Bobby Cornwell, president and CEO of the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (Florida ARVC), told Woodall’s Campground Management (WCM) today (May 29) that so far no reports of significant damage at Florida RV parks or campgrounds have been made in the wake of tropical depression Alberto.
Forecasters downgraded Alberto, the first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, to a tropical depression Monday evening, hours after striking the Florida panhandle as a subtropical storm, according to the Associated Press. Officials are warning of possible flash floods and high winds as the storm continues to move through Alabama and Georgia.
Isolated deluges of 12 inches (30 centimeters) also are possible in spots as the system heads toward the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and later this week into the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region.
“I don’t think the storm came to fruition like forecasters thought it would,” Cornwell told WCM.
While not suffering physical damage, he went on to say that RV park and campground owners probably lost out on Memorial Day traffic due to the storm.
“I am positive that some lost out on business though,” Cornwell explained. “Some campers were probably scared to come down or cancelled their plans. So there is definitely going to be an economic impact for some owners.”
Cornwell said that Alberto though is just a small blip on the radar of what has been a fantastic 2018 season for Florida owners.
“The snowbird season was really good,” he noted. “It just keeps getting better and better. Everyone was saying our Canadian snowbird business might drop, but that also continues to move up, which is good because there are some parks that rely on the Canadians.”
Down in Key West, which was torn apart by Hurricane Irma last fall, RV parks and campgrounds have rebounded said Cornwell.
“Some are not reopened yet, and some never will reopen, but the rest have recovered and are accepting guests,” he said. “They are doing the best they can to get their rental unit inventory numbers back up, so you are seeing a lot of construction and overall everything is good.”
Cornwell said that Florida ARVC’s conference in mid-May saw a great turnout and that good things are happening in the campground sector.
“We are seeing a lot of people trying to get into the market and a lot of new builds,” he noted. “We are seeing the most activity we have seen in the last 10-15 years.”