Click here to watch a video, courtesy of KMOT-TV, Minot, N.D.
The housing shortage in Williston, N.D., is well-documented. And when the city implemented a citywide ban on RVs and trailers, a lot of workers were worried where people they would be able to park their homes on wheels.
At the time of the ban, county trailer parks were immediately at full capacity. As winter progresses, spots slowly are becoming available.
Seeing a “No Spots Available” sign was a common sight at trailer parks outside Williston last summer, but those looking for a place to park their camper are now having much better luck.
“They’re finding places. I remember last year, that was one of the biggest struggles was to find a place to park an RV. Now there are ample spots out there, and I’ve noticed the spots have come down in cost. So supply has started to catch up with demand,” said Dutch Deick with Coate’s RV.
The Buffalo Trails Campground has only five open spots, but that’s five more than they had last summer. North of town at the Williston RV Resort, close to 25 spots are currently available and 200 more will become available in the next month. Employees say the openings are job and weather related.
“We’re gonna lose some people for work purposes, whether their job transfers them or lets them go for the winter. Also some people just don’t like the cold. We’ve had a lot of people say, ‘I’m going to Texas for the winter, I’ll see ya in the spring,'” said Fanessa Schneider with RV resort.
From the city’s perspective, these open spots help justify the ban, which was not an easy decision to make.
“I think it makes us all feel a little better. I think all the commissioners felt bad, we didn’t want to make people move who couldn’t really afford to live any place else,” said Mayor Ward Koeser.
While originally controversial, the ban has succeeded in removing campers from city streets, and with spots now available in the county, finding a place to set up camp is less of an issue.
Employees at both parks expect demand to increase again in the spring, but by then over 400 more spots should be available.