Arizona Parks Seeing Rise in Snowbird Bookings
RV parks and resorts in popular snowbird destinations across Arizona are reporting occupancies consistent with last winter’s figures, with some parks experiencing slight increases in occupancies over last winter.
“I think that, if anything, we see a little comeback in the economy. Even 1 or 2 percentage points is a little bit of a boost in the economy,” said Jo Ann Mickelson, executive director of the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
“We are having a very good year,” said Jim Beach, general manager of National Mobile Development, which owns the 1,800-site Mesa Spirit RV Resort in Mesa. “Our reservations were up 2% to 3%, but my sense is we’re up a little bit more than our reservations told us we were.”
Wendell Johnson, general manager of the 1,863-site Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort in Casa Grande, said his occupancies are also up. “I would say that right now we’re about 3% over last year, and we had one of our best years last year,” Johnson said. He added that Palm Creek will be filled to capacity or very close to it by the middle of February. “That’s when we hit our maximum,” he said.
Saundra Bryn, who operates Desert’s Edge RV Village in Phoenix, said her business has also been trending upward in recent years, though last year was especially busy at her park because her winter snowbirds were supplemented by insurance adjusters, roof and dent repair specialists who spent several months at her park after the city experienced a major hailstorm.
Further south, winter business levels are also in sync with last winter’s figures at the two Rincon Country RV Parks in Tucson, according to park operator George O’Leary. He added that the winter snowbird business remains strong in southern Arizona, particularly at parks that are continuing to improve their facilities and amenities.
Parks in the Yuma area are also having a good winter, including Rolle’s Lynda Vista RV Park. “Things are busy,” said park manager Ruth Conti. “I haven’t had a cancellation in years.”
Mickelson, for her part, owns J and H RV Park in Flagstaff. But even though northern Arizona is in the midst of winter’s grip, she’s already receiving reservations for the coming summer.
“I’m having lots of reservations and inquiries coming in every day now,” she said. “That’s a good sign. That’s what we want. I feel people are thinking about what they want to do, whether it’s for the winter months or the summer.”
For more information about winter business levels at RV parks and resorts in Arizona, contact Mickelson at the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, at (602) 493-6196. The association is the Arizona affiliate of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, the national voice of the outdoor hospitality industry. Visit their respective websites at www.gocampinginarizona.com and www.gocampingamerica.com.