It may be the first week of December, but 80-degree temperatures persist in Tucson, Ariz.
That’s exactly why hundreds of people up North pack up their things and head to the desert for the holidays. But, in a rough economy with controversy surrounding the state’s immigration law, some tourist industry workers were worried about this season, KGUN-TV, Tucson, reported.
Cactus Country RV Park manager Dan Workman admits he was worried amid talk of boycotts and gas prices, but as the season begins, he’s pleasantly surprised.
“The tourism is good for us this year,” he said, “The whole thing about boycotting Arizona has not affected us here at the park so that’s a good thing for us.”
Workman’s 284 lots are 80% full, and booked solid after Christmas. He also credits the failure of a popular rival RV park, Beaudry RV Resort, this Fall.
“When Beaudry did shut down, those guests actually started flooding area parks,” he said, “and we did take quite a few Beaudry guests in and they’re still coming in at this time.”
One of those was Suzie Nations, a first-time Arizona visitor from Texas.
“We pulled into the parking lot there and found that it was closed down,” she said, “That was a real shocker so we needed to find a place for the night and the next day we ended up here.”
For other winter arrivals this year, no boycott, bankruptcy or bad economy could stop their stay. Ed and Helen Niederhuth from Iowa have been married for 56 years, and they’ve been wintering in Tucson for the past 33.
“We just enjoy this beautiful weather and not shoveling snow,” said Helen, “it’s like a second family, so we come back and they come back and it’s a great time.”
Justin’s Diamond J RV Park has been operating for the past 3 years in Tucson. Management says they’ve been growing in visitorship each year, and expect to do so again.
While representatives from Crazy Horse RV Park say so far they’re seeing fewer visitors, they have high hopes for a post-December rush.