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Snowbirds Staying Longer In Central Arizona

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August 18, 2014 by   Leave a Comment

The demographic affectionately known as “snowbirds” remains an established population in the East Valley’s winter season, the East Valley Tribune of Tempe, Ariz., reported.

In other news, they might be staying for the summer.

A local survey by the East Valley Tribune suggests that the number of Arizona winter visitors is not decreasing and that more of them are becoming yearlong Arizona residents.

RV parks offer some of the most relevant statistics on snowbirds. Due to the cost of owning real estate, winter visitors often bring RVs into the warmer climates. Some RV parks have responded by branding themselves as retirement communities.

Phoenix Metro RV Park caters exclusively to an over-55 age range. Jan Venard, the community’s assistant manager, noted that the business has been at its peak during recent snowbird seasons.

“We have been absolutely full during the winter seasons, so I can’t imagine there being more in previous winters,” Venard said.

Many of the visitors are farmers with very little else to do during the winter, Venard said. She added, “almost everybody that can leave” departs for the summer.

Of the 310 available units at Phoenix Metro RV, approximately 100 are filled during the summer.

Venard, who has been at the park for three years, hasn’t noticed significant changes in her tenure.

Diane Rossell has managed the Tempe Travel Trailer Villa long enough to see the changes at the macro level.

She also agreed winter business has boomed in the past four years. The number of rented winter units increased 10 to 15 percent from 2010, Rossell said.

The most significant change since pre-2010, however, is the increase in summer residents at the Tempe mobile home community.

“Usually we’ve had 60 out of 160 lots vacant during the summer,” Rossell said, “but in the past four years, only 30 lots have been vacant.”

Rossell said most of those summer residents are “repeats” from the winter season, out-of-state visitors that include Californians, Michiganders, South Dakotans and Canadians.

For the full story, click here.

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