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North Arizona Campgrounds See Busy Summer

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August 25, 2017 by   Leave a Comment

J&H park in Flagstaff

Campgrounds across northern Arizona have experienced an unusually busy summer and many expect high occupancies to continue well into September and October, according to a press release. 

“This has been a great summer for Northern Arizona’s tourism business,” said Jo Ann Mickelson, executive director of the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, which hosts GoCampingInArizona.com, the statewide travel planning website.

Mickelson based her comments on information she has received from other Arizona park owners as well as her personal experience at J & H RV Park in Flagstaff, which she co-owns and operates with her husband, Harvey. She said this year has been the busiest in her park’s 35-year history.

“We’re turning away a lot of people every day,” she said, adding that her 52 sites fill up by 4 or 5 p.m. When that happens, she refers people to other Flagstaff area campgrounds as well as campgrounds in the Williams area.

Clint Bell, whose family manages the Flagstaff KOA and owns the Grand Canyon/Williams KOA and the Williams / Circle Pines KOA, said all three campgrounds have experienced double digit increases in occupancies this year.

“It’s been a really great year in Arizona,” he said, adding, “Our advanced reservations are still very, very strong.”

Year-to-date business has also been up at the 124-site Grand Canyon RV Park in Williams, which serves passengers on the historic Grand Canyon Railway.

Meteor Creek RV Park

“We’re just having a fantastic year,” said Bruce Brossman, Arizona regional director of sales and marketing for Xanterra Parks & Resorts, which manages the Grand Canyon Railway, RV Park and Hotel in Williams addition to accommodations inside Grand Canyon National Park.

Meteor Crater RV Park in Winslow has also had exceptionally strong business this year, according to Frank Pease, who manages the 71-site park. “This summer has been extremely busy for us,” he said. “It’s been much busier than last year, and summertime is busy anyway.”

And while Labor Day weekend marks the end of the traditional summer camping season, Northern Arizona campground and RV park operators say they expect their business to remain strong for several more weeks.

Paula Hamby, who co-owns and operates the OK RV Park in Holbrook with her husband, Mike, said September and October are typically among her busiest months of the year because of travelers crossing northern Arizona enroute to the annual Albuquerque Balloon Festival. Snowbirds also return to the southern deserts in the fall, which brings additional business to her park, she said.

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