MARVAC Survey Indicates Successful July 4

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July 8, 2011 by   Comments Off on MARVAC Survey Indicates Successful July 4

Based on post-holiday survey results, the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds (MARVAC) announced a very successful Fourth of July holiday weekend for Michigan campgrounds.

The survey estimates occupancy at Michigan’s privately owned campgrounds at 87%, with over half of the respondents reporting 100% occupancy for the three-day weekend. Of those surveyed, 95% of campgrounds achieved the same or higher occupancy compared to 2010, with 65% reporting higher levels. The same campgrounds also saw level or increased sales for campground services, including items like camp store purchases, firewood sales, and watercraft rentals.

MARVAC member Bob Rohn, owner of Lake of Dreams Campground in Merrill, commented, “Many campers stayed either the entire week before or after the holiday; some even stayed for the entire two weeks.”

Although not likely affecting reservation figures (most campers reserved sites well in advance), Michigan’s weather over the holiday weekend was reported as perfect for camping enjoyment — with sunshine, warm temperatures and little or no rain. The remainder of the Michigan camping season looks “sunny” as well, with 90 percent of campgrounds estimating increased reservations for the next two months, compared to last season.

“July and August are our main camping months,” said Rohn, “and looking at the reservations we have in so far, we’re likely to be sold out through Labor Day.”

Campgrounds reported that 79% of the weekend’s guests were from Michigan, and 21% were from out-of-state. Fuel prices did not appear to be a factor in holiday camping, even though the statewide average, according to AAA Michigan, was 97 cents per gallon higher than 2010.

“I think people are getting used to the gas prices and economy and finding that camping is still affordable,” said Rohn. According to PKF Consulting, a travel and tourism research firm, fuel prices would have to double for RVing to be more expensive than other forms of travel.

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