Michelle Berry, owner of the KOA campground in Foley, Ontario, is calling 2008 “the year of challenges.”
The number of nights people are camping at this 59-site campground near Georgian Bay was down 5% last month.
“Overall, this July is down,” she said. “Compared to the last couple of years it’s down, but those were awesome years.”
The decrease is not only due to gas prices, but also the rainy weather and bugs, according to parrysound.com.
“One thing we stumbled upon, we call it the one-tank rule,” said Berry.
The one-tank rule is when people holiday within a tank’s drive of their home, so West Parry Sound, being only two hours from Toronto, is within the range.
“They are staying for a longer time. A typical, average stay was four nights; it’s now six to seven. Again, I think it’s rather than do two or three camp sites (during a holiday).,” Berry said.
For Berry, gas prices are leading to a downturn in the economy.
“I think the economy in general is in for a big shock,” said Berry. “I think we’re going to see some lean times and it’s started. We’ve had it too good.”
The price of gas and diesel is also affecting the shipping side of business for the food and gift goods she brings in for the campground store. So far, the campground has absorbed the increase.
“We’ve always done that. Usually you like to say you pass that one on, but usually you have stock you carry on from the start of the season to the end and you can’t change prices halfway through,” Berry said.