A camper relaxes in a hammock at Mountain Oak Campground in Angeles National Forest.

As shutdowns, cutbacks and other coronavirus-related troubles lead legions of Americans to stay away from hotels and airports, numbers are increasing at many public and private California campgrounds, their operators say, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We’ve actually had record bookings the last couple of days,” said Nick Devane, founder and chief executive of Texino, a company that rents and customizes camping vans. The company, based in the L.A. neighborhood of Silver Lake, opened in late 2018.

“I think people want to avoid airports and they want to get away from cities, and camping is a way to do both,” Devane said.

The California State Parks camping reservation system has also seen a surge — 97,417 reservations made from Feb. 1-March 11, up from 54,825 during the same period last year, spokesman Jorge Moreno said. During the same period, cancellations dipped from 14,248 to 11,992.

These figures, Moreno said, may reflect a combination of factors, including this year’s milder weather. (He also noted that through April 15, the park system is waiving any fees for cancellations or modifications because of COVID-19 concerns.)

Meanwhile, at private campgrounds around the West, varied responses included several owners and managers who said their bookings were stable or better.

“If you’re in a campground, you get to choose how much interaction you have with other people. Plus, you’re in nature,” said Dyana Kelley, Auburn-based president of CampCalNow RV Park and Campground Alliance and chief executive of Campground Alliance, which runs the travel-planning website Camp-California.com. “We’re not seeing a decline in camping. … What we’re seeing is there are significantly higher reservations than normally for this time of year.”

At private RV campgrounds nationwide, “bookings are up by about 4-5%,” said Karen A. Redfern, vice president for brand marketing at the industry group GoRVing.com.

At the Ventura Ranch Kampgrounds of America (KOA) between Ojai and Santa Paula, which has room for about 148 RVs and 25 tents, owner Scott Cory said February bookings were 14% ahead of last year and the first 11 days of March were 4% ahead of last year.

“Within a month, we’ll probably go up to 95% on weekends,” Cory said.

At Rincon Country RV Resorts West in Tucson, which maintains about 1,100 RV campsites targeted at travelers 55 and older, manager Wendy Bykofsky said her occupancy was also at about 95%, its usual level for March.

Bykofsky did say a few visitors had left the resort early for coronavirus-related reasons, including one couple who headed home to Canada, fearing that the U.S. might close its northern border.

Clint Bell, whose family owns KOA campgrounds in Chula Vista, Temecula and Desert Hot Springs, said he “started to see a more-than-average cancellation rate in the past couple of days” — after the president’s Wednesday TV appearance and Gov. Newsom’s Thursday call for a ban on events of more than 250 people.

That dip seemed to be leveling out by the end of Friday, Bell said.

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