RV parks discover our parks for the first time, just as they did during the onset of COVID-19. MostWe have never found of our guests come from within a 180-milegas to be a limiting factor. radius of a location and we expect that toEach year our park hosts continue and even increase as gas prices in- guests from all over the crease. Were not necessarily worried aboutUnitedStates,andpre-the rising gas prices as it will likely drive fam- COVID, in 2019, we had ilies to investigate entertainment vacation op- international guests from tions closer to home and new potential guestsas many as 15 countries. will discover our locations for the first time.While gas prices are un-During the pandemic, almost 50% of ourMark Lemoine derstandablyatop-of-guests visited a Jellystone Park location formind factor of the larger uncertainty that the first time and rising gas/travel prices (air- exists in the world today, providing service to fare will likely increase as well) will drive newthose traveling in an RV, or offering guests the families to our locations for the first time asopportunity to enjoy the outdoors with their well.Trent Hershenson, vice president offriends of family, is something they will al-marketing for Camp Jellystone, the franchisorways seek to do and find value in. While peo-Real Log Park Model Cabins of Yogi Bears Jellystone Park Camp-Resortsple might not travel as far to go camping because of gas prices, they are more likely to Weneverfeltasstill go camping, only closer to home.though fuel prices playedMarkLemoine,owneroftheColoma/St. thatbigofaroleinJoseph Kampgrounds of America (KOA) Hol- Real Log Cabins on Wheelswhether guests would va- iday in St. Joseph, Mich. Preassembled & Turn-Keycation with us or not. WeRVIA Seal (Park Model RV)alwaysfeltthatweatherPrimarily our campers come from withinHigh Quality & Durability was the primary factor ina 100- to 125-mile radius of the campground.Amish Craftsmanshipguests staying at our re- This actually increased in the past two yearsAffordable Pricingsorts.Ialwaysleanedto a 200-mile radius. The majority of ourQuick Pay-OffLloyd Lauland more on the thinking thatguestsaccessusfrommajorhighways, guestswouldvacationregardlessoffuelwhich are a positive on their fuel economy. CALL TODAY pricesbut would likely choose closer des- We have not seen a negative aspect of guest Located in Lancaster, PA tinations unless the trip was planned far outtravel to us that would be affected by gas enough. If you and your friends planned to goprices. There is always concern with the un-www.LancasterLogCabins.com717-445-5522 continued on page26to Hot Springs in June of this year, you prob- Gas Prices 14 May 2022Woodalls Campground Magazine"